Leiterin der Nachwuchsgruppe 'Autophagy in Cancer'

Dr. rer. nat. Silvia Vega Rubin de Celis

Institut für Zellbiologie (Tumorforschung)

Virchowstraße 173

45122 Essen


Tel.: 0201 723 3941

Fax: 0201 723 5904



Research interests

The research focus of my group revolves around understanding the role of autophagy in cancer and exploring the use of autophagy modulating agents as potential therapeutic targets in tumors. We undertake a variety of approaches, from understanding basic molecular biology mechanisms in cell lines and patient samples to ultimately translate the findings into the clinic.



DFG Grant: VE 1153/1-1 "Targeting autophagy as treatment for Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-amplified cancers". The major aim of this project is to unravel the mechanisms whereby autophagy is modulated in receptor-tyrosine kinase-amplified cancers.

Doctoral Student: Jetsy Karina Montero Vergara (M.Sc.)

Josepha and Charlotte von Siebold Habilitandinnen-Förderprogramm
(Program of the Medical Faculty oft he University of Duisburg-Essen to support post-doc mothers in science to help implement their research program).

Student Research Assistant: Matthias Kudla


Publications (in chronological order)

seit 2021

  • Hegedüs, L., Szücs, K., Kudla, M., Heidenreich, J., Jendrossek, V., Peña-Llopis, S., Garay, T., Aigner, C., Plönes, T., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S. #, Hegedüs, B# (2022). Nintedanib and Dasatinib treatments induce protective autophagy as a potential resistance mechanism in MPM cells. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. Vol 10, 852812 #Corresponding author
  • An, Z., Chiang, W.C., He, C., Huang, S.Y., Fernández, A.F., Franco, L.H., Lee, E., Liu, Y., Sebti, S., Shoji-Kawata, S., Sirasanagandla, S., Wang, R., Wei, Y., Zhao, Y., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.# (2022). Beth Levine´s legacy: from the discovery of Beclin 1 to therapies. A mentee's perspective. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol 10, 891332. #Corresponding author
  • Humbert, M., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Velasco, G., Wei, Y., (2022). Editorial: Molecular mechanisms of autophagy in cancer. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. Vol 10, 918511.
  • Zou, Z., Fernández-Fernández, A., Jendrossek, V., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.# Approaches to studying autophagy in vivo in the mammary gland and in xenograft samples (2022) Methods Mol Biol. 2445:255-272. PMID: 34972997;
  • Will, R. #, Bauer, K., Kudla, M., Montero-Vergara, J., Wiemann, S., Jendrossek, V., Peña-Llopis, S., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.# A dual HiBiT-GFP-LC3 lentiviral reporter for autophagy flux assessment (2022). Methods Mol Biol. 2445:75-98. PMID:34972987;
  • Krysztofiak A, Szymonowicz K, Hlouschek J, Xiang K, Waterkamp K, Larafa S, Goetting I, Vega-Rubin-de-Celis S, Theiss C, Matschke V, Hoffmann D, Jendrossek V, Matschke J. Metabolism of Cancer Cells Commonly Responds to Irradiation by a Transient Early Mitochondrial Shutdown. Accepted in iScience. 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103366.
  • Niersch, J.*, Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.*, Bazarna, A., Jendrossek, V., Siveke, J., Peña-Llopis, S. A BAP1 synonymous mutation results in exon skipping and loss of function (2021). *Equal contribution. iScience. 24(3):102173.
  • Mitra, D.*, Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.*, Royla, N., Bernhardt, S., Wilhelm, H., Poschet, G., Buettner, M., Binenbaum, I., Borgoni, S., Chatziioannou, A., Hell, R., Kempa, S., Mueller-Decker, K., Wiemann, S. Abrogating GPT2 activity in triple negative breast cancer cells inhibits tumor growth and promotes autophagy (2021). *Equal contribution. International Journal of Cancer. 148(8):1993-2009.
  • Körholz, K., Ridinger, J., Krunic, D., Najafi, S., Gerloff, X.F., Peterziel, H., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Witt, O., Oehme, I. Broad-spectrum HDAC inhibitors promote autophagy through FOXO transcription factors in neuroblastoma (2021). Cells. 10(5):1001.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S#. Autophagy in cancer, friend or foe? (2021). Chapter 25 in "Autophagy in Health and Disease" 2nd edition. Elsevier. #Corresponding author.


  • Kliowsky, D., (...), Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th Edition) (2020). Autophagy.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.#, Kinch, L., Peña-Llopis, S. Regulation of Beclin 1-Mediated Autophagy by Oncogenic Tyrosine Kinases (2020). Int J Mol Sci, 21, 9210 PMID: 33287140 Review #Corresponding author
  • Zhao, B., Dierichs, L., Gu, J-N., Traijkovic-Arsic, M., Hilger, R-A., Savvatakis, K., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Liffers, S-T., Pena-Llopis, S., Behrens, D., Siveke, J-T., Lueong, S. TFEB-mediated lysosomal biogenesis and lysosomal drug sequestration confer resistance to MEK inhibition in pancreatic cancer (2020). 6:12 Cell Death Discovery. PMID: 32194992
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.#. Role of Beclin 1-dependent autophagy in cancer (2019). Biology 9 (1) 4. Invited review for the Special Issue: Autophagy and Cancer. #Corresponding author. PMID: 31877888
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., and Levine, B. Keeping a clean house to suppress HER2+ breast tumor growth (2019). Invited review. Atlas of Science.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Zhou, Z., Fernandez, A.F., Ci, B., Kim, M., Xiao, G., Xie, Y., and Levine, B. Increased autophagy blocks HER2-mediated breast tumorigenesis (2018). PNAS. 115 4176-4181. PMID: 29610308.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.#, and Wiemann, S. Autophagy LC3 HiBiT reporter assay demonstrates mTORC1 regulation of autophagic flux (2018). Promega Reports. #Corresponding author.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Peña-Llopis, S., Konda, M., Brugarolas, J. Multi-step regulation of TFEB by mTORC1 (2017). Autophagy. 13, 1-9. PMID: 28055300.
  • Peña-Llopis, S., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., A. Liao, N. Leng, A. Pavia-Jimenez, S. Wang, T. Yamasaki, L. Zhrebker, S. Sivanand, P. Spence, L. Kinch, T. Hambuch, S. Jain, Y. Lotan, V. Margulis, A. Sagalowsky, P. Banerji Summerour, W. Kabbani, S.W. Wong, N. Grishin, M. Laurent R., X.-J. Xie, C. Haudenschild, M. Ross, D. Bentley, P. Kapur, J. Brugarolas. BAP1 loss defines a new class of renal cell carcinoma (2012). Nat Genetics, 44, 751-759. PMID: 22683710.
  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Brugarolas, J. REDD1. Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. (2012) Invited review
  • Peña-Llopis, S.*, Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S.*, Schwartz, J., Wolff, N., Tran, T.A., Zou, L., Xie, X-J., Corey, D.R., Brugarolas, J. Regulation of TFEB and vATPases by mTORC1 (2011). EMBO J, 30, 3242-3258. *Equal contribution. PMID:21804531.
  • Wolff, N., Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Xie, X-J., Castrillon, D., Kabbani, W., Brugarolas, J., Cell-type-dependent regulation of mTORC1 by REDD1 and the tumor suppressors TSC1/TSC2 and LKB1 in response to hypoxia (2011). Mol Cell Biol, 31, 1870-1884. PMID: 21383064


  • Vega-Rubin-de-Celis, S., Adballah, Z., Kinch, L., Grishin, N.V., Brugarolas, J., Zhang, X., Structural analysis and functional implications of the negative mTORC1 regulator REDD1 (2010). Biochemistry, 49, 2491-2501. PMID: 20166753.
  • Díez, A., Menoyo, D., Pérez-Benavente, S., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Obach, A., Favre-Krey, L., Boukouvala, E., Leaver, M.J., Tocher, D.R., Pérez-Sánchez, J., Krey, G., Bautista, J.M. Conjugated linoleic acid affects lipid composition, metabolism and gene expression in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata, L) (2007). J Nutr 137, 1363-1369.
  • Gómez-Requeni, P., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Médale, F., Kaushik, S.J., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Regulation of somatotropic axis by dietary factors in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (2005). Br J Nutr 94, 353-361.
  • Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Gómez-Requeni, P., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Production and characterization of recombinantly derived peptides and antibodies for accurate determinations of somatolactin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) (2004). Gen Comp Endocrinol 139, 266-277.
  • Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Rojas, P., Gómez-Requeni, P., Albalat, A., Gutiérrez, J., Médale, F., Kaushik, S., Navarro, I., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Nutritional assessment of somatolactin function in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata): concurrent changes in somatotropic axis and pancreatic hormones (2004). Comp Biochem Physiol 138, 533-542.
  • Calduch-Giner, J.A., Mingarro, M., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Boujard, D., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Molecular cloning and characterization of the Gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) growth hormone receptor (GHR). Assessment of alternate splicing (2003). Comp Biochem Physiol 136B, 1-13.
  • Peyon, P., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Gómez-Requeni, P., Zanuy, S., Pérez-Sánchez, J., Carrrillo, M. In vitro effect of leptin on somatolactin release in the European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Dependence on the reproductive status and interaction with NPY and GnRH (2003). Gen Comp Endocrinol 132, 284-292.
  • Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Gómez, P., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Médale, F., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Expression and characterization of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) somatolactin (SL): assessments of in vivo metabolic effects (2003). Mar Biotechnol 5, 92-101.
  • Pérez-Sánchez, J., Costell Ibáñez, E., Mingarro Martí, M., Carbonell Talón, I., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Orlando Bonet, M.L., Rielo Zurita, J.A., Pujalte Domarco, M.J., Garay Aubán, E., Sitjà Bobadilla, A., Alvarez Pellitero, P., Izquierdo Faubel, L., Durán Hidalgo, L. Feeding and culture strategies for the sea bream. Pathological state and sensorial quality control (2002). Book (Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los alimentos, CSIC, Eds.).
  • Pérez-Sánchez, J., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Mingarro, M., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Gómez-Requeni, P., Saera-Vila, A., Astola, A., Valdivia, M.M. Overview of fish growth hormone family. New insights in genomic organization and heterogeneity of growth hormone receptors (2002). Fish Physiol Biochem 27, 243-258. Review.
  • Mingarro, M., Vega-Rubín de Celis, S., Astola, A., Pendón, C., Valdivia, M.M., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Endocrine mediators of seasonal growth in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata): the growth hormone and somatolactin paradigm (2002). Gen Comp Endocrinol 128, 102-111.

Curriculum Vitae

BSc in Biology. University of Navarra, Spain.
BSc in Biochemistry. University of Navarra, Spain.
MSc in Biology. University of Valencia, Spain.

Research Assistant. Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA). William Kaelin, MD, laboratory.

2006, 2007
Maternity leave

Ph.D. in Biology. University of Valencia, Spain.

Post-doctoral fellowship. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX, USA). James Brugarolas, MD, PhD, laboratory.

Assistant Instructor. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX, USA). Beth Levine, MD, laboratory.

NCT-DKTK School of Oncology fellow. DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany. Stefan Wiemann, PhD, laboratory.

Junior Group Leader. Institute for Cell Biology (Tumor Research). University Hospital Essen, Germany.



Socrates Program Award, University of Bordeaux II (France).

Spanish Council for Scientific Research Pre-doctoral award.

Ruth Lee Kennedy Fellowship Award (Fullbright program).

SigmaXi abstract competition award. UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Fundación Caja Madrid post-doctoral Fellowship award.

NCT-DKTK School of Oncology Fellowship award.

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) Summer School in Translational Cancer Research award.

Travel award. Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular Annual Meeting.

Seal of Excellence. European Commission. H2020-MSCA-IF-2019

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