Prof. Erwin Wagner (PhD)

Director of the Cancer Cell Biology Programme

Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain



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Erwin Wagner obtained his PhD in 1978 for his studies on bacterial genetics in Berlin. He did his postdoctoral training with Beatrice Mintz in Philadelphia (1979-83), became a Group Leader at EMBL, Heidelberg (1983-88) and from 1988 he was Senior Scientist and Deputy Director at the IMP Vienna, Austria. Since 2008 he became Vice Director (2008-11) and Director of the Cancer Cell Biology Program at the CNIO, Madrid. His work focuses on understanding gene functions in mammalian development and disease/cancer, employing genetic mouse models for human diseases with a focus on understanding the functions of the AP-1(Fos/Jun) transcription factor complex.



We focus on:

  • Elucidating a causal link between inflammation, cancer and AP-1 (Fos/Jun) expression, using cell type-specific, switchable genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs).
  • Developing and characterising new GEMMs for cancer and human diseases, such as bone loss, fibrosis and psoriasis, and applying these to preclinical studies.
  • Using multiple approaches to compare mouse models of disease to human disease and to identify therapeutically relevant targets.


  1. Wagner EF (2016). Fibroblast for all seasons. Nature. 530(7588):42-3.
  2. Petruzelli, M & Wagner EF (2016). Mechanisms of metabolic dysfunction in cancer-associated cachexia. Genes Development. 30(5):489-50
  3. Uluçkan Ö, Jimenez M, Karbach S, Jeschke A, Graña O, Keller J, Büsse B, Croxford A, Finzel S, Koenders M, van den Berg W, Amling M, Waisman A, Schett G, Wagner EF (2016). Chronic skin inflammation leads to bone loss by IL-17A mediated inhibition of Wnt signaling in osteoblasts. Sci. Transl. Med. 8,330ra38.
  4. Wagner, EF and Petruzzelli M (2015). Cancer Metabolism – A waste of insulin interference. Nature. 521, 430-431.
  5. Thomsen MK, Bakiri L, Hasenfuss SC, Wu H, Morente M and Wagner EF (2015). Loss of JUNB/AP-1 promotes invasive prostate cancer. Cell Death and Differentiation. 22(4): 574-582.
  6. Wurm S, Zhang J, Guinea-Viniegra J, García F, Muñoz J, Bakiri L, Ezhkova E, and Wagner EF (2015). Terminal epidermal differentiation is regulated by the interaction of Fra-2/AP-1 with Ezh2 and ERK1/2. Genes & Dev. Jan 15;29(2):144-56.
  7. Bakiri L, Macho-Maschler S, Custic I, Niemiec J, Guío-Carrión A, Hasenfuss SC, Eger A, Müller M, Beug H, and Wagner EF (2015). Fra-1/AP-1 induces EMT in mammary epithelial cells by modulating Zeb1/2 and TGF beta expression. Cell Death and Differentiation. 22(2): 336-350.
  8. Petruzzelli, M, Schweiger M, Schreiber R, Campos-Olivas R, Tsoli M, Allen J, Swarbrick M, Rose-John S, Rincon M, Robertson G, Zechner R, and Wagner EF (2014). A Switch from White to Brown Fat Increases Energy Expenditure in Cancer-Associated Cachexia. Cell Metabolism. 20: 433-447.
  9. Guinea-Viniegra, JM. Jimenez M, Schonthaler HB, Navarro R, Delgado Y, Concha-Garzón MJ, Tschachler E, Obad S, Daudén E, and Wagner EF (2014). Targeting miR-21 to Treat Psoriasis. Science Translational Medicine. 6: (225):225re1
  10. Hasenfuss SC, L. Bakiri, M.K. Thomsen, E.G. Williams, J. Auwerx and E. F. Wagner (2014).Regulation of Steatohepatitis and PPAR gamma Signaling by Distinct AP-1 Dimers. Cell Metabolism. 19: 84-95.
  11. Hasenfuss SC, L. Bakiri, M. K. Thomsen, R. Hamacher and E. F. Wagner (2014). Activator Protein 1 Transcription Factor Fos-Related Antigen 1 (Fra-1) Is Dispensable for Murine Liver Fibrosis, but Modulates Xenobiotic Metabolism. Hepatology. 59: 261-273.
  12. Schonthaler HB, J. Guinea-Viniegra, S. K. Wculek, I. Ruppen, P. Ximenez-Embun, A. Guio-Carrion, R. Navarro, N. Hogg, K. Ashman and E. F. Wagner (2013). S100A8-S100A9 Protein Complex Mediates Psoriasis by Regulating the Expression of Complement Factor C3. Immunity. 39: 1171-1181.
  13. Thomsen MK, Bakiri L, Hasenfuss SC, Hamacher R, Martinez L, Wagner EF. (2013) JUNB/AP-1 controls IFN-γ during inflammatory liver disease. J Clin Invest. 123(12):5258-68.
  14. Bozec A, Latifa Bakiri, Maria Jimenez, Evan D Rosen, Philip Catalá-Lehnen, Thorsten Schinke, Georg Schett, Michael Amling, Erwin F Wagner (2013). Osteoblast-specific expression of Fra-2/AP-1 controls Adiponectin/Osteocalcin expression and affects metabolism. Journal of Cell Science. 126(Pt 23):5432-40
  15. Briso EM, Guinea-Viniegra J, Bakiri L, Rogon Z, Petzelbauer P, Eils R, Wolf R, Rincón M, Angel P, Wagner EF. (2013) Inflammation-mediated skin tumorigenesis induced by epidermal c-Fos. Genes & Dev. 27(18):1959-73
  16. Hasenfuss SC, L. Bakiri, M. K. Thomsen, R. Hamacher and E. F. Wagner (2013). The AP-1 transcription factor Fra-1 is dispensable for murine liver fibrosis, but modulates xenobiotic metabolism. Hepatology. 59(1):261-73
  17. Min, LY. Ji, L. Bakiri, Z. Qiu, J. Cen, X. Chen, L. Chen, H. Scheuch, H. Zheng, L. Qin, K. Zatloukal, L. Hui and E. F. Wagner (2012). Liver cancer initiation is controlled by AP-1 through SIRT6-dependent inhibition of survivin. Nature Cell Biology. 14: 1203-1211.
  18. Guinea-Viniegra J, R. Zenz, H. Scheuch, M. Jimenez, L. Bakiri, P. Petzelbauer and E. F. Wagner (2012). Differentiation-induced skin cancer suppression by FOS, p53, and TACE/ADAM17. J Clin Invest. 122: 2898-2910.
  19. Bakiri L, M. O. Reschke, H.A. Gefroh HA, M.H. Idarraga, K. Polzer, R. Zenz, G. Schett and E. F. Wagner (2011). Functions of Fos phosphorylation in bone homeostasis, cytokine response and tumorigenesis. Oncogene. 30: 1506-1517.
  20. Wagner EF, H. B. Schönthaler, J. Guinea-Viniegra and E. Tschachler (2010). Psoriasis: what we have learned from mouse models. Nature Rev Rheumatol. 6: 704-714.
  21. Bozec B, L. Bakiri, M. Jimenez, T. Schinke, M. Amling and E. F. Wagner (2010). Fra-2/AP-1 controls bone formation by regulating osteoblast differentiation and collagen production. J Cell Biol. 190: 1093-1106.
  22. Meixner A, F. Karreth, L. Kenner, J. M. Penninger and E. F. Wagner (2010). Jun and JunD-dependent functions in cell proliferation and stress response. Cell Death Differ. 17: 1409-1419.