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Prof. Dr. Mohamed Bentires-Alj


Mohamed Bentires-Alj, Pharm., Ph.D.
Tumor Heteregeneity, Metastasis and Resistance
Department of Biomedicine
University of Basel / University Hospital Basel
Hebelstrasse 20
CH-4031 Basel/Switzerland


Phone +41 (0)61 26 53 313
Twitter @momoBentires

Mohamed Bentires-Alj is Professor of Experimental Surgical Oncology and the research group leader of Tumor Heteregeneity, Metastasis and Resistance at the Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel in Basel. His group is interested in normal mammary gland development and breast cancer. His research focuses on signaling pathways that underlay mammary gland differentiation and breast cancer/metastasis. To achieve these goals, three dimensional cultures, FACS sorting of mammary stem cells and breast tumor initiating cells, mouse cleared fat pad transplantation assay and transgenic and knockout mice are being used.
Bentires-Alj group has numerous national and international collaborations and is a part of the European network of breast development and cancer (

Mohamed Bentires-Alj is founding member of the Basel Breast Consortium initiated in Basel in 2014 committed to the development of basic, clinical and translational research projects in the areas of breast development and cancer.

For additional information, see Lab website:

For an oral history of mammary gland biology and breast cancer:

Recent publications related to stem cells

  • Sun T, Aceto N, Meerbrey KL, Kessler JD, Zhou C, Migliaccio I, Nguyen DX, Pavlova NN, Botero M, Huang J, Bernardi RJ, Schmitt E, Hu G, Li MZ, Dephoure N, Gygi SP, Rao M, Creighton CJ, Hilsenbeck SG, Shaw CA, Muzny D, Gibbs RA, Wheeler DA, Osborne CK, Schiff R, Bentires-Alj M, Elledge SJ. And Westbrook TF. (2011). Activation of multiple proto-oncogenic tyrosine kinases in breast cancer via loss of the PTPN12 phosphatase. Cell 144:703-18.
  • Meyer DS, Brinkhaus H, Müller U, Müller M, Cardiff RD. and Bentires-Alj M. (2011). Luminal expression of PIK3CA mutant H1047R in the mammary gland induces heterogeneous tumors. Cancer Res. 71:4344-51.
  • Aceto N, Sausgruber N, Brinkhaus H, Gaidatzis D, Martiny-Baron G, Mazzarol G, Confalonieri S, Quarto M, Hu G, Balwierz PJ, Pachkov M, Elledge SJ, van Nimwegen E, Stadler MB. and Bentires-Alj M. (2012). Tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 promotes breast cancer progression and maintains tumor-initiating cells via activation of key transcription factors and a positive feedback signaling loop. Nature Medicine 18:529-37.
  • Britschgi A, Andraos R, Brinkhaus H, Klebba I, Romanet V, Müller U, Murakami M, Radimerski T, Bentires-Alj M. (2012). JAK2/STAT5 inhibition circumvents resistance to PI3K/mTOR blockade: a rationale for cotargeting these pathways in metastatic breast cancer. Cancer Cell 22:796-811.
  • Milani ES, Brinkhaus H, Dueggeli R, Klebba I, Mueller U, Stadler M, Kohler H, Smalley MJ, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B restrains mammary alveologenesis and secretory differentiation. Development 140:117-25.
  • Britschgi A, Bill A, Brinkhaus H, Rothwell C, Clay I, Duss S, Rebhan M, Raman P, Guy CT, Wetzel K, George E, Popa MO, Lilley S, Choudhury H, Gosling M, Wang L, Fitzgerald S, Borawski J, Baffoe J, Labow M, Gaither LA, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). Calcium-activated chloride channel ANO1 promotes breast cancer progression by activating EGFR and CAMK signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:E1026-34.
  • Meier-Abt F, Milani E, Roloff T, Brinkhaus H, Duss S, Meyer DS, Klebba I, Balwierz PJ, van Nimwegen E, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). Parity induces differentiation and reduces Wnt/Notch signaling ratio and proliferation potential of basal stem/progenitor cells isolated from mouse mammary epithelium. Breast Cancer Res. 15:R36.
  • Alajati A, Sausgruber N, Aceto N, Duss S, Sarret S, Voshol H, Bonenfant D, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). Mammary tumor formation and metastasis evoked by a HER2 splice variant. Cancer Res. 73:5320-7.
  • Meyer DS, Aceto N, Sausgruber N, Brinkhaus H, Müller U, Pallen CJ, Bentires-Alj M. (2014). Tyrosine phosphatase PTPα contributes to HER2-evoked breast tumor initiation and maintenance. Oncogene 33:398-402.
  • Duss S, Brinkhaus H, Britschgi A, Cabuy E, Frey DM, Schaefer DJ, Bentires-Alj M. (2014). Mesenchymal precursor cells maintain the differentiation and proliferation potentials of breast epithelial cells. Breast Cancer Res. 16(3):R60.
  • Bonapace L, Coissieux MM, Wyckoff J, Mertz KD, Varga Z, Junt T, Bentires-Alj M. (2014). Cessation of CCL2 inhibition accelerates breast cancer metastasis by promoting angiogenesis. Nature 515:130-3.
  • Sausgruber N, Coissieux MM, Britschgi A, Wyckoff J, Aceto N, Leroy C, Stadler MB, Voshol H, Bonenfant D, Bentires-Alj M. (2015). Tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 increases cell motility in triple-negative breast cancer through the activation of SRC-family kinases. Oncogene 34:2272-8.
  • Koren S, Reavie L, Couto JP, De Silva D, Stadler MB, Roloff T, Britschgi A, Eichlisberger T, Kohler H, Aina O, Cardiff RD, Bentires-Alj M. (2015). PIK3CA(H1047R) induces multipotency and multi-lineage mammary tumours. Nature 525:114-8.
  • Britschgi A, Duss S, Kim S, Couto JP, Brinkhaus H, Koren S, De Silva D, Mertz KD, Kaup D, Varga Z, Voshol H, Vissieres A, Leroy C, Roloff T, Stadler MB, Scheel CH, Miraglia LJ, Orth AP, Bonamy GM, Reddy VA, Bentires-Alj M. (2017). The Hippo kinases LATS1 and 2 control human breast cell fate via crosstalk with ERα. Nature 541:541-545.


  • Aceto N. and Bentires-Alj M. (2012). Targeting protein-tyrosine phosphatases in breast cancer. Oncotarget 3:514-5.
  • Bentires-Alj M, Wood TL. (2012). Critical questions in mammary gland development, lactational biology and breast cancer. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 17:89-90.
  • Bentires-Alj M, Glukhova M, Hynes N, Vivanco MD. (2012). New methods in mammary gland development and cancer: proteomics, epigenetics, symmetric division and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res. 14:314.
  • Clarke RB, Stingl J, Vivanco M, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). 'The charmingest place': non-coding RNA, lineage tracing, tumor heterogeneity, metastasis and metabolism - new methods in mammary gland development and cancer: the fifth ENBDC Workshop. Breast Cancer Res. 15:313.
  • Meier-Abt F, Bentires-Alj M. (2014). How pregnancy at early age protects against breast cancer. Trends Mol Med. 20:143-53.
  • Britschgi A, Radimerski T, Bentires-Alj M. (2013). Targeting PI3K, HER2 and the IL-8/JAK2 axis in metastatic breast cancer: which combination makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Drug Resist Updat. 16:68-72.
  • Leroy C, Amante RJ, Bentires-Alj M. (2014). Anticipating mechanisms of resistance to PI3K inhibition in breast cancer: a challenge in the era of precision medicine. Biochem Soc Trans. 42:733-41.
  • Ramos P, Bentires-Alj M. (2015). Mechanism-based cancer therapy: resistance to therapy, therapy for resistance. Oncogene 34:3617-26.
  • Koren S, Bentires-Alj M. (2015). Breast Tumor Heterogeneity: Source of Fitness, Hurdle for Therapy. Mol Cell 60:537-46.
  • Koren S, Bentires-Alj M. (2017). Tackling Resistance to PI3K Inhibition by Targeting the Epigenome. Cancer Cell 31:616-618.