Bilde av Knutsen, Erik
Bilde av Knutsen, Erik
Institutt for medisinsk biologi +4777620899 +47 48201910 Her finner du meg

Erik Knutsen



I’m a molecular biologist with a Master’s degree in Molecular biotechnology and a PhD in Medical biology. My main research area is within breast cancer, where we perform molecular experiments in cell lines and patient material and perform large scale computer analysis.

The main aim with our research is to understand why the cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, and to try to find new ways of preventing this.  

I’m also the Study program leader for the Bachelor program in biomedicine.


Research key words: Breast cancer, single cell sequencing, bioinformatics, CRISPR/Cas, Serglycin, non-coding RNAs, transcriptome analysis, RNA-Sequencing, metastasis, lymph node, tumor microenvironment.

  • Andreas Untergasser, Jan Hellemans, Michael W. Pfaffl, Jan M. Ruijter, Maurice J. B. van den Hoff, Mihnea P. Dragomir m.fl.:
    Disclosing quantitative RT-PCR raw data during manuscript submission: a call for action
    Molecular Oncology 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Rares Drula, Barbara Pardini, Xiao Fu, Mireia Cruz De Los Santos, Ancuta Jurj, Lan Pang m.fl.:
    17β-estradiol promotes extracellular vesicle release and selective miRNA loading in ERα-positive breast cancer
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Mihnea P. Dragomir, Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Melanie Winkle, Keishi Okubo, Recep Bayraktar, Erik Knutsen m.fl.:
    Anti–miR-93-5p therapy prolongs sepsis survival by restoring the peripheral immune response
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Erik Knutsen, Saikat Das Sajib, Tonje Fiskaa, James Bradley Lorens, Thorarinn Gudjonsson, Gunhild Mari Mælandsmo m.fl.:
    Identification of a core EMT signature that separates basal-like breast cancers into partial- and post-EMT subtypes
    Frontiers in Oncology 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Zoi Karagiorgou, Panagiotis N Fountas, Dimitra Manou, Erik Knutsen, Achilleas D. Theocharis :
    Proteoglycans Determine the Dynamic Landscape of EMT and Cancer Cell Stemness
    Cancers 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Christiane Klec, Erik Knutsen, Daniela Schwarzenbacher, Katharina Jonas, Barbara Pasculli, Ellen Heitzer m.fl.:
    ALYREF, a novel factor involved in breast carcinogenesis, acts through transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms selectively regulating the short NEAT1 isoform
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS) 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Marta Tellez Gabriel, Xavier Tekpli, Trine M. Reine, Beate Hegge, Stephanie Rose Nielsen, Meng Chen m.fl.:
    Serglycin is Involved in TGF-β induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and is highly expressed by immune cells in breast cancer tissue
    Frontiers in Oncology 14. april 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Åse Emblem, Erik Knutsen, Tor Erik Jørgensen, Hilde Fure, Steinar Daae Johansen, Ole Lars Brekke m.fl.:
    Blood Transcriptome Analysis of Septic Patients Reveals a Long Non-Coding Alu-RNA in the Complement C5a Receptor 1 Gene
    Non-coding RNA 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Vegard Heimly Brun, Erik Knutsen, Helge Stenvold, Hanne Halvorsen :
    Severe hypercalcemia caused by parathyroid hormone in a rectal cancer metastasis: a case report
    BMC Endocrine Disorders 07. januar 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Erika Pereira Zambalde, Recep Bayraktar, Tayana Schultz Jucoski, Cristina Ivan, Ana Carolina de Mello Alves Rodrigues, Carolina Mathias m.fl.:
    A novel lncRNA derived from an ultraconserved region: lnc- uc.147, a potential biomarker in luminal A breast cancer
    RNA Biology 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Ingrid A Rosenlund, George A. Calin, Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Erik Knutsen :
    CRISPR/Cas9 to Silence Long Non-Coding RNAs
    Springer 2021 ARKIV
  • Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Erik Knutsen, George A. Calin :
    Classical and noncanonical functions of miRNAs in cancers
    Trends in Genetics 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Erik Knutsen, Adrian Harris, Maria Perander :
    Expression and functions of long non-coding RNA NEAT1 and isoforms in breast cancer
    British Journal of Cancer 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Roxana Manaila, Vlad Moisoiu, Erik Knutsen, Mihnea-Paul Dragomir, George A Calin :
    Diagnostic and Therapeutic MicroRNAs in Primary Myelofibrosis
    Proceedings of the Singapore National Academy of Science 2020 DOI
  • Marta Tellez Gabriel, Erik Knutsen, Maria Perander :
    Current Status of Circulating Tumor Cells, Circulating Tumor DNA, and Exosomes in Breast Cancer Liquid Biopsies
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Baoqing Chen, Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Linda Fabris, Recep Bayraktar, Erik Knutsen, Xu Liu m.fl.:
    The long noncoding RNA CCAT2 induces chromosomal instability through BOP1-AURKB signaling
    Gastroenterology 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Vlad Moisoiu, Roxana Manaila, Barbara Pardini, Erik Knutsen, Simone Anfossi m.fl.:
    A Holistic Perspective: Exosomes Shuttle between Nerves and Immune Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment
    Journal of Clinical Medicine 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Ganiraju C Manyam, Leonie Florence Ott, Léa Berland, Erik Knutsen, Cristina Ivan m.fl.:
    FuncPEP: A Database of Functional Peptides Encoded by Non-Coding RNAs
    Non-coding RNA 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Moran Amit, Hideaki Takahashi, Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Antje Lindemann, Frederico O. Gleber-Netto, Curtis R. Pickering m.fl.:
    Loss of p53 drives neuron reprogramming in head and neck cancer
    Nature 2020 DOI
  • Erik Knutsen, Seyed Mohammad Lellahi, Miriam Ragle Aure, Silje Nord, Silje Fismen, Kenneth Bowitz Larsen m.fl.:
    The expression of the long NEAT1_2 isoform is associated with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancers
    Scientific Reports 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Martin Pichler, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Su Youn Nam, Mihnea Paul Dragomir, Recep Bayraktar, Simone Anfossi m.fl.:
    Therapeutic potential of FLANC, a novel primate-specific long non-coding RNA in colorectal cancer
    Gut 2020 DOI
  • Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Recep Bayraktar, Taghi Manshouri, Andreia M Silva, Cristina Ivan, Diana Gulei m.fl.:
    MiR-543 regulates the epigenetic landscape of myelofibrosis by targeting TET1 and TET2
    JCI Insight 2020 DOI
  • Cornelia Braicu, Diana Gulei, Roxana Maria Cojocneanu, Lajos Raduly, Ancuta Jurj, Erik Knutsen m.fl.:
    miR-181a/b therapy in lung cancer: reality or myth?
    Molecular Oncology 2019 ARKIV / DOI
  • Annica Hedberg, Erik Knutsen, Anne Silje Løvhaugen, Tor Erik Jørgensen, Maria Perander, Steinar Daae Johansen :
    Cancer-specific SNPs originate from low-level heteroplasmic variants in human mitochondrial genomes of a matched cell line pair
    Mitochondrial DNA. Part A, DNA Mapping, Sequencing, and Analysis 2018 DOI
  • Peng Shen, Lucas C. Reineke, Erik Knutsen, Meng Chen, Martin Pichler, Hui Ling m.fl.:
    Metformin blocks MYC protein synthesis in colorectal cancer via mTOR-4EBP-eIF4E and MNK1-eIF4G-eIF4E signaling
    Molecular Oncology 2018 ARKIV / DOI
  • Seyed Mohammad Lellahi, Ingrid Arctander Rosenlund, Annica Hedberg, Liv Torill Kiær, Ingvild Mikkola, Erik Knutsen m.fl.:
    The long noncoding RNA NEAT1 and nuclear paraspeckles are up-regulated by the transcription factor HSF1 in the heat shock response
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 2018 ARKIV / DOI
  • Mihnea-Paul Dragomir, Erik Knutsen, George A. Calin :
    SnapShot: Unconventional miRNA Functions
    Cell 2018
  • Stine Figenschau, Erik Knutsen, Ilona Urbarova, Christopher Graham Fenton, Bryan Elston, Maria Perander m.fl.:
    ICAM1 expression is induced by proinflammatory cytokines and associated with TLS formation in aggressive breast cancer subtypes
    Scientific Reports 2018 ARKIV / DOI
  • Skarphedinn Haldorsson, Neha Rohatgi, Manuela Magnusdottir, Kumari Choudhary, Thorarinn Gudjónsson, Erik Knutsen m.fl.:
    Metabolic re-wiring of isogenic breast epithelial cell lines following epithelial to mesenchymal transition
    Cancer Letters 2017 ARKIV / DOI
  • M. Raafat El-Gewely, Morten Andreassen, Mari Walquist, Anita Ursvik, Erik Knutsen, Mona Nystad m.fl.:
    Differentially expressed micro RNAs in meningiomas grades I and II suggest shared biomarkers with malignant tumors
    Cancers 2016 ARKIV / DOI
  • Tonje Fiskaa, Erik Knutsen, Malene Nikolaisen, Tor Erik Jørgensen, Steinar Daae Johansen, maria Perander m.fl.:
    Distinct small RNA signatures in extracellular vesicles derived from breast cancer cell lines
  • Sarah A Roth, Erik Knutsen, Tonje Fiskaa, Peter Andree Utnes, Swapnil Parashram Bhavsar, Øyvind Hald m.fl.:
    Next generation sequencing of microRNAs from isogenic neuroblastoma cell lines isolated before and after treatment
    Cancer Letters 2016 DOI
  • Erik Knutsen, maria Perander, Tonje Fiskaa, Steinar Daae Johansen :
    Performance Comparison and Data Analysis Strategies for MicroRNA Profiling in Cancer Research
    Springer 2015 DOI
  • Erik Knutsen, Tonje Fiskaa, anita Ursvik, Tor Erik Jørgensen, maria Perander, Eiliv Lund m.fl.:
    Performance Comparison of Digital microRNA Profiling Technologies Applied on Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines
  • Saikat Das Sajib, Åse Florholmen-Kjær, Vegard Brun, Elin Synnøve Mortensen, Aud-Malin Karlsson Hovd, Xavier Tekpli m.fl.:
    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a major contributor to intratumor heterogeneity in lymph node metastasis in breast cancer
  • Anne Kristin Mclaren Berge, Kjersti Sellæg, Stine Figenschau, Saikat Das Sajib, Hallvard Lauritz Olsvik, Maria Perander m.fl.:
    TRIM32 in Head and Neck Cancer
  • Erik Knutsen :
    Single cell sequencing of breast cancer cells present in the lymph nodes
  • Erik Knutsen :
    Single cell sequencing of breast cancer cells present in the lymph nodes
  • Erik Knutsen :
    Kreftene som forsvinner
    NRK Ytring 2022 FULLTEKST
  • Erik Knutsen :
    Serglycin from infiltrating immune cells as an inducer of epithelial mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells
  • Marit Aaby Vebenstad, Christine Aaserød Pedersen, Erik Knutsen :
    DNA-endringer etter neoadjuvant kjemo knyttet til økt brystkreftoverlevelse
    29. august 2022 FULLTEKST
  • Erik Knutsen, Maria Perander :
    Forhøyede nivåer av NEAT1 er assosiert med HER2 positiv brystkreft
  • Erik Knutsen, maria Perander, Steinar Daae Johansen, morten Andreassen :
    Study of functional RNA using high-throughput profiling technologies in a human cell model system
  • Erik Knutsen, morten Andreassen, Tonje Fiskaa, anita Ursvik, Eiliv Lund, Ole Morten Seternes m.fl.:
    MiRNA expression profiling based on different high-throughput platforms reveals surprising variations
  • Steinar Daae Johansen, morten Andreassen, Igor Babiak, Teshome Bizuayehu, Dag-Hugo Coucheron, M. Raafat El-Gewely m.fl.:
    Investigating miRNAs and transcriptomes at our local SOLiD sequencing facility

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    I’m currently leading a single cell RNA-sequencing project with the aim of subclassifying breast cancer cell present in the lymph nodes for better personalized diagnosis and treatment.

    The project will assess the transcriptional changes in breast cancer cells as they are subjected to the microenvironment of the lymph nodes, and will examine the impact of this new microenvironment on epithelial mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cells, and risk of metastasis, recurrence, and dormancy. The project combines the use of fresh patient samples, bioinformatics, and in vivo and in vitro models.

    I have an ambition to better diagnosis for breast cancer patients to prevent overtreatment with serious side effects, to generate new basic knowledge on metastasis, and to find new targets for prevention of metastasis. I further want to tackle the problem of tumor dormancy, as this is one of the great challenges when it comes to relapse and metastasis.

    I believe solving the problems of metastasis and tumor dormancy can only be reached by a strong collaboration between clinicians/ oncologists, bioinformaticians, and molecular biologists, and I have therefore established such collaborations locally, nationally, and internationally.


    I’m the Study program leader for the Bachelor program in biomedicine, and I teach in cellular biology at the bachelor, master, and PhD level. My main area of expertise is genetics, cancer biology, non-coding RNAs, and -omics analysis.

    I’m currently main supervisor for two Ph.D. students and one master student, as well as co-supervisor for one Ph.D. student. Previously, I have been main supervisor for one Master’s student, two Erasmus+ trainee students, and two Bachelor's or undergraduate student and co-supervisor for three Master’s students and one Bachelor's or undergraduate student.

    Medlem i forskningsgruppe

    Medlem i prosjekt


    Research Experience

    08-2023-Present, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Associate professor (Principal Investigator)

    08-2020-07-2023, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Researcher (Principal Investigator)

    04-2017-07-2020, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Postdoctoral fellow                     

    PI: Maria Perander

    02-2018-02-2019, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Postdoctoral fellow                     

    PI: George A. Calin

    01-2017-04-2017, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Associate professor

    05-2016-12-2016, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Head engineer

    06-2011-12-2011, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Scientific assistant

    06-2010-08-2010, GenØk, Laboratory assistant


    For full CV, se "Vedlegg"