Metabolic rewiring that fuels tumorigenesis
The ability to rewire cellular metabolism between anabolic and catabolic processes is crucial for cells to thrive. Thus, cells have developed, through evolution, metabolic networks that are highly plastic and tightly regulated to meet the requirements necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis. The plasticity of these cellular systems is tightly regulated by complex signaling networks that integrate the intracellular and extracellular information. The coordination of signal transduction and metabolic pathways is essential in maintaining a healthy and rapidly responsive cellular state(For more information on regulation of metabolic pathways click here ). My laboratory has focused for many years now in understanding how essential metabolic pathways such as glycolysis and TCA cycle are regulated.
Not surprisingly, cancers hijack these mechanisms of metabolic regulation to allow for their altered growth and also their ability to survive under adverse conditions. Our lab is particularly interested in uncovering metabolic and redox sensitive pathways that become essential for different types of cancers during the multiple stages of cancer progression. We are using cutting edge unbiased metabolomics approaches as well as different types of metabolic labeling to uncover these pathways and their regulation by oncogenic signaling. Current projects in the lab include understanding the metabolic requirements of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and of metastatic colonization, as well as, the regulation of an essential metabolic pathway in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.