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Oncogene-Induced Metabolic Reprogramming

Colon Cancer

Activated glucose metabolism in colon cancer.
Positron emission tomography-based imaging (PET)
of increased glucose uptake in a liver-
metastatic colorectal tumor.
Image courtesy of Jens Langner.

It has been known for decades that this cancerous transformation induces gross metabolic changes in normal cells. However, many questions remain about the specific activities induced and the upstream mechanisms that are responsible. More recently, several reports indicate the importance of these metabolic changes for tumorigenesis, highlighting the likelihood that inhibition of these activities could prevent cancer associated disease.

Our lab is focused on how oncogenic mutations reprogram the metabolic network thus enabling tumorigenesis. We utilize LC-MS/MS-based metabolomic analysis in an attempt to identify novel activities induced by oncogenic mutations. We subsequently employ genetic techniques to target these metabolic activities to measure their importance for tumor formation and potential for therapeutic development. Additionally, we are exploring how oncogenic mutations cooperate to induce the cancer-cell metabolic state.

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