Division of Signal Transduction in Cancer and Metabolism
Dr. Aurelio Teleman
When cancer cells proliferate to form a tumor, they need to grow and to divide. Regulation of cell division (i.e. the cell cycle) has been extensively studied. In comparison, the mechanisms regulating cell growth (i.e. the accumulation of cell mass) are less well understood. The Teleman lab studies cell growth and its regulation.
For cells to grow, they need to produce biosynthetic building blocks such as nucleotides, amino acids and lipids. This occurs via regulation of the metabolic pathways that produce these molecules. Therefore, understanding cell growth requires understanding metabolism. Cells decide to grow, however, based on information coming from outside the cell, such as the presence of nutrients and growth factors. Cells receive and process this information via signaling pathways such as the insulin pathway. Therefore, understanding cell growth also requires understanding signaling pathways. Finally, the signaling pathways regulate the metabolic pathways, therefore the lab also studies the interface between signaling and metabolism.
Both the metabolic pathways, as well as the signaling pathways, are complex and intricate networks. These pathways, however, are conserved amongst animals. Therefore, the Teleman lab studies these pathways using a combination of human tissue culture together with the fruitfly Drosophila, since Drosophila is simplified and genetically tractable compared to mammals.
The aim of our work is to understand the processes regulating cell growth so that this knowledge can be used in the future for cancer therapy. Unlike other cells in the body, cancer cells have mutations that promote cell growth. Blocking this process will hopefully be a powerful method to specifically and efficiently inhibit tumor progression.
Francis V, Zorzano A & Teleman AA. (2010). dDOR is an ecdysone receptor coactivator that forms a feed-forward loop connecting insulin and ecdysone signaling. Current Biology 20, 1799-808
Hahn K, Miranda M, Francis VA, Vendrell J, Zorzano A and Teleman AA. (2010). PP2A regulatory subunit PP2A-B’ counteracts S6K phosphorylation. Cell Metabolism 11, 438-44.
Bryk B, Hahn K, Cohen SM and Teleman AA. (2010). MAP4K3 regulates body size and metabolism in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 344,150-7
Teleman AA, Hietakangas V, Sayadian A, Cohen SM. (2008). Nutritional Control of Protein Biosynthetic Capacity by Insulin via Myc in Drosophila. Cell Metabolism 7,21-32