PTEN and Cellular Metabolism
Investigating metabolism is integral to understanding cancer: increased tumor growth is dependent on a cell’s ability to produce more amino acids, nucleotides, and other building blocks – all of which are created through metabolic processes. In fact, it has been shown that changes in metabolic pathways affect tumor growth and maintenance. Our lab is studying how loss of the tumor suppressor Pten affects in vitro growth and metabolism. We are using mass spectrometry to determine how Pten-/- cells might reroute or upregulate certain metabolic pathways, and are systematically depleting nutrients to identify metabolites necessary for Pten-dependent growth. We are also investigating how loss of Pten alters gene expression and affects chromatin modifications using RNA-seq and ChIP-seq techniques and integrating these findings with our metabolism studies.