Metabolism and cancer
About the project
Recent findings have shown that there are significant changes to the metabolic pathways in cancer cell which are related to their survival and progression. This is consistent with epidemiological data which indicate a link between metabolic disorders and cancer. A salient feature of metabolic defects is chronic inflammation which has recently been directly implicated in a number of cancer types, supporting the notion that metabolism and cancer are closely related. Since obesity is alarmingly increasing around the world and some cancer types are increasingly more common, this is an important area to focus on. We have initially become interested in this area since one of the genes identified in our laboratory several years ago, STAMP2, is not only involved in prostate cancer, but also acts in a novel manner to integrate inflammatory and metabolic responses and plays a key role in systemic metabolic homeostasis. The role of STAMP2 in growth and hormone responsiveness of the prostate cancer cells and in metabolism/inflammation place it at a unique juncture for integrating tumorigenesis and metabolism. We have thus started to explore STAMP2 function in both metabolic tissues, such as the adipocyte, liver, and macrophages, as well as in prostate cancer cells. We find that in all the metabolic tissues and in prostate cancer cells, STAMP2 affects some of the very basic metabolic pathways. Various lines of investigation are ongoing that aim to uncover the basic determinants of metabolic changes in cancer cells and how STAMP2, and possibly other STAMP members, may affect these events, using biochemical, molecular, cell biological, and genetic methodologies.