New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
August 23, 2012
GlcNAc protein modification linked to cancer growth

Linda Hsieh-Wilson, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘97-‘00), of California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, reported that tumor cells modify their proteins through addition of carbohydrate (glycosylation or GlcNAc) in response to their surroundings, which allows the cancer cells to survive. When the researchers blocked the addition of GlcNAc to phosphofructokinase 1 (PFK1), a protein involved in cell metabolism, cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation were reduced in mice. This defines a new mechanism for the regulation of metabolic pathways in cancer and a possible target for therapeutic intervention. The study was published in the journal Science.