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Scripps Research scientists share $2 million in Florida state research grants
Date:6/30/2010

a collaborative research program in cancer therapy with William Roush, who is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, executive director of the Translational Research Institute Medical Chemistry Division, and associate dean of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology, and John Cleveland, chair of the Department of Cancer Biology.

"Cancer cells differ from most healthy cells in using one pathway, called glycolysis, to acquire nearly all of their energy from glucose, " Bannister said. "The pathway makes lactic acid, a byproduct they must pump out in order to survive. Our research is aimed at improving molecules we have discovered that block lactic acid export and acidify the tumor cells. Cancer cells also recognize our compounds as an amino acid that they need in abundance. This tricks tumor cells into taking in something that will kill them."

The major focus of Kojetin's work is to understand how the structural dynamics of proteins contribute to their biological function. Modulation of a protein's dynamic shape or conformation represents an avenue for drug discovery.

"For this grant, we're looking at nuclear receptor transcription factor proteins, which are receptors for small molecules and important drug discovery targets for a variety of human diseases, including cancer and type II diabetes," he said. "When compounds bind to these receptors, other proteins called transcriptional co-regulator proteins also bind, all of which helps regulate expression of target genes. Hopefully, our work will help in the development of drugs targeting a specific receptor we've identified as promising."


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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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