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Sugar, PI3K, and Cancer

The uncontrolled cellular growth that characterizes tumor formation requires a constant delivery of nutrients.  Since the 1970’s, researchers have wondered if the supply of nutrients from the diet could impact tumor development.  In these projects, our goal is to assess if dietary sugar can directly or indirectly (via insulin) stimulate tumor growth.


1. The Effects of HFCS on Tumor Growth and Metabolism

Tumors that form in the colon and liver come in direct contact with glucose and fructose multiple times per day. Here, we are interested in examining the effects of glucose, fructose, and the combination of the two on tumor metabolism and growth.


2. The Metabolic Regulation of Pyruvate Kinase

Pyruvate kinase is allosterically regulated by multiple metabolites. In this project, we are interested in understanding how glucose, fructose, and the combination of the two alter pyruvate kinase structure and activity.