Abstract by Max Jones
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Applying proteomics and metabolomics to understand the role of sphingolipid signaling in pancreatic cancer and drug sensitivity
Cancer cells often alter metabolism in response to external stressors, such as anaerobic conditions, nutrient deprivation, and chemotherapy in order to survive. Our studies have focused on altered cell-fate sphingolipid signaling in pancreatic cancer, and the proteins involved. Our results indicate that pancreatic cancer cells upregulate proteins associated with proliferative signaling relative to healthy phenotypes to increase their viability and chemoresistance. We are using isotopic labeling, proteomics, and lipidomics in order to understand how protein expression affects the metabolism of sphingolipid-mediated growth signals and how protein expression changes as cells gain chemoresitance. By tracking isotopically labeled substrates and proteins we will better understand the regulation of proliferative pathways, and ultimately identify drug targets of sphingolipid signaling.