Abstract by Connor Holman
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Variations in sphingolipid rheostat and pathway between cancerous and non-cancerous pancreatic cells
Pancreatic cells alter their use and production of bioactive sphingolipids. The balance between C16 ceramide (cer) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is quintessential in maintaining normal apoptotic and proliferative function of pancreatic cells. Obstructing this balance can lead to rampant proliferation; ergo cancer. Culturing pancreatic cells, both cancerous and immortalized human cells, and measuring their sphingolipid rheostat, or more specifically the balance between cer and S1P, results in a more complete understanding of the nature of numerous strains of cancer. This quantification can be measured accurately using tandem liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry techniques. Furthermore, using isotopic labeling, we can discover the pathway of sphingolipids and how they differ between human cells and cancer cells and gain a better understanding of differing cell pathways between cell types, both cancerous and non-cancerous alike. Quantifying this sensitive sphingolipid balance using LC-MS techniques and following the sphingolipid metabolic pathway using isotopic labeling will grant significant progress in lipidomic cancer research.