Cell Growth and Proliferation
Cell Growth and Proliferation - Research at Peter Mac
|The Cell Growth and Proliferation laboratory studies mechanisms that control organ size during development, and how deregulation of these processes contributes to human cancer.|
|Our laboratory has played a major role in understanding a newly identified signalling pathway that helps regulate the size of organs by triggering a programmed limit to their growth. Our aim is to gain a more complete understanding of organ size control, and to understand how the breakdown of size control mechanisms contributes to human cancers. With this as our chief focus, we’ve continued to use the model organism vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster).|
Our work has uncovered that the size of different organs and animals is controlled both by nutrition and by signalling pathways such as the Wnt/Wg, TGF-b/Dpp and Notch pathways, and the newly defined Salvador-Warts-Hippo (Hippo) pathway – which we played a key role in identifying along with several aspects of its function and regulation.
The Hippo pathway restricts organ size by stimulating programmed cell death and by restricting cells from growing and dividing excessively – properties central to the formation of human cancer. The Hippo pathway controls these processes by limiting expression of cyclin E (which stimulates cell cycle progression), and DIAP1 (which promotes cell survival). Most recently, we discovered that the Fat cadherin is a candidate transmembrane receptor protein for the Hippo pathway.
The Hippo pathway is functionally conserved in mammals, and the human counterparts of several Hippo pathway components have been implicated in the genesis of mammalian cancers.
|+61 (0)3 9656 1291|
|Dr Kieran Harvey|
|Senior Research Officers|
|Dr Joffrey Degoutin|
Dr Claire Milton
Dr Carole Poon
Dr Xiaomeng Zhang
Dr Jane Lin
Dr Kevin Watt
Jozefien De Groot