Oncogenic Signalling and Growth Control Program
Oncogenic Signalling and Growth Control Program - Research at Peter Mac
|Understanding cancer signalling, protein chemistry, signal transduction, cell biology and how these processes affect differentiation and cancer cell growth.|
|The Oncogenic Signalling and Growth Control Program consists of three groups with extensive and complimentary expertise in areas ranging from proteomics and protein chemistry, through signal transduction and cell biology to the regulation of gene transcription and protein translation. A major focus of our work is in understanding the mechanisms of regulation of ribosome biogenesis, and protein translation and how these processes impact on differentiation and are corrupted in tumour cells. This is a critical area of cancer research as accelerated cell growth and increased protein synthesis due to increased levels of functional ribosomes is a major feature of tumour formation and progression. Conversely, cellular differentiation is associated with reductions in these processes and often antagonises carcinogenesis. |
A number of current projects employ state-of-the-art biochemistry, molecular and cell biology to characterize the basis of the regulation of these fundamental processes. Indeed, the program has made ground-breaking discoveries linking signaling via the key PI3K/AKT/mTOR and c-MYC growth control pathways to the regulation of ribosome synthesis and function. We aim to use this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic approaches that target differentiation, cell cycle and cell growth.
In addition to a number of extensively characterized cell based systems, our program has established a range of “whole animal” systems to extend and validate our findings. In collaboration with Drs Helena Richardson and Leonie Quinn we are undertaking genetic screens in the fruit fly, Drosophila, for novel regulators of these processes.
In concert with the Cancer Therapeutics Program, we have established mouse models of a range of tumours including ovarian and prostate cancer and lymphoma. These systems are being used to investigate novel applications of targeted therapeutics and the program is thus ideally poised to translate discoveries on fundamental aspects of cancer growth control into the clinic.