Signal Transduction and Cancer Metabolism

The major research objective of our laboratory is to understand the biochemical and genetic basis for cell growth regulation by growth factors and hormones. Research from our laboratory has led to the elucidation of a pathway by which growth factors stimulate nutrient uptake and cellular metabolism, leading to increased cell growth and cell survival. Defects in homeostatic control of this signaling network can lead to cancers or to diabetes or metabolic disease. A central node in this network is the enzyme phosphoinositide 3-kinase. In order to explore the in vivo role of this network we are generating mice in which components of the network can be switched on or off to determine their effects on cancers and other diseases


Manning BD, Cantley LC. AKT/PKB signaling: navigating downstream. Cell. 2007 Jun 29;129(7):1261-74.

Christofk HR, Vander Heiden MG, Wu N, Asara JM, Cantley LC. Pyruvate kinase M2 is a phosphotyrosine-binding protein. Nature. 2008 Mar 13;452(7184):181-6.

Christofk HR, Vander Heiden MG, Harris MH, Ramanathan A, Gerszten RE, Wei R, Fleming MD, Schreiber SL, Cantley LC. The M2 splice isoform of pyruvate kinase is important for cancer metabolism and tumour growth. Nature. 2008 Mar 13;452(7184):230-3.

Engelman JA, Luo J, Cantley LC. The evolution of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases as regulators of growth and metabolism. Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Aug;7(8):606-19