Jeffrey C. Rathmell, PhD
Bcl-2 Family Proteins as Metabolic Targets in Leukemia
It was established in the early 1900s that cancer cells have increased rates of glucose metabolism. While inhibition of this metabolic program in cancer cells may provide a novel avenue for future cancer treatment, a lack of understanding how metabolic stress can cause cell death has precluded rational design of metabolic cancer therapies. In Dr. Rathmell’s studies to address this issue, he has found that inhibition of metabolism in cancer cells can lead to up regulation of two key cell death regulatory proteins, Puma and Bim. Dr. Rathmell’s lab proposes to examine the roles of these cell death proteins in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia caused by the Philadelphia chromosome translocation to establish how cancer cell metabolism can be exploited to kill leukemic and other cancer cells.