Protein Synthesis and Cancer Focus Group

The Protein Synthesis and Cancer group explores the role of translation in regulating tumor progression. This group studies the mechanism and regulation of protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells, with particular emphasis on how dysregulation of protein synthesis can lead to malignant transformation and progression to more aggressive forms of cell growth and invasion. Members of this group are investigating the structure and function of translational machinery that might contribute to the cancer development and progression, such as: 1. translation initiation (eIF4E) and elongation factors involved in selection of specific mRNA for translation 2. mRNA structures (cap, poly(A)) regulating stability of specific mRNAs 3. non-classical secretion of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and their role in cancer 4. signal transduction pathways that control the availability of eIF4E, especially those involving mTOR The goal of this focus group is to better understand how cancer cells become active and how to interfere with that process, which will lead to more specific treatment modalities.