Tag: Metabolism

Photo of Whitehead Institute Postdoc Izabella Pena

Whitehead Institute Postdoc Izabella Pena Selected as a 2019 Pew Latin American Fellow

June 10, 2019

Pena, who hails from Brazil, studies in Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini's lab how cells calibrate their growth, metabolism, and proliferation based on nutrient availability 

Illustration of a mitochondrion

Drug-resistant cancer cells create own Achilles heel

May 27, 2019

Whitehead Institute and Broad Institute researchers determine that cancer cells commonly change their energy source, creating a weakness that the drug elesclomol exploits to resensitize cancer cells to proteasome inhibitors

Illustration of woman shooting at a cancer monster

Sharpening the edges of cancer chemotherapy

July 11, 2018

Whitehead team deploys CRISPR tools to better understand and uncover ways of improving methotrexate, a popular chemotherapy drug.

Illustration of scientist picking molecules from a tree

Large-scale approach reveals imperfect actor in plant biotechnology

November 27, 2017

Whitehead researchers detect the chemical ‘mistakes’ of common herbicide-resistance enzyme, successfully re-engineer it for enhanced precision

Illustration of scientist opening a cell and looking at a molecule

Key nutrient sensor identified for cellular pathway linking nutrient availability to cell growth

November 9, 2017

Whitehead Member David Sabatini has identified the methionine sensor in the mTOR pathway, which is a crucial metabolic pathway in cells. His work provides interesting data suggesting that the anti-aging and anti-diabetes effects of low methionine and mTOR inhibition may be connected.

Illustration of scientist measuring a cell on a scale

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017

A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth.  The researchers’ findings also implicate a new protein, SLC38A9, as a potential drug target in pancreatic cancer. 

Image of zebrafish

Genetic body/brain connection identified in genomic region linked to autism

October 6, 2017

For the first time, Whitehead Institute scientists have documented a direct link between deletions in two genes—fam57ba and doc2a—in zebrafish and certain brain and body traits, such as seizures, hyperactivity, large head size, and increased fat content. Both genes reside in the 16p11.2 region of the genome, which has been linked to multiple brain and body disorders in humans, including autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, seizures, and obesity.

Growth medium based on human plasma rewires cell metabolism

April 6, 2017

Cultured human cells are the foundation for disease and drug research. Now Whitehead Institute researchers have designed a growth medium that more closely resembles the cells’ environment in the body—and demonstrated that, relative to decades-old recipes that have remained the workhorses of cell culture studies, it significantly alters the cells’ inner workings.

Whitehead Member David Sabatini

Whitehead Member David Sabatini awarded Foundation for the NIH Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences

April 4, 2017

Prize bestowed for discovery of the mTOR pathway’s impact on age-related diseases

New Clues on the Basis of Parkinson’s Disease and Other “Synucleinopathies”

January 25, 2017

Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other “synucleinopathies” are known to be linked to the misfolding of alpha-synuclein protein in neurons. Less clear is how this misfolding relates to the growing number of genes implicated in PD through analysis of human genetics. Two new studies from researchers affiliated with Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology explain how they used a suite of novel biological and computational methods to shed light on the question.

Cartoon of CASTOR1's role in mTORC1 regulation

Scientists identify sensor that modulates key metabolic pathway

March 10, 2016

Whitehead Institute researchers have elucidated how the growth-regulating metabolic pathway known as mTORC1 (for mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) senses the amino acid arginine. This nutrient sensor may represent a novel therapeutic target for controlling mTORC1, whose activity is often dysregulated in a variety of diseases, including diabetes and cancer. 

Schematic showing how amino acid inputs control the activity of the growth-regulating mTORC1 pathway

Scientists discover essential amino acid sensor in key growth-regulating metabolic pathway

October 8, 2015

Whitehead Institute scientists have at last answered the long-standing question of how the growth-regulating pathway known as mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) detects the presence of the amino acid leucine—itself a key player in modulating muscle growth, appetite, and insulin secretion.

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