Uncovering Metabolic Regulation and Dynamics
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Understanding and controlling cellular metabolism (the process by which nutrients taken into a cell are turned into energy and the building blocks for more cells) is crucial to numerous applications, from enabling more efficient bioenergy production to unraveling the mechanisms of diseases like cancer. However, true understanding of (and control over) metabolism is hindered by a dearth of information available about the dynamics of metabolism and the molecular mechanisms that regulate those dynamics. A deeper understanding in these areas would enable much more efficient manipulation of existing metabolic networks to circumvent or exploit native metabolic regulation. In this seminar, we will discuss our work as we begin to unravel metabolic dynamics and regulation in two different (yet related) systems: yeast and cancer. Using mass spectrometry, we investigate the metabolic dynamics of cancer cells in response to environmental perturbations that we expect tumors to encounter in vivo. We also use complementary high-throughput analytical techniques to begin to enumerate the space of metabolite-protein interactions in the metabolic network of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.