Caitlyn Brashears (MSTP in PhD training)

  • Amarillo, TX

  • Baylor University (2016)

  • Molecular Cell Biology

  • Brian Van Tine, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Redox homeostasis and glutamine utilization in Synovial Sarcoma



Synovial Sarcoma (SS) is an aggressive malignancy with a bimodal age distribution and a high metastatic potential. SS accounts for approximately 10% of all soft tissue sarcomas. Currently, there are no FDA approved targeted therapies for SS. The primary focus of my research is identification and functional evaluation of metabolic dependencies in Synovial Sarcoma. We have identified aberrations in malic enzyme 1 (ME-1) expression in synovial sarcoma and other soft tissue sarcomas.  ME1 catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of malate to generate pyruvate and CO2, producing NADPH from NADP+ in the process. NADPH is an essential reducing equivalent within the cell, providing electrons for reductive biosynthesis and recycling of cellular antioxidant systems. I am currently studying the metabolic consequences of variable ME1 expression in SS, specifically the effect on glutamine utilization and redox metabolism through the thioredoxin system. Understanding the cellular mechanisms that compensate for variable ME1 expression in SS and other cancers may identify metabolic dependencies that are therapeutically actionable.

Last Updated: 8/15/2018 2:07:52 PM

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