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Molecular link between breast cancer and diabetes: a metabolic perspective

Research Group

Prof. Anu Rangarajan and H. S. Atreya

Dept. of Molecular Reproduction Development and Genetics, IISc and NMR Research Centre, IISc

Incidences of both breast cancer and diabetes are on the rise in India. Although an association between breast cancer and diabetes is known in the Western countries, where diabetes is associated with obesity, in India, a large population of diabetics is predicted to be lean. Yet, the association between lean diabetics, their inflammatory condition, and diabetes remains to be investigated. AMPK is a stress activated kinase that we have recently reported to have pro-tumorigenic functions, and is activated by the anti-diabetic drug metformin. In this project, we plan to explore the role of AMPK in the metabolic regulation of breast cancer cells, and its correlation with diabetes as a pre-condition, and the effects of diabetes treatment with metformin on cancer progression.

Availability of the new state-of-art high resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer working at 800 MHz now makes it possible to probe the complex metabolic profile at higher sensitivity and accuracy. Coupled with various chemical labeling strategies it is possible to decipher specific differences in metabolite profiles. This information will be combined with mass spectrometry to design additional biochemical experiments to validate the findings. The experimental data will be used to build networks or identify potential biomarkers useful for developing cancer treatment strategies.





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