Mehdi Mollapour, PhD
Research Programs and Affiliations
- Biomedical Sciences Program
- Research Pillars
Education & Fellowships
- Fellowship: University of Sheffield, UK, 2007
- Fellowship: University of London, UK, 2003
- PhD: University of London, UK, 2001, Biochemistry
- National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 2007–2013
Post-translational regulation of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone machinery in cancer
Link to PubMed (Opens new window. Close the PubMed window to return to this page.)
The evolutionarily conserved molecular chaperone Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90) is an essential component of the cellular homeostatic machinery in eukaryotes. Cancer cells strongly depend on Hsp90 because of their need to cope with constitutive genetic instability and frequent environmental insults, including nutrient deprivation, hypoxia and proteotoxic stress. Emerging clinical data identify Hsp90 inhibition as a promising therapeutic strategy to treat cancer. Cancer cells appear to be particularly sensitive to Hsp90 inhibitors when compared to non-transformed cells, and Hsp90 inhibitors are retained by tumors in vivo far longer than in normal tissues. However, the molecular basis for these phenomena remains undefined.
We use both yeast and mammalian systems to elucidate how post-translational modifications of Hsp90 chaperone machinery work in concert to regulate the chaperone function.
Eric Wohlford received a 2012 travel award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and spent two months in Kenya working in the lab of Rosemary Rochford, PhD, professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Eric studied the effects of malaria on B cells (producers of antibodies that fight infection) and Epstein-Barr Virus infection in the region. “Tropical medicine is unique, in that small, focused improvements in patient care make dramatic improvements in the well-being of patients,” he said.