Lab In The News
Congratulations to Dr. Zachary Schug for being awarded a major Susan G. Komen grant!
Wistar is pleased to announce Dr. Zachary Schug has been awarded a $450,000 grant from Susan G. Komen Philadelphia for breast cancer research. Schug studies breast cancer cells when they metastasize to the brain, and how to block or starve brain metastases by disrupting metabolism.
NIH New Innovator Award Given to Wistar Researcher to Unravel the Metabolic Link Between Diet, Alcohol Consumption and Cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced that Zachary T. Schug, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program at The Wistar Institute, was awarded the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in support of his research on the link between a high sugar/fat diet, alcohol use and cancer.
How Added Sugars and Alcohol Can Spread Cancerous Tumors | 5 Questions
Diet can affect cancer progression and response to treatment. Wistar’s Dr. Zachary Schug studies the effect of sugar and alcohol consumption on cancer metabolism and spoke with The Philadelphia Inquirer on his research.
The Schug Laboratory
Alterations in the acquisition and metabolism of nutrients are now firmly recognized as hallmarks of cancer development. Many, if not all, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes induce metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells through changes in the regulation of enzymes and transporters. These changes are necessary for cancer cells to meet the combined biomass and energy demands for growth and are only satisfied by increased capture and synthesis of cellular building blocks such as sugars, fats, and proteins. In addition, cancer cells often invade other tissues where the availability of certain nutrients is drastically different or grow so quickly that the blood supply, and the accessibility to oxygen and other nutrients that comes with it, becomes scarce. During these conditions of nutrient stress, many cancer cells will adapt and use alternative available resources to survive.
The Schug laboratory is interested in identifying and therapeutically targeting the metabolic changes that arise during the development of cancer and metastasis. They combine cell biology, biochemistry, metabolomics, lipidomics and genomics to uncover novel metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer. These targets are then further developed for use as effective therapeutic strategies for the improved treatment of cancer patients.
Michael Hulse, Ph.D.
Katelyn Miller, Ph.D.
Casciano, J.C., Perry, C., Cohen-Nowak, A.J., Miller, K.D., Vande Voorde, J., Zhang, Q., Chalmers, S., Sandison, M.E., Liu, Q., Hedley, A., et al. "MYC regulates fatty acid metabolism through a multigenic program in claudin-low triple negative breast cancer." Br J Cancer. 2020 Jan 16. doi: 10.1038/s41416-019-0711-3.
Veglia, F., Tyurin, V.A., Blasi, M., De Leo, A., Kossenkov, A.V., Donthireddy, L., Schug, Z., Basu, S., Wang, F., Ricciotti, E., DiRusso, C., et al. “Fatty acid transport protein 2 reprograms neutrophils in cancer.” Nature. 2019 May;569(7754):73-78. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1118-2. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Patel, S., Fu, S., Mastio, J., Dominguez, G.A., Purohit, A., Kossenkov, A., Lin, C., Alicea-Torres, K., Sehgal, M., Nefedova, Y., et al. "Unique pattern of neutrophil migration and function during tumor progression." Nat Immunol. 2018 Nov;19(11):1236-1247. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0229-5. Epub 2018 Oct 15.
Schug, Z.T., Vande Voorde, J., Gottlieb, E. "The metabolic fate of acetate in cancer." Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Nov;16(11):708-717. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2016.87. Epub 2016 Aug 26.
Schug, Z.T., Peck, B., Jones, D.T., Zhang, Q., Grosskurth, S., Alam, I.S., Goodwin, L.M., Smethurst, E., Mason, S., Blyth, K., et al. "Acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 promotes acetate utilization and maintains cancer cell growth under metabolic stress." Cancer Cell. 2015 Jan 12;27(1):57-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.12.002.