Hayla K Sluss PhD
|Institution||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
|Address||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
364 Plantation Street, LRB
Worcester MA 01605
|Institution||UMMS - School of Medicine|
|Division||Endocrinology & Metabolism|
|Institution||UMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences|
|Department||Interdisciplinary Graduate Program|
Dr. Sluss received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester in 1997.
Tumor Suppressors and Metabolic Control
The research goals of the Sluss lab are to have a better understanding of the tumor suppressor p53. We investigate classical roles of p53 in tumor suppression and novel roles of p53 in metabolic disease. p53 is a protein that is mutated in over 50% of human cancer. This observation underscores its importance in prevention of cancer. We are using mouse models and perform in vitro studies to investigate p53 function.
We have generated mouse knock-in models in phosphorylation and acetylation of p53. We have determined that p53 phosphorylation is critical for tumor suppressor function of p53. One aim of the lab is to continue to generate more knock-in mutations to study the synergy of the various phosphorylation sites on p53. We have also generated a knock-in model in which an acetylation site has been mutated. This mutant has lead to studies on the effects of dominant negative mutations on p53 in cancer.
Another aim of the laboratory is to better understand the role of p53 in metabolism. This is a very new area of research for the p53 signaling pathway. We have applied genetic engineering and biochemistry to address this novel role of p53.
Laboratory rotations are available to study p53 signaling pathway. Several projects are available, including studies of gene expression, the cell cycle, apoptosis, and tumor suppression. Targeted gene disruption approaches in mice combined with biochemical and molecular biology studies will be examined. Examples of potential rotation projects include the following:
1. Generate a triple mutant in p53 amino-terminal phosphorylation sites. The rotation would involve learning molecular biology techniques such as recombinant DNA purification, analysis, mutation, and subcloning.
2. Create cells from various genetically modified mice and analyze p53 function. The rotation would involve learning protein expression and purification techniques such as Western Blotting, protein purification, and FACS analysis.
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