Jeffrey Roberto Reina Garciasalas, Ph.D.

Title
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department
Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory
Institution
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Address
10010 North Torrey Pines Road
City, State, Zip
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone
858-453-4100 ext. 1470
E-mail
[email protected]
Website
https://hunter.salk.edu/
Research Field
Biochemistry; Cancer Biology
Award Year
2020
Country Of Origin
Guatemala
Mentor Name
Tony Hunter, Ph.D.

Research

In the Hunter lab, I will explore whether breast cancers show altered patterns of histidine phosphorylation. Many cancers are characterized by atypical modifications of proteins; in particular, those that regulate cell growth and proliferation, such as phosphorylation. This modification involves the addition of a phosphate group to specific amino acids, typically tyrosine, serine, and threonine. Histidine can also be a target for phosphate addition, but its study has been neglected because it is highly unstable. Recently, the Hunter lab developed molecular biology tools for studying this modification and has found that it is enriched in liver tumors. However, it is still unknown if other types of cancers show a similar pattern. I am particularly interested in breast cancer and, by applying these novel methods, I will determine whether histidine phosphorylation is altered in breast, human and mouse tumors and cell lines. Furthermore, I will assess which proteins are targeted by this modification and generate mouse models that are either missing these target proteins or overproduce them. This work could lead to the development of highly directed therapies for breast cancer—especially the aggressive triple-negative subtype, for which no targeted molecular treatments exist.

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