This week's institute seminar takes place on Friday June 4th. It is given by Tor Erik Rusten from the Department of Biochemistry.
Title of his talk: Using Drosophila melanogaster to study the cell biological basis of Cancer; The case of the PI3K class III tumour suppressor
The seminar takes place in Auditorium (New Research Building Montebello) and starts at 10:30.
Phosphoinositides (PIs) are phosphorylated derivates of the membrane lipid, phosphatidylinositol, that control a wide variety of cellular functions through recruitment of cytosolic proteins to intracellular membranes. In order to do this the generation of the distinct PIs is tightly controlled in time and space by specific kinases and phosphatases. Of these kinases, PI3K-III is of special interest. Several components of the PI3K-III holoenzyme have been assigned a tumour suppressor function, but the cell biological function(s) and the molecular mechanisms responsible for this effect are not well known. The known functions of the catalytic subunit in endocytosis and autophagy shown by us and others do not appear to alone suffice to explain the tumour suppressive properties of this complex. Using genetic analysis in the model system Drosophila melanogaster, we have obtained evidence for a necessity of PI3K-III enzyme activity in cell signalling, cytokinesis, cell death as well as in maintaining epithelial integrity. These are all cellular processes whose normal function is necessary to curtail carcinogenesis. The progress of this work will be discussed.