Predictive Proteins: Elevated Levels Trigger Metastatic Progression of Cancer Cells

New biomarker may offer more precise and accurate prognoses of disease —

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues in Spain and Germany, have unraveled how elevated levels of particular proteins in cancer cells trigger hyperactivity in other proteins, fueling the growth and spread of a variety of cancers. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Pradipta GhoshDr. Pradipta Ghosh is senior author of the study report, which appears in the February 26 online publication of Scientific Reports.

Pradipta Ghosh, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Read Study Report (Full Text; Open Access)

Protein’s Impact on Colorectal Cancer is Dappled

In early stages, it acts as tumor suppressor; later it can help spread disease —

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a cell signaling pathway that appears to exert some control over initiation and progression of colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. A key protein in the pathway also appears to be predictive of cancer survival rates. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Pradipta GhoshThe study’s senior author is Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

How to Reset a Diseased Cell

In proof-of-concept experiments, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine demonstrate the ability to tune medically relevant cell behaviors by manipulating a key hub in cell communication networks. The manipulation of this communication node, reported in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes it possible to reprogram large parts of a cell’s signaling network instead of targeting only a single receptor or cell signaling pathway. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Golgi Trafficking Controlled by G-Proteins

A family of proteins called G proteins are a recognized component of the communication system the human body uses to sense hormones and other chemicals in the bloodstream and to send messages to cells. In work that further illuminates how cells work, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a new role for G proteins that may have relevance to halting solid tumor cancer metastasis.

The study is reported online April 9 in Developmental Cell.

“Our work provides the first direct evidence that G proteins are signaling on membranes inside cells, not just at the cell surface as has been widely believed for several decades,” said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor and senior author. “This is significant because the G-protein pathway is a target of at least 30 percent of all current drugs on the market.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Pradipta Ghosh, MDDr. Pradipta Ghosh, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Visit the Ghosh Laboratory website

See Full Text of Article in Developmental Cell (UC San Diego only)

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh Receives Clinical Research Mentorship Grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh

Three years ago, Department of Medicine physician-scientist Dr. Pradipta Ghosh received a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award to support her in the transition from junior researcher to independent investigator.

The grant funded her research for three fruitful years as she moved from assistant to associate professor and landed a five-year R01 research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Now, Ghosh has won DDCF funding again — this time a Clinical Research Mentorship Grant to support her in mentoring medical student Gary Ma in the project, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

The DDCF Clinical Research Mentorship program is a competitive grant program that supports the development of a mentoring relationship between a clinical scientist previously funded through the foundation and a medical student with an interest in becoming a future clinician investigator.

This DDCF program funded 10 mentor/mentee teams this year.

About Dr. Ghosh

Pradipta Ghosh, MD, MBBS, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. She is a graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, the Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program and the Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program.

In her laboratory, Ghosh investigates the cell biology of signal transduction to find new ways to understand and block the development and spread of cancer and other diseases. Her National Cancer Institute research grant supports the project, “Modulation of G Proteins by Growth Factors.”

Looking back at the development of her career, she cites two important mentors, Drs. Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar.

“Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar are spectacular examples of good mentors and what good mentoring involves,” she said. “Being accessible, empowering, ensuring the freedom to probe, to expand the horizon.”

Stuart Kornfeld, MD, is David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he directs the Medical Scientist Training Program and co-directs the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Marilyn Farquhar, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Pathology at UC San Diego.

About Her Mentor/Mentee Research Project

Abstract of the Study, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

“The overall goal of the proposed research is to unravel the mechanisms by which [Gα-interacting, vesicle-associated protein] (GIV) maintains insulin sensitivity and how its phosphoinhibition generates Insulin resistance (IR). Insights gained will not only help determine whether GIV can serve as a therapeutic target and a marker for prognosticating response to therapy in patients with IR, but also help decipher, access, and manipulate the entire signaling network to restore physiologic insulin response.”