Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Marina Tanasova

Assistant Professor
Chemistry, Michigan Tech University

Targeting fructose transport in metabolically-compromised cells with carbohydrate mimics

Abstract: The necessity in targeted therapies stimulates the search for cellular components or pathways that are distinguished between normal vs. tumor cells and can serve as therapeutic targets or platforms for drug delivery. One of the aspects that differentiated cancer vs. normal cells is enhanced nutrient uptake and expression of transmembrane transporters, particularly fructose-specific transporter GLUT5. Enhanced fructose uptake appears to be a characteristic for development and progression of several cancer types, and for a variety of metabolic diseases, including obesity and type II diabetes, a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, gout, sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Despite the recognition of fructose transport at potential therapeutic target, there are currently no probes that would allow straightforward quantification of fructose uptake and metabolism as characteristics of malignancy or metabolic syndromes. Current presentation focuses on developing GLUT5-targeting biochemical probes by utilizing fructose transport-specific carbohydrate mimics.

 Biography: Dr. Tanasova received her Ph.D. degree in chemistry, with the emphasis on Organic Chemistry and Spectroscopy, from the Michigan State University in 2009 under supervision of Prof. Babak Borhan. She then moved to the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota for postdoctoral training with Prof. Shana Sturla and worked on developing DNA repair inhibitors to potentiate the effect of DNA-targeting chemotherapeutics in breast cancer, sponsored by Suzan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship. Shortly, she moved to Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to continue her postdoc with Dr. Sturla, where she continued her research in breast cancer and expanded her expertise towards Chemical Biology through working on evaluating impacts of DNA alkylation on DNA transcription and replication. Dr. Tanasova currently holds the Assistant Professor position at the Chemistry Department of Michigan Technological University. Her research group focuses on development of molecular probes to test and impact impaired processes in cancers.





Friday, January 27, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building, 642
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

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Biological Sciences


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