Transcriptional regulation of cancer cell metabolism

Project Details

Metabolic pathway activity can be modulated by allosteric, transcriptional or post-translational mechanisms. We are particularly interested in understanding the regulation of cellular metabolism by the oncogenic transcriptional regulator YAP. Taking advantage of integrated metabolomics and transcriptomic approaches, we have previously shown that approximately 34% of YAP target genes are related to cellular metabolism and demonstrated that YAP reprograms glucose and glutamine metabolism to fuel tissue growth (Nature Cell Biology, 2016 and EMBO Journal, 2018). We are continuing to investigate the impact of YAP on cellular metabolism and the involvement of YAP-dependent metabolic reprogramming events in the regulation of cell proliferation, tissue growth and tumour progression.


Stefan Bjelosevic, Post-doctoral fellow
Rebecca Dawson, Post-doctoral fellow
Sri Vaidyanathan, PhD student
Athena Ong, PhD student
Keziah Ting, PhD student
Olivia Lee, Honours student
Riley Goldsworthy, Honours student
Rasan Sathiqu, Research assistant
Tara Tigani, Research assistant

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

  1. Brown KK*, Spinelli JB, Asara JM, Toker A*. Adaptive reprogramming of de novo pyrimidine synthesis is a metabolic vulnerability in triple-negative breast cancer. Cancer Discovery 2017; 7(4):391-9. *Corresponding authors
  2. Bjelosevic S, Gruber E, Newbold A, Shembrey C, Devlin JR, Hogg SJ, Kats LM, Todorovski I, Fan Z, Abrehart TC, Pomilio G, Wei AH, Gregory GP, Vervoort SJ, Brown KK*, Johnstone RW*. Serine biosynthesis is a metabolic vulnerability in FLT3-ITD-driven acute myeloid leukaemia. Cancer Discovery 2021; DOI: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0738. *Corresponding authors
  3. Cox AG, Hwang KL, Brown KK, Evason KJ, Beltz S, Tsomides A, O'Connor K, Galli GG, Yimlamai D, Chhangawala S, Yuan M, Lien EC, Wucherpfennig J, Nissim S, Minami A, Cohen DE, Camargo FD, Asara JM, Houvras Y, Stainier DY, Goessling W. Yap reprograms glutamine metabolism to increase nucleotide biosynthesis and enable liver growth. Nature Cell Biology 2016; 18(8):886-96

Research Group

Kristin Brown laboratory

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine, Cell Signalling, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Pharmacology

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