Aruna D. Balgi

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BACKGROUND Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a protein kinase that relays nutrient availability signals to control numerous cellular functions including autophagy, a process of cellular self-eating activated by nutrient depletion. Addressing the therapeutic potential of modulating mTORC1 signaling and autophagy in human disease requires(More)
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is a tryptophan degradation enzyme that is emerging as an important drug target. IDO is expressed by many human tumors to help them escape immune detection, and it has been implicated in depression and in the formation of senile nuclear cataracts. There is a need for potent and selective IDO inhibitors for use in research(More)
BACKGROUND Acidification of the cytoplasm and the extracellular environment is associated with many physiological and pathological conditions, such as intense exercise, hypoxia and tumourigenesis. Acidification affects important cellular functions including protein synthesis, growth, and proliferation. Many of these vital functions are controlled by mTORC1,(More)
Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the world today. M. tuberculosis hijacks the phagosome-lysosome trafficking pathway to escape clearance from infected macrophages. There is increasing evidence that manipulation of autophagy, a regulated catabolic trafficking pathway, can enhance(More)
Most normal cells have two centrosomes that form bipolar spindles during mitosis, while cancer cells often contain more than two, or "supernumerary" centrosomes. Such cancer cells achieve bipolar division by clustering their centrosomes into two functional poles, and inhibiting this process then leads to cancer-specific cell death. A major problem with(More)
Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling is frequently dysregulated in cancer. Inhibition of mTORC1 is thus regarded as a promising strategy in the treatment of tumors with elevated mTORC1 activity. We have recently identified niclosamide (a Food and Drug Administration-approved antihelminthic drug) as an inhibitor of mTORC1 signaling. In(More)
Autophagy is a cellular catabolic process responsible for the degradation of cytoplasmic constituents, including organelles and long-lived proteins, that helps maintain cellular homeostasis and protect against various cellular stresses. Verteporfin is a benzoporphyrin derivative used clinically in photodynamic therapy to treat macular degeneration.(More)
Nonsense mutations underlie about 10% of rare genetic disease cases. They introduce a premature termination codon (PTC) and prevent the formation of full-length protein. Pharmaceutical gentamicin, a mixture of several related aminoglycosides, is a frequently used antibiotic in humans that can induce PTC readthrough and suppress nonsense mutations at high(More)
Overexpression of heterologous proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae often inhibits its growth, while inhibitors of the overexpressed proteins can restore growth. These simple observations form the basis of a technically easy, inexpensive, scalable, and widely applicable assay to identify inhibitors of such proteins. An expression plasmid for the(More)