William W. Wheaton

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Mitochondrial metabolism provides precursors to build macromolecules in growing cancer cells. In normally functioning tumour cell mitochondria, oxidative metabolism of glucose- and glutamine-derived carbon produces citrate and acetyl-coenzyme A for lipid synthesis, which is required for tumorigenesis. Yet some tumours harbour mutations in the citric acid(More)
Otto Warburg's theory on the origins of cancer postulates that tumor cells have defects in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and therefore rely on high levels of aerobic glycolysis as the major source of ATP to fuel cellular proliferation (the Warburg effect). This is in contrast to normal cells, which primarily utilize oxidative phosphorylation for(More)
Bidirectional cellular communication is integral to both cancer progression and embryological development. In addition, aggressive tumor cells are phenotypically plastic, sharing many properties with embryonic cells. Owing to the similarities between these two types of cells, the developing zebrafish can be used as a biosensor for tumor-derived signals.(More)
Embryonic stem cells sustain a microenvironment that facilitates a balance of self-renewal and differentiation. Aggressive cancer cells, expressing a multipotent, embryonic cell-like phenotype, engage in a dynamic reciprocity with a microenvironment that promotes plasticity and tumorigenicity. However, the cancer-associated milieu lacks the appropriate(More)
Recent epidemiological and laboratory-based studies suggest that the anti-diabetic drug metformin prevents cancer progression. How metformin diminishes tumor growth is not fully understood. In this study, we report that in human cancer cells, metformin inhibits mitochondrial complex I (NADH dehydrogenase) activity and cellular respiration. Metformin(More)
Since its reported discovery in 1994, maspin (mammary serine protease inhibitor) has been characterized as a class II tumor suppressor by its ability to promote apoptosis and inhibit cell invasion. Maspin is highly expressed in normal mammary epithelial cells but reduced or absent in aggressive breast carcinomas. However, despite efforts to characterize the(More)
The clinical management of cutaneous melanoma would benefit significantly from a better understanding of the molecular changes that occur during melanocytic progression to a melanoma phenotype. To gain unique insights into this process, we developed a three-dimensional in vitro model that allows observations of normal human melanocytes interacting with a(More)
Fluctuating oxygen levels characterize the microenvironment of many cancers and tumor hypoxia is associated with increased invasion and metastatic potential concomitant with a poor prognosis. Similarly, the expression of lysyl oxidase (LOX) in breast cancer facilitates tumor cell migration and is associated with estrogen receptor negative status and reduced(More)
Adaptation to lowering oxygen levels (hypoxia) requires coordinated downregulation of metabolic demand and supply to prevent a mismatch in ATP utilization and production that might culminate in a bioenergetic collapse. Hypoxia diminishes ATP utilization by downregulating protein translation and the activity of the Na-K-ATPase. Hypoxia diminishes ATP(More)
Mitochondrial metabolism provides precursors to build macromolecules in growing cancer cells1,2. In normally-functioning tumor cell mitochondria, oxidative metabolism of glucoseand glutamine-derived carbon produces citrate and acetyl-CoA for lipid synthesis, which is required for tumorigenesis3. Yet some tumors harbor mutations in the citric acid cycle(More)
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