Unraveling metabolic dependencies in childhood supratentorial ependymomas.
Childhood ependymomas are devastating tumors with limited treatment options. A subset of these tumors occur in the upper portion of the brain. About 70% of these tumors bear an abnormal protein termed C11orf95-RELA. Our goal is to determine how this abnormal protein causes cancer and use this knowledge to treat these deadly tumors. We have discovered that ependymoma tumor cells with the C11orf95-RELA protein are addicted to the amino acid glutamine. We propose to understand why these tumor cells are addicted to glutamine and develop treatments to suppress this addiction and kill these ependymoma tumor cells.
Our goals are:
(1) To understand why childhood ependymoma tumor cells with the C11orf95-RELA protein are addicted to glutamine and how they use glutamine to grow and divide.
(2) We will use this knowledge to devise new treatments that block this glutamine addiction to kill these ependymoma tumor cells.