The tumour suppressor PTEN is an enzyme that destructs a fat-like compound termed PIP3 localised on the cell membrane. PIP3 directs cells in our body to grow and divide. Thus, by destructing PIP3, PTEN can stop cancer cell growth. We propose to study how PTEN activity is regulated and how PTEN moves to the cell membrane to destruct PIP3. Our study will reveal how mutations abolishing PTEN activity and/or preventing PTEN movement to the cell membrane contribute to cancer.
Dr Heung-Chin Cheng, Dr Hong-Jian Zhu & Dr Terrence Mulhern
University of Melbourne, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
$70,000 per annum for 3 years