Kaipparettu Lab

Kaipparettu Lab is located in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA. We are also affiliated with the NCI Designated Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center (DLDCCC) at Baylor. The primary focus of the lab is to understand the significance of mitochondrial energy reprogramming and mitochondria-nuclear crosstalk in cancer. 

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. Altered mitochondrial function is one of the most consistent and well-established phenotypes in cancer. Cancer metastasis is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality and is responsible for most of the cancer deaths. Metabolic plasticity by rewiring metabolic programs allows cancer cells to detach from the primary tumor, overcome the nutrient and energy limitations in the microenvironment, and eventually survive to form metastasis in a distant hostile environment. Although aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) is generally regarded as a dominant metabolic program in cancer cells, recent evidence suggests that mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) contributes significantly to cancer metastasis. However, it is still unclear how these metabolic modes are regulated in cancer and also what particular advantages each one of these modes confers to metastasizing tumors. 

To address the interplay between metabolic pathways  in metastatic cancer, we use genomic, proteomic, and metabolic analyses to decipher the dynamics of metabolic regulatory networks. Metabolic crosstalks are then validated using mathematical modeling, transmitochondrial system, as well as in vivo analysis using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and clinical data. 

Mitochondria-Nuclear Crosstalk in Cancer