Professor Emeritus, Molecular Biosciences; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Signal Transduction in Cancer
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Mammalian spermatogenesis is a complex process of cellular differentiation involving unique cytological and molecular processes that culminate in formation of spermatozoa. At present, particular emphasis is given to enzymes and proteins that appear during mammalian spermatogenesis and that are unique to the spermatozoon. This is best seen with the unique form of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) that is synthesized in the primary spermatocyte during mid- pachytene of the first meiotic division. Studies are in progress on the nature of mechanisms regulating this remarkable time and cell-specific process, as well as with the molecular aspects of LDH-C4 itself. We have cloned and sequenced the Ldh-c gene and are characterizing the regulatory regions involved in specific gene activation. Also, the cell specificity of LDH-C4 is being examined with reference to problems in contraception technology and fertility control. These data are directly relevant to understanding control of gene expression during development and to gene mis-expression associated with cancer and infertility. For example, the LDHA gene is upregulated in cancer cells (Warburg effect) and some of the compounds we are studying to block LDHC acitiviy may have the same action on LDHAwhich could be a drug target.