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Decoding the Intricacies of Sphingolipid and Ganglioside Metabolism in Disease Progression

Biology Colloquium | Dr. Ujjaini Dasgupta | April 26th, 2023

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Sphingolipids and gangliosides are bioactive lipids that apart from having a major structural role in cellular membranes display diverse signalling roles in cellular regulatory circuits including cancer hallmark processes like cell proliferation, inflammation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, and drug resistance. My group is attempting to decode the intricacies of sphingolipid and ganglioside signalling during tumor progression, and those targeting the tumor microenvironment in response to cancer chemotherapy. In my talk, I will show that Rapamycin-resistant TOR Complex (Target of Rapamycin) component mTORC2 regulates the sphingolipid and ganglioside metabolism during breast cancer progression through transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of UDP-Glucose Ceramide Glucosyl transferase (UGCG) which is the key enzyme bridging the sphingolipid and ganglioside metabolic pathways. In my talk, I will also show how sphingolipids can be explored as possible prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers for different disease conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), that also has therapeutic potential. Therefore, my talk will highlight our recent efforts on deciphering sphingolipid and ganglioside mediated metabolic alterations during disease progression, and how these metabolites can be further explored as potential therapeutic targets.

About the speaker:

Ujjaini Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor at Amity Institute of Integrative Sciences and Health, Amity University, Haryana. She is one of the Young Investigators (YIs) selected to attend YIM 2020. She completed MSc in Biophysics and Molecular Biology from the Department of Biophysics and Molecular Biology, University of Calcutta. PhD from Delhi University and done postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts.

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