Zhimin Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
Areas of Research
- Brain and CNS Tumor Research
- Cancer Metabolism Research
- Molecular Biology Research
Welcome to the Lu Laboratory. We are a basic science and translational research laboratory in the Brain Tumor Research Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The goals of our work are to understand the mechanisms of cancer metabolism regulation and translate our laboratory discoveries into novel clinical diagnosis and therapy.
Our research in cancer metabolism has discovered fundamental mechanisms underlying the regulation of the Warburg effect in tumor cells. We have demonstrated that glycolytic enzyme PKM2 and PGK1, which are only two ATP-producing enzymes in glycolysis, acting as protein kinases in the nucleus and mitochondria, respectively, to epigenetically regulate glycolytic gene expression in the nucleus and suppress pyruvate metabolism in the mitochondria. These regulations result in the unregulated glucose uptake, lactate production and suppressed mitochondrial pyruvate consumption, leading to the Warburg effect.
In addition, we demonstrated that the protein kinase activity of PKM2, PGK1, KHK-A regulate fructose metabolism, de novo nucleotide synthesis, mitosis, cytokinesis, DNA repair, and autophagy, highlighting the instrumental non-metabolic functions of these metabolic enzymes as protein kinases in regulation of instrumental cellular activities in cancer cells.
Join the Lab
We’re hiring postdoctoral fellows. Applicants should have an excellent first-author publication history and be highly motivated. A strong background in molecular biology, cell biology and/or biochemistry is desired. Experience with signal transduction, cell metabolism and transgenic mouse experiments would be a plus.