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Dr. Zielonka Awarded Multi-PI R01 Grant

Jacek ZielonkaJacek Zielonka, PhD, DSc, assistant professor of biophysics at MCW, and Ming You, MD, PhD, of Houston Methodist Research Institute (contact PI), were awarded a five-year, $3.25 million multiple-PI R01 grant, titled “Targeting Phenethyl Isothiocyanate to Mitochondria in Lung Carcinogenesis,” from the National Cancer Institute. Their study will investigate whether enhanced delivery of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a natural compound with established chemoprotective effects, to mitochondria via a mitochondria-targeting strategy will help to define the mitochondrial mechanisms and efficacy of mitochondria-targeted PEITC (Mito-PEITC) on lung oncogenesis and metastasis.

Preliminary studies demonstrate that Mito-PEITC is a potent inhibitor of lung carcinogenesis in mice. The investigators hypothesize that lung oncogenesis and metastasis depend on mitochondrial respiration and that Mito-PEITC is a novel, potent inhibitor of lung carcinogenesis and metastasis acting primarily through mitochondrial mechanisms. They will use state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo assays, including small animal imaging technology, to monitor the growth of primary tumors and engraftment of metastatic cells, and will employ innovative approaches, including those developed here at MCW, for both in vitro and in vivo monitoring of changes in cancer cell bioenergetics and cellular oxidants. The goal of the R01 is to define mitochondrial mechanisms of lung oncogenesis and brain metastasis and develop a novel, well-tolerated efficacious agent to prevent and treat lung cancer. The project will use the Redox & Bioenergetics Core within the Cancer Center Translational Metabolomics Shared Resource and MCW Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Research.