Dr. Abhijit Guha – Research Grant – 2011

Dr. Abhijit Guha, Professor and Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), Toronto, ON

Project Title: “The Aberrant Role of Peroxisomes in Malignant Glioma”

Research Summary

Dr. Abhijit GuhaThe aim of our research is to determine the role of peroxisomes in the development and progression of gliomas. Peroxisomes are small organelles found within all cells of the body and are abundant in astrocytes which as the cells within the brain that give rise to gliomas. Recently, a role for peroxisomes in gliomas was suggested by the discovery of mutations in the gene encoding the protein isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1). The IDH1 protein is located within peroxisomes and is involved in the peroxisomes’s metabolic functions. The cancer associated mutation in IDH1 has altered metabolic fuctions. The cancer associated mutation in IDH1 has altered metabolic activity compared to normal IDH1 which may contribute to the development and progression of gliomas.

The purpose of our research is to evaluate peroxisomal function in gliomas with a focus on mutant IDH1. We will use cultured cells, genetically engineered mice and human glioma specimans to evaluate perroxisome structure and metabolism, development and progression of gliomas harbouring mutant IDH1 and determine how peroxisome function is regulated within astrocytes. The findings from our research will extend our understanding of the metabolic alterations in gliomas for potential therapies and will determine whether the presence of mutant IDH1 could serve as a prognostic indicator for glioma patients.

Note: In November 2011, Dr. Guha passed away. His project is being continued through the laboratory team at Hospital for Sick Children.