Bioenergetics and metabolism of eukaryotic cell proliferation
Author(s)Li, Zhaoqi,Ph. D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology.
Matthew G. Vander Heiden.
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Cellular growth and proliferation necessitates the transformation of cell-external nutrients into biomass. Strategies of biomass accumulation across the kingdoms of life are diverse and range from carbon fixation by autotrophic organisms to direct biomass incorporation of consumed nutrients by heterotrophic organisms. The goal of this dissertation is to better understand the divergent and convergent modes of metabolism that support biomass accumulation and proliferation in eukaryotic cells. We first determined that the underlying mechanism behind why rapidly proliferating cells preferentially ferment the terminal glycolytic product pyruvate is due to an intrinsic deficiency of respiration to regenerate electron acceptors. We tested this model across an assorted array of proliferating cells and organisms ranging from human cancer cells to the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevesiae. We next determined that a major metabolic pathway of avid electron acceptor consumption in the context of biomass accumulation is the synthesis of lipids. Insights from this work has led to the realization that net-reductive pathways such as lipid synthesis may be rate-limited by oxidative reactions. Lastly, we established the green algae Chlorella vulgaris as a model system to study the comparative metabolism of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic growth. We determined that heterotrophic growth of plant cells is associated with aerobic glycolysis in a mechanism that may be suppressed by light. Collectively, these studies contribute to a more holistic understanding of the bioenergetics and metabolic pathways employed by eukaryotic cells to accumulate biomass and lay the foundation for future studies to understand proliferative metabolism.
Thesis: Ph. D. in Biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biology, February, 2021Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis. "February 2021." Vita. Page 179 blank.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology