Research Focus

In solid cancers, like lung cancer, tumor cells constantly face nutrient and oxygen deprivation. Metabolic flexibility allows cancer cells to adapt to the harsh conditions in the tumor microenvironment, however the mechanisms are poorly understood. Our lab described a novel metabolic pathway in lung cancer cells under glucose depletion involving the gluconeogenesis enzyme PEPCK (mitochondrial isoform, PEPCK-M). PEPCK-M allows the use of lactate and amino acids as alternative carbon sources for important biosynthetic pathways and represents a bottle neck in cell metabolism. Thus, we are exploring PEPCK inhibition as a potential tool to compromise cancer cell survival and tumor growth.

Main lines of research


- Cancer cell metabolic rewiring 

- Cancer cell survival and proliferation under nutritional stress 

- Cancer cell energetics 

- Gluconeogenesis enzyme expression in human cancers

 - Interaction of tumor and non-neoplastic cells under nutritional stress


Images: Katharina Leithner



Letzte Aktualisierung: 15.10.2018