Whereas normal epithelial cells cannot grow under anchorage independent conditions in vitro, KRAS transformed cancer cells can proliferate to for a tumor sphere under these same conditions. This ability of the KRAS oncogene to drive anchorage independent growth is a hallmark of malignant transformation. PURPOSE. In this project we aim to study how the KRAS oncogene enables cancer cells to proliferate under anchorage independent conditions.
We aim to study KRAS mediated signal transduction pathways and understand how they regulate cell cycle and cell survival. ACCOMPLISHMENT. We have identified several KRAS mutant cancer cell lines that are strictly dependent on KRAS for anchorage independent growth. We are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms by which KRAS drives this process.