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Personal profile

Research Interests

Cells in our body can be stimulated to grow and make more cells, such as during normal developmental growth, during the healing of wounds, and upon activation of immune cells in response to pathogens. The Ben-Sahra lab sets out to define the metabolic changes that occur when the signaling pathways are activated both physiologically in normal cells and pathologically in cancer cells. It has emerged recently that many of the genetic factors commonly altered in cancer cells target metabolic genes and especially nucleotide synthesis. Dr. Ben-Sahra’s studies establish important new mechanisms by which growth signals, relayed through the mTOR (mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) pathway, control the synthesis of the two classes of nucleotides, pyrimidines and purines, essential for duplication of our genetic material as DNA during cell division. The Ben-Sahra lab aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells use cellular metabolism to promote cell proliferation. Using Mass spectrometry technology, chemical and genetic approaches, we ambition to measure metabolite concentrations and metabolic fluxes in tumorigenic versus non-malignant cells in vitro and in vivo, to systematically identify metabolic states that are sufficient to drive an oncogenic transformation. Elucidating this metabolic interface will provide a mechanistic understanding of tumor initiating events in patients suffering from tumor syndrome or cancer and ultimately lead to new therapeutic strategies to eradicate cancer.

Training Experience

2016Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard School of Public Health

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Sophia-Antipolis (Nice, France)

… → 2010

MS, University of Sophia-Antipolis (Nice, France)

… → 2007

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Issam Ben-Sahra is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Grants 2017 2024

MAP Kinase Signaling System
Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
Cell Proliferation
Tuberous Sclerosis
mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1
Tuberous Sclerosis
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Breast Neoplasms
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Cell Proliferation

Research Output 2008 2019

  • 3488 Citations
  • 27 Article
  • 6 Review article
  • 3 Short survey
3 Citations (Scopus)

Cancer cells tune the signaling pathways to empower de novo synthesis of nucleotides

Villa, E., Ali, E. S., Sahu, U. & Ben-Sahra, I., May 2019, In : Cancers. 11, 5, 688.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
Cell Proliferation
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
5 Citations (Scopus)

Direct stimulation of NADP + synthesis through Akt-mediated phosphorylation of NAD kinase

Hoxhaj, G., Ben-Sahra, I., Lockwood, S. E., Timson, R. C., Byles, V., Henning, G. T., Gao, P., Selfors, L. M., Asara, J. M. & Manning, B. D., Jan 1 2019, In : Science. 363, 6431, p. 1088-1092 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Protein Isoforms
1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
12 Citations (Scopus)

Efferocytosis Fuels Requirements of Fatty Acid Oxidation and the Electron Transport Chain to Polarize Macrophages for Tissue Repair

Zhang, S., Weinberg, S., DeBerge, M., Gainullina, A., Schipma, M. J., Kinchen, J. M., Ben-Sahra, I., Gius, D. R., Yvan-Charvet, L., Chandel, N., Schumacker, P. T. & Thorp, E. B., Feb 5 2019, In : Cell Metabolism. 29, 2, p. 443-456.e5

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Electron Transport
Fatty Acids
4 Citations (Scopus)

Ex vivo and in vivo stable isotope labelling of central carbon metabolism and related pathways with analysis by LC–MS/MS

Yuan, M., Kremer, D. M., Huang, H., Breitkopf, S. B., Ben-Sahra, I., Manning, B. D., Lyssiotis, C. A. & Asara, J. M., Feb 1 2019, In : Nature Protocols. 14, 2, p. 313-330 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Isotope Labeling
6 Citations (Scopus)

PGC1α inhibits polyamine synthesis to suppress prostate cancer aggressiveness

Kaminski, L., Torrino, S., Dufies, M., Djabari, Z., Haider, R., Roustan, F. R., Jaune, E., Laurent, K., Nottet, N., Michiels, J. F., Gesson, M., Rocchi, S., Mazure, N. M., Durand, M., Tanti, J. F., Ambrosetti, D., Clavel, S., Ben-Sahra, I. & Bost, F., Jan 1 2019, In : Cancer Research. 79, 13, p. 3268-3280 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Prostatic Neoplasms
Ornithine Decarboxylase
Neoplasm Metastasis
Metabolic Networks and Pathways