Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Mong-Hong Lee

Committee Member

Dr. Sai-Ching Yeung

Committee Member

Dr. Honami Naora

Committee Member

Dr. Peng Huang

Committee Member

Dr. Hui-Kuan Lin


Metabolic reprogramming has been shown to be a major cancer hallmark providing tumor cells with significant advantages for survival, proliferation, growth, metastasis and resistance against anti-cancer therapies. Glycolysis, glutaminolysis and mitochondrial biogenesis are among the most essential cancer metabolic alterations because these pathways provide cancer cells with not only energy but also crucial metabolites to support large-scale biosynthesis, rapid proliferation and tumorigenesis. In this study, we find that 14-3-3σ suppresses all these three metabolic processes by promoting the degradation of their main driver, c-Myc. In fact, 14-3-3s significantly enhances c-Myc poly-ubiquitination and subsequent degradation, reduces c-Myc transcriptional activity, and down-regulates c-Myc-induced metabolic target genes expression. Therefore, 14-3-3σ remarkably blocks glycolysis, decreases glutaminolysis and diminishes mitochondrial mass of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo, thereby severely suppressing cancer bioenergetics and metabolism. As a result, a high level of 14-3-3σ in tumors is strongly associated with increased breast cancer patients’ overall and metastasis-free survival as well as better clinical outcomes. Thus, this study reveals a new role for 14-3-3s as a significant regulator of cancer bioenergetics and a promising target for the development of anti-cancer metabolism therapies.


cancer metabolism, metabolic reprogramming, regulation, 14-3-3sigma, p53, c-Myc, glycolysis, glutaminolysis, mitochondrial biogenesis, cancer



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