Coordinated Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Skin Stem Cells and Skin Cancer

Our previous research has identified a novel protein, ACF7 that is enriched in skin cancer stem cells and involved in the formation and progression of squamous cell carcinoma. In this proposal, we will use mouse genetics combined with cell biology and biochemistry to decipher the function of ACF7 in cancer stem cells and its involvement in cancer signaling pathways. Secondly, we will use chemical biology approaches to screen a library of drug-like compounds to identify potential inhibitors that target ACF7’s molecular functions. My proposed research will greatly expand our understanding of the elaborate and critical machinery underlying human cancer stem cell functions. In addition, our studies utilizing cutting-edge approaches in chemical biology may lead to the development of novel therapeutics against different human skin cancers.