Javier Garcia-Bermudez Lab

Research Focus

Cancer cells require a tremendous amount of energy and biomass to grow and spread. To meet these requirements, they hyperactivate their metabolism. This has two major consequences: the generation of elevated levels of oxidative stress and outgrowing the blood supply. As a result, cancer cells often reside in highly oxidative and oxygen-poor environments. Remarkably, cancer cells, unlike healthy cells, can grow and thrive under these extreme conditions. However, the precise pathways through which tumors adapt to these stresses and whether these stresses can be exploited therapeutically remain unknown.

Our laboratory aims to understand the role of metabolic adaptive mechanisms in cancer progression. We use functional genetic screens to identify uncharacterized metabolic pathways that counteract metabolic stress. Our goal is to dissect the molecular underpinnings of these pathways and target them in cancer models as potential therapies.

Javier Garcia-Bermudez received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. He then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from…
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Research Projects

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Calhoon, D., Sang, L., Bezwada, D., Kim, N., Basu, A., Hsu, S.C., Pimentel, A., Brooks, B., La, K., Paulina-Serrano, A., Cassidy, D., Cai, L., Tcheuyap, V.T., Margulis, V., Cai, F., Brugarolas, J., Weiss, R.J., DeBerardinis, R.J., Birsoy, K., and J. Garcia-Bermudez. (2024). Glycosaminoglycan-mediated lipoprotein uptake protects cancer cells from ferroptosis. bioRxiv. (PubMed)

Garcia-Bermudez, J.,# Prasad, S.,# Baudrier, L., Badgley, M.A., Liu, Y., La, K., Soula, M., Williams, R.T., Yamaguchi, N., Hwang, R.F., Taylor, L.J., De Stanchina, E., Rostandy, B., Alwaseem, H., Molina, H., Bar-Sagi, D., and K. Birsoy. (2022). Adaptive stimulation of macropinocytosis overcomes aspartate limitation in cancer cells under hypoxia. Nature Metabolism 4, 724-738. (PubMed)

Soula, M., Weber, R., Zilka, O., Alwaseem, H., La, K., Yen, F., Molina, H., Pratt, D.*, Garcia-Bermudez, J.# and K. Birsoy.# (2020). Metabolic determinants of cancer cell sensitivity to canonical ferroptosis inducers. Nature Chemical Biology 16, 1351-1360. (PubMed)

Garcia-Bermudez, J., Baudrier, L., Bayraktar, E., Shen, Y., La, K., Guarecuco, R., Yucel, B., Fiore, S., Tavora, B., Freikman, E., Lewis, C., Min, W., Inghirami, G., La, K., Sabatini, D.M., and K. Birsoy. (2019). Squalene accumulation in cholesterol auxotrophic lymphomas prevents oxidative cell death. Nature 567, 118-122. (PubMed)

Garcia-Bermudez, J., La, K., Baudrier, L., Zhu, X.G., Sviderskiy, V.O., Papagiannakopoulos, T., Snuderl, M., Lewis, C., Possemato, R. and K. Birsoy. (2018). Aspartate is a limiting metabolite for cancer cell proliferation under hypoxia and in tumors. Nature Chemical Biology 20, 775-781. (PubMed)

 García-Bermúdez, J., Sánchez-Aragó, M., Soldevilla, B., Del Arco, A., Nuevo-Tapioles, C., and J.M. Cuezva. (2015). PKA phosphorylates the ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1 and inactivates its capacity to bind and inhibit the mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase. Cell Reports 12, 2143-55. (PubMed)

#Co-corresponding author

Lab Members

Header image credit: Metabolic ‘Metro’ map from Chakazul, 2016

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