Paul Talalay Laboratory

  • The Paul Talalay Laboratory examines the molecular mechanisms involved in chemoprotection against cancer. The susceptibility of animals and their cells to the mutagenic and neoplastic effects of chemical carcinogens and reactive oxygen intermediates depends on the balance between the activities of enzymes involved in the metabolic activation and inactivation (detoxication) of these agents. The activities of these enzymes are regulated by a wide variety of chemical agents, and these modulations result in protection against cancer. We have developed animal and cell culture systems to analyze the molecular signals that regulate detoxication enzymes. With the help of these systems, we have identified and isolated from edible plants (e.g., vegetables) potent enzyme inducers. These minor dietary constituents block chemical carcinogenesis. We use biochemical, molecular and cell biological techniques to develop strategies for reducing the risk of developing cancer by identifying phytochemical enzyme inducers in edible plants and evaluating their efficacy in cells, animals and humans.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, enzymes, moleculary biology, cell biology, chemoprotection, cancer