Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1979
Research: Regulation of Membrane-bound Carbonic Anhydrases in Breast Cancer
Office: R3-216 ARB
Lab: R3-136 ARB
Telephone: (352) 392-3207
Dr. Susan C. Frost earned her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1979. She was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Arizona for three years where she studied lipid metabolism in neonates. In 1982, she took a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of M. Daniel Lane at Johns Hopkins University where she studied glucose transport in adipocytes. Dr. Frost joined the Faculty at the University of Florida in 1985. She served on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Physiology from 1992 to 2001. Dr. Frost chaired the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 1996 to 1998. She served as the Director of the BMB Ph.D. program from 2007-2010. She is currently a member of the Diabetes and Kidney Diseases B Subcommittee of the NIDDK.
My laboratory studies the regulation of the microenvironment by carbonic anhydrase (CA) in breast cancer cells. We have known for decades that hypoxic conditions in cancer cells lead to the upregulation of the GLUT1 glucose transporter which increases glycolytic activity and accumulation of lactic acid. The protons generated by the synthesis of lactic acid are exported to the micro- environment where they contribute to acidification. There are two membrane-bound CAs that are associated with breast cancer: Carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) and carbonic anhydrase XII (CAXII). CAIX expression is associated with hypoxic regions of breast cancer tumors, metastatic disease, and poor patient prognosis. In contrast, CAXII expression is an indicator of good prognosis, despite catalyzing the same chemical reaction as CAIX. We hypothesize that CAIX is better able to regulate the pH of the microenvironment over that of CAXII which favors cancer cell survival. We are currently testing this hypothesis in cell lines and xenograft tumors.