Peter J Mullen

Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

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Peter J. Mullen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC). He has a secondary appointment in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at USC.
He has spent over 10 years studying the regulation and role of metabolism in tumor growth and viral infections. The overall goal of his recently established lab is to understand how whole-body metabolism alters respiratory virus replication, cancer progression and aging. By elucidating specific requirements for different nutrients, he aims to identify and develop novel strategies that reduce disease and increase lifespan.


  • The aging tumor metabolic microenvironment Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2023 Dec; 84:102995. . View in PubMed
  • Differential integrated stress response and asparagine production drive symbiosis and therapy resistance of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells Nat Cancer. 2022 11; 3(11):1386-1403. . View in PubMed
  • The Metabolic Relationship Between Viral Infection and Cancer Annual Review of Cancer Biology. 2022; 6:1-15. . View in PubMed
  • Methionine restriction forces Epstein-Barr virus out of latency Cell Metab. 2022 09 06; 34(9):1229-1231. . View in PubMed
  • Asparagine couples mitochondrial respiration to ATF4 activity and tumor growthCell Metab. 2021 05 04; 33(5):1013-1026. e6. . View in PubMed
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection rewires host cell metabolism and is potentially susceptible to mTORC1 inhibition Nat Commun. 2021 03 25; 12(1):1876. . View in PubMed
  • A pilot window-of-opportunity study of preoperative fluvastatin in localized prostate cancer Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2020 12; 23(4):630-637. . View in PubMed
  • An actionable sterol-regulated feedback loop modulates statin sensitivity in prostate cancer Mol Metab. 2019 07; 25:119-130. . View in PubMed
  • MYC Interacts with the G9a Histone Methyltransferase to Drive Transcriptional Repression and TumorigenesisCancer Cell. 2018 10 08; 34(4):579-595. e8. . View in PubMed
  • Extracellular Matrix Remodeling Regulates Glucose Metabolism through TXNIP DestabilizationCell. 2018 09 20; 175(1):117-132. e21. . View in PubMed
  • Statin-Induced Cancer Cell Death Can Be Mechanistically Uncoupled from Prenylation of RAS Family Proteins Cancer Res. 2018 03 01; 78(5):1347-1357. . View in PubMed
  • Inhibition of pH regulation as a therapeutic strategy in hypoxic human breast cancer cells Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 27; 8(26):42857-42875. . View in PubMed
  • Antitumour activity of the novel flavonoid Oncamex in preclinical breast cancer models Br J Cancer. 2016 Apr 12; 114(8):905-16. . View in PubMed
  • The role of HDAC2 in chromatin remodelling and response to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 26; 7(4):4695-711. . View in PubMed
  • The interplay between cell signalling and the mevalonate pathway in cancer Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 11; 16(11):718-731. . View in PubMed
  • Simvastatin induces mitochondrial dysfunction and increased atrogin-1 expression in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and mice in vivo Arch Toxicol. 2016 Jan; 90(1):203-15. . View in PubMed
  • Genome-wide RNAi analysis reveals that simultaneous inhibition of specific mevalonate pathway genes potentiates tumor cell death Oncotarget. 2015 Sep 29; 6(29):26909-21. . View in PubMed
  • Evaluation of carbonic anhydrase IX as a therapeutic target for inhibition of breast cancer invasion and metastasis using a series of in vitro breast cancer models Oncotarget. 2015 Sep 22; 6(28):24856-70. . View in PubMed
  • AML cells have low spare reserve capacity in their respiratory chain that renders them susceptible to oxidative metabolic stress Blood. 2015 Mar 26; 125(13):2120-30. . View in PubMed
  • Immediate utility of two approved agents to target both the metabolic mevalonate pathway and its restorative feedback loop Cancer Res. 2014 Sep 01; 74(17):4772-82. . View in PubMed
  • Largen: a molecular regulator of mammalian cell size control Mol Cell. 2014 Mar 20; 53(6):904-15. . View in PubMed
  • Identifying molecular features that distinguish fluvastatin-sensitive breast tumor cells Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Jan; 143(2):301-12. . View in PubMed
  • MYC phosphorylation at novel regulatory regions suppresses transforming activity Cancer Res. 2013 Nov 01; 73(21):6504-15. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of short- and long-term treatment with valproate on carnitine homeostasis in humans Ther Drug Monit. 2012 Aug; 34(4):406-14. . View in PubMed
  • Model-based global sensitivity analysis as applied to identification of anti-cancer drug targets and biomarkers of drug resistance in the ErbB2/3 network Eur J Pharm Sci. 2012 Jul 16; 46(4):244-58. . View in PubMed
  • Susceptibility to simvastatin-induced toxicity is partly determined by mitochondrial respiration and phosphorylation state of Akt Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Dec; 1813(12):2079-87. . View in PubMed
  • Trastuzumab and pertuzumab produce changes in morphology and estrogen receptor signaling in ovarian cancer xenografts revealing new treatment strategies Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jul 01; 17(13):4451-61. . View in PubMed
  • Matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 in the cochlea: expression and activity after aminoglycoside exposition Neuroscience. 2011 May 05; 181:28-39. . View in PubMed
  • Sprouty 2 is an independent prognostic factor in breast cancer and may be useful in stratifying patients for trastuzumab therapy PLoS One. 2011; 6(8):e23772. . View in PubMed
  • Tyrosine phosphorylation profiling reveals the signaling network characteristics of Basal breast cancer cells Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 15; 70(22):9391-401. . View in PubMed
  • Pertuzumab for the treatment of ovarian cancer Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2010 Jul; 10(7):1113-20. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of simvastatin on cholesterol metabolism in C2C12 myotubes and HepG2 cells, and consequences for statin-induced myopathy Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Apr 15; 79(8):1200-9. . View in PubMed
  • Systems biology reveals new strategies for personalizing cancer medicine and confirms the role of PTEN in resistance to trastuzumab Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 15; 69(16):6713-20. . View in PubMed
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor levels and cell context affect tumor cell responses to agonist in vitro and in vivo Cancer Res. 2008 Aug 01; 68(15):6331-40. . View in PubMed
  • Comparison of strategies targeting Raf-1 mRNA in ovarian cancer Int J Cancer. 2006 Mar 15; 118(6):1565-71. . View in PubMed
  • Altered ErbB receptor signaling and gene expression in cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer Cancer Res. 2005 Aug 01; 65(15):6789-800. . View in PubMed