Professor, Eppley Institute
Courtesy Appointment: Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & AnatomyProgram Leader, Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program
Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Tel: 402-559-6097 (Office)
Colon Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Cell signaling, Cell Cycle Regulation, Protein Kinase C
Summary of Research:
Dysregulation of the cellular signaling networks involved in control of normal cell proliferation, differentiation, and death is a key mechanism underlying the transformed phenotype. An approach used in the therapy of cancer is to target the signals that are subverted during malignancy and thus restore normal control mechanisms. Major goals of our laboratory are to understand the role of members of the protein kinase C (PKC) family in control of intestinal tissue homeostasis and transformation, to evaluate the prognostic value of the PKC enzyme system in colon cancer, and to explore the potential of targeting PKC signaling for colon cancer management and/or therapy. Similar studies are being performed in the endometrium. PKC isozymes, which comprise ~ 2% of the eukaryotic protein kinase family, have been implicated in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. Our studies address the role of these molecules in regulation of cell growth and cell cycle progression, differentiation, survival/apoptosis, receptor trafficking and tumorigenesis. An additional interest is to dissect the signaling events triggered by phorbol esters and bryostatins, natural products that potently activate and subsequently desensitize PKC isozymes. A final goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of PKC expression, activation and desensitization in normal and neoplastic cells.