Dr. Kuk-Wha Lee's research interests involve the study of Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs). Over the past decade, IGFBPs have emerged as intrinsic effectors of cell growth and metabolism -- effects that can be unrelated to their ability to bind IGFs. She studies these molecules in a variety of eukaryotic systems and is involved in a clinical study to bring this to translation as a clinical therapy for men with prostate cancer. In addition, she is interested in the molecular mechanisms by which these molecules induce their tumor suppressive effects, and to that end studies protein partners and intracellular trafficking mechanisms as a means to understand their mode of action.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Lee KW, Cobb LJ, Paharkova-Vatchkova V, Liu B, Milbrandt J, Cohen P. Contribution of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 to the apoptotic action of IGFBP-3. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Aug;28(8):1653-8. Epub 2007 Apr 13.
Lee KW, Ma L, Yan X, Liu B, Zhang XK, Cohen P. Rapid apoptosis induction by IGFBP-3 involves an insulin-like growth factor-independent nucleomitochondrial translocation of RXRalpha/Nur77. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 29;280(17):16942-8. Epub 2005 Feb 24.
Lee KW, Liu B, Ma L, Li H, Bang P, Koeffler HP, Cohen P. Cellular internalization of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3: distinct endocytic pathways facilitate re-uptake and nuclear localization. J Biol Chem. 2004 Jan 2;279(1):469-76. Epub 2003 Oct 22.
Ali O, Cohen P, Lee KW. Epidemiology and Biology of Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3) as an anti-cancer molecule. Horm Metab Res. 2003 Nov-Dec;35(11-12):726-33.
Lee KW, Cohen P. Nuclear effects: unexpected intracellular actions of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3. J Endocrinol. 2002 Oct;175(1):33-40.