Dr. Enrique Rozengurt is a pioneer in the area of cell growth regulation, from the identification of proteins with novel growth-promoting activity to the elucidation of the intracellular pathways that stimulate cell multiplication. He has published about 400 seminal scientific papers that demonstrate that cultured cells can be stimulated to divide by many molecules in a defined medium. He has subsequently focused on the elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate cell multiplication and motility, a process of importance for the invasiveness of cancer cells.
Rozengurt's work on biologically active peptide-mediated growth is an area of special achievement. He discovered that biologically active peptides are potent cellular growth factors for multiple cell types, including human cancer cells. A typical example is small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which follows a very aggressive clinical course and is characterized by the production of multiple biologically active peptides. He has extended this research to biologically active peptide-sensitive human pancreatic cancer cells and has already demonstrated that they promote growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Following these observations, he reasoned that antagonists capable of blocking the biological effects of multiple biologically active peptides (broad-spectrum peptide antagonists) could be effective for the treatment of SCLC and other peptide-sensitive cancers. Following many experiments in cell lines and in an animal model, one of these antagonists has entered into a Phase I clinical study. It is hoped that this research will lead to new forms of treatment for cancer which will complement current therapies.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Jacamo R, Jiang X, Lunn JA, Rozengurt E. FAK phosphorylation at Ser-843 inhibits Tyr-397 phosphorylation, cell spreading and migration. J Cell Physiol. 2007; 210(2): 436-44.
Kisfalvi K, Rey O, Young SH, Sinnett-Smith J, Rozengurt E. Insulin Potentiates Ca2+ Signaling and Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-Bisphosphate Hydrolysis Induced by Gq Protein-Coupled Receptor Agonists through an mTOR-Dependent Pathway. Endocrinology. 2007; 148(7): 3246-57.
Santiskulvong C, Rozengurt E. Protein kinase Calpha mediates feedback inhibition of EGF receptor transactivation induced by Gq-coupled receptor agonists. Cell Signal. 2007; 19(6): 1348-57.
Waldron RT, Whitelegge JP, Faull KF, Rozengurt E. Identification of a novel phosphorylation site in c-jun directly targeted in vitro by protein kinase D. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007; 356(2): 361-7.
Yuan J, Rey O, Rozengurt E. Protein kinase D3 activation and phosphorylation by signaling through G alpha q. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005; 335(2): 270-6.