Dr. Leonard Rome studies vaults, which are tiny containers found within human cells. Vaults are highly-conserved subcellular particles found in thousands of copies inside all higher eukaryotic cells. Vault numbers are often amplified in cancer cells that have acquired resistance to chemotherapy, a condition called multi-drug resistance, in which cancer cells are immune to the drugs trying to kill them. Rome and his colleagues, world leaders on vault research, are working to deplete vault content in cells to prevent drug resistance, which would be a major advance for cancer patients.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Kickhoefer VA, Garcia Y, Mikyas Y, Johansson E, Zhou JC, Raval-Fernandes S, Minoofar P, Zink JI, Dunn B, Stewart PL, Rome LH. Engineering of vault nanocapsules with enzymatic and fluorescent properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005; 102(12): 4348-52.
Emre N, Raval-Fernandes S, Kickhoefer VA, Rome LH. Analysis of MVP and VPARP promoters indicates a role for chromatin remodeling in the regulation of MVP. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004; 1678(1): 33-46.
Liu Y, Snow BE, Kickhoefer VA, Erdmann N, Zhou W, Wakeham A, Gomez M, Rome LH, Harrington L. Vault poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase is associated with mammalian telomerase and is dispensable for telomerase function and vault structure in vivo. Mol Cell Biol. 2004; 24(12): 5314-23.
Mikyas Y, Makabi M, Raval-Fernandes S, Harrington L, Kickhoefer VA, Rome LH, Stewart PL. Cryoelectron microscopy imaging of recombinant and tissue derived vaults: localization of the MVP N termini and VPARP. J Mol Biol. 2004; 344(1): 91-105.
Kickhoefer VA, Emre N, Stephen AG, Poderycki MJ, Rome LH. Identification of conserved vault RNA expression elements and a non-expressed mouse vault RNA gene. Gene. 2003; 309(2): 65-70.