Dr. Hermes Garban’s research focuses on three major areas: molecular tumor immunobiology, regulation of gene expression and nitric oxide biology and signaling. Tumor immune-tolerance is one of multiple mechanisms utilized by cancer cells in order to evade the immune system. Garban’s laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms involved in the tumor-dependent modulation of immune-tolerance and tumor resistance to programmed cell death or apoptosis. Their central hypothesis is that cancer cells are acquiring a new profile of gene expression by the activation of genetic and/or epigenetic signals that are directing the survival of cancer cells even in a perfectly normal immunocompetent environment. Thus, determining the mechanisms of control of these ectopically expressed genes (i.e., FOXP3, ROBO4, COX2, YY1, TRAF6, Survivin, etc.) and their role in tumor-derived immune-tolerance and resistance to apoptosis will provide new insight in the mechanisms of tumor immune evasion, define better-targeted immunotherapy strategies and improve the effectiveness of conventional therapies against cancer. In addition, Garban’s lab is interested in studying the role of Nitric Oxide (NO) and other reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the regulation of gene expression in the above-mentioned paradigm.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Bonavida B, Khineche S, Huerta-Yepez S, Garban H. Therapeutic potential of nitric oxide in cancer. Drug Resist Updat. 2006; 9:157-73.
Schumacher LY, Vo DD, Garban HJ, Comin-Anduix B, Owens SK, Dissette VB, Glaspy JA, McBride WH, Bonavida B, Economou JS, Ribas A. Immunosensitization of tumor cells to dendritic cell-activated immune responses with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (PS-341, Velcade). J Immunol. 2006; 176:4757-4765.
Garban HJ, Marquez-Garban DC, Pietras RJ, Ignarro LJ. Rapid nitric oxide-mediated S-nitrosylation of estrogen receptor: regulation of estrogen-dependent gene transcription. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 15;102(7):2632-6. Epub 2005 Feb 7.
Hongo F, Garban H, Huerta-Yepez S, Vega M, Jazirehi AR, Mizutani Y, Miki T, Bonavida B. Inhibition of the transcription factor Yin Yang 1 activity by S-nitrosation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005; 336:692-701.
Weinberg OK, Marquez-Garban DC, Fishbein MC, Goodglick L, Garban HJ, Dubinett SM, Pietras RJ. Aromatase inhibitors in human lung cancer therapy. Cancer Res. 2005; 65: 11287-11291.