Dr. Gary L. Johanning
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Michale E. Keeling Center/Department of Veterinary Sciences
My laboratory is located in Bastrop, Texas, at UT Science Park -Veterinary Sciences
- Vitamins and resistance to cancer chemotherapy
- Glucose and breast cancer
- Human endogenous retroviruses as early breast cancer biomarkers
The major research focus in my laboratory is nutrition and cancer. Since nutrition is an environmental factor that can be controlled, there is potential to manipulate nutrient status to prevent cancer occurrence or recurrence. Our laboratory has found that the vitamin folic acid (folate) prevents development of resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin in human lung and ovarian cancer cell lines. Resistance to chemotherapy greatly limits the effectiveness of agents that are used for chemotherapy. We are currently investigating the mechanism by which folic acid modulates resistance to cisplatin. Another area of interest is glucose and breast cancer. We are evaluating how glucose levels affect breast cancer cell growth. In related work, we are also interested in how dietary carbohydrate modifications prior to weaning affect breast cancer risk in later life. Another area of research in my laboratory is expression of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in breast and ovarian cancer. HERVs are remnants of ancestral exogenous retroviral infections, and our studies to date suggest that HERVs may be silenced in women without breast cancer, and then reactivated specifically in cancer cells. We are evaluating blood serum tests of HERVs as early markers of breast cancer, which might be alternatives to mammograms.
Students doing a tutorial in my laboratory would study folate/cisplatin interactions and human endogenous retrovirus expression in early breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. They would also gain experience in evaluating how early nutrition influences disease risk in later life.
Wang-Johanning F, Radvanyi L, Rycaj K, Plummer JB, Yan P, Sastry KJ, Piyathilake CJ, Hunt KK, Johanning GL (2008) Human endogenous retrovirus K triggers an antigen-specific immune response in breast cancer patients. Cancer Res 68:5869-77.
Wang-Johanning F, Liu J, Rycaj K, Huang M, Tsai K, Rosen DG, Chen DT, Lu DW, Barnhart KF, Johanning GL (2007) Expression of multiple human endogenous retrovirus surface envelope proteins in ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer 120:81-90.
Piyathilake CJ, Azrad M, Macaluso M, Johanning GL, Cornwell PE, Partridge EE, Heimburger DC (2007) Protective association of MTHFR polymorphism on cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is modified by riboflavin status. Nutrition 23:229-235.
Wang-Johanning F, Huang M, Liu J, Rycaj K, Plummer JB, Barnhart KF, Satterfield WC, Johanning GL (2007) Sheep stromal-epithelial cell interactions and ovarian tumor progression. Int J Cancer 121: 2346-54.
Whiteside MA, Piyathilake CJ, Bushell TM, Johanning GL (2006) Intrinsic cisplatin resistance in lung and ovarian cancer cells propagating in medium acutely depleted of folate. Nutr Cancer 54:274-284.
Whiteside MA, Chen DT, Desmond RA, Abdulkadir SA, Johanning GL (2004) A novel time-course cDNA microarray analysis method identifies genes associated with the development of cisplatin resistance. Oncogene 23:744-752.