Heather L. Howie

Learn More
MYC oncogene family members are broadly implicated in human cancers, yet are considered "undruggable" as they encode transcription factors. MYC also carries out essential functions in proliferative tissues, suggesting that its inhibition could cause severe side effects. We elected to identify synthetic lethal interactions with c-MYC overexpression (MYC-SL)(More)
The role of the E6 oncoprotein from high-risk members of the α human papillomavirus genus in anogenital cancer has been well established. However, far less is known about the E6 protein from the β human papillomavirus genus (β-HPVs). Some β-HPVs potentially play a role in non-melanoma skin cancer development, although they are not required for tumor(More)
The E6 oncoprotein from high-risk genus alpha human papillomaviruses (α-HPVs), such as HPV 16, has been well characterized with respect to the host-cell proteins it interacts with and corresponding signaling pathways that are disrupted due to these interactions. Less is known regarding the interacting partners of E6 from the genus beta papillomaviruses(More)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) types from the beta genus (beta-HPVs) have been implicated in the development of skin cancer. A potentially important aspect of their carcinogenic role is the ability of the E6 protein to degrade the proapoptotic family member Bak, which gives cells the ability to survive UV damage. However, it is unknown if the ability to degrade(More)
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) belonging to the Betapapillomavirus genus have recently been implicated in squamous cell carcinomas of the skin, though the mechanisms by which they initiate carcinogenesis are unclear. We show that human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) expressing several betapapillomavirus E6 (beta-E6) proteins display life span extension, but(More)
Neisseria gonorrhoeae expressing type IV pili (Tfp) activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and induces a cytoprotective state in the epithelial cell in a manner that is enhanced by pilT. As the ERK signaling pathway is well-known for its role in cytoprotection and cell survival, we tested the hypothesis that ERK is involved in producing this(More)
The papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses that encode approximately eight genes, and require the host cell DNA replication machinery for their viral DNA replication. Thus papillomaviruses have evolved strategies to induce host cell DNA synthesis balanced with strategies to protect the cell from unscheduled replication. While the papillomavirus E1 and E2(More)
The Neisseria gonorrhoeae type IV pilus is a retractile appendage that can generate forces near 100 pN. We tested the hypothesis that type IV pilus retraction influences epithelial cell gene expression by exerting tension on the host membrane. Wild-type and retraction-defective bacteria altered the expression of an identical set of epithelial cell genes(More)
MYC-induced DNA damage is exacerbated in WRN-deficient cells, leading to replication stress and accelerated cellular senescence. To determine whether WRN deficiency impairs MYC-driven tumor development, we used both xenograft and autochthonous tumor models. Conditional silencing of WRN expression in c-MYC overexpressing non-small cell lung cancer xenografts(More)
Previous studies have demonstrated that the divalent cation manganese (Mn) causes PC12 cells to form neurites in the absence of NGF. Since divalent cations modulate the binding affinity and specificity of integrins, and integrin function affects neurite outgrowth, we tested the hypothesis that Mn induces neurite outgrowth through an integrin-dependent(More)