Keena S. Thomas

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Current therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) target individual tumor cells. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is activated in PDA, and levels are inversely associated with survival. We investigated the effects of PF-562,271 (a small-molecule inhibitor of FAK/PYK2) on (i) in vitro migration, invasion, and proliferation; (ii) tumor proliferation,(More)
High expression of the adaptor molecule Cas has been linked to resistance to the antiestrogen tamoxifen, both in tissue culture and in human tumors. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which overexpression of Cas confers resistance to tamoxifen. Cas overexpression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells was shown to alleviate both(More)
Macrophages are a key component of the innate immune system. In this study, we investigate how focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the related kinase Pyk2 integrate adhesion signaling and growth factor receptor signaling to regulate diverse macrophage functions. Primary bone marrow macrophages isolated from mice in which FAK is conditionally deleted from cells(More)
Binding of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) to its receptor activates diverse cell signaling pathways. How these signals are integrated so that cell physiology is altered remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells and HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells on serum-coated surfaces is stimulated by agents(More)
Resistance to chemotherapy remains a major obstacle for the treatment of breast cancer. Understanding the molecular mechanism(s) of resistance is crucial for the development of new effective therapies to treat this disease. This study examines the putative role of p130(Cas) (Cas) in resistance to the cytotoxic agent Adriamycin. High expression of Cas in(More)
Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and vitronectin activate cell-signaling pathways by binding to the uPA receptor (uPAR). Because uPAR is glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored, the signaling receptor is most likely a uPAR-containing multiprotein complex. This complex may be heterogeneous within a single cell and among different cell types. The goal(More)
Antiestrogens such as tamoxifen are widely used in the clinic to treat estrogen receptor-positive breast tumors. Resistance to tamoxifen can occur either de novo or develop over time in a large proportion of these tumors. Additionally, resistance is associated with enhanced motility and invasiveness in vitro. One molecule that has been implicated in(More)
The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP-1) binds and mediates the endocytosis of multiple ligands, transports the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and other membrane proteins into endosomes, and binds intracellular adaptor proteins involved in cell signaling. In this paper, we show that in murine embryonic fibroblasts(More)
The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is released from human cancers and is readily detected in blood. In animal models, soluble uPAR (SuPAR) antagonizes cancer progression; however, the mechanism by which SuPAR functions in vivo remains unclear. It is generally thought that SuPAR scavenges uPA and prevents its interaction with(More)
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) expresses mitogenic activity by a mechanism that requires the EGF receptor (EGFR). We report that murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) proliferate in response to EGF only when these cells express the urokinase receptor (uPAR). EGFR expression was equivalent in uPAR-/- and uPAR+/+ MEFs. In response to EGF, these cells(More)