Susan Koujak

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Pathway-specific therapy is the future of cancer management. The oncogenic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in solid tumors; however, currently, no reliable test for PI3K pathway activation exists for human tumors. Taking advantage of the observation that loss of PTEN, the negative regulator of PI3K, results in robust(More)
Basal-like breast cancer (BBC) is a subtype of breast cancer with poor prognosis. Inherited mutations of BRCA1, a cancer susceptibility gene involved in double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair, lead to breast cancers that are nearly always of the BBC subtype; however, the precise molecular lesions and oncogenic consequences of BRCA1 dysfunction are poorly(More)
Carcinoma is an altered state of tissue differentiation in which epithelial cells no longer respond to cues that keep them in their proper position. A break down in these cues has disastrous consequences not only in cancer but also in embryonic development when cells of various lineages must organize into discrete entities to form a body plan. Paraxial(More)
PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog on chromosome 10) is a tumor suppressor whose cellular regulation remains incompletely understood. We identified phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate RAC exchanger 2a (P-REX2a) as a PTEN-interacting protein. P-REX2a mRNA was more abundant in human cancer cells and significantly increased in tumors with wild-type PTEN(More)
Lesions of ERBB2, PTEN, and PIK3CA activate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway during cancer development by increasing levels of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP(3)). 3-Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) is the first node of the PI3K signal output and is required for activation of AKT. PIP(3) recruits PDK1 and AKT to the(More)
Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and critical activator of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT pathway. IGF-1R is required for oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis. These observations have spurred anticancer drug discovery and development efforts for both biological and small-molecule IGF-1R(More)
Mutations in the phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN)/phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-alpha (PI3K) signaling pathway are frequently found in human cancer. In addition, Pten(+/-) mice develop tumors in multiple organs because of the activation of the PI3K signaling cascade. Because activation of PI3K signaling leads to feedback inhibition of insulin(More)
Depending on the circumstance, FOXO (Forkhead O) (FOXO1, FOXO3, and FOXO4) transcription factors activate the expression of markedly different sets of genes to produce different phenotypic effects. For example, distinct FOXO-regulated transcriptional programs stimulate cell death or enhance organism life span. To gain insight into how FOXOs select specific(More)
The ability of minocycline to inhibit processing of tetanus toxoid (TT) for presentation to human T cells was tested. Peripheral blood antigen presenting cells (APC) were incubated with TT before or after addition of test compounds for 4 h. APC were then fixed with paraformaldehyde, and added to autologous TT-responsive T cell lines for a proliferation(More)
To address the impact of partial reduction of Pten on tumor initiation, we generated PtenshRNA mice, in which PTEN expression was reduced below normal levels in various tissues. PtenshRNA mice frequently developed lymphoid and prostatic hyperplasia, splenomegaly, and sebaceous adenomas. Our observations support the notion that partial reduction of the dose(More)