Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Ourania Andrisani

Ourania Andrisani Profile Picture

Professor of Basic Medical Sciences
Ph.D., New York State University, 1982


Contact Info:

andrisao@purdue.edu
765-494-8131


Training Group(s):
Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology
Integrative Neuroscience


Current Research Interests:

For 19 years my laboratory has investigated mechanisms of signal transduction regulating cell growth and differentiation. Our studies have contributed significantly to understanding the mechanism by which the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) X oncoprotein induces oncogenic transformation of hepatocytes. My laboratory has also contributed to understanding signal transduction mechanisms involved in neuronal differentiation and identified a novel mechanism acting as a “molecular timer,” mediating differentiation of noradrenergic neurons.

Our ongoing studies of the HBV X protein and liver cancer pathogenesis, in collaboration with a team of physicians (Drs. F. Zoulim and P. Merle) and virologists (Drs. F. Zoulim and S. Menne), have as their goal to apply the basic science mechanisms we have discovered at the bench to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of HBV-mediated liver cancer in humans. We will investigate the role and regulation of the chromatin remodeling complex PRC2 in HBV-mediated liver cancer pathogenesis. Aspects of this regulation include the role of Polo-like kinase (Plk1) in modulating PRC2 activity, and the role of long noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) in target site selection by the PRC2 complex. Our studies employ cell-based assays and hepatic tumors from animal models of viral pathogenesis and HBV-infected patients.

Likewise, my laboratory, in collaboration with Dr. D. Fekete, from the Biological Sciences Department at Purdue, and Dr. L. Cheng, medical oncologist from Indiana University School of Medicine, aims to apply basic mechanisms of neuronal development we have discovered to understand pathogenesis of human neuroendocrine cancers, as in advanced/recurrent prostate cancer. Specifically, we will investigate the role of hypoxia in inducing microRNA expression, linked to the pathogenesis of advanced prostate cancer.

During these 19 years of investigation, I have advised 7 post-doctoral fellows, 10 Ph.D. and 6 MS students, served on the advisory committee of more than 40 Ph.D. students, and served on these NIH study sections: Endocrinology; Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology; Neurogenesis and Cell Fate; Molecular Oncogenesis; and Cellular and Tissue Oncology P01 Special Emphasis Panel. I have also served as a reviewer for international funding agencies including: the Welcome Trust Foundation; Australian Science Foundation; Israel Science Foundation.



Selected Publications:

1. Studach, L., Rakotomalala, L., Wang, WH., Hullinger, R.L., Cairo, S., Buendia, M.A. and Andrisani, O. (2009). Polo-like kinase1 inhibition suppresses Hepatitis B virus X protein-induced transformation, in an in vitro model of liver cancer progression. Hepatology, 50, 414-423.

2. Studach, L., Wang, WH., Weber, G., Tang, J., Hullinger, R.L., Malbrue, R., Liu, X., and Andrisani O. (2010) Polo-like kinase 1 activated by the hepatitis B virus X protein attenuates both the DNA damage checkpoint and DNA repair resulting in partial polyploidy. J Biol Chem., 285:30282-93. PMID: 20624918

3. Andrisani OM, Studach L, Merle P (2010) Gene signatures in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Semin Cancer Biol. 2010 Sep 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20851183 (Invited review).

4. Wang WH, Studach L, and Andrisani OM. Proteins ZNF198 and SUZ12 are down-regulated in Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) X protein mediated hepatocyte transformation and in HBV replication. Hepatology, 2011 53(4):1137-47. PMID:21480320

5. Paris, M., Wang, W-H., Shin, M-H., Franklin D.S. and Andrisani O.M. (2006) The transcription factor Phox2a coordinates cell cycle exit and catecholaminergic neuron differentiation in CNS-derived and neural crest progenitors via transcriptional induction of p27Kip1. Mol. Cell. Biol., 26, 8826-8839.

6. Shin, M-H., Mavila, N., Wang, WH., Alvarez, S.V., Hall, M. and Andrisani, O. (2009). Time-dependent activation of Phox2a modulates the amplitude and duration of p27Kip1 transcription. Mol. Cell. Biol., 29, 4878-4890.

7. Liang, H, Fekete D, and Andrisani O. (2011) CtBP2 down-regulation during neural crest specification induces expression of Mitf and REST, resulting in melanocyte differentiation and sympathoadrenal lineage suppression. Mol Cell Biol, Mar;31(5):955-70.

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