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Center for Human Nutrition

 

Luigi De Luca

Senior Associate
Academic Degrees
Doctorate, Institute of Biological Chemistry of the University of Pavia
Departmental Affiliation
International Health
Phone: 410-614-4483
Fax: 410-955-0196
Research and Professional Experience

The Involvement of Retinoids in Carcinogenesis and Differentiation

There is general agreement that carcinogenesis results from alterations in normal differentiation pathways. It is also well documented that retinoids are essential for the maintenance of normal epithelial differentiation and function. Our research effort tests the hypothesis that something goes fundamentally wrong in the metabolism and function of retinoids during the process of carcinogenesis in general and that this may significantly contribute to malignant progression. Indeed we have found that in certain human breast cancer cells the rexinoid receptor RXR is confined to the splicing factor compartment and as such not available for transcription regulation by rexinoids. When disengaged from that compartment it renders the cells apoptotic in response to rexinoids, thereby offering a possible new way to control cancer cell growth in the human breast.

Keywords

  • nutrition and cancer
  • carcinogenesis
  • cell differentiation

Honors and Awards

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1971-1972 Visiting Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of Tokyo, April and May l976

Mead Johnson Award for Research in Nutrition from the American Institute of Nutrition, 1978 President, NCI Assembly of Scientists, 1982

Gold Medal Award of the City of Maglie, Italy, April 15, 1985

NCI EEO Special Achievement Award, September, 1987

Rockefeller Foundation Scholar, Bellagio, Italy, March, 1988

Visiting Professor, Golgi Institute of Pathology, University of Pavia, Italy, April and May, 1988

Visiting Professor, Department of Histology and General Embryology, University of Rome, Italy, March-April, 1993 Visiting Professor, First Department of Medicine, Gifu, Japan, May 14-27, 1993

Visiting Professor, Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Norway, June, 1993

Visiting Professor, Department of Histology and General Embryology, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, November 17-30, 1994

Gold Medal Award of the Casarano, Italy, Lion's Club, December 3, 1994

Visiting Professor, Department of Biology and Molecular Pathology, University of Naples, Naples, Italy, December 5-10, 1994

Visiting Professor, Department of Biology and Molecular Pathology, University of Naples, Naples, Italy, November 20-24, 1995

Adjunct Professor, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, November 1, 1995 to June 30, 1998

Research Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of Maryland, College Park, January 1, 1999-

Performance Award from the Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis and Tumor Promotion, 1998, and Visiting Professor, Department of Classics, Spring 2005

Welcome Visiting Professor in the Basic Medical Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, 1999.

Technology Transfer Award of the Division of Basic Sciences, NCI, NIH, August 1999.

Technology Transfer Award of the Division of Basic Sciences, NCI, NIH, August 2000.

Commendatore of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity in recognition of the support provided to young scholars, August 2002.

Main Speaker: National Society of Vitaminology, Nagasaki, Japan, May 2007

 

 

Selected Publications

p21WAF1/CIP1 is a common transcriptional target of retinoid receptors pleiotropic regulatory mechanism through RAR/RXR heterodimer and RXR/RXR homodimer. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jul 26; [Epub ahead of print] by Takemi Tanaka, Su K.S., Lo A. and Luigi M. De Luca

Jacobs, S., Lie, D.C., DeCicco, K.L. Shi, Y., De Luca, L.M., Gage, F.H., Evans, R.M.: “ Retinoic acid is required early during adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar 7;103(10):3902-7.

Simmons ,D.P., Peach , M.L., Friedman , J.L., Green , M.M.B., Nicklaus, M.C., De Luca, L.M.: “Evidence that sequence homologous region in LRAT-like proteins possesses anti-proliferative activity and DNA binding properties: translational implications and mechanism of action”. Carcinogenesis, 27:693-707, 2006