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Raquel Sitcheran

Raquel Sitcheran

Assistant Professor

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine

Room 105 Reynolds Medical Building
1114 TAMU

College Station , TX 77843-1114
Office Phone: (979) 845-6353

Education:

  1. B.A., Biology, Columbia University, 1992
  2. Ph.D., Physiology and Genetics, University of California, San Francisco, 2000
  3. Post-doc., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Dr. Albert Baldwin)

Biography:

Raquel Sitcheran is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine. She was a Research Associate at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill from 2006-2009 before joining the faculty at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in September 2009.

The goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control NF-κB regulatory networks in the central nervous system (CNS). NF-κB is a ubiquitously expressed, evolutionarily conserved transcription factor that responds to a variety of signals and regulates fundamental processes, including cell growth and proliferation, inflammation, invasion and angiogenesis. Indeed, aberrant NF-κB activity or expression is associated with many cancers, as it can promote tumorigenesis, tumor progression and resistance to therapy. Our focus is on glioblastoma, a common and highly lethal CNS tumor that is very resistant to current treatment strategies. Previously, we demonstrated that in glioblastoma cells, signaling crosstalk between metabotropic glutamate receptors and EGFR leads to increased activation of NF-κB. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach to investigate how different signals regulate NF-κB and how de-regulation of the NF-κB pathway impacts cancer cell growth, self-renewal and survival.

Specifically, we are employing 1) biochemical, cellular and molecular strategies to compare how different signals regulate NF-κB activity in normal neural cells and cancer cells, 2) bioinformatics analysis of NF-κB-dependent genes and microRNAs involved in glioblastoma survival and pathogenesis, and 3) mouse models to investigate NF-κB signaling in glioblastoma and normal neural cells in vivo.

Our studies are relevant to understanding the role of NF-κB in both normal and cancer stem cells and will facilitate identifying components of this regulatory network that can be targeted for therapeutic strategies of glioblastoma, as well as other diseases.

Selected Publications:

Lee DW, Ramakrishnan D, Valenta J, Parney IF, Bayless KJ, Sitcheran R. 2013. The NF-κB RelB Protein Is an Oncogenic Driver of Mesenchymal Glioma. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57489. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057489.

Comb W, Cogswell P, Sitcheran R, Baldwin AS. 2010. IKK-Dependent, NF-κB-Independent Control of Expression of Key Autophagic Genes. Oncogene. Apr 7;30(14):1727-32.

O’Shaughnessy MJ, Bogtenhuber C, Sun K, Sitcheran R, Baldwin AS, Murphy WJ, Dang L, Jafee B, Palmer E, Serody JS, Blazar BR. 2009. Ex vivo inhibition of NF-κB signaling in alloreactive T cells prevents graft-versus-host disease. Amer. J. Transplantation. Mar;9(3):452-62.

Williams KL, Lord CA, Savitzky D, Sitcheran R, Calame K, Wright JR, Ting JPY. 2009. Blimp-1 regulates TLR- mediated repression of the NLRP12 gene in myeloid cells. Journal of Immunology. 182(5):2948-58.

Steinbrecher, K.A., Harmel-Laws, E., Sitcheran, R., and Baldwin, A.S. 2008. Loss of epithelial RelA results in deregulated intestinal proliferative/apoptotic homeostasis and susceptibility to inflammation. J Immunol 180: 2588-2599.

Sitcheran, R., Comb, W.C., Cogswell, P.C., and Baldwin, A.S. 2008. Essential role for epidermal growth factor receptor in glutamate receptor signaling to NF-kappaB. Mol Cell Biol 28: 5061-5070.

Sitcheran, R., Gupta, P., Fisher, P.B., and Baldwin, A.S. 2005. Positive and negative regulation of EAAT2 by NF-kappaB: a role for N-myc in TNFalpha-controlled repression. EMBO J 24: 510-520.

Loercher, A., Lee, T.L., Ricker, J.L., Howard, A., Geoghegen, J., Chen, Z., Sunwoo, J.B., Sitcheran, R., Chuang, E.Y., Mitchell, J.B. et al. 2004. Nuclear factor-kappaB is an important modulator of the altered gene expression profile and malignant phenotype in squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Res 64: 6511-6523.

Sitcheran, R., Cogswell, P.C., and Baldwin, A.S., Jr. 2003. NF-kappaB mediates inhibition of mesenchymal cell differentiation through a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism. Genes Dev 17: 2368-2373.

Alumni:

John Valenta

Research Interests:

Bioinformatics and Genomics:

NF-kappaB regulation of mitochondrial function in cancer cell invasion and metabolism

Medical Genetics - Human and Animal:

NF-kappaB regulation of mitochondrial function in cancer cell invasion and metabolism

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics:

NF-kappaB regulation of mitochondrial function in cancer cell invasion and metabolism