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Tien C. Ko, M.D.
Associate Professor
Departments of Surgery and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
email:  tko@utmb.edu


TGF-b and the gastrointestinal tract 

Transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b) signals through serine/threonine kinase receptors to regulate proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation of many tissues.  The focus of my laboratory is to investigate the signaling mechanisms by which TGF-b regulates cellular responses in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  TGF-b signaling involves activation of Smad2 and Smad3 proteins which translocate into the nucleus to regulation transcription.  TGF-b also signals through mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs).  Our ongoing projects includes 1) characterizing the role of Smads in TGF-b regulation of cell division and apoptosis, 2) characterizing the role of MAPKs in the cross-talk between TGF-b and other cytokines, 3) identifying novel downstream targets of Smads, 4) identifying mechanisms of inactivation of TGF-b signaling in GI cancer.



Ko TC, Pan F, Sheng H, Brown DB, Thompson EA, Beauchamp RD.  Cyclin D3 is essential for intestinalepithelial cell proliferation.  World J Surg  26:812-818, 2002.

Gong J, Ammanamanchi S, Ko TC, Brattain MG.  Transforming growth factor beta 1 increases the stability of p21/WAF1/CIP1 protein and inhibits CDK2 kinase activity in human colon carcinoma FET cells.  Cancer Res  63:3340-3346, 2003.

 

Awwad RA, Sergina N, Yang H, Ziober B, Willson JKV, Zborowska E, Humphrey LE, Fan R, Ko TC, Brattain MG, Howell GM.  The role of transforming growth factor a in determining growth factor independence.  Cancer Res 63:4731-4738, 2003.

 

Conery AR, Cao Y, Thompson EA, Townsend CM Jr, Ko TC, Luo K.  Akt interacts directly with Smad3 to regulate the sensitivity to TGF-beta induced apoptosis.  Nat Cell Biol 6:366-72, 2004.

 

Ko TC, Evers BM.  Molecular and Cell Biology.  In: Townsend CM Jr (ed). Sabistonís Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice, 17th Edition.  WB Saunders, Philadelphia, PA (in press).


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  Last Revised:  Jan. 19. 2006