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Wadie Mahauad Fernandez

Mentor: Chioma Okeoma, Ph.D.
Lab Room: 3-615A BSB
Lab Phone: 319-335-7612

Involvement of the antiviral host factors APOBEC3 and BST-2/Tetherin in tumorigenesis

APOBEC3 and BST-2/tetherin are two host restriction factors (HRFs) that are involved in antiviral responses against different enveloped viruses. APOBEC3 is a cytidine deaminase that represses viral replication by inhibiting reverse transcription, preventing proviral integration, and by inducing hypermutations in the viral genome. On the other hand, BST-2 is a membrane protein that captures budding virions and prevents their release from infected cells.

Recent studies have shown that these proteins are misregulated in cancers and that their expression is both tissue and cancer type-specific. Data from our laboratory shows that members of the PI3K/AKT pathway are misregulated to a higher extent in APOBEC3 KO mice compared to their WT counterparts in both breast and melanoma cancers. My project is directed towards deciphering the functional and molecular roles of these HRFs in cellular transformation and carcinogenesis.

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, Okeoma CM. BST-2: At the crossroads of viral pathogenesis and oncogenesis. Future Virology, 2016.

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, Okeoma CM. The role of BST-2/Tetherin in host protection and disease and manifestation. Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, Review, 2015. Published by John Wiley & Sons.

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, Borcherding NC, Zhang W, Okeoma CM. Bone Marrow Stromal Antigen 2 (BST-2) DNA Is Demethylated in Breast Tumors and Breast Cancer Cells. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 10;10(4):e0123931. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123931. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 25860442.

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, DeMali KA, Olivier AK, Okeoma CM. Bone marrow stromal antigen 2 expressed in cancer cells promotes mammary tumor growth and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res. 2014 Dec 13;16(6):493. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:25499888; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4308845.

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, Jones PH, Okeoma CM. Critical role for bone marrow stromal antigen 2 in acute Chikungunya virus infection. J Gen Virol. 2014 Nov;95(Pt 11):2450-61. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.068643-0. Epub 2014 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 25053563; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4202266.

Jones PH, Mahauad-Fernandez WD, Madison MN, Okeoma CM. BST-2/tetherin is overexpressed in mammary gland and tumor tissues in MMTV-induced mammary cancer. Virology. 2013 Sep;444(1-2):124-39. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2013.05.042. Epub 2013 Jun 25. PubMed PMID: 23806386; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4026021.