From Human Oncology
Verma Lab Page
- B.Sc. (Biochemistry) Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.
- M.Sc. (Honors) (Biochemistry) Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.
- Ph.D. (Biochemistry) Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
The major goals of my laboratory research are to define the in vivo link of protein kinase C (PKC) and its associated signaling components to the development of two major human cancers, skin and prostate. PKC represents a family of at least 12 lipid-dependent serine/threonine kinases, which are differentially expressed in various tissues and play distinct roles in several signal transduction pathways which regulate a wide variety of cellular stimuli. PKC is the major receptor for the tumor promotering phorbol esters and is also activated by a variety of stress factors including ultraviolet radiation. To determine the functional specificity of PKC isoforms in mouse skin carcinogenesis, we used both PKC knockout (KO) and PKC overexpressing transgenic mice. Over a decade of research, we have found that PKCe is the key PKC isoform linked to the induction of squamous cell carcinoma, a non-melanoma human skin cancer, which can be metastatic. Also, PKCe levels correlate with the aggressiveness of several human cancers including breast, brain and prostate. We and others have shown, using both in vivo experimental animal models and human cancer-derived cell lines, that PKCe-mediated oncogenic activity correlates to its ability to promote cell survival. However, the mechanisms by which PKCe signals cell survival remain elusive. We found that Stat3, which is constitutively activated in a wide variety of human cancers, is a PKCe protein partner. PKC regulates Stat3. Our current research is aimed at defining the PKCe-Stat3 signaling complex and its link to induction and progression of human cancers with primary focus on skin and prostate models.
- 1962-67 Government of India National Merit Scholarship.
- 1966 Gold Medal for ranking first in B.Sc.
- 1967-68 Punjab Agricultural University Merit Scholarship.
- 1968 Certificate of Honor for ranking first in M.Sc.
- 1972-76 The Flinders University of South Australia Merit Scholarship during Ph.D. studies.