Toshihiko Kawamori, MD, PhD
- Associate Professor
Cancer Biology Program
University of Hawaii Cancer Center
- MD, PhD, Pathology
Gifu Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan
Dr. Kawamori's lab is investigating roles of the sphingolipid pathways in cancer development using in vivo animal carcinogenesis models with gene-engineered animals (knockout and transgenic mice). Sphingolipids are a family of membrane lipids that contribute to the regulation of the fluidity and the sub-domain structure of lipid bilayers. In addition, bioactive sphingolipids such as ceramide, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), and sphingosine, function as bio-effecter molecules, which are involved in the regulation of various aspects of cancer pathogenesis and therapy, including apoptosis, cell proliferation, cell migration, senescence, angiogenesis, inflammation, and carcinogenesis.
Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1), an inducible enzyme that phosphorylates sphingosine to form S1P, is a critical regulator of sphingolipid-mediated functions, as it not only produces the pro-growth, anti-apoptotic messenger S1P, but also decreases pro-apoptotic ceramide and sphingosine. The lab is trying to understand the mechanisms by which sphingolipid pathways, especially SphK1/S1P pathway, regulate carcinogenesis process and to find mechanisms-based novel and safe targets for chemoprevention against cancer. Cancer chemoprevention is a pharmacological intervention aimed to arrest or reverse the process of carcinogenesis and tumorigenesis and is recognized to be one of the most important strategies for fight against cancer. The lab focuses on mainly colon cancer and head and neck cancer as well as breast cancer.
- Shirai, K., Kaneshiro, T., Wada, M., Furuya, H., Bielawski, J., Hannun, YA., Obeid, LM., Ogretmen, B., Kawamori, T. A role of Sphingosine kinase 1 in head & neck carcinogenesis. Cancer Prevention Research 4: 454-462, 2011.
- Kawamori, T., Kaneshiro, T., Okumura, M., Maalouf, S., Uflacker, A., Bielawski, J., Hannun, YA., Obeid, LM. Role of Sphingosine kinase 1 in colon carcinogenesis. FASEB J. 23: 405-414, 2009.
- Kawamori, T., Osta, W., Johnson, KR., Pettus, BJ., Bielawski, J., Tanaka, T., Wargovich, MJ., Reddy, BS., Hannun, YA., Obeid, LM., Zhou, D. Sphingosine kinase 1 is up-regulated in colon carcinogenesis. FASEB J. 20: 386-388, 2006.
- Kawamori, T., Rao, CV., Seibert, K., Reddy, BS. Chemopreventive activity of celecoxib, a specific cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, against colon carcinogenesis. Cancer Res. 58: 409-412, 1998.
Publication list via PubMed
- T. Kawamori, Principal Investigator
"The Sphingolipid Pathway in Colon Cancer Chemoprevention"
Goal: To determine roles of sphingolipid pathway in colon carcinogenesis and identify novel and safe targets for colon cancer chemoprevention.
January 1, 2009 â€“ December 31, 2013
- Y. Hannun, Principal Investigator
"Sphingolipids in Cancer Biology and Therapy"
Goal: To decipher the roles of sphingolipid-derived mediators in regulating tumors and serving as a platform for novel therapeutic development.
Role: Director, Core C: Animal Core (08/01/2008 â€“ 04/30/2010)
Consultant, Core C: Animal Core (08/01/2010 â€“ 07/31/2013)
August 1, 2008 â€“ July 31, 2013