Don J. Fujita

Emeritus Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Cell Signalling and Structure

Molecular Biology and Disease

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


Contact information


Research and teaching

Research Activities

A) Studies on the regulation and functions of tyrosine kinases, with particular emphasis on the human c-src gene product cSrc.   cSrc is a master cellular control protein that is involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, angiogenesis and other functions. When its kinase activity is aberrantly activated, cSrc is capable of causing the development and/or progression of various cancers, such as colon and breast cancer.   We have recently shown that an important function of Src involves the targeting and phosphorylation of important tumor suppressor proteins such as pVHL (von Hippel-Lindau),  and ING1b (with K. Riabowol’s lab),  resulting in their destabilization and functional impairment.
 
B) Development and use of strategies to inhibit tumor growth and metastases utilizing RNA interference (RNAi) with specific siRNAs or combinations of siRNAs that knock-down levels of important cancer causing proteins.  Currently, tumor penetrating peptides (TPPs) and TPP-nanoparticle delivery systems are being designed and evaluated for their ability to block breast cancer tumor growth and metastasis in mouse model systems.

Research Areas: 

Molecular Biology and Disease

Cell Signalling and Structure


Publications

PubMed Listings

Recent Publications: 

Bjorge JD, Pang A, Fujita DJ. Delivery of gene targeting siRNAs to breast cancer cells using a multifunctional peptide complex that promotes both targeted delivery and endosomal release. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 30;12(6):e0180578. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180578. eCollection 2017.

Yu L, Thakur S, Leong-Quong RY, Suzuki K, Pang A, Bjorge JD, Riabowol K, Fujita DJ. Src regulates the activity of the ING1 tumor suppressor. PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e60943.

Hossain MI, Roulston CL, Kamaruddin MA, Chu PW, Ng DC, Dusting GJ, Bjorge JD, Williamson NA, Fujita DJ, Cheung SN, Chan TO, Hill AF, Cheng HC. A truncated fragment of Src protein kinase generated by calpain-mediated cleavage is a mediator of neuronal death in excitotoxicity. J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(14):9696-709.

Bjorge JD, Pang AS, Funnell M, Chen KY, Diaz R, Magliocco AM, Fujita DJ.    Simultaneous siRNA targeting of Src and downstream signaling molecules inhibit tumor formation and metastasis of a human model breast cancer cell line. PLoS One. 2011;6(4):e19309.
 
Chou MT, Anthony J, Bjorge JD, Fujita DJ. The von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein Is Destabilized by Src: Implications for Tumor Angiogenesis and Progression. Genes Cancer 2010;1(3):225-238.