George M. Padilla
Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology

The primary focus of our research is centered on the molecular mechanisms of cell growth encompassing the role of cell cyclins and growth factors on cell cycle progression and hormonal induction of apoptosis in cultured malignant cells of human origin. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop chemo- and gene therapy interventions targeted to urological and pancreatic cancers. To this end we recently established and characterized a human bladder cancer cell line (BK-10) and analyzed its karyotype using spectral karyotypic analyses. We recently reported that diethylstilbestrol (DES) and its diphosphate analogue are cytotoxic to androgen-insensitive prostate cancer cells in vitro. The DES-treated cells are blocked at G2/M and enter into apoptosis. We have extended these studies with a variety of established human cancer cell lines which show a spectrum of sensitivity to DES.
The molecular and cellular mechanisms by which fenretinide (4-HPR), a retinoic acid derivative, blocks the the cell cycle and induces apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cancer cells are also under investigation. We recently reported that this analogue induces the de novo synthesis of the growth-inibitory factor, TGFb1, in a dose-dependent, pattern of activity temporally linked to the onset of apotosis.
We have completed a study on the expression of selected tumor suppressor genes and the incidence of chromosomal aberrations in a human (BK-10) bladder cancer cell line using spectral karyotypic and fluorescence in situ hybridization methodologies. We are currently analyzing the inhibition of human pancreatic xenograft growth in nude mice using 6-methylenic steroids.

Current Projects:
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Rhatinam S. Selvan, Ph.D. (Assistant Research Professor, Experimental Surgery). Cellular and immunological mechanisms of growth inhibition in human pancreatic cancer cells and xenografts in nude mice.
Hesed Padilla-Nash, Ph.D. (Investigator, Human Genome Research Institutte, NIH). Spectral karyotypic analysis and in situ fluorescence analysis of gene expression in human BK-10 bladder cancer cells.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 325A Nanaline H Duke, Durham, NC 27708
  • Cell Biology, Box 3709 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

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