Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Ph.D.
Professor of Urology and Cell Biology
Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Bldg., Room 8096
B.S., Bombay University, 1980
M.S., Pune University, 1983
Ph.D., St. Louis University, 1989
Assistant Professor, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Urology, 1994-2001
Associate Professor, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Departments of Urology and
Cell Biology & Anatomy, 2001-2008
Co-Director, Urology Research, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 2006-present
Professor, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Departments of Urology and Cell Biology,
Research Focus: The research focus of our laboratory is mainly on understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression, in order to find better diagnostic and prognostic tumor markers and novel agents to control cancer progression. Specifically we are working on bladder, prostate, and recently kidney, carcinomas. The main focus in my laboratory is how hyaluronic acid (HA), a glycosaminoglycan, and hyaluronidase (HAase), an endoglycosidase that degrades HA, promote tumor growth, metastasis and angiogenesis. Our laboratory was the first to link HAase to tumor progression and to show that it is a molecular determinant of bladder and prostate tumor growth, invasion and angiogenesis. Among the five HAase genes (and a pseudo gene) present in the human genome, we identified HYAL1 as the first tumor-derived HAase, and current work from our laboratory has identified a second HAase that may also function in cancer progression.
Key findings: 1. Development of a non-invasive urine test (HA-HAase test; ~ 85% accuracy) for bladder cancer diagnosis and surveillance. 2. Demonstration that mRNA levels of HYAL1 and HA-synthase-2 in urothelial cells shed in urine are an accurate biomarker for detecting bladder cancer. 3. HYAL1 is an accurate and independent prognostic indicator for predicting muscle invasive bladder cancer and metastasis. 4. Promoter methylation regulates HYAL1 expression in normal and tumor cells/tissues. 5. Development of novel HAase inhibitors as anti-cancer agents.
Current areas of research:
1. Evaluation of HA and HAase inhibitors as anti-tumor agents in prostate and bladder carcinomas; 2.
Investigation of the functions and biomarker potential other HAases in bladder and prostate carcinomas; 3. Investigation of HA, HAase, inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and microRNAs in kidney cancer.
Research and academic perspective: I believe the key reason that our laboratory is able to conduct translational research, is collaborations with clinicians and laboratory researchers. These collaborations provide us an insight into how unmet clinical needs in the areas of biomarkers and experimental therapeutics can be fulfilled with basic research in cell and molecular biology. I work closely with graduate students, residents and fellows in conducting laboratory research, so they can become well trained and well published productive independent investigators in basic and translational research.
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Book Editor: Bladder Tumors: Molecular Aspects and Clinical Management (Lokeshwar, V.B, Hautmann, S. and Merseburger eds) Springer Science and Business Media (2010) In Press
Kramer MW, Golshani R, Merseburger AS, Knapp J, Garcia A, Hennenlotter J, Duncan RC, Soloway MS, Jorda M, Kuczyk MA, Stenzl A, Lokeshwar VB. HYAL-1 Hyaluronidase: A Potential Prognostic Indicator for Progression to Muscle Invasion and Recurrence in Bladder Cancer. Eur Urol. 2009 [Epub ahead of Print]
Lokeshwar VB, Gomez P, Kramer M, Knapp J, McCornack MA, Lopez LE, Fregien N, Dhir N, Scherer S, Klumpp DJ, Manoharan M, Soloway MS, Lokeshwar BL. Epigenetic regulation of HYAL-1 hyaluronidase expression: Identification of HYAL-1 promoter. J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 24;283(43):29215-27
Golshani R, Lopez L, Estrella V, Kramer M, Iida N, Lokeshwar VB. Hyaluronic acid synthase-1 expression regulates bladder cancer growth, invasion, and angiogenesis through CD44. Cancer Res. 2008 Jan 15;68(2):483-91
Golshani R, Hautmann SH, Estrella V, Cohen BL, Kyle CC, Manoharan M, Jorda M, Soloway MS, Lokeshwar VB. HAS1 expression in bladder cancer and its relation to urinary HA test. Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 15;120(8):1712-20
View more published research articles by Dr. Lokeshwar in the National Library of Medicine