Cancer Institute

  • Anait S. Levenson

    levenson_anait.jpgAssociate Professor, Department of Pathology 
    Tumor Cell Biology Program
    MD, Biophysics, Second Moscow State Medical Institute, Moscow, USSR, 1981
    PhD, Immunology, Institute of Tuberculosis, Moscow, USSR, 1989
    Postdoc, 1991-94, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
    Postdoc, 1994-98, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

    Contact information
    2500 N State St., Suite G758
    Jackson, MS 39216
    Phone: (601) 815-6072
    E-mail: alevenson@umc.edu

    Research interests

    • Molecular mechanisms of bone metastasis in breast and prostate cancer
    • Chemopreventive and therapeutic potentials of resveratrol and its potent analogues in prostate cancer
    • Epigenetic mechanisms of action by dietary stilbenes : the role of MTA1/HDAC complexes
    • MTA1 signaling pathways in prostate cancer
    • Resveratrol- regulated microRNAs: promising role in cancer prognosis and therapy 

    Research synopsis

    The studies on bone metastases include identification of genes that are involved in the interaction of cancer cells with the bone using gene array technology and further determination of their functional roles in bone metastases by applying siRNA technology and intracardiac models in vivo. Identification of "bone metastastatic signature" allowed us to focus on selected candidate genes that hold promise as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets of bone metastases. We have shown that one of these genes, metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1) plays a critical role in prostate cancer progression by inhibiting apoptosis and promoting angiogenesis. We also have evidence that MTA1 can serve as an independent prognostic marker for aggressive prostate cancer.

    Another major interest is potential chemopreventive and therapeutic efficacy of dietary agents such as resveratrol and its potent analogues in prostate cancer. We found that resveratrol/analogues inhibit MTA1 and rescue acetylation of tumor suppressors p53 and PTEN. The novel MTA1-mediated epigenetic mechanism of action of dietary compounds is under intensive investigation in my laboratory.

    We are also interested in another epigenetic regulatory network which is represented by microRNAs and Epi-microRNAs.

    Selected publications

    • Li K, Dias SJ, Rimando AM, Dhar S, Mizuno CS, Penman AD, Lewin JR and Levenson AS. Pterostilbene acts through metastasis-associated protein 1 to inhibit tumor progression and metastasis in prostate cancer”, PLoS ONE.8:e57542, 2013 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23469203   
    • Dhar S, Hicks C and Levenson AS  Resveratrol and prostate cancer: promising role for microRNAs. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.  55: 1219-1229, 2011 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21714127
    •  Kai L,Wang J, Ivanovic M, Chung Y-T, Laskin WB, Schulze-Hoepfner F, Mirochnik Y, Satcher RL, Levenson AS Targeting prostate cancer angiogenesis through metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1). The Prostate. 71:268-280, 2011 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20717904
    • Kai L, Samuel SK, Levenson AS  Resveratrol enhances p53 acetylation and apoptosis in prostate cancer by inhibiting MTA1/NuRD complex. Int J Cancer. 126:1538-48, 2010 (Cover art, April 1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19810103
    • Levenson AS et al Resveratrol acts as an estrogen receptor (ER) agonist in breast cancer cells stably transfected with ERα. Int J Cancer. 104: 587-596, 2003 (Cover art, May 1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12594813
    • Levenson AS et al Gene expression profiles with activation of the ER-SERM complex in breast cancer cells expressing wt ER. Cancer Res 62: 4419-4426, 2002 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12154049  
    • Levenson AS and Jordan VC Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation. Millenium Review 2000. Eur J Cancer 35: 1628-1639, 1999 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10674006