Cancer Institute

  • Sharon Lobert

    Professor of Nursing and Biochemistry
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Program
    PhD, Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, 1989


    Contact information 
    Phone: (601) 984-6242


    Research interests

    • Tumor drug resistance; taxane therapy; tubulin/microtubules; breast cancer; head and neck cancer

    Research synopsis

    The long-range goal of our research is to understand antimitotic structure-function relationships. Antimitotic agents have been important in cancer chemotherapy for more than 40 years. These drugs interact with tubulin the major protein of mitotic spindles. Mitotic microtubules are dynamic, undergoing assembly and disassembly while aligning chromosomes at the metaphase plate. Antimitotics halt cell division at metaphase by altering microtubule dynamics. Their efficacy in destroying tumors is limited by their toxic profile. Understanding their mechanism of action and the relationship between chemical structure and activity is important for designing new drug analogs, as well as for identifying drugs that can be used in combination at lower, less toxic doses. Often tumors are resistant to antimitotic agents either initially or after repeated drug cycles. We are investigating the tubulin isotype composition of normal and tumor tissues by quantitative real-time PCR, Western blotting and ELISAs. It is possible that tubulin variants in tissues may contribute to antimitotic efficacy and toxicity. Alternatively other proteins that interact with tubulin may be upregulated or downregulated in drug resistant cells and tumors. We are carrying out these studies in both cell culture and clinical studies..

    Selected publications

    • Effect of low dose paclitaxel treatment on β-tubulin isotype distribution and non-tubulin targets in breast cancer. Lobert, S., Graichen, M.E., and Morris, K. EMBL Meeting on Microtubules, Heidelberg Germany, May, 2016
    • Low dose paclitaxel treatment increases stability of cytoplasmic p27Kip1. Lobert, S., Graichen, M.E., AACR Molecular Therapeutic Targets, Boston, MA,  November, 2015
    • Prognostic biomarkers for HNSCC: β-tubulin isotypes and the p53 interactome.  Lobert, S., Graichen, M.E., Hamilton, R.D., Pitman, K.T., Garrett, M.R., Hicks, C., and Koganti, K. (2014).  Cytoskeleton 71(11):628-637; doi:10.1002/cm21195.
    • Regulation of tubulin expression by micro-RNA's: implications for drug resistance.  Lobert, S.  and Graichen, M.E. (2013). Methods in Cell Biology, Microtubules, In Vitro, eds Correia, JJ and Wilson, L. Elsevier, Chennai, India. Vol 115, MCB, UK: Academic Press, pp. 63-74.
    • Coordinated Regulation of β-Tubulin Isotypes and Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Protein ZEB1 in Breast Cancer Cells.  Lobert, S., Graichen, M.E. and Morris, K.J. (2013, Biochemistry Aug 13;52(32):5482-90. doi: 10.1021/bi400340g. Epub 2013 Jul 29.
    • Regulation of β-Tubulin Isotype mRNA by micro-RNA 100 in MCF7 breast cancer cells, Lobert, S., Jefferson, B., and Morris, K. (2011). in press Cytoskeleton