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

    • Aggarwal, A., Kruczynski, A., Frankfurter, A., Correia, J.J., and Lobert, S. (2008) " Vinca alkaloids demonstrate differential effects on apoptotic pathways in murine leukemia P388 vinorelbine-sensitive and –resistant cell lines", Investigational New Drugs, 26, 319-330.
    • Lobert, S. and Puozzo, C. (2008) "Vinflunine Pharmacokinetics Data and Preclinical Model of Toxicity", Vinflunine Basic Science Summit Proceedings in Seminars in Oncology, 35, Suppl 3, S28-33, invited manuscript.
    • Cucchiarelli, V.E., Smith, H., Hiser, L., Correia, J.J., Lobert, S. (2008) "-Tubulin isotype classes II and V expression patterns in nonsmall lung tumors, Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton, 65, 675-685.
    • Lobert, S., Hiser, L and Correia, J.J. (2010) "Expression profiling of tubulin isotypes and microtubule interacting proteins using real-time polymerase chain reaction ." Methods in Cell Biology, Microtubules, In Vitro, eds Correia, JJ and Wilson, L. Elsevier, Chennai, India.
    • Lobert, S., Jefferson, B., and Morris, K. (2011). "Regulation of β-Tubulin Isotype mRNA by micro-RNA 100 in MCF7 breast cancer cells," in press Cytoskeleton