Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics
Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Ohio State University
Biomedical Research Tower, Room 812
460 W. 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
PhD, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Postdoctoral research, Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco
2007-2014: Research Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Northwestern University
2004-2007: Research Scientist, Department of Cancer Endocrinology, BC Cancer Agency
2001-2004: Assistant Research Anatomist, Department of Anatomy, UCSF
My research interest lies in the molecular mechanisms of development and carcinogenesis of the reproductive organs. The current research subjects are
• Function of p53 family members in germ cell development and apoptosis.
We are exploring the function of p53 family proteins in the germ cells utilizing mutant mouse models for Trp53, Trp63 and Trp73. The current research focus is the molecular mechanism that controls apoptosis in primordial oocytes.
• Molecular etiology of vaginal adenosis and adenocarcinoma.
Women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero are at risk to develop adenosis and adenocarcinoma of the cervix and vagina. The primary objective of this project is to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of DES-associated vaginal adenocarcinoma. Our current focus is: 1. The signaling pathways that control cell fate in the Müllerian duct epithelial cells, and 2. The molecular mechanism through which DES disrupts the normal cell fate decision and induces vaginal adenosis.
1. Wang G, Ishikawa H, Sone K, Kobayashi, Kim J, Kurita T, Shozu M (2014): A NOD/SCID murine xenograft model for human uterine leiomyoma. Fertility and Sterility, 101(5):1485-92.
2. Xu X, Ayub B, Liu Z, Serna VA, Qiang W, Liu Y, Hernando E, Zabludoff S, Kurita T, Kong B and Wei JJ (2014): Anti-MiR-182 reduces ovarian cancer burden, invasion and metastasis: An in vivo study in orthotopic xenografts of nude mice. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 13(7):1729-39. PMC4096544.
3. Qiang W, Liu Z, Serna VA, Druschitz SA, Espona-Fiedler M, Liu Y, Wei JJ, and Kurita T (2014): Down-regulation of miR-29b is essential for pathogenesis of uterine leiomyoma. Endocrinology, 155(3):663-9. PMC3929741.
4. Bertsch E, Qiang W, Zhang Q, Espona-Fiedler M, Kong B, Kurita T and Wei JJ (2014): MED12 and HMGA2: Two independent genetic alterations in uterine leiomyoma. Modern Pathology, 27(8):1144-53. PMC4081525.
5. Kim J, Kurita T and Bulun SE (2013): "Progesterone Action in Endometrial Cancer, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, and Breast Cancer" Endocrine Review 34(1):130-62. PMC3565104.
6. Ono M, Yin P, Navarro A, Moravek MB, Coon V JS, Druschitz SA, Serna, Qiang W, Brooks DC, Malpani SS, Ma J, Ercana CM, Mittal N, Monsivaisa D, Dyson MT, Yemelyanov A, Maruyama T, Chakravarti D, Kim JJ, Kurita T, Gottardi CJ, and Bulun SB (2013): WNT/β-Catenin Paracrine Signaling Between Leiomyoma Stem Cells and the Mature Cell Population in Uterine Leiomyoma Cell Growth. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(42):17053-8. PMC3801037.
7. Sefton EC, Qiang W, Serna VA, Kurita T, Wei JJ, Chakravarti D and Kim JJ (2013): MK-2206, an AKT inhibitor, promotes caspase-independent cell death and inhibits leiomyoma growth. Endocrinology, 154(11):4046-57. PMC3800769.
8. Laronda MM, Unno K, Ishi K, Serna VA, Butler LM, Mills AA, Orvisc GD, Behringer RR, Deng C, Sinha S and Kurita T (2013): Diethylstilbestrol induces vaginal adenosis by disrupting SMAD/RUNX1-mediated cell fate decision in the Müllerian duct epithelium. Developmental Biology, 381(1):5-16. PMC3947918.
9. Kim SY, Cordeiro MH, Serna VA, Ebbert K, Butler LM, Sinha S, Mills AA, Woodruff TK, and Kurita T (2013): Rescue of platinum-damaged oocytes from programmed cell death through inactivation of the p53 family signaling network. Cell Death and Differentiation, 20 (8), 987-97. PMC3705595.
10. Ono M, Qiang W, Serna VA, Yin P, Coon JS 5th, Navarro A, Monsivais D, Kakinuma T, Dyson M, Druschitz S, Unno K, Kurita T and Bulun SE (2012): Role of stem cells in human uterine leiomyoma growth. PLoS One, 7(5):e36935. PMC3343011.
11. Romano RA, Smalley K, Magraw C, Serna VA, Kurita T, Raghavan S and Sinha S (2012): DNp63 is a Key Regulator of Epithelial Development and a Marker of Epithelial Stem Cells. Development, 139(4):772-82. PMC3265062.
12. Laronda MM, Butler LM and Kurita T (2012): “Developmental anomalies of the female reproductive tract as a result of diethylstilbestrol exposure in utero.” Differentiation, 82, 252-256. PMC3443265.
13. Nakamura H, Wang Y, Kurita T, Adomat H, Cunha GR and Wang Y (2011): Genistein increases epidermal growth factor receptor signaling and promotes tumor progression in advanced human prostate cancer. PLoS One, 6 (5). PMC3095647.
14. Murashima A, Miyagawa S, Ogino Y, Nishida-Fukuda H, Araki K, Matsumoto T, Kaneko T, Yoshinaga K, Yamamura K, Kurita T, Kato S, Moon AM and Yamada G (2011): Essential Roles of Androgen Signaling in Wolffian Duct Stabilization and Epididymal Cell Differentiation. Endocrinology, 152: 1640 - 1651. PMC3060634.
15. Kurita T (2011): “Normal and Abnormal Epithelial Differentiation in the Female Reproductive Tract. “ Differentiation, 82, 117-126. PMC3178098.
16. Memarzadeh S, Zong Y, Janzen DM, Goldstein AS, Cheng D, Kurita T, Schafenacker AM, Huang J and Witte ON (2010): Cell-autonomous activation of the PI3-kinase pathway initiates endometrial cancer from adult uterine epithelium. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107:17298 - 17303. PMC2951427.
17. Kurita T (2010): Developmental Origin of Vaginal Epithelium. Differentiation, 80: 99-105. PMC2943051.
18. Ishikawa H, Ishi K, Serna VA, Kakazu R, Bulun S and Kurita T (2010): Progesterone is essential for maintenance and growth of uterine leiomyoma. Endocrinology, 151: 2433- 2442. PMC2875812.
19. Bulun SE, Cheng YH, Pavone ME, Yin P, Imir G, Utsunomiya H, Thung S, Xue Q, Marsh EE, Tokunaga H, Ishikawa H, Kurita T and Su EJ (2010): “17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-2 deficiency and progesterone resistance in endometriosis.” Semin Reprod Med. 28, 44-50.