Bruce Cuevas
  • Assistant Professor
  • Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Research Summary

Signaling processes required for tumor progression and potential targets for therapeutic intervention in tumor metastasis

The overarching goal of my research is to understand the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis. Mortality in cancer patients is largely due to metastatic disease that arises when primary tumor cells establish new foci in a different tissue. These metastases develop in a complex process that absolutely requires several key cellular functions, and these functions are controlled by intracellular communication systems referred to as cell signaling networks. I am interested in understanding both how these cell signaling networks are controlled, and the role of cell signaling networks in the regulation of cellular functions required for metastasis to occur.


MEKK2 regulates focal adhesion stability and motility in invasive breast cancer cellsMirza,A. A.; Kahle,M. P.; Ameka,M.; Campbell,E. M.; Cuevas,B. D.Biochimica et biophysica acta 2014 ; ( ):

Osteopontin Up-Regulates Critical Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Transcription Factors to Induce an Aggressive Breast Cancer PhenotypeLi,N. Y.; Weber,C. E.; Mi,Z.; Wai,P. Y.; Cuevas,B. D.; Kuo,P. C.Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2013 ; ( ):

An MAPK-dependent pathway induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition via Twist activation in human breast cancer cell linesLi,N. Y.; Weber,C. E.; Wai,P. Y.; Cuevas,B. D.; Zhang,J.; Kuo,P. C.; Mi,Z.Surgery 2013 ;154(2):404-410

The MEKK1 SWIM domain is a novel substrate receptor for c-Jun ubiquitylation.Rieger,M. A.; Duellman,T.; Hooper,C.; Ameka,M.; Bakowska,J. C.; Cuevas,B. D.Biochemical Journal 2012 ;445(3):431-439

Defining MAP3 kinases required for MDA-MB-231 cell tumor growth and metastasisCronan,M. R.; Nakamura,K.; Johnson,N. L.; Granger,D. A.; Cuevas,B. D.; Wang,J. G.; Mackman,N.; Scott,J. E.; Dohlman,H. G.; Johnson,G. L.Oncogene 2012 ;31(34):3889-3900

Persistent transactivation of EGFR and ErbB2/HER2 by protease-activated receptor-1 promotes breast carcinoma cell invasion.Arora,P.; Cuevas,B. D.; Russo,A.; Johnson,G. L.; Trejo,J.Oncogene 2008 ;27(32):4434-4445

Role of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases in signal integrationCuevas,B. D.; Abell,A. N.; Johnson,G. L.Oncogene 2007 ;26(22):3159-3171

Re-activation of a dormant tumor suppressor gene maspin by designed transcription factors.Beltran,A.; Parikh,S.; Liu,Y.; Cuevas,B. D.; Johnson,G. L.; Futscher,B. W.; Blancafort,P.Oncogene 2007 ;26(19):2791-2798

MEKK1 controls matrix degradation and tumor cell dissemination during metastasis of polyoma middle-T driven mammary cancer.Cuevas,B. D.; Winter-Vann,A. M.; Johnson,N. L.; Johnson,G. L.Oncogene 2006 ;25(36):4998-5010

MEKK1 regulates the AP-1 dimer repertoire via control of JunB transcription and Fra-2 protein stability.Cuevas,B. D.; Uhlik,M. T.; Garrington,T. P.; Johnson,G. L.Oncogene 2005 ;24(5):801-809

Ablation of MEKK4 kinase activity causes neurulation and skeletal patterning defects in the mouse embryoAbell,A. N.; Rivera-Perez,J. A.; Cuevas,B. D.; Uhlik,M. T.; Sather,S.; Johnson,N. L.; Minton,S. K.; Lauder,J. M.; Winter-Vann,A. M.; Nakamura,K.; Magnuson,T.; Vaillancourt,R. R.; Heasley,L. E.; Johnson,G. L.Molecular and cellular biology 2005 ;25(20):8948-8959

Wiring diagrams of MAPK regulation by MEKK1, 2, and 3Uhlik,M. T.; Abell,A. N.; Cuevas,B. D.; Nakamura,K.; Johnson,G. L.Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2004 ;82(6):658-663

MEKK1 regulates calpain-dependent proteolysis of focal adhesion proteins for rear-end detachment of migrating fibroblasts.Cuevas,B. D.; Abell,A. N.; Witowsky,J. A.; Yujiri,T.; Johnson,N. L.; Kesavan,K.; Ware,M.; Jones,P. L.; Weed,S. A.; DeBiasi,R. L.; Oka,Y.; Tyler,K. L.; Johnson,G. L.EMBO Journal 2003 ;22(13):3346-3355

Rac-MEKK3-MKK3 scaffolding for p38 MAPK activation during hyperosmotic shock.Uhlik,M. T.; Abell,A. N.; Johnson,N. L.; Sun,W.; Cuevas,B. D.; Lobel-Rice,K. E.; Horne,E. A.; Dell'Acqua,M. L.; Johnson,G. L.Nature cell biology 2003 ;5(12):1104-1110

MEKK1 is required for inducible urokinase-type plasminogen activator expressionWitowsky,J.; Abell,A.; Johnson,N. L.; Johnson,G. L.; Cuevas,B. D.The Journal of biological chemistry 2003 ;278(8):5941-5946

Tyrosine phosphorylation of p85 relieves its inhibitory activity on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinaseCuevas,B. D.; Lu,Y.; Mao,M.; Zhang,J.; LaPushin,R.; Siminovitch,K.; Mills,G. B.The Journal of biological chemistry 2001 ;276(29):27455-27461

Functional evidence for an ovarian cancer tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 22 by microcell-mediated chromosome transferKruzelock,R. P.; Cuevas,B. D.; Wiener,J. R.; Xu,F. J.; Yu,Y.; Cabeza-Arvelaiz,Y.; Pershouse,M.; Lovell,M. M.; Killary,A. M.; Mills,G. B.; Bast,R. C.,JrOncogene 2000 ;19(54):6277-6285