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Kathleen Gallo, Ph.D.

Gallo Lab Website

Areas of Research Interest

Research Interests

The Gallo laboratory is interested in the understanding and therapeutic targeting of signaling pathways that govern cancer progression.  In particular, we have focused on the mixed-lineage kinase (MLK) family and their roles in cancer invasion and metastasis, particularly in the context of breast cancer.  We have demonstrated a critical role for MLK3 in triple-negative breast cancer metastasis in regulating both focal adhesion turnover during cell migration and gene expression during invasion and metastasis. In addition we are studying the roles of MLK family members and related signaling in lung cancer, glioblastoma, and melanoma.

Our laboratory uses diverse approaches and techniques to study mechanisms of tumor proliferation, invasion and metastatic outgrowth including 3D organotypic assays, cell biology, animal models, mass spectrometry, and biochemical techniques.

We collaborate with the Conrad lab (Microbiology & Molecular Genetics) in identifying mechanisms and alternative therapeutic strategies for endocrine resistant breast cancer. In collaboration with the Neubig lab in Pharmacology & Toxicology, we are exploring appropriate combination therapies in drug-resistant melanoma.

Selected Publications

Gallo KA, Ellsworth E, Stoub H, Conrad SE. Therapeutic potential of targeting mixed lineage kinases in cancer and inflammation. Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Dec 18:107457. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2019.107457. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

Misek SA, Appleton KM, Dexheimer TS, Lisabeth EM, Lo RS, Larsen SD, Gallo KA, Neubig RR. Rho-mediated signaling promotes BRAF inhibitor resistance in de-differentiated melanoma cells. Oncogene. 2019 Oct 28. doi: 10.1038/s41388-019-1074-1. [Epub ahead of print].

Hollern DP, Swiatnicki MR, Rennhack JP, Misek SA, Matson BC, McAuliff A, Gallo KA, Caron KM, Andrechek ER. E2F1 Drives Breast Cancer Metastasis by Regulating the Target Gene FGF13 and Altering Cell Migration. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 24;9(1):10718. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47218-0.

Bernal Rubio YL, González-Reymúndez A, Wu KH, Griguer CE, Steibel JP, de Los Campos G, Doseff A, Gallo K, Vazquez AI. Whole Genome Multi-omic Study of Survival in Patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme. G3 (Bethesda). 2018 Nov 6;8(11):3627-3636. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200391.

Rattanasinchai C. and Gallo KA. MLK3 signaling in cancer invasion. Cancers (Basel). 2016 8(5) E51doi: 10.3390/cancers8050051.

MLK3 regulates FRA-1 and MMPs to drive invasion and transendothelial migration in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Rattanasinchai C, Llewellyn BJ, Conrad SE, Gallo KA. Oncogenesis. 2017 Jun 12;6(6):e345. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2017.44. PMID: 28604765

EGFR Signals through a DOCK180-MLK3 Axis to Drive Glioblastoma Cell Invasion. Misek SA, Chen J, Schroeder L, Rattanasinchai C, Sample A, Sarkaria JN, Gallo KA. Mol Cancer Res. 2017 May 9. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0318. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28487380

MLK3 Signaling in Cancer Invasion. Rattanasinchai C, Gallo KA. Cancers (Basel). 2016 May 19;8(5). pii: E51. doi: 10.3390/cancers8050051. Review. PMID:  27213454

Tamkus D, Sikorskii A, Gallo K.A., Wiese DA, Leece C, Madhukar BV, Chivu SC, Chitneni S, and Dimitrov NV. Endothelin-1 Enriched Tumor Phenotype Predicts Breast Cancer Recurrence, ISRN Oncology. 2013, Article ID 38539.

Wang L, Gallo K.A., Conrad SE. Targeting mixed lineage kinases in ER-positive breast cancer cells leads to G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis Oncotarget, 2013. 4(8).

Wu X, Gallo K.A. The 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) disrupts mammary epithelial morphogenesis and promotes breast cancer cell migration PLOS ONE. 2013,  8:e71258.

Chen J, Rattanasinchai C, Gallo K.A., (2012) “Mixed Lineage Kinase 3” Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules, Springer Press, Sangdun Choi, Ed.

Chen J, and Gallo K.A., MLK3 regulates paxillin phosphorylation in chemokine-mediated breast cancer cell migration and invasion to drive metastasis. Cancer Research. 2012, 72: 4130-40.

Kovalenko PL, Kunovska L, Chen J, Gallo K.A., Basson MD. Loss of MLK3 signaling impedes ulcer healing by modulating MAPK signaling in mouse intestinal mucosa. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012, 303:G951-60.

Liou GY, Zhang H, Miller EM, Seibold SA, Chen W, Gallo K.A., Induced, selective proteolysis of MLK3 negatively regulates MLK3/JNK signaling. Biochem J. 2010, 427:435-43.

Chen J, Miller EM and Gallo K.A., MLK3 is critical for breast cancer cell migration and promotes a malignant phenotype in mammary epithelial cells. Oncogene. 2010, 29: 4399-411.

Main Office
Department of Physiology
 Biomedical Physical Sciences (BPS) Building
567 Wilson Rd Rm 2201
Main Phone: 517-884-5000

Department Chairperson

Dr. Charles "Lee" Cox
Dr. Charles "Lee" Cox
BPS Building Rm 2201E
Phone: 517-884-5050

MSU Research Integrity Officer
Wills House
287 Delta Court, Room 106
Phone: 517-432-6698
Research Integrity Office