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Antonis Kourtidis Ph.D.

Antonios Kourtidis Ph.D.

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Rank
  • Assistant Professor
College
  • College of Medicine
Department
  • Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology
Academic Focus
  • Cell-cell adhesion
  • RNAi
  • Cancer
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Biography

BS Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (1998) 
PhD Molecular Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (2004) 
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Biology of Cancer, State University of New York, USA 
Research Associate and Instructor, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer, Mayo Clinic, USA

Research in our lab focuses on fully understanding: a) a novel interaction of the adherens junctions with the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery and other RNA-associated complexes, and b) the role of this mechanism in regulating cell behavior in normal and diseased tissues. The adherens junctions are critical cell-cell adhesion structures, playing a fundamental role in the development and maintenance of the normal tissue architecture. Disruption of adherens junctions results in loss of tissue integrity and has been associated with numerous diseases, including cancer. We have recently identified a novel interaction of the adherens junctions with the core components of the RNAi machinery, including the microprocessor and RNA-induced silencing (RISC) complex. By recruiting the microprocessor and RISC, the adherens junctions promote processing and function of a set of miRNAs to regulate mRNA expression and cell behavior. These results identified a direct link between cell-cell adhesion, epithelial integrity and cell behavior, through RNAi and bridged for the first time the fields of cell-cell adhesion and RNA biology, introducing a new area of investigation. Elucidating all the molecular details of this mechanism and its role in regulating cell behavior is the main goal of our research. We are particularly interested in investigating the implications of this mechanism in several diseases, such as in cancer, as well as the role of this mechanism in normal tissue physiology.