Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Pietenpol, Jennifer A., Ph.D.
Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Professor of Biochemistry
Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Chair in Oncology
Professor of Otolaryngology
Professor of Cancer Biology

Lab Url:

Phone Number: (615) 936-1512

Email Address:

Pietenpol, Jennifer's picture
Academic history
B.A., Carleton College/Northfield MN
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University/Nashville, TN
Postdoc, Johns Hopkins/Baltimore, MD

Office Address   Mailing Address

652 Preston Research Building Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37232-0146

652 PRB 6838

Research Keywords
cancer, p53, p63, p73, gene regulation, breast cancer, tumor suppression, epithelial cell differentiation

Research Specialty
p53 family signaling axis (p53, p63, and p73); Breast Cancer; Mechanisms of tumor suppression and epithelial cell differentiation

Research Description
Some defining properties of tumor cells are increased cell proliferation, decreased cell death and genomic instability. These characteristics are acquired as a consequence of mutations in genes that control the fidelity and frequency of cell division as well as the ability of the cell to initiate pathways of apoptosis. A goal of the ongoing cancer-based research in the Pietenpol Laboratory is to provide new therapeutic approaches that specifically target the molecular interactions and biochemical pathways that are changed in tumor cells. The Laboratory was one of the first to pioneer chromatin immunoprecipatation techniques allowing analysis of p53 and identification of target genes involved in tumor suppression. They discovered that p63 signaling confers key epithelial properties to cells by regulating novel target genes and transcriptional programs controling mesenchymal phenotypes. Subsequently, the Pietenpol group began mechanistic studies on p73, deciphered the functional p73 binding sites in the genome, discovered numerous p73-target mRNAs and microRNAs, and was the first to link the mTOR signaling pathway to regulation of p73 activity. Importantly, the research defined a mTOR-p73 signaling pathway involved in mesenchymal differentiation and a resulting p73 gene signature that classifies rhabdomyosarcomas by subtype and patient outcome. Most recently, Pietenpol and her team have integrated research expertise in tumor suppressor genes and molecular genetics with bioinformatic analysis of high dimensional genomic data sets to molecularly subtype difficult-to-treat, triple negative breast cancer. The results are being translated to clinical trials and alignment of patients to appropriate, molecularly targeted therapy. The overall goals of her research are to use bench-based discoveries to advance patient care.

Barton, CE, Tahinci, E, Barbieri, CE, Johnson, KN, Hanson, AJ, Jernigan, KK, Chen, TW, Lee, E, Pietenpol, JA. DeltaNp63 antagonizes p53 to regulate mesoderm induction in Xenopus laevis. Dev Biol, 2009 PMCID:2690611

Rosenbluth, JM, Pietenpol, JA. mTOR regulates autophagy-associated genes downstream of p73. Autophagy, 5(1), 114-6, 2009

Rosenbluth, JM, Mays, DJ, Pino, MF, Tang, LJ, Pietenpol, JA. A gene signature-based approach identifies mTOR as a regulator of p73. Mol Cell Biol, 2008 PMCID:2547001

Rosenbluth, JM, Pietenpol, JA. The jury is in: p73 is a tumor suppressor after all. Genes Dev, 22(19), 2591-5, 2008

Bonine-Summers, AR, Aakre, ME, Brown, KA, Arteaga, CL, Pietenpol, JA, Moses, HL, Cheng, N. Epidermal growth factor receptor plays a significant role in hepatocyte growth factor mediated biological responses in mammary epithelial cells. Cancer Biol Ther, 6(4), 561-70, 2007

Brown, KA, Pietenpol, JA, Moses, HL. A tale of two proteins: differential roles and regulation of Smad2 and Smad3 in TGF-beta signaling. J Cell Biochem, 101(1), 9-33, 2007

Perez, CA, Ott, J, Mays, DJ, Pietenpol, JA. p63 consensus DNA-binding site: identification, analysis and application into a p63MH algorithm. Oncogene, 26(52), 7363-70, 2007

Perez, CA, Pietenpol, JA. Transcriptional programs regulated by p63 in normal epithelium and tumors. Cell Cycle, 6(3), 246-54, 2007

Schavolt, KL, Pietenpol, JA. p53 and Delta Np63 alpha differentially bind and regulate target genes involved in cell cycle arrest, DNA repair and apoptosis. Oncogene, 26(42), 6125-32, 2007

Barbieri, CE, Pietenpol, JA. p63 and epithelial biology. Exp Cell Res, 2006

Barbieri, CE, Tang, LJ, Brown, KA, Pietenpol, JA. Loss of p63 leads to increased cell migration and up-regulation of genes involved in invasion and metastasis. Cancer Res, 66(15), 7589-97, 2006

Chakravarthy, AB, Kelley, MC, McLaren, B, Truica, CI, Billheimer, D, Mayer, IA, Grau, AM, Johnson, DH, Simpson, JF, Beauchamp, RD, Jones, C, Pietenpol, JA. Neoadjuvant concurrent paclitaxel and radiation in stage II/III breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res, 12(5), 1570-6, 2006

Hinow, P, Rogers, CE, Barbieri, CE, Pietenpol, JA, Kenworthy, AK, DiBenedetto, E. The DNA binding activity of p53 displays reaction-diffusion kinetics. Biophys J, 91(1), 330-42, 2006 PMCID:1479054

Barbieri, CE, Perez, CA, Johnson, KN, Ely, KA, Billheimer, D, Pietenpol, JA. IGFBP-3 is a direct target of transcriptional regulation by DeltaNp63alpha in squamous epithelium. Cancer Res, 65(6), 2314-20, 2005

Barbieri, CE, Pietenpol, JA. p53 Family Members: Similar Biochemistry, Different Biology. Cancer Biol Ther, 4(4), 419-20, 2005

Hearnes, JM, Mays, DJ, Schavolt, KL, Tang, L, Jiang, X, Pietenpol, JA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-based screen to identify functional genomic binding sites for sequence-specific transactivators. Mol Cell Biol, 25(22), 10148-58, 2005 PMCID:1280257

Westfall, MD, Joyner, AS, Barbieri, CE, Livingstone, M, Pietenpol, JA. Ultraviolet radiation induces phosphorylation and ubiquitin-mediated degradation of DeltaNp63alpha. Cell Cycle, 4(5), 710-6, 2005

Brown, KA, Aakre, ME, Gorska, AE, Price, JO, Eltom, SE, Pietenpol, JA, Moses, HL. Induction by transforming growth factor-beta1 of epithelial to mesenchymal transition is a rare event in vitro. Breast Cancer Res, 6(3), R215-31, 2004 PMCID:400675

Grandis, JR, Pietenpol, JA, Greenberger, JS, Pelroy, RA, Mohla, S. Head and neck cancer: meeting summary and research opportunities. Cancer Res, 64(21), 8126-9, 2004

Sniezek, JC, Matheny, KE, Westfall, MD, Pietenpol, JA. Dominant negative p63 isoform expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope, 114(12), 2063-72, 2004

Westfall, Matthew D., Pietenpol, Jennifer A.. p63: molecular complexity in development and cancer. Carcinogenesis, 25, 857-864, 2004

Anwar, Adil, Dehn, Donna, Siegel, David, Kepa, Jadwiga K, Tang, Luo Jia, Pietenpol, Jennifer A, Ross, David. Interaction of human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) with the tumor suppressor protein p53 in cells and cell-free systems. J Biol Chem, 278, 10368-73, 2003

Barbieri, Christopher E, Barton, Christopher E, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Delta Np63 alpha expression is regulated by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway. J Biol Chem, 278(51), 51408-14, 2003

Chakravarthy, Bapsi, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Combined modality management of breast cancer: development of predictive markers through proteomics. Semin Oncol, 30(4 Suppl 9), 23-36, 2003

Jo, Daewoong, Lin, Qing, Nashabi, Abudi, Mays, Deborah J, Unutmaz, Derya, Pietenpol, Jennifer A, Ruley, H Earl. Cell cycle-dependent transduction of cell-permeant Cre recombinase proteins. J Cell Biochem, 89(4), 674-87, 2003

Massion, Pierre P, Taflan, Peter M, Jamshedur Rahman, S M, Yildiz, Pinar, Shyr, Yu, Edgerton, Mary E, Westfall, Matthew D, Roberts, John R, Pietenpol, Jennifer A, Carbone, David P, Gonzalez, Adriana L. Significance of p63 amplification and overexpression in lung cancer development and prognosis. Cancer Res, 63(21), 7113-21, 2003

Matheny, Keith E, Barbieri, Christopher E, Sniezek, Joseph C, Arteaga, Carlos L, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Inhibition of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Decreases p63 Expression in Head and Neck Squamous Carcinoma Cells. Laryngoscope, 113, 936-9, 2003

Stewart, Zoe A, Westfall, Matthew D, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Cell-cycle dysregulation and anticancer therapy. Trends Pharmacol Sci, 24, 139-45, 2003

Westfall, Matthew D, Mays, Deborah J, Sniezek, Joseph C, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. The Delta Np63 alpha phosphoprotein binds the p21 and 14-3-3 sigma promoters in vivo and has transcriptional repressor activity that is reduced by Hay-Wells syndrome-derived mutations. Mol Cell Biol, 23, 2264-76, 2003 PMCID:150720

Coleman, Sean C, Stewart, Zoe A, Day, Terry A, Netterville, James L, Burkey, Brian B, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Analysis of cell-cycle checkpoint pathways in head and neck cancer cell lines: implications for therapeutic strategies. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 128(2), 167-76, 2002

Eichten, A, Westfall, M, Pietenpol, JA, M??nger, K. Stabilization and functional impairment of the tumor suppressor p53 by the human papillomavirus type 16 E7 oncoprotein. Virology, 295(1), 74-85, 2002

Pawlak, Maciej R, Banik-Maiti, Sarbani, Pietenpol, Jennifer A, Ruley, H Earl. Protein arginine methyltransferase I: substrate specificity and role in hnRNP assembly. J Cell Biochem, 87(4), 394-407, 2002

Pietenpol, J A, Stewart, Z A. Cell cycle checkpoint signaling: cell cycle arrest versus apoptosis. Toxicology, 181-182, 475-81, 2002

Sniezek, Joseph C, Matheny, Keith E, Burkey, Brian B, Netterville, James L, Pietenpol, Jennifer A. Expression of p63 and 14-3-3sigma in normal and hyperdifferentiated mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 126(6), 598-601, 2002

Flatt, P M, Pietenpol, J A. Mechanisms of cell-cycle checkpoints: at the crossroads of carcinogenesis and drug discovery. Drug Metab Rev, 32(3-4), 283-305, 2001

Ji, C, Amarnath, V, Pietenpol, J A, Marnett, L J. 4-hydroxynonenal induces apoptosis via caspase-3 activation and cytochrome c release. Chem Res Toxicol, 14(8), 1090-6, 2001

Stewart, Z A, Pietenpol, J A. Syk: a new player in the field of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res, 3(1), 5-7, 2001 PMCID:138668

Stewart, Z A, Pietenpol, J A. p53 Signaling and cell cycle checkpoints. Chem Res Toxicol, 14(3), 243-63, 2001

Stewart, Z A, Tang, L J, Pietenpol, J A. Increased p53 phosphorylation after microtubule disruption is mediated in a microtubule inhibitor- and cell-specific manner. Oncogene, 20(1), 113-24, 2001

Szak, S T, Mays, D, Pietenpol, J A. Kinetics of p53 binding to promoter sites in vivo. Mol Cell Biol, 21(10), 3375-86, 2001 PMCID:100259

Tahir, SK, Han, EK, Credo, B, Jae, HS, Pietenpol, JA, Scatena, CD, Wu-Wong, JR, Frost, D, Sham, H, Rosenberg, SH, Ng, SC. A-204197, a new tubulin-binding agent with antimitotic activity in tumor cell lines resistant to known microtubule inhibitors. Cancer Res, 61(14), 5480-5, 2001

Flatt, P M, Polyak, K, Tang, L J, Scatena, C D, Westfall, M D, Rubinstein, L A, Yu, J, Kinzler, K W, Vogelstein, B, Hill, D E, Pietenpol, J A. p53-dependent expression of PIG3 during proliferation, genotoxic stress, and reversible growth arrest. Cancer Lett, 156(1), 63-72, 2000

Flatt, P M, Tang, L J, Scatena, C D, Szak, S T, Pietenpol, J A. p53 regulation of G(2) checkpoint is retinoblastoma protein dependent. Mol Cell Biol, 20(12), 4210-23, 2000 PMCID:85790

Song, S Y, Meszoely, I M, Coffey, R J, Pietenpol, J A, Leach, S D. K-Ras-independent effects of the farnesyl transferase inhibitor L-744,832 on cyclin B1/Cdc2 kinase activity, G2/M cell cycle progression and apoptosis in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. Neoplasia, 2(3), 261-72, 2000 PMCID:1507570

N??rgaard, P, Law, B, Joseph, H, Page, D L, Shyr, Y, Mays, D, Pietenpol, J A, Kohl, N E, Oliff, A, Coffey, R J, Poulsen, H S, Moses, H L. Treatment with farnesyl-protein transferase inhibitor induces regression of mammary tumors in transforming growth factor (TGF) alpha and TGF alpha/neu transgenic mice by inhibition of mitogenic activity and induction of apoptosis. Clin Cancer Res, 5(1), 35-42, 1999

Peek, R M, Blaser, M J, Mays, D J, Forsyth, M H, Cover, T L, Song, S Y, Krishna, U, Pietenpol, J A. Helicobacter pylori strain-specific genotypes and modulation of the gastric epithelial cell cycle. Cancer Res, 59(24), 6124-31, 1999

Stewart, Z A, Leach, S D, Pietenpol, J A. p21(Waf1/Cip1) inhibition of cyclin E/Cdk2 activity prevents endoreduplication after mitotic spindle disruption. Mol Cell Biol, 19(1), 205-15, 1999 PMCID:83879

Stewart, Z A, Mays, D, Pietenpol, J A. Defective G1-S cell cycle checkpoint function sensitizes cells to microtubule inhibitor-induced apoptosis. Cancer Res, 59(15), 3831-7, 1999

Stewart, Z A, Pietenpol, J A. Cell cycle checkpoints as therapeutic targets. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia, 4(4), 389-400, 1999

Szak, S T, Pietenpol, J A. High affinity insertion/deletion lesion binding by p53. Evidence for a role of the p53 central domain. J Biol Chem, 274(6), 3904-9, 1999

Szak, S.T. and Pietenpol, J.A. High affinity insertion/deletion lesion binding by p53: Evidence for a role of the p53 central domain. J. Biol. Chem., 274, 3904-3909, 1999

Flatt, P M, Price, J O, Shaw, A, Pietenpol, J A. Differential cell cycle checkpoint response in normal human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cell Growth Differ, 9(7), 535-43, 1998

Flatt, P.M., Price, J.O., and Pietenpol, J.A. Cell cycle response to DNA damage differs in normal human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cell Growth Diff., 9, 535-543, 1998

Jennings, M T, Pietenpol, J A. The role of transforming growth factor beta in glioma progression. J Neurooncol, 36(2), 123-40, 1998

Ji, C, Rouzer, C A, Marnett, L J, Pietenpol, J A. Induction of cell cycle arrest by the endogenous product of lipid peroxidation, malondialdehyde. Carcinogenesis, 19(7), 1275-83, 1998

Leach, S D, Scatena, C D, Keefer, C J, Goodman, H A, Song, S Y, Yang, L, Pietenpol, J A. Negative regulation of Wee1 expression and Cdc2 phosphorylation during p53-mediated growth arrest and apoptosis. Cancer Res, 58(15), 3231-6, 1998

Scatena, C D, Stewart, Z A, Mays, D, Tang, L J, Keefer, C J, Leach, S D, Pietenpol, J A. Mitotic phosphorylation of Bcl-2 during normal cell cycle progression and Taxol-induced growth arrest. J Biol Chem, 273(46), 30777-84, 1998

Ji, C, Marnett, L J, Pietenpol, J A. Cell cycle re-entry following chemically-induced cell cycle synchronization leads to elevated p53 and p21 protein levels. Oncogene, 15(22), 2749-53, 1997

Koury, M J, Horne, D W, Brown, Z A, Pietenpol, J A, Blount, B C, Ames, B N, Hard, R, Koury, S T. Apoptosis of late-stage erythroblasts in megaloblastic anemia: association with DNA damage and macrocyte production. Blood, 89(12), 4617-23, 1997

Pietenpol, J A. A commentary on the 1996 American Association for Cancer Research Meeting--Cancer susceptibility genes and molecular carcinogenesis. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1288(1), R5-8, 1996

Pietenpol, JA, Lengauer, C, Jordan, J, Kinzler, KW, Vogelstein, B. Mammalian cells resistant to tumor suppressor genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 93(16), 8390-4, 1996 PMCID:38681

Pietenpol, JA, Bohlander, SK, Sato, Y, Papadopoulos, N, Liu, B, Friedman, C, Trask, BJ, Roberts, JM, Kinzler, KW, Rowley, JD. Assignment of the human p27Kip1 gene to 12p13 and its analysis in leukemias. Cancer Res, 55(6), 1206-10, 1995

Sato, Y., Suto, Y., Pietenpol, J.A., Golub, T.R. Gilliland, G., Davis, E., Le Beau, M.M., Vogelstein, B., Rowley, J., Bohlander, S.K. TEL and KIPI define the smallest region of deletions on 12pl3 in hematopoietic malignancies. Blood, 86, 1525-1533, 1995

Pietenpol, J.A., Papadopoulos, N., Markowitz, S., Willson, J.K.V., Kinzler, KW., and Vogelstein, B. Paradoxical inhibition of solid tumor cell growth by bcl2. Cancer Res, 54, 3714-3717, 1994

Pietenpol, JA, Papadopoulos, N, Markowitz, S, Willson, JK, Kinzler, KW, Vogelstein, B. Paradoxical inhibition of solid tumor cell growth by bcl2. Cancer Res, 54(14), 3714-7, 1994

Pietenpol, JA, Tokino, T, Thiagalingam, S, el-Deiry, WS, Kinzler, KW, Vogelstein, B. Sequence-specific transcriptional activation is essential for growth suppression by p53. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 91(6), 1998-2002, 1994 PMCID:43296

el-Deiry, WS, Harper, JW, O'Connor, PM, Velculescu, VE, Canman, CE, Jackman, J, Pietenpol, JA, Burrell, M, Hill, DE, Wang, Y. WAF1/CIP1 is induced in p53-mediated G1 arrest and apoptosis. Cancer Res, 54(5), 1169-74, 1994

Arteaga, C L, Carty-Dugger, T, Moses, H L, Hurd, S D, Pietenpol, J A. Transforming growth factor beta 1 can induce estrogen-independent tumorigenicity of human breast cancer cells in athymic mice. Cell Growth Differ, 4(3), 193-201, 1993

Dagnino, L, Pietenpol, J A, Yang, E Y, Moses, H L. Transforming growth factor regulation of keratinocyte growth. Recent Results Cancer Res, 128, 15-29, 1993

Oliner, JD, Pietenpol, JA, Thiagalingam, S, Gyuris, J, Kinzler, KW, Vogelstein, B. Oncoprotein MDM2 conceals the activation domain of tumour suppressor p53. Nature, 362(6423), 857-60, 1993

Pietenpol, JA, Vogelstein, B. Tumour suppressor genes. No room at the p53 inn. Nature, 365(6441), 17-8, 1993

El-Delry, W.S., Kem, S.E., Pietenpol, J.A., Kinzler, K.W., and Vogelstein, B. Definition of consensus binding site for p53. Nat. Genet, 1, 45-49, 1992

Kern, SE, Pietenpol, JA, Thiagalingam, S, Seymour, A, Kinzler, KW, Vogelstein, B. Oncogenic forms of p53 inhibit p53-regulated gene expression. Science, 256(5058), 827-30, 1992

M??nger, K, Pietenpol, JA, Pittelkow, MR, Holt, JT, Moses, HL. Transforming growth factor beta 1 regulation of c-myc expression, pRB phosphorylation, and cell cycle progression in keratinocytes. Cell Growth Differ, 3(5), 291-8, 1992

Moses, H L, Pietenpol, J A, M??nger, K, Murphy, C S, Yang, E Y. TGF beta regulation of epithelial cell proliferation: role of tumor suppressor genes. Princess Takamatsu Symp, 22, 183-95, 1991

Moses, H L, Yang, E Y, Pietenpol, J A. Regulation of epithelial proliferation by TGF-beta. Ciba Found Symp, 157, 66-74; discussion 75-80, 1991

Munger, K., Yee, C.L., Phelps, W.C., Pietenpol, J.A., Moses, H.L., and Howley, P.M. Biochemical and biological differences between E7 oncoproteins of the high- and low- risk human papillomavirus types are determined by amino-terminal sequences. J. of Virol, 65, 3943-3948, 1991

Murphy, C S, Pietenpol, J A, M??nger, K, Howley, P M, Moses, H L. c-myc and pRB: role in TGF-beta 1 inhibition of keratinocyte proliferation. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol, 56, 129-35, 1991

M??nger, K, Yee, CL, Phelps, WC, Pietenpol, JA, Moses, HL, Howley, PM. Biochemical and biological differences between E7 oncoproteins of the high- and low-risk human papillomavirus types are determined by amino-terminal sequences. J Virol, 65(7), 3943-8, 1991 PMCID:241434

Pietenpol, J A, M??nger, K, Howley, P M, Stein, R W, Moses, H L. Factor-binding element in the human c-myc promoter involved in transcriptional regulation by transforming growth factor beta 1 and by the retinoblastoma gene product. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 88(22), 10227-31, 1991 PMCID:52901

Moses, HL, Yang, EY, Pietenpol, JA. TGF-beta stimulation and inhibition of cell proliferation: new mechanistic insights. Cell, 63(2), 245-7, 1990

Pietenpol, JA, Holt, JT, Stein, RW, Moses, HL. Transforming growth factor beta 1 suppression of c-myc gene transcription: role in inhibition of keratinocyte proliferation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 87(10), 3758-62, 1990 PMCID:53982

Pietenpol, JA, Stein, RW, Moran, E, Yaciuk, P, Schlegel, R, Lyons, RM, Pittelkow, MR, M??nger, K, Howley, PM, Moses, HL. TGF-beta 1 inhibition of c-myc transcription and growth in keratinocytes is abrogated by viral transforming proteins with pRB binding domains. Cell, 61(5), 777-85, 1990

Pietenpol, JA, Howe, PH, Cunningham, MR, Leof, EB. Interferon alpha/beta modulation of growth-factor-stimulated mitogenicity in AKR-2B fibroblasts. J Cell Physiol, 141(3), 453-60, 1989

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