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Natalia Marchenko, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator/ Research Assistant Professor 

One of the most prominent contributions to the cancer research field is the discovery of the new transcription-independent pro-apoptotic function of tumor-suppressor protein p53. My work as a postdoctoral fellow demonstrated that a fraction of p53 protein localizes to mitochondria at the onset of p53-dependent apoptosis but not during p53-independent apoptosis or p53-mediated cell cycle arrest. We also identified posttranslational modifications essential for the mitochondrial targeting of p53. Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Moll lab, we identified second critical transcription-independent functions of p53 protein in regulating programmed cell necrosis. Accumulated p53 protein in the mitochondrial matrix opens the mitochondrial transition pore (PTP) by engaging in physical interaction with CypD and activating its PPIase activity, which triggers oxidative stress-induced necrosis and ischemic stroke in vivo.


PhD, Biology, VNII Genetika, Russia, 1994

BS/MS, Microbiology. Moscow State Univ., Russia, 1986

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