Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology


Bryan P. Toole, Ph.D.
Member of Hollings Cancer Center

Room 620, Basic Science Building
Office: (843) 792-7004



BSc Biochemistry/Chemistry Univ Melbourne (Australia), 1962
MSc Biochemistry Monash (Australia), 1965
PhD Biochemistry Monash (Australia), 1968

Research Interests:

Our research addresses cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions in tumor growth and metastasis. In particular we study the molecular and cellular functions of hyaluronan (an extracellular and cell surface polysaccharide), CD44 and LYVE-1 (receptors for hyaluronan), and emmprin (CD147) (a cell surface glycoprotein that regulates production of hyaluronan and of matrix metalloproteinases).
Our current major focuses in the laboratory are:

  1. The signaling mechanisms underlying the transforming effects of hyaluronan-CD44/LYVE1-emmprin interactions, especially the acquisition of malignant and chemoresistant properties.
  2. The role of emmprin in invasiveness, especially formation of invadopodia.
  3. The role of hyaluronan, CD44 and emmprin in the properties of cancer stem-like cells.
  4. Molecular manipulations that block the functions of hyaluronan and emmprin in cancer.
  5. Translation of our findings to the clinic, especially the use of small hyaluronan oligosaccharides as chemosensitizing agents for ovarian carcinoma, glioma, and AIDS-associated cancers.

For more on hyaluronan:

Recent Publications:

  1. Inai, K., J. L. Burnside, S. Hoffman, B. P. Toole and Y. Sugi. "Bmp-2 Induces Versican and Hyaluronan That Contribute to Post-Emt Av Cushion Cell Migration." PLoS One 8, no. 10 (2013): e77593 [PMID: 24147033]
  2. Grass, G. D., L. B. Tolliver, M. Bratoeva and B. P. Toole. "Cd147, Cd44, and the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (Egfr) Signaling Pathway Cooperate to Regulate Breast Epithelial Cell Invasiveness." J Biol Chem 288, no. 36 (2013): 26089-104 [PMID: 23888049]
  3. Spaeth, E. L., A. M. Labaff, B. P. Toole, A. Klopp, M. Andreeff and F. C. Marini. "Mesenchymal Cd44 Expression Contributes to the Acquisition of an Activated Fibroblast Phenotype Via Twist Activation in the Tumor Microenvironment." Cancer Res 73, no. 17 (2013): 5347-59 [PMID: 23838935]
  4. Dai, L., L. Bai, Y. Lu, Z. Xu, K. Reiss, L. Del Valle, J. Kaleeba, B. P. Toole, C. Parsons and Z. Qin. "Emmprin and Kshv: New Partners in Viral Cancer Pathogenesis." Cancer Lett 337, no. 2 (2013): 161-6 [PMID: 23743354]
  5. Dai, L., M. C. Guinea, M. G. Slomiany, M. Bratoeva, G. D. Grass, L. B. Tolliver, B. L. Maria and B. P. Toole. "Cd147-Dependent Heterogeneity in Malignant and Chemoresistant Properties of Cancer Cells." Am J Pathol 182, no. 2 (2013): 577-85 [PMID: 23178078]
  6. Qin, Z., L. Dai, M. Defee, V. J. Findlay, D. K. Watson, B. P. Toole, J. Cameron, F. Peruzzi, K. Kirkwood and C. Parsons. "Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Suppression of Dusp1 Facilitates Cellular Pathogenesis Following De Novo Infection." J Virol 87, no. 1 (2013): 621-35 [PMID: 23097457]
  7. Grass, G. D., M. Bratoeva and B. P. Toole. "Regulation of Invadopodia Formation and Activity by Cd147." J Cell Sci 125, no. Pt 3 (2012): 777-88 [PMID: 22389410]
  8. Dai, L., Z. Qin, M. Defee, B. P. Toole, K. L. Kirkwood and C. Parsons. "Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (Kshv) Induces a Functional Tumor-Associated Phenotype for Oral Fibroblasts." Cancer Lett 318, no. 2 (2012): 214-20 [PMID: 22186301]
  9. Defee, M. R., Z. Qin, L. Dai, B. P. Toole, J. S. Isaacs and C. H. Parsons. "Extracellular Hsp90 Serves as a Co-Factor for Nf-Kappab Activation and Cellular Pathogenesis Induced by an Oncogenic Herpesvirus." Am J Cancer Res 1, no. 5 (2011): 687-700 [PMID: 21994906]
  10. Dai, L., M. Bratoeva, B. P. Toole, Z. Qin and C. Parsons. "Kshv Activation of Vegf Secretion and Invasion for Endothelial Cells Is Mediated through Viral Upregulation of Emmprin-Induced Signal Transduction." Int J Cancer 131, no. 4 (2012): 834-43 [PMID: 21918972]
  11. Harten, I. A., R. S. Zahr, J. M. Lemire, J. T. Machan, M. A. Moses, R. J. Doiron, A. S. Curatolo, F. G. Rothman, T. N. Wight, B. P. Toole and L. B. Gordon. "Age-Dependent Loss of Mmp-3 in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome." J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 66, no. 11 (2011): 1201-7 [PMID: 21852285]
  12. Kawakami, T., T. Sameshima, H. Hojo, K. Koga, Y. Nakahara, B. P. Toole, J. Suzumiya, Y. Okada, A. Iwasaki and K. Nabeshima. "Synthetic Emmprin Peptides with Chitobiose Substitution Stimulate Mmp-2 Production by Fibroblasts." BMC Cancer 11, (2011): 300 [PMID: 21762534]
  13. Qin, Z., L. Dai, M. Bratoeva, M. G. Slomiany, B. P. Toole and C. Parsons. "Cooperative Roles for Emmprin and Lyve-1 in the Regulation of Chemoresistance for Primary Effusion Lymphoma." Leukemia 25, no. 10 (2011): 1598-609 [PMID: 21660043]
  14. Koga, K., M. Aoki, T. Sameshima, M. Hamasaki, N. Egawa, M. Seiki, B. P. Toole, J. Suzumiya and K. Nabeshima. "Synthetic Emmprin Peptides Inhibit Tumor Cell-Fibroblast Interaction-Stimulated Upregulation of Mmp-2 and Tumor Cell Invasion." Int J Oncol 39, no. 3 (2011): 657-64 [PMID: 21637915]

Recent Reviews:

  1. Dai, L., L. Bai, Y. Lu, Z. Xu, K. Reiss, L. Del Valle, J. Kaleeba, B. P. Toole, C. Parsons and Z. Qin. "Emmprin and Kshv: New Partners in Viral Cancer Pathogenesis." Cancer Lett 337, no. 2 (2013): 161-6 [PMID: 23743354]
  2. Toole, B. P. "Hyaluronan-Cd44 Interactions in Cancer: Paradoxes and Possibilities." Clin Cancer Res 15, no. 24 (2009): 7462-7468 [PMID: 20008845]

Complete List

Last updated on 27-Aug-2015

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