The People of Tulane Cancer Center Research

Precott DeiningerPrescott Deininger, PhD
Director, Tulane Cancer Center
The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Chair in Oncology
Professor of Epidemiology
Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry, Pathology, and Human Genetics
Co-Director, Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium
Tulane Cancer Center Program Member

Contact Information

Phone: 504-988-6385
Address: 1430 Tulane Ave., Box SL-66, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699

Biographical Narrative

Dr. Deininger received his A.B. in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1973. He then carried out doctoral studies with Dr. Carl Schmid at the University of California at Davis on the sequence organization of the human genome, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1978. He carried out postdoctoral studies with Dr. Theodore Friedmann at UC at San Diego working on sequencing the polyoma genome, followed by a year with Dr. Frederic Sanger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England studying EBV.

In 1981 he took a faculty position in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Medical Center where he reached the rank of professor in 1990. He spent a year on sabbatical in 1989 with Dr. Charles Stiles at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Medicine. He also served as the Founding Director of the Laboratory of Molecular genetics at the Ochsner Medical Foundation.

He took the position as Associate Director of the Tulane Cancer Center at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in 1998, Interim Director in 2007, and Director of the Cancer Center in 2009. Dr. Deininger has published over 100 papers on the subject of the human genome. He also serves as an executive editor of Analytical Biochemistry, andserves on the boards of several other journals, and has served on NIH, DOD and NSF grant review panels.

The primary theme of his research is genetic instability in the human genome. This is not only a critical issue in carcinogenesis, but also in a number of genetic disorders. Dr. Deininger's laboratory has carried out extensive analysis of the mobile elements in the human genome to understand their mechanism of spread throughout the human genome. The lab is continuing to study the mechanism of mobile element amplification in the human genome and its impacts in human disease. They have identified proteins that interact with SINE RNA molecules and are therefore likely to participate in the amplification process. Ongoing studies are also being conducted on the impact of mobile elements on human genome diversity and also making assessments of their influence in carcinogenesis. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Keats at LSUHSC, research is being done to study the triplet repeat instability associated with Freidreich's Ataxia, and a minisatellite repeat that is associated with Ushers Syndrome. Both of these diseases affect the Acadian population at a higher than normal rate. More recently, his laboratory has expanded studies into the genetic and environmental contributions to the instabilities associated with human repetitive elements. This includes studies into the influence of genotoxins on recombination between Alu elements that will contribute to genomic deletions and amplifications. In collaboration with Xavier investigators, the laboratory is looking at both the genetic and environmental influences on both insertional mutagenesis of mobile elements and the genetic influences on recombination between Alu elements.

Selected Publications
Chaconas G, Craig N, Curcio MJ, Deininger P, Feschotte C, Levin H, Rice PA, Voytas DF. (2010) Meeting report for mobile DNA 2010. Mobile DNA 1, 20-22.

Belancio VP, Roy-Engel, AM and Deininger P, (2010) All y'all need to know 'bout retroelements in cancer. Semin Cancer Biol 20:200-210. PMID: 20600922

Wallace NA, Belancio VP, Faber Z, Deininger P, (2010) Feedback inhibition of L1 and Alu retrotransposition through altered double strand break repair kinetics. Mobile DNA 1, 22-32. PMID: 20979631.

Lee W, Lee YI, Lee J, Davis LM, Deininger P, Soper SA. (2010) Cross-talk-free dual-color fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy for the study of enzyme activity. Anal Chem. 15;82(4):1401-10. PMID: 20073480

Belancio VP, Roy-Engel, A. M., Pochampally, R. R., Deininger, P.: Somatic expression of LINE-1 elements in human tissues. NucAcids Res 2010, PMID: 20215437

Belancio VP, Deininger, P, Roy-Engel, AM (2009) Line dancing in the human genome: transposable elements and disease. Genome Med. 1(10):97. PMID: 19863772

Zhang K, Fan W, Deininger P, Edwards A, Xu Z, Zhu D: Breaking the computational barrier: a divide-conquer and aggregate based approach for Alu insertion site characterisation. Int J Comput Biol Drug Des 2009, 2:302-322. PMID: 20090173

Belancio VP, Deininger PL, Roy-Engel AM (2009) Line dancing in the human genome: transposable elements and disease Genome Med. 1(10):97. PMID: 19863772

M. Comeaux, A Roy-Engel, DJ Hedges and P. Deininger (2009) Diverse Cis Factors Controlling Alu Retrotransposition: What Causes Alu Elements to Die? Genome Research 19: 545-255. PMID: 19273617

Bochukova EG, Roscioli T, Hedges DJ, Taylor IB, Johnson D, David DJ, Deininger PL, Wilkie AO. (2009) Rare mutations of FGFR2 causing apert syndrome: identification of the first partial gene deletion, and an Alu element insertion from a new subfamily. Hum Mutat. 30: 204-211. PMID: 18726952

Wallace, NA, Belancio, VP, and Deininger, PL, (2008) L1 mobile element expression causes multiple types of toxicity. Gene. 419: 75-81. PMID: 18555620

Wallace N, Wagstaff BJ, Deininger PL and Roy-Engel, AM (2008) LINE-1 ORF1 protein enhances Alu SINE retrotransposition. Gene 419; 1-6. PMID: 18534786

SL Gasior, Roy-Engel AM, PL Deininger (2008) ERCC1/XPF limits L1 retrotransposition. DNA Repair 7:983-989. PMID: 18396111

Belancio VP, Roy-Engel AM, Deininger P. (2008) The impact of multiple splice sites in human L1 elements. Gene 411:38-45. PMID: 18261861

DJ Hedges and PL Deininger (2007) Inviting instability: Transposable elements, double-strand breaks, and the maintenance of genome integrity. Mutation Research 616,46-59

S. Gasior, G. Preston, D. Hedges, N. Gilbert, J. Moran and P. Deininger (2007) Characterization of pre-insertion loci of de novo L1 inserts. Gene 390,190-198.

V.P. Belancio, M. Whelton, and P. Deininger (2007) Requirements for polyadenylation at the 3' end of LINE-1 elements. Gene 390,98-107.

J. Xing, H. Wang, V.P. Belancio, R. Cordaux, P.L. Deininger and M.A. Batzer (2006) Emergence of new primate genes by retrotransposon-mediated sequence transduction. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 103:17608-13.

V.P. Belancio, D. Hedges, P. Deininger. (2006) LINE-1 RNA splicing and influences on mammalian gene expression. Nucleic Acids Res. 34,1512-21.

S. Gasior, T. Wakeman, B. Xu, and P. Deininger. (2006) The Human LINE-1 Retrotransposon Creates DNA Double-Strand Breaks. J. Mol. Biol. 357,1383-93.

Stephen L. Gasior, Melanie Palmisano, Prescott L. Deininger. (2005) Alu-linked hairpins efficiently mediate RNA interference with less toxicity than H1-expressed shRNAs. Anal Biochem. 349,41-48.

M. El-Sawy, S.P. Kale, C. Dugan, T.Q. Nguyen, V. Belancio, H. Bruch, A.M. Roy-Engel, P.L. Deininger. (2005) Nickel stimulates L1 retrotransposition by a post-transcriptional mechnism. J. Mol. Biol. 354:246-57.

A.M. Roy-Engel, M. El-Sawy, L. Farooq, G.L. Odom, V. Perepelitsa-Belancio, H. Bruch, O.O. Oyeniran, and P.L. Deininger (2005) Human retroelements may introduce intragenic polyadenylation sites. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 110,365-71.

M. El-Sawy and P. Deininger. (2005) Tandem insertions of ALU elements. Cytogenetic and Genome Research Research 108,58-62.

G.L. Odom, J.L. Robichaux, and P.L. Deininger. (2004) Predicting mammalian SINE subfamily activity from A tail length. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 21,2140-8.

V. Perepelitsa-Belancio and P. Deininger. (2003) RNA truncation by premature polyadenylation attenuates human mobile element activity. Nature Genetics 35,363-366. commentaries in 'The Scientist' and 'Nature Reviews Genetics'.


1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112