The People of Tulane Cancer Center Research

Tong WuTong Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Marguerite Main Zimmerman Chair in Basic Cancer Research
Tulane Cancer Center Program
Member in the Tumor Biology & Signaling Program

Contact Information
Phone: 504-988-5210
Address: 1430 Tulane Ave., SL-79, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699

Biographical Narrative
Dr. Wu’s basic research centers on the molecular mechanisms of inflammation and carcinogenesis, with a special emphasis on the pathogenesis of liver cancer and inflammatory liver diseases. The laboratory focuses on the biological functions and molecular mechanisms of arachidonic acid/prostaglandin and other key signaling pathways in hepatobiliary cell biology, inflammation and carcinogenesis. Arachidonic acid metabolites, termed eicosanoids (including prostaglandins, leukotrienes and HETEs), are potent biologically active molecules in inflammation and carcinogenesis. They mediate a variety of cellular physiological and pathophysiological functions through binding to their plasma membrane receptors and/or nuclear transcription factors (PPARs). Whereas the pro-inflammatory and carcinogenic eicosanoids are synthesized from arachidonic acid (an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid), this process is competitively inhibited by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The production of arachidonic acid metabolites is tightly controlled by a series of enzymes including cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1), and 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Dr. Wu’s laboratory is actively investigating the interaction between the eicosanoid cascade with other signaling pathways (including TGF-b, EGFR, iNOS and Wnt/b-catenin) and their role in liver injury, inflammation and carcinogenesis. A variety of in vitro and in vivo model systems are being utilized to study key eicosanoid-regulatory enzymes, eicosanoid receptors (G protein coupled receptors and PPARs), omega-3 fatty acids, microRNAs, TGF-b, EGFR, iNOS, Wnt/b-catenin, and Hedgehog signaling pathways in liver cells. The laboratory also investigates liver cancer epigenetics, mechanisms of liver injuries, and growth regulation of hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells. Dr. Wu also conducts active clinical research on transplantation pathology, primarily in liver and intestine transplantation.

Selected Publications

Lu D, Han C and Wu T. Microsomal prostaglandin E synthease-1 (mPHES-1) promotes experimental cholangiocarcinogenesis and tumor progression through inhibition of PTEN pathway. Gastroenterology. 2011, 40(7):2084-94.

Lu D, Han C and Wu T. Microsomal prostaglandin E synthease-1 (mPHES-1) promotes hepatocarcinogenesis through activation of a novel EGR1/beta-catenin signaling axis. Oncogene. 2011, Feb 16;31(7):842-57.

Li G, Chen W, Han C and Wu T. Cytosolic phospholipase A(2)α protects against Fas- but not LPS-induced liver injury. Journal of Hepatology 2011, Dec;55(6):1281-90.

Han C, Bowen W, Li G, Demetris AJ, Michalopoulos GK and Wu T. Cytosolic phospholipase A2alpha and PPAR-gamma signaling pathway counteracts TGF-beta-mediated inhibition of primary and transformed hepatocyte growth. Hepatology, 2010, 52 (2): 644-655.

Adeyi OA, Costa G, Abu-Elmagd KM, and Wu T. Rotavirus infection in adult small intestine allografts: A clinico-pathological study of a cohort of 23 patients. Am. J. Transplant. 2010, 10:2683-2689.

Behari J, Yeh TH, Krauland L, Otruba W, Cieply B, Hauth B, Apte U, Wu T, Evans R, Monga SP. Liver-Specific beta-catenin knockout mice exhibit defective bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis and increased susceptibility to diet-induced steatohepatitis. Am J Pathol. 2010, 176(2):744-753.

Lim K and Wu T. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and other cancers. In Dietary Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cancer (Eds: G. Calviello and S. Serini), Springer-Verlag, New York, 2010, pp 191-217.

Nalesnik MA, Wu T, Sasatomi E, and Demetris AJ. Pathologic Aspects of Hepatocellualr Tumors. In Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Diagnosis and Treatment (2nd

edition) (Ed: B. Carr), Humana Press, 2010, pp 183-233.

Li G, Han C, Xu L, Lim K, Isse K, and Wu T. Cyclooxygenase-2 prevents Fas-induced liver injury through upregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor. Hepatology 2009, 50(3):834-843.

Lim K, Han C, Dai Y, Shen M, and Wu T. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma cell growth through blocking β-catenin and COX-2. Mol. Cancer Ther. 2009, 8(11):3046-3055.


1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112