John J. Reiners, Jr.

John J. Reiners, Jr., Ph.D.
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
259 Mack Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

 Research Specialization:
Characterization the signaling pathways and mechanisms involved in the regulation of CYP1A1 gene following exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polyhalogenated aromatics such as dioxins.

Research Description:
Although the term 'death' has negative connotations, it is a normal physiological process and necessary for maintenance of homeostasis. Indeed, cancer is often a consequence of defective cell death pathways. The Reiners laboratory is interested in understanding the processes of programmed cell death, and determining how different types of toxicants and insults to specific organelles (lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, mitochondria) initiate programmed cell death pathways. Such information has significant therapeutic applications. A second related area of interest revolves around the study of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The AhR is a ubiquitously expressed, ligand-activated transcription factor. Its ligand-dependent activities influence processes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, immune function, development, cell cycle progression, and cell death. The Reiners laboratory is interested in: 1) the signaling processes that regulate AhR function; 2) AhR regulation of cholesterol trafficking and homeostasis; and the 3) ligand-independent functions of the AhR. In relation to the latter, particular attention is being focused on how the AhR regulates lysosome fragility, and susceptibilities to subclasses of cytotoxic agents that target the lysosome.

Selected Publications:

Kessel D, Reiners J Jr. Light-Activated Pharmaceuticals: Mechanisms and Detection. Isr J Chem. 2012;52:674-680.

Kessel DH, Price M, Reiners JJ Jr. ATG7 deficiency suppresses apoptosis and cell death induced by lysosomal photodamage. Autophagy. 2012;8:1333-41.

Elliott A, Joiakim A, Mathieu PA, Duniec-Dmuchowski Z, Kocarek TA, Reiners JJ Jr. p-Anilinoaniline enhancement of dioxin-induced CYP1A1 transcription and aryl hydrocarbon receptor occupancy of CYP1A1 promoter: role of the cell cycle. Drug Metab Dispos. 2012;40:1032-40.

Wojtkowiak JW, Sane KM, Kleinman M, Sloane BF, Reiners JJ Jr, Mattingly RR. Aborted autophagy and nonapoptotic death induced by farnesyl transferase inhibitor and lovastatin. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011;337:65-74.

Education and Training:
PhD (1977): Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Cancer Biology Courses Taught:
CB7210 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology
CB7700 Recent Developments in Cancer Biology