Philip Owens, Ph.D.
The Owens lab uses genetic and pharmacologic tools to study BMP
function in models of metastasis. Our lab hopes to uncover how diverse
populations of cell in distinct niche metastatic microenvironments can be
treated by modulating the BMP pathway.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) are members of the Transforming Growth
Factor b (TGFb) family of growth factors and cytokines. The actions of BMPs can elicit
many cellular transformation in development and disease. BMPs are most widely
known for their original discovery at the promotion of bone formation, however
they are appreciated as factors that can influence almost every cell type in
the body and are frequently dysregulated in diseases such as cancer. BMPs can
influence how cancer cell migrate, proliferate, survive and change their
fundamental identity to promote or suppress hallmarks of cancer. BMPs are
secreted factors that can also exert changes in the surrounding tumor
microenvironment. The cells of the tumor microenvironment can be much more than
the immune system and specialized sites of metastasis will create unique
signaling with BMPs such as when breast or prostate cancers colonize the bone.
Current projects in the lab include:
- The role of BMP signaling in tumor
induced bone disease.
- The role of BMP signaling in
tumor associated lymphatics.
- The role of BMP signaling
in tumor associated myeloid cells.
NIH Project Reporter
- Hover LD, Young CD, Bhola NE, Wilson AJ, Khabele D, Hong CC, Moses HL, Owens P. Small molecule inhibitor of the bone morphogenetic protein pathway DMH1 reduces ovarian cancer cell growth. Cancer Lett. 2015 Jul 30. pii: S0304-3835(15)00487-5. doi:
10.1016/j.canlet.2015.07.032. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26235139
- Owens P, Pickup MW, Novitskiy SV, Giltnane JM, Gorska AE, Hopkins CR, Hong CC, Moses HL. Inhibition of BMP signaling suppresses metastasis in mammary cancer. Oncogene. 2015 May 7;34(19):2437-49. doi: 10.1038/onc.2014.189. Epub 2014 Jul 7. PMID: 24998846.
- Pickup MW, Hover LD, Polikowsky ER, Novitskiy SV, Gorska AE, Chytil A, Moses HL, Owens P. BMPR2 deletion in mammary fibroblasts promotes tumor growth and metastasis via alternate BMP signaling and cytokine activation. Mol Oncol 2015 Jan;9(1):179-91. doi:
10.1016/j.molonc.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Aug 23. PMID: 25205038
- Pickup MW, Novitskiy SV, Chytil A, Gorska AE, Aakre ME, West J, Moses HL, Owens P. Deletion of the BMP receptor BMPR1a impairs mammary tumor formation and metastasis. Oncotarget 2015 June 11, 2015 PMID:26274893
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