Rachelle Johnson, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor of Medicine
- Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (2011)
- B.S., University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (2007)
Bone metastasis, breast cancer, hypoxia, leukemia inhibitory factor
The Johnson laboratory focuses on breast cancer metastasis to bone and breast cancer dormancy in bone, with an emphasis on the signaling pathways that mediate these processes. Improvement in the clinical care of patients with primary breast cancer has dramatically increased patient survival rates over the past decade, yet many patients still develop distant metastases that are strongly associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Recurrence arises from disseminated tumor cells that have overcome their dormant state and proliferate at the site of metastasis. We wish to gain a better understanding of how these dormant cells, which reside in the bone marrow, exit dormancy.
Our particular interest lies in the role of hypoxia (low oxygen tensions) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signaling in breast cancer colonization of the bone marrow, bone metastasis, and tumor cell entry/exit from dormancy. We use a combination of molecular and cell biology assays and xenograft and transgenic mouse models to study the mechanism by which breast cancer cells enter and exit a dormant state, and the impact of the bone microenvironment on this process.
Please visit the Johnson laboratory website for more information: https://www.vumc.org/vcbb/person/rachelle-w-johnson-phd
- Todd VM, Johnson RW. Hypoxia in bone metastasis and osteolysis. Cancer Lett [print-electronic]. 2020 Oct 10/1/2020; 489: 144-54. PMID: 32561416, PMCID: PMC7429356, PII: S0304-3835(20)30305-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2020.06.004, ISSN: 1872-7980.
- Johnson RW. The Search For a Bone Metastasis Biomarker May Have a New Find: Circulating Osteocalcin-Positive Cells [editorial]. J Bone Miner Res [print-electronic]. 2020 Oct; 35(10): 1836-7. PMID: 32761966, DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.4126, ISSN: 1523-4681.
- Mayhew V, Omokehinde T, Johnson RW. Tumor dormancy in bone. Cancer Rep (Hoboken) [print-electronic]. 2020 Feb; 3(1): e1156. PMID: 32632400, PMCID: PMC7337256, DOI: 10.1002/cnr2.1156, ISSN: 2573-8348.
- Clements ME, Johnson RW. PREX1 drives spontaneous bone dissemination of ER+ breast cancer cells. Oncogene [print-electronic]. 2020 Feb; 39(6): 1318-34. PMID: 31636389, PMCID: PMC7007387, PII: 10.1038/s41388-019-1064-3, DOI: 10.1038/s41388-019-1064-3, ISSN: 1476-5594.
- Omokehinde T, Johnson RW. GP130 Cytokines in Breast Cancer and Bone. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Jan 1/31/2020; 12(2): PMID: 32023849, PMCID: PMC7072680, PII: cancers12020326, DOI: 10.3390/cancers12020326, ISSN: 2072-6694.
- Clements ME, Johnson RW. Breast Cancer Dormancy in Bone. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2019 Oct; 17(5): 353-61. PMID: 31468498, PMCID: PMC6819229, PII: 10.1007/s11914-019-00532-y, DOI: 10.1007/s11914-019-00532-y, ISSN: 1544-2241.
- Vanderburgh JP, Kwakwa KA, Werfel TA, Merkel AR, Gupta MK, Johnson RW, Guelcher SA, Duvall CL, Rhoades JA. Systemic delivery of a Gli inhibitor via polymeric nanocarriers inhibits tumor-induced bone disease. J Control Release [print-electronic]. 2019 Oct; 311-312: 257-72. PMID: 31494183, PMCID: PMC7007697, PII: S0168-3659(19)30532-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.08.038, ISSN: 1873-4995.
- Martin TJ, Johnson RW. Multiple actions of parathyroid hormone-related protein in breast cancer bone metastasis. Br J Pharmacol [print-electronic]. 2019 May 5/14/2019; PMID: 31087800, DOI: 10.1111/bph.14709, ISSN: 1476-5381.
- Sowder ME, Johnson RW. Bone as a Preferential Site for Metastasis. JBMR Plus. 2019 Mar; 3(3): e10126. PMID: 30918918, PMCID: PMC6419612, PII: JBM410126, DOI: 10.1002/jbm4.10126, ISSN: 2473-4039.
- Sowder ME, Johnson RW. Enrichment and detection of bone disseminated tumor cells in models of low tumor burden. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 9/24/2018; 8(1): 14299. PMID: 30250146, PMCID: PMC6155169, PII: 10.1038/s41598-018-32653-2, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32653-2, ISSN: 2045-2322.