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Olorunseun O. Ogunwobi, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, (Symposium planning committee chair)
Hunter College of the City University of New York
"PVT1 Non-Coding RNAs in Prostate Cancer"
Presentation Abstract :

Prostate cancer (PCa) is frequently diagnosed in men worldwide, but the incidence and mortality rates of aggressive PCa is disproportionately higher in men of African descent. Multiple independent genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified chromosome 8q24 as a PCa susceptibility locus. And some studies have associated chromosome 8q24 with aggressive PCa in men of African descent. Chromosome 8q24 contains one protein-coding gene (c-Myc), and multiple non-protein coding genes. It is well known that only a subset of PCa patients have aberrations of c-Myc. Consequently, the Ogunwobi laboratory at Hunter College has been investigating the hypothesis that one or more of the non-protein coding genes at chromosome 8q24 may play a role in PCa especially in men of African descent. We have focused on the gene that encodes the long non coding RNA (ncRNA), PVT1. PVT1 has been shown to be overexpressed in PCa. However, PVT1 was not previously well-characterized. Recently, we identified at least twelve separate exons of PVT1. And using a panel of nine human PCa cell lines modeling various clinical characteristics of PCa including race, we observed that the twelve exons of PVT1 are differentially expressed. In particular, exon 9 of PVT1 is reproducibly and significantly overexpressed in aggressive PCa cell lines derived from Black men. PVT1 also encodes six annotated miRNAs. However, the role of the PVT1-encoded miRNAs in PCa was previously unknown. We have discovered that two of these PVT1-encoded miRNAs, miR-1205 and miR-1207-3p, are significantly underexpressed in PCa cell lines. In ongoing studies in the Ogunwobi laboratory at Hunter College, we are progressively characterizing the role of these PVT1-derived ncRNAs in PCa.



Dr. Ogunwobi received his medical degree (MBBS) at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He accepted an International Student Scholarship to complete a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Hull, United Kingdom. He subsequently accepted funding by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Bicentenary Trust to complete PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. As a NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida (UF), Dr. Ogunwobi was awarded a Master of Science degree in Clinical and Translational Science (MS-CTS) after utilizing a CTSA/NIH-funded scholarship to complete specialized training at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Ogunwobi is now Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Hunter College. He is also a member of faculty for the PhD program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology as well as for the PhD program in Biochemistry at the City University of New York. And he is an adjunct faculty member in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University. An active area of research in Dr. Ogunwobi’s laboratory is the role of non-coding RNAs in prostate tumorigenesis especially in Black men who are disproportionately affected.