Weixiong Zhong, MD, PhD
- Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Molecular mechanisms of selenium in prostate cancer chemoprevention; oxidative stress and redox regulation in carcinogenesis
Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of selenium in cancer chemoprevention and the role of reactive oxygen species in carcinogenesis. Selenium is an essential trance element for human health. Selenium deficiency is known to be linked to the risk of certain cancers. Recent clinical studies demonstrated that selenium is a promising chemopreventive agent for prostate and colon cancers. We are currently studying redox-mediated and epigenetic effects of selenium on cell cycle and apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. We are interested in determining how selenium modulates intracellular redox state, DNA methylation, and histone protein modifications to regulate the expression of genes involved in protection against oxidative stress, tumor suppression, cell cycle, and apoptosis. We also study combinations of selenium with other dietary chemopreventive agents, DNA methylation inhibitors, and histone deacetylase inhibitors for maximizing cancer prevention and minimizing the side effects of individual agents.