Tomoo Iwakuma, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Dept. of Cancer Biology
Member, Center for Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology

Ph.D., Kyushu University, 1997
Postdoctoral, University of Florida, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1997-2005

Dr. Iwakuma's primary research focuses on the field of Cancer Research, specifically on cancer progression in bone and soft tissue sarcoma. Over 50% of human cancer has mutations in the tumor suppressor p53 which regulates cell cycle progression, cell death, senescence, chromosome integrity, DNA repair, and metastasis. Therefore, understanding of the pathway involved in the regulation of p53 is essential for discovering novel cancer therapies. With special focus on the tumor suppressor p53 pathway, Dr. Iwakuma dissects the mechanism of cancer progression using genetically engineered mice, as well as tumor transplantation models, and applies disease models to translational research, to ultimately cure cancer.

Selected Publications

Iwakuma T and Agarwal N. MDM2 Binding Protein, a novel metastasis suppressor. Cancer Metastasis Review. 2012 Dec;31(3-4):633-40.

Iyer SV and Iwakuma T. A novel link between the HER2-Akt and MDM2-p53 pathways via CSN6. Cell Cycle. 2012 Oct 25;11(22). 4112.

Lang GA, Iwakuma T, Suh A-Y, Liu G, Rao VA, Parant JM, Valentin-Vega YA, Terzian T, Caldwell LC, Strong LC, El-Naggar AK, Lozano G. (2004) Gain of Function of a p53 hot spot mutation in a mouse model of Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Cell 119: 861-872.

Iwakuma T, Tochigi Y, Van Pelt CS, Caldwell LC, Terzian T, Parant JM, Chau GP, Koch J, Eischen CM, Lozano G. (2008) Mtbp haploinsufficiency in mice increases tumor metastasis. Oncogene 27:1813-1820. 

Terzian T, Suh Y-A, Iwakuma T, Post SM, Neumann M, Lang GA, Van Pelt CS, Lozano G. (2008) The inherent instability of mutant p53 is alleviated by Mdm2 or p16INK4a loss. Genes & Development 22:1337-1344.

Adhikari A, Agarwal N, Wood BM, Constance P, Pochampally RR, and Iwakuma T. (2010) CD117 and Stro-1 identify osteosarcoma tumor-initiating cells associated with metastasis and drug resistance. Cancer Research 70: 4602-4612.

Post SM, Quintás-Cardama A, Pant V, Iwakuma T, Hamir A, Jackson JG, Maccio DR, Bond GL, Johnson DG, Levine AJ, Lozano G. (2010) A High-Frequency Regulatory Polymorphism in the p53 Pathway Accelerates Tumor Development. Cancer Cell 18:220-230.

Adhikari AS, Agarwal N, and Iwakuma T. (2011) Metastatic potential of Tumor-Initiating Cells in Solid Tumors. Frontiers in Bioscience 16:1927-1938.  

Agarwal N, Tochigi Y, Amit S. Adhikari AS, Cui S, Cui Y, and Iwakuma T. (2011) MTBP plays a crucial role in mitotic progression and chromosome segregation. Cell Death & Differentiation 18:1208-1219

Zhao R, Yeung SCJ, Chen J, Iwakuma T, Su CH, Chen B, Qu C, Zhang F, Chen YT, Lin YL, Lee DF, Jin F, Zhu R, Shaikenov T, Sarbassov S, Sahin A, Wang H, Wang H, Lai CC, Tsai FJ, Lozano G, and Lee MH. (2011) COP9 signalosome subunit 6 promotes tumorigenesis through stabilization of MDM2.  J. Clin. Invest.121:851-865. .

Agarwal N, Adhikari AS, Iyer SV, Hekmatdoost K, Welch DR, and Iwakuma T. (2012) MTBP suppresses cell migration and filopodia formation by inhibiting ACTN4. Oncogene, doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.69.

Iwakuma T and Agarwal N. (2012) MDM2 Binding Protein, a novel metastasis suppressor, Clinical Metastasis Review 31:633-40. 

Last modified: Feb 24, 2014


Tomoo Iwakuma, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept. of Cancer Biology