H. Leighton (Lee) Grimes, PhD

Director, Cancer Pathology Program, Division of Experimental Hematology & Division of Pathology

Co-Leader, Program in Hematologic Malignancies of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-636-6089

Fax 513-636-5355

Email lee.grimes@cchmc.org

Transcriptional control of hematopoiesis and cancer.

Visit the Grimes Lab.

Grimes Laboratory:

The cloning and characterization of oncoproteins and tumor suppressors over the last 25 years has not only resulted in a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms of transformation, but it has also provided a large set of therapeutic targets. Our lab is interested in the progression of a cell with a single genetic lesion to an invasive cancer with multiple genetic alterations. We focus on the Growth factor independence-1 (Gfi1) transcription factor, which is poorly oncogenic alone, but which potently collaborates with well known oncoproteins such as c-MYC. Gfi1 is the most frequently targeted gene in Moloney murine leukemia virus-induced tumors and induces tumor progression to cytokine-independent growth. In contrast, loss of Gfi1 in hematopoietic stem cells induces cell cycle progression and eventual bone marrow failure; implicating Gfi1 as a tumor suppressor in such cells. Gfi1 null mice have no mature neutrophils, and we have identified humans with Severe Congenital Neutropenia (SCN) and Non-Immune Chronic Idiopathic Neutropenia of Adults (NI-CINA) bearing mutations in Gfi1. Interestingly, such patients are at increased risk for the development of myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. We have recently generated the first mouse model of Severe Congenital Neutropenia through the expression of mutant Gfi1 proteins in primary murine hematopoietic cells. Moreover, we are utilizing mouse models of human cancer to assess the risk of Gfi1 mutant humans for the development of acute myeloid leukemia.

PhD: Immunology and Molecular Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Phelan JD, Saba AI, Olsson A, Zeng H, Kosan C, Messer MS, Hildeman D, Aronow B, Möröy T, Grimes HL. Growth factor independent-1 maintains Notch1-dependent transcriptional programming of lymphoid precursors. PLoS Genetics. 2013. In press.

Khandanpour C*, Phelan JD*, Vassen L, Schutte J, Chen R, Horman SR, Gaudreau MC, Krongold J, Zhu J, Paul WE, Duhrsen U, Gottgens B, Grimes HL# Moroy T#.  Growth factor independence 1 (Gfi1) antagonizes a p53-induced DNA damage response pathway in lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2013 Feb 11;23(2):200-14. * equal first author, # shared corresponding author.

Meyer SE, Hasenstein JR, Baktula A, Velu CS, Xu Y, Wan H, Whitsett JA, Gilks CB, Grimes HL. Kruppel-like factor 5 is not required for K-RasG12D lung tumorigenesis, but represses ABCG2 expression and is associated with better disease-specific survival. Am J Pathol. 2010 Sep;177(3):1503-13.

Horman SR, Velu CS, Chaubey A, Bourdeau T, Zhu J, Paul WE, Gebelein B, Grimes HL. Gfi1 integrates progenitor versus granulocytic transcriptional programming. Blood. 2009 May 28;113(22):5466-75.

Velu CS, Baktula AM, Grimes HL. Gfi1 regulates miR-21 and miR-196b to control myelopoiesis. Blood. 2009 May 7;113(19):4720-8.

Horman SR, Velu CS, Chaubey A, Bourdeau T, Zhu J, Paul WE, Gebelein B, Grimes HL. Gfi1 integrates progenitor versus granulocytic transcriptional programming. Blood. 2009 May 28;113(22):5466-75.

Gu Y, Harley IT, Henderson LB, Aronow BJ, Vietor I, Huber LA, Harley JB, Kilpatrick JR, Langefeld CD, Williams AH, Jegga AG, Chen J, Wills-Karp M, Arshad SH, Ewart SL, Thio CL, Flick LM, Filippi MD, Grimes HL, Drumm ML, Cutting GR, Knowles MR, Karp CL. Identification of IFRD1 as a modifier gene for cystic fibrosis lung disease. Nature. 2009 Apr 23;458(7241):1039-42.

Li-Kroeger D, Witt LM, Grimes HL, Cook TA, Gebelein B. Hox and senseless antagonism functions as a molecular switch to regulate EGF secretion in the Drosophila PNS. Dev Cell. 2008 Aug;15(2):298-308.

Zarebski1 A, Velu CS, Baktula AM, Bourdeau T, Horman SR, Basu S, Bertolone SJ, Horwitz M, Hildeman DA, Trent JO, Grimes HL. The Human Severe Congenital Neutropenia-Associated Gfi1N382S Mutant Blocks Murine Granulopoiesis Through CSF1. Immunity. 2008 Mar;28(3):370-80.

Person RE, Li FQ, Duan Z,  Benson KF, Wechsler J, Papadaki HA, Eliopoulos G, Kaufman C, Bertolone SJ, Nakamoto B, Papayannopoulou T, Grimes HL, Horwitz M. Gfi1 Proto-Oncogene Mutation Causes Human Neutropenia and Targets Neutrophil Elastase. Nature Genetics. 2003 March 1;30: 295 - 300.