Rudolph L. Juliano

Rudolph L.  Juliano

Boshamer Distinguished Professor
Department of Pharmacology

Assoc. Dean for Research & Graduate Education, Division of Molecular Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy

Ph.D., Biophysics
University of Rochester, NY

Biosketch [.pdf]

Juliano Lab Website
School of Pharmacy Division of Molecular Pharmacy
Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence

Contact Information  ->>

Research Interests

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Macromolecular Therapeutics

Research Synopsis

Cell Adhesion Molecules and Signal Transduction

Adhesive interactions between a cell and its neighbors, or between cells and the extracellular matrix, play a major role in the regulation of normal cellular growth and differentiation. Conversely, aberrations in cell interactions are a hallmark characteristic of the invasive and metastatic behavior of malignant cells. Research in this laboratory centers on the biology, biochemistry and molecular biology of the integrin family of membrane receptors which mediate cell-matrix interactions. We have shown that integrins regulate key signaling pathways, particularly those involving mitogen activated protein kinases (MAP kinases). Ultimately, integrin mediated signals help to control gene expression and can influence cell differentiation, traverse through the cell cycle, or apoptosis. Part of our work has focused on identifying proteins that interact with integrins, using two-hybrid screens or other approaches. We have recently analyzed a novel cytosolic protein, termed Nischarin, that binds the a5b1 integrin, and that regulates cell migration by inhibiting PAK-family kinases. Nischarin is highly expressed in the central nervous system and may play a particularly important role in regulating axon extension.

Macromolecular Therapeutics

Perhaps the most fundamental approach to the control of cancer would be to be able to regulate the aberrant expression of key genes involved in cancer progression. We have adopted two strategies in pursuit of this goal. In one strategy we use antisense oligonucleotides or RNA interference to inhibit messenger RNA from cancer-related genes. In another approach we have sought to identify novel peptides that can interact directly with the DNA of cancer-related genes. Thus we make use of a so-called "combinatorial library" strategy to select active DNA-binding peptides from a vast number of possibilities, and then couple these peptides to transcriptional regulatory domains to form novel, specific transcription factors. This is an exciting approach that could give rise to new insights into protein-DNA interactions as well as yielding new therapeutic entities.



Click above for PubMed publications.

  • Ming X , Carver K, Fisher M, Noel R, Cintrat JC, Gillet D, Barbier J, Cao C, Bauman J and Juliano RL. The Small Molecule Retro-1 Enhances the Pharmacological Actions of Antisense and Splice Switching Oligonucleotides Nucleic Acids Research, in press, 2013.
  • Juliano RL, Carver K, Cao C, Ming X. (2013) Receptors, endocytosis, and trafficking: the biological basis of targeted delivery of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides. J Drug Target. 21(1):27-43. Abstract
  • Juliano R, Poste G, Tomlinson E. (2012) Perspective from the founding editors. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2012 Aug 17. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Kotula JW, Pratico ED, Ming X, Nakagawa O, Juliano RL, Sullenger BA. (2012) Aptamer-mediated delivery of splice-switching oligonucleotides to the nuclei of cancer cells. Nucleic Acid Ther. 22(3):187-95. Abstract
  • Juliano RL, Ming X, Nakagawa O. (2012) The Chemistry and Biology of Oligonucleotide Conjugates. Acc Chem Res. [Epub ahead of print] Abstract
  • Juliano RL. (2012) The future of nanomedicine: promises and limitations. Science & Public Policy 39: 99-104.
  • Juliano RL, Ming X, Nakagawa O. (2012) Cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides. Bioconjug Chem. 23:147-57 (review). Abstract
  • Juliano, RL. (2011) Drug Development In Academe, C& EN News 89:4 (letter).
  • Alam, M.R., Ming, X., Fisher, M., Lackey, J.G., Rajeev, K.G., Manoharan, M. and Juliano, R.L. (2011) Multivalent Cyclic RGD Conjugates for Targeted Delivery of Small Interfering RNA. Bioconjug Chem. 22:1673-81. Abstract
  • Ming, X., Sato, K. and Juliano, R.L. (2011) Unconventional internalization mechanisms underlying functional delivery of antisense oligonucleotides via cationic lipoplexes and polyplexes. J Control Release, 153, 83-92. Abstract
  • Xu R, Fisher M, Juliano RL. (2011) Targeted albumin based nanoparticles for delivery of amphipathic drugs. Bioconjug Chem. 22:870-8. Abstract
  • Frye S, Crosby M, Edwards T, Juliano R. (2011) US Academic Drug Discovery. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 10(6):409-10 (review). Abstract
  • Juliano RL, Sunnarborg S, DeSimone J, Haroon Z. (2011) The Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence: past accomplishments and future perspectives. Nanomedicine (Lond). 6(1):19-24( review). Abstract
  • Juliano RL. (2010) Overbuilding: doctoral degree surplus. Science. 330:1045.(letter). Abstract

Contact Information

Office Location:
1072 Genetic Medicine

Mailing Address:
CB # 7362
UNC-CH School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7362

Office Phone: 919-966-4383
Lab Phone: 919-966-4343
Fax: 919-966-5640



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