Alice P. Pentland, M.D.

Alice P. Pentland, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 697
Rochester, NY 14642

Fax: (585) 273-1346
Administrative: (585) 275-1998

Research Bio

Research in the Pentland Lab addresses the role of prostaglandins in skin carcinogenesis and in cell differentiation. The role of these lipid mediators in the induction of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is being studied in the context of ultraviolet light injury. Recent work has shown that significant contributions to tumor initiation and promotion may be made by eicosanoids (arachidonic acid and its metabolites). Most importantly, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis, have been shown to have anti-tumor properties in humans. Unfortunately, NSAIDs chemoprevention is limited by NSAID side effects. However, new data shows the hormone metabolizing enzyme aldoketoreductase AKR1C3 is also inhibited by most NSAIDs, begging the question whether cyclooxygenase inhibition is actually the key target through which NSAIDs produce their cancer prevention effects. A potential role in cancer for AKR1C3 has been shown in many tumor types. AKR1C3 metabolizes the cyclooxygenase product PGH2 into PGF2alpha, as well as transforming PGD2 into 9alpha11betaPGF2. This activity can shunt prostaglandin metabolism away from pro-differentiation, pro-apoptotic mediators such as PGJ2. AKR1C3 is also the primary enzyme responsible for synthesis of 17Beta-estradiol and testosterone from their respective less active precursors, supporting its role in hormone sensitive tumors. Lastly, AKR1C3 is capable of supporting redox cycling, which can produce mutations that could promote carcinogenesis.

We are testing the hypothesis that AKR1C3 is an important therapeutic target regulating SCC growth, due to PGF2alpha mediated signaling, redox and hormonal metabolic effects on SCC apoptosis, proliferation or invasion. We seek to determine whether this action is distinct from cancer reduction produced by cyclooxygenase. Current work addresses whether AKR1C3 expression is correlated with degree of tumor malignancy, and examines the relative importance of prostanoid metabolism, hormones and oxidative stress in human SCC-derived cell lines. In vivo models are also in use to understand the relative importance of these AKR1C3 activities.

Awards & Honors (National)

Member NIAMS Council 2011 - 2015
Secretary Treaurer Society for Investigative Dermatology 2011 - Present
Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation | NIH 2010 - 2015
ACTS Study Section, Member | National Institution of Health 2009 - 2011
President | Society for Investigative Dermatology 2006 - 2007
PGE2 Receptor Function in Skin | NIH 2000 - 2010
Training Program in Dermatological Research | NIH 1999 - 2014
Dermatology Award | University of Rochester 1996

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 71 available »

2016 Nov
Barlow ML, Cummings RJ, Pentland AP, Love TM, Haidaris CG, Ryan JL, Lord EM, Gerber SA. "Total-Body Irradiation Exacerbates Dissemination of Cutaneous Candida Albicans Infection." Radiation research. 2016 Nov; 186(5):436-446. Epub 2016 Oct 06.
2016 Apr
Chen L, Oleksyn D, Pulvino M, Sanz I, Ryan D, Ryan C, Lin CS, Poligone B, Pentland AP, Ritchlin C, Zhao J. "A critical role for the protein kinase PKK in the maintenance of recirculating mature B cells and the development of B1 cells." Immunology letters. 2016 Apr; 172:67-78. Epub 2016 Feb 26.
2015 Mar
Poligone B, Gilmore ES, Alexander C, Oleksyn D, Gillespie K, Zhao J, Ibrahim S, Pentland AP, Brown M, Chen L. "PKK suppresses tumor growth and is decreased in squamous cell carcinoma of the skin." The Journal of investigative dermatology. 2015 Mar; 135(3):869-76. Epub 2014 Oct 06.
2015 Jan
Gerber SA, Cummings RJ, Judge JL, Barlow ML, Nanduri J, Johnson DE, Palis J, Pentland AP, Lord EM, Ryan JL. "Interleukin-12 preserves the cutaneous physical and immunological barrier after radiation exposure." Radiation research. 2015 Jan; 183(1):72-81. Epub 2015 Jan 07.
2014 Aug
Mantel A, Carpenter-Mendini A, VanBuskirk J, Pentland AP. "Aldo-keto reductase 1C3 is overexpressed in skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and affects SCC growth via prostaglandin metabolism." Experimental dermatology. 2014 Aug; 23(8):573-8. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Current Appointments

Director, Center for Future Health - Center for Future Health (URMC)
Chair - Department of Dermatology (SMD) - Primary Administrative
James H. Sterner Professorship in Dermatology - Department of Dermatology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Dermatology (SMD) - Primary


Dermatology - American Board of Dermatology


MD | Medicine | Univ of Michigan Medical Sch1976
BS | Pre-Medical | Univ of Michigan Medical Sch1976

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Dermatology at Washington University School of Medicine07/01/1983 - 06/30/1986
Residency in Dermatology at University Of Michigan07/01/1979 - 06/30/1983
Internship in Internal Medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital07/01/1978 - 06/30/1979