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Alan E. Friedman, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-4066



The evaluation of biomarkers as diagnostic indicators for disease progression is an endeavor of intense academic and clinical research. Our group is interested in the regulation of cancer progression, which we are studying through a novel in vitro cell model system. This model, called the Prostatic Human Epithelial Cancer (PHEC) system, represents all three states of human prostate cancer progression: non-tumorigenic, tumorigenic and metastatic cells. For each state, we have individual cell lines in culture, and thus we are able to compare the three states directly, as they are generated from the same progenitor line. This allows us to study changes in expressed protein identities, concentrations, biomolecular interaction partners, and even genetic expression profiles, to understand the sub-cellular basis for prostate cancer progression.

Our research focuses on the identification of aberrant proteins and subtle changes in concentration in response to cellular changes, using mass spectrometry and other cutting edge protein chemistry tools. With these tools, we recently defined the behavior of one such protein, nucleoside diphosphate kinase A, or non-metastatic 23 H1 form (NM23-H1). Doing a comparative analysis of this protein in our PHEC cell lines, we discovered that NM23-H1 has a consistent regression in tumorigenic and metastatic states of cancer compared to its levels in the non-tumorigenic state, as illustrated by immunochemistry in Figure 1. This protein is the only known human histidine kinase, and may serve as the entry point for a two-component signal transduction (2CST), a style of protein regulation that is common in prokaryotes but seldom seen in eukaryotes above yeast. 2CST systems rely upon a histidine kinase for autophosphorylation, followed by the transfer of the phosphate group to a response regulator (RR), usually on an aspartic acid residue. The proposal of the role of NM23-H1 in such a 2CST system is outlined in Scheme 1. This is a new paradigm for the regulation of proteins in humans, and our laboratory is working to provide further evidence for the existence of the 2CST system in humans and to characterize its role in the progression of prostate cancer and its metastasis outside the prostate.



BS | San Diego State University

PhD | University of California, Santa Barbara


Research Funding Undergraduate Research (Michael Nevid)
Location: University of Rochester

Provost's Multidisciplinary Award
Sponsor: University of Rochester

1998 - 2000
European Consortium on Peroxidases
Sponsor: Johnson and Johnson Clinical Diagnostics

Distinguished Service Award
Sponsor: Eastman Kodak Company
Location: Rochester, NY

Distinguished Service Award
Sponsor: Eastman Kodak Company
Location: Rochester, NY

1990 - 1991
Research Fellowship
Sponsor: National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute
Location: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

1988 - 1989
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Sponsor: National institute of Health/National Cancer Institute
Location: Columbia University, New York, NY

Chancellors Patent Fund Grant
Sponsor: University of California at Santa Barbara

American Chemical Society Summer Fellowship
Sponsor: San Diego State University, CA

University Regents Fellowship
Sponsor: University of California at Santa Barbara, CA
Location: 1982, 1984, 1986

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Journal Articles

Polevoda B, McDougall WM, Tun BN, Cheung M, Salter JD, Friedman AE, Smith HC. "RNA binding to APOBEC3G induces the disassembly of functional deaminase complexes by displacing single-stranded DNA substrates." Nucleic acids research.. 2015 Oct 30; 43(19):9434-45. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Lapek JD, Tombline G, Kellersberger KA, Friedman MR, Friedman AE. "Evidence of histidine and aspartic acid phosphorylation in human prostate cancer cells." Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology.. 2015 Feb 0; 388(2):161-73. Epub 2014 Nov 06.

Li Q, Kappil MA, Li A, Dassanayake PS, Darrah TH, Friedman AE, Friedman M, Lambertini L, Landrigan P, Stodgell CJ, Xia Y, Nanes JA, Aagaard KM, Schadt EE, Murray JC, Clark EB, Dole N, Culhane J, Swanson J, Varner M, Moye J, Kasten C, Miller RK, Chen J. "Exploring the associations between microRNA expression profiles and environmental pollutants in human placenta from the National Children's Study (NCS)." Epigenetics.. 2015 10(9):793-802. Epub 2015 Aug 07.