Deborah C. Rubin, M.D.

Internal Medicine
Developmental Biology

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-362-8935

  • 314-362-8947

  • 314-362-8959

  • 924 Clinical Sciences Research Building, North Tower


  • Stem cells, epithelial proliferation, cancer, short bowel syndrome

  • Intestinal stem cells and the stem cell niche in intestinal injury/short bowel syndrome and colitis associated colon cancer

Research Abstract:

Dr. Deborah Rubin’s laboratory focuses on understanding mechanisms that regulate gut stem cell maintenance and proliferation in normal intestine and colon, following injury, and in inflammation-induced colon cancer. Our studies have relevance to human short bowel syndrome and colitis-associated colon cancer. We are studying the role of myofibroblasts and other stromal cells in the crypt stem cell niche and in inflammation induced carcinogenesis. Ongoing studies using stem cell cultures from human intestinal biopsies and surgical specimens have allowed us to elucidate mechanisms by which the stroma regulates stem cell maintenance and proliferation. Our lab, in collaboration with Dr. Marc Levin’s laboratory, has also had a long-standing interest in studying the molecular basis for enhanced gut proliferation in response to loss of small bowel surface area in short bowel syndrome. Recent studies focus on the role of luminal contents such as diet and microbiome on the adaptive response and prediction of outcomes in short bowel syndrome.

Selected Publications:

Lu, J, Garcia AM, Geisman T, Wakeman D, Warner BW, Swietlicki EA, Levin MS and Rubin DC. Proline absorption and SGK1 expression are inhibited in intestinal tis7 transgenic mice. Cell Physiol Biochem in press.

Gargus M, Niu C, Vallone JG, Binkley J, Rubin DC, Shaker A. Human esophageal myofibroblasts secrete proinflammatory cytokines in response to acid and Toll-like receptor 4 ligands. Am J Physiol GI Liver Physiol 2015;308:G904-23.

Garcia AM, Wakeman D, Lu J, Rowley C, Geisman T, Butler C, Bala S, Swietlicki EA, Warner BW, Levin MS and Rubin DC. Tis7 deletion reduces survival and induces intestinal anastomotic inflammation and obstruction in high fat diet fed mice with short bowel syndrome. Am J Physiol (GI and Liver Physiol) 2014 Sep 15;307(6):G642-54. Selected for APSselect, a collection from APS that showcases some of the best recently published articles in physiological research.

Li E, Ji P, Ouyang N, Zhang Y, Wang XY, Rubin DC, Davidson NO, Bergamaschi R, Shroyer KR, Burke S, Zhu W, and Williams JL. Differential expression of miRNAs in colon cancer between African and Caucasian Americans: implications for cancer racial health disparities. Int J Oncol. 2014: 45: 587-94.

Shaker A, Fink J, Binkley J, Darwech I, Swietlicki EA, Levin MS, and Rubin DC. Epimorphin-/- mice are protected in part from acute colitis via decreased IL-6 signaling. Translational Research 2014 164: 70-83.

Swietlicki EA, Bala S, Shaker A, Kularatna G, Levin MS and Rubin DC. Epimorphin deletion inhibits polyposis in the Apc min/+ mouse model of colon carcinogenesis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2013: 305: G564-72. PMCID 23886856.

Shaker A, Binkley J., Darwech I, Swietlicki E and Rubin DC. Murine esophageal myofibroblasts are responsive to acid and inflammatory mediators. Am J Physiol (GI and Liver), in press 2013.

Shaker A, Rubin DC. Stem cells: One step closer to gut repair. Nature 2012: 485 (7397): 181-2, 2012.

Rubin DC, Shaker A, Levin MS. Chronic intestinal inflammation: inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated colon cancer. Front Immunol. 2012.

Yu C, Jiang S, Lu J, Coughlin CC, Wang Y, Swietlicki EA, Wang L, Vietor I, Huber LA, Cikes D, Coleman T, Xie Y, Semenkovich CF, Davidson NO, Levin MS, Rubin DC. Deletion of Tis7 protects mice from high-fat diet-induced weight gain and blunts the intestinal adaptive response postresection. J Nutr. 2010 Nov.

Shaker A, Rubin DC. Intestinal stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in the crypt and stem cell niche. Transl Res. 2010 Sep.

Shaker A, Swietlicki EA, Wang L, Jiang S, Onal B, Bala S, DeSchryver K, Newberry R, Levin MS, Rubin DC. Epimorphin deletion protects mice from inflammation-induced colon carcinogenesis and alters stem cell niche myofibroblast secretion. J Clin Invest. 2010 Jun.

Wang L, Tang Y, Rubin DC, Levin MS. Chronically administered retinoic acid has trophic effects in the rat small intestine and promotes adaptation in a resection model of short bowel syndrome. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007 Jun.

Rubin DC. Intestinal morphogenesis. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar.

Rubin DC. Balancing family and career: addressing the challenges facing dual-career couples. Gastrointest Endosc. 2006 May.

Tang Y, Swietlicki EA, Jiang S, Buhman KK, Davidson NO, Burkly LC, Levin MS, Rubin DC. Increased apoptosis and accelerated epithelial migration following inhibition of hedgehog signaling in adaptive small bowel postresection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Jun.

Wang Y, Iordanov H, Swietlicki EA, Wang L, Fritsch C, Coleman T, Semenkovich CF, Levin MS, Rubin DC. Targeted intestinal overexpression of the immediate early gene tis7 in transgenic mice increases triglyceride absorption and adiposity. J Biol Chem. 2005 Oct 14.

Rubin DC. Nutrient absorption. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2004 Mar.

Buhman KK, Wang LC, Tang Y, Swietlicki EA, Kennedy S, Xie Y, Liu ZY, Burkly LC, Levin MS, Rubin DC, Davidson NO. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling protects adult mice from diet-induced weight gain. J Nutr. 2004 Nov.

Chapters & Reviews:
Rubin DC Small Intestine: Anatomy and Structural Anomalies. In: Textbook of Gastroenterology, 5th edition, Yamada T., Alpers D.H. et al., Blackwell Publishing, 2009

Sullivan SS, Edmundowicz S, and Rubin DC. The GI physician’s role in the care of the obese. AGA Perspectives 6:10-11, 2010.

Shaker A and Rubin DC. Intestinal stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in the crypt and stem cell niche. Translational Research 156:180-187, 2010. PMCID 3019104.

Last Updated: 2/22/2016 2:22:07 PM

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