Alexander Awgulewitsch

Title
InstitutionMedical University of South Carolina
DepartmentRheumatology
AddressP.O. Box MSC 637
CRI 606
Children's Research Inst. - 173 Ashley Ave.
Phone843-792-8946
Fax843-792-7121
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    Alexander Awgulewitsch is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the MUSC Transgenic Mouse Core Facility. He received a Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) degree at the Institute of Genetics, University of Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1984. He did postdoctoral studies in mammalian developmental genetics with the late Dr. Frank Ruddle at Yale University until 1988. That same year he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry at MUSC. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992 before joining the faculty of the Department of Medicine in 1993.

    A primary interest of Dr. Awgulewitsch is in studying the roles of Hox transcriptional regulators in development and disease. These genes are critical for specifying positional identities during embryonic patterning. This involves phylogenetically conserved transcriptional control mechanisms for directing spatially restricted Hox expression patterns as illustrated by the functional conservation of Hox transcriptional enhancers from the fruit fly in transgenic mice (Awgulewitsch & Jacobs 1992; Papenbrock et al. 1998).

    Apparently, these positional identities are retained to some degree in the adult organism where Hox genes are believed to control tissue homeostasis by regulating local cell differentiation events. To this end, a current focus of the lab is on determining the role of certain Hox genes in the adult cardiovascular system where they exhibit topographic expression patterns in vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells (Pruitt et al. 2008). Our experimental approach for validating this paradigm of a vascular topographic Hox code includes disrupting this code in mice. Using a novel integrated Tet-regulatory transgenic system, vascular expression patterns of topographically restricted Hox genes are re-directed in an inducible manner (Pruett et al. 2012). The resulting region-specific structural and molecular changes in the vessel wall provide important insight into Hox-dependent genetic pathways underlying various vascular disorders that exhibit topographic patterns (e.g. atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms) (Awgulewitsch & Majesky 2013). Furthermore, this work yields insight into Hox-regulated angiogenic pathways during wound healing and tumor growth.

    A second system for gaining insight into Hox-regulated pathways is hair follicle biology with Hoxc13 being used as a paradigm. Hoxc13 is essential for proper differentiation of keratinocytes of different lineages. Using Hoxc13 transgenic mice, we have identified numerous Hoxc13-regulated target genes of diverse functional categories, including keratins, desmosomal cadherins, and transcription factors (e.g. Tkatchenko et al. 2001 Pruett et al. 2004; Potter et al. 2006, 2011). This ongoing work involves a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Sundberg from The Jackson Laboratory in Maine.
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    animal models, genetics

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Moore KS, Moore R, Fulmer DB, Guo L, Gensemer C, Stairley R, Glover J, Beck TC, Morningstar JE, Biggs R, Muhkerjee R, Awgulewitsch A, Norris RA. DCHS1, Lix1L, and the Septin Cytoskeleton: Molecular and Developmental Etiology of Mitral Valve Prolapse. J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2022 Feb 17; 9(2). PMID: 35200715.
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    2. Perez CJ, Mecklenburg L, Fernandez A, Cantero M, de Souza TA, Lin K, Dent SYR, Montoliu L, Awgulewitsch A, Benavides F. Naked (N) mutant mice carry a nonsense mutation in the homeobox of Hoxc13. Exp Dermatol. 2022 03; 31(3):330-340. PMID: 34657330.
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    3. Toomer KA, Yu M, Fulmer D, Guo L, Moore KS, Moore R, Drayton KD, Glover J, Peterson N, Ramos-Ortiz S, Drohan A, Catching BJ, Stairley R, Wessels A, Lipschutz JH, Delling FN, Jeunemaitre X, Dina C, Collins RL, Brand H, Talkowski ME, Del Monte F, Mukherjee R, Awgulewitsch A, Body S, Hardiman G, Hazard ES, da Silveira WA, Wang B, Leyne M, Durst R, Markwald RR, Le Scouarnec S, Hagege A, Le Tourneau T, Kohl P, Rog-Zielinska EA, Ellinor PT, Levine RA, Milan DJ, Schott JJ, Bouatia-Naji N, Slaugenhaupt SA, Norris RA. Primary cilia defects causing mitral valve prolapse. Sci Transl Med. 2019 05 22; 11(493). PMID: 31118289.
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    4. Ding L, Shunkwiler LB, Harper NW, Zhao Y, Hinohara K, Huh SJ, Ekram MB, Guz J, Kern MJ, Awgulewitsch A, Shull JD, Smits BMG, Polyak K. Deletion of Cdkn1b in ACI rats leads to increased proliferation and pregnancy-associated changes in the mammary gland due to perturbed systemic endocrine environment. PLoS Genet. 2019 03; 15(3):e1008002. PMID: 30893315.
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    5. Yu M, Al-Dallal S, Al-Haj L, Panjwani S, McCartney AS, Edwards SM, Manjunath P, Walker C, Awgulewitsch A, Hentges KE. Transcriptional regulation of the proto-oncogene Zfp521 by SPI1 (PU.1) and HOXC13. Genesis. 2016 Oct; 54(10):519-533. PMID: 27506447.
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    6. Potter CS, Kern MJ, Baybo MA, Pruett ND, Godwin AR, Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A. Dysregulated expression of sterol O-acyltransferase 1 (Soat1) in the hair shaft of Hoxc13 null mice. Exp Mol Pathol. 2015 Dec; 99(3):441-4. PMID: 26321246.
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    7. Visconti RP, Awgulewitsch A. Topographic patterns of vascular disease: HOX proteins as determining factors? World J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 26; 6(3):65-70. PMID: 26322165.
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    8. Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A, Pruett ND, Potter CS, Silva KA, Stearns TM, Sundberg BA, Muñoz MW, Cuasnicu PS, King LE, Rice RH. Crisp1 and alopecia areata in C3H/HeJ mice. Exp Mol Pathol. 2014 Dec; 97(3):525-8. PMID: 25446841.
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    9. Awgulewitsch A, Majesky MW. Interpreting inflammation: smooth muscle positional identity and nuclear factor-?B signaling. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Jun; 33(6):1113-5. PMID: 23677878.
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    10. Pruett ND, Hajdu Z, Zhang J, Visconti RP, Kern MJ, Wellik DM, Majesky MW, Awgulewitsch A. Changing topographic Hox expression in blood vessels results in regionally distinct vessel wall remodeling. Biol Open. 2012 May 15; 1(5):430-5. PMID: 23213434.
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    11. Potter CS, Pruett ND, Kern MJ, Baybo MA, Godwin AR, Potter KA, Peterson RL, Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A. The nude mutant gene Foxn1 is a HOXC13 regulatory target during hair follicle and nail differentiation. J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Apr; 131(4):828-37. PMID: 21191399.
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    12. Wu B, Potter CS, Silva KA, Liang Y, Reinholdt LG, Alley LM, Rowe LB, Roopenian DC, Awgulewitsch A, Sundberg JP. Mutations in sterol O-acyltransferase 1 (Soat1) result in hair interior defects in AKR/J mice. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Nov; 130(11):2666-8. PMID: 20574437.
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    13. Bazzi H, Demehri S, Potter CS, Barber AG, Awgulewitsch A, Kopan R, Christiano AM. Desmoglein 4 is regulated by transcription factors implicated in hair shaft differentiation. Differentiation. 2009 Dec; 78(5):292-300. PMID: 19683850.
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    14. Mentzer SE, Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A, Chao HH, Carpenter DA, Zhang WD, Rinchik EM, You Y. The mouse hairy ears mutation exhibits an extended growth (anagen) phase in hair follicles and altered Hoxc gene expression in the ears. Vet Dermatol. 2008 Dec; 19(6):358-67. PMID: 19037915.
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    15. Pruett ND, Visconti RP, Jacobs DF, Scholz D, McQuinn T, Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A. Evidence for Hox-specified positional identities in adult vasculature. BMC Dev Biol. 2008 Sep 30; 8:93. PMID: 18826643.
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    16. Potter CS, Peterson RL, Barth JL, Pruett ND, Jacobs DF, Kern MJ, Argraves WS, Sundberg JP, Awgulewitsch A. Evidence that the satin hair mutant gene Foxq1 is among multiple and functionally diverse regulatory targets for Hoxc13 during hair follicle differentiation. J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 29; 281(39):29245-55. PMID: 16835220.
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    17. Peterson RL, Tkatchenko TV, Pruett ND, Potter CS, Jacobs DF, Awgulewitsch A. Epididymal cysteine-rich secretory protein 1 encoding gene is expressed in murine hair follicles and downregulated in mice overexpressing Hoxc13. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec; 10(3):238-42. PMID: 16382673.
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    18. Awgulewitsch A. Hox in hair growth and development. Naturwissenschaften. 2003 May; 90(5):193-211. PMID: 12743702.
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    19. Shang L, Pruett ND, Awgulewitsch A. Hoxc12 expression pattern in developing and cycling murine hair follicles. Mech Dev. 2002 May; 113(2):207-10. PMID: 11960714.
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    20. Orr RK, Hoehn JL, Col NF. The learning curve for sentinel node biopsy in breast cancer: practical considerations. Arch Surg. 1999 Jul; 134(7):764-7. PMID: 15385554.
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    21. Hirayama F, Shih JP, Awgulewitsch A, Warr GW, Clark SC, Ogawa M. Clonal proliferation of murine lymphohemopoietic progenitors in culture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jul 01; 89(13):5907-11. PMID: 1631072.
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