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    David E. Cobrinik, MD, PhD

    TitleAssociate Professor of Research Ophthalmology
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentPediatrics
    AddressCHL 4650 W Sunset Blvd
    Off Campus
    Los Angeles California 90027
    Phone+1 323 361 2275
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      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      Our research seeks to improve understanding of retinal development and its relationship to retinal diseases. This goal stems from my long interest in a childhood retinal tumor called retinoblastoma, a cancer that develops in response to inactivation of the RB1 tumor suppressor gene and loss of functional pRB protein. One of our goals is to understand why cells of the retina but not other tissues routinely form cancers in response to pRB loss, and to use this knowledge to develop more effective therapies for retinoblastoma and other RB1-mutant cancers. We recently found that retinoblastomas arise from cone photoreceptor precursors, and that cone precursor-specific proliferation-related signaling pathways collaborate with pRB loss to enable tumorigenesis. This finding suggests that cone precursors signaling pathways can be targeted to suppress retinoblastoma development. Current studies aim to 1) define developmental signaling pathways that sensitize retinal cells to Rb loss, 2) define the step-by-step events through which Rb loss converts normal retinal cells to malignant retinoblastomas, and 3) target novel vulnerabilities in the pRB-deficient cone precursor circuitry.

      With our colleagues at the CHLA Vision Center we also model retinal development and diseases using human pluripotent stem cells. We can produce normal-appearing developing retinas in vitro, opening the door to previously unimagined vision research opportunities. Current efforts aim to define similarities and differences between human retina produced in vitro and in vivo, and to thereby improve the verisimilitude of the in vitro retinal development model.


      Collapse Biography 
      Collapse Awards and Honors
      1996  - 1999James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar
      1992  - 1995Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
      1989  - 1992American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow
      1983American Cancer Society Joseph S. Silber Pre-doctoral Fellow
      1982Oscar E. Schotté Award for Biological Research, Amherst College

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      Collapse Bibliographic 
      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Browne AW, Arnesano C, Harutyunyan N, Khuu T, Martinez JC, Pollack HA, Koos DS, Lee TC, Fraser SE, Moats RA, Aparicio JG, Cobrinik D. Structural and Functional Characterization of Human Stem-Cell-Derived Retinal Organoids by Live Imaging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Jul 01; 58(9):3311-3318. PMID: 28672397.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Qi DL, Cobrinik D. MDM2 but not MDM4 promotes retinoblastoma cell proliferation through p53-independent regulation of MYCN translation. Oncogene. 2017 Mar 30; 36(13):1760-1769. PMID: 27748758.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Li WL, Buckley J, Sanchez-Lara PA, Maglinte DT, Viduetsky L, Tatarinova TV, Aparicio JG, Kim JW, Au M, Ostrow D, Lee TC, O'Gorman M, Judkins A, Cobrinik D, Triche TJ. A Rapid and Sensitive Next-Generation Sequencing Method to Detect RB1 Mutations Improves Care for Retinoblastoma Patients and Their Families. J Mol Diagn. 2016 Jul; 18(4):480-93. PMID: 27155049.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Berry JL, Cobrinik D, Kim JW. Detection and Intraretinal Localization of an 'Invisible' Retinoblastoma Using Optical Coherence Tomography. Ocul Oncol Pathol. 2016 Apr; 2(3):148-52. PMID: 27239455; PMCID: PMC4881267.
      5. Dimaras H, Corson TW, Cobrinik D, White A, Zhao J, Munier FL, Abramson DH, Shields CL, Chantada GL, Njuguna F, Gallie BL. Retinoblastoma. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015 08 27; 1:15021. PMID: 27189421.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Cobrinik D. Retinoblastoma Progression. EBioMedicine. 2015 Jul; 2(7):623-4. PMID: 26288828; PMCID: PMC4534706.
      7. Xu XL, Singh HP, Wang L, Qi DL, Poulos BK, Abramson DH, Jhanwar SC, Cobrinik D. Rb suppresses human cone-precursor-derived retinoblastoma tumours. Nature. 2014 Oct 16; 514(7522):385-8. PMID: 25252974; PMCID: PMC4232224.
      8. Cobrinik D, Ostrovnaya I, Hassimi M, Tickoo SK, Cheung IY, Cheung NK. Recurrent pre-existing and acquired DNA copy number alterations, including focal TERT gains, in neuroblastoma central nervous system metastases. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013 Dec; 52(12):1150-66. PMID: 24123354.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Xing F, Persaud Y, Pratilas CA, Taylor BS, Janakiraman M, She QB, Gallardo H, Liu C, Merghoub T, Hefter B, Dolgalev I, Viale A, Heguy A, De Stanchina E, Cobrinik D, Bollag G, Wolchok J, Houghton A, Solit DB. Concurrent loss of the PTEN and RB1 tumor suppressors attenuates RAF dependence in melanomas harboring (V600E)BRAF. Oncogene. 2012 Jan 26; 31(4):446-57. PMID: 21725359; PMCID: PMC3267014.
      10. Ciavarra G, Ho AT, Cobrinik D, Zacksenhaus E. Critical role of the Rb family in myoblast survival and fusion. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 10; 6(3):e17682. PMID: 21423694; PMCID: PMC3053373.
      11. Xu XL, Lee TC, Offor N, Cheng C, Liu A, Fang Y, Jhanwar SC, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Tumor-associated retinal astrocytes promote retinoblastoma cell proliferation through production of IGFBP-5. Am J Pathol. 2010 Jul; 177(1):424-35. PMID: 20508032; PMCID: PMC2893684.
      12. Wang H, Bauzon F, Ji P, Xu X, Sun D, Locker J, Sellers RS, Nakayama K, Nakayama KI, Cobrinik D, Zhu L. Skp2 is required for survival of aberrantly proliferating Rb1-deficient cells and for tumorigenesis in Rb1+/- mice. Nat Genet. 2010 Jan; 42(1):83-8. PMID: 19966802; PMCID: PMC2990528.
      13. Xu XL, Fang Y, Lee TC, Forrest D, Gregory-Evans C, Almeida D, Liu A, Jhanwar SC, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Retinoblastoma has properties of a cone precursor tumor and depends upon cone-specific MDM2 signaling. Cell. 2009 Jun 12; 137(6):1018-31. PMID: 19524506.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Harb G, Vasavada RC, Cobrinik D, Stewart AF. The retinoblastoma protein and its homolog p130 regulate the G1/S transition in pancreatic beta-cells. Diabetes. 2009 Aug; 58(8):1852-62. PMID: 19509021; PMCID: PMC2712776.
      15. Cobrinik D, Francis RO, Abramson DH, Lee TC. Rb induces a proliferative arrest and curtails Brn-2 expression in retinoblastoma cells. Mol Cancer. 2006 Dec 12; 5:72. PMID: 17163992; PMCID: PMC1764425.
      16. Lee TC, Almeida D, Claros N, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Cell cycle-specific and cell type-specific expression of Rb in the developing human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Dec; 47(12):5590-8. PMID: 17122153.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Elison JR, Cobrinik D, Claros N, Abramson DH, Lee TC. Small molecule inhibition of HDM2 leads to p53-mediated cell death in retinoblastoma cells. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep; 124(9):1269-75. PMID: 16966622.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Cobrinik D. Pocket proteins and cell cycle control. Oncogene. 2005 Apr 18; 24(17):2796-809. PMID: 15838516.
        View in: PubMed
      19. MacLean HE, Guo J, Knight MC, Zhang P, Cobrinik D, Kronenberg HM. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57(Kip2) mediates proliferative actions of PTHrP in chondrocytes. J Clin Invest. 2004 May; 113(9):1334-43. PMID: 15124025; PMCID: PMC398433.
      20. Fang W, Mori T, Cobrinik D. Regulation of PML-dependent transcriptional repression by pRB and low penetrance pRB mutants. Oncogene. 2002 Aug 15; 21(36):5557-65. PMID: 12165854.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Laplantine E, Rossi F, Sahni M, Basilico C, Cobrinik D. FGF signaling targets the pRb-related p107 and p130 proteins to induce chondrocyte growth arrest. J Cell Biol. 2002 Aug 19; 158(4):741-50. PMID: 12177046; PMCID: PMC2174007.
      22. Rossi F, MacLean HE, Yuan W, Francis RO, Semenova E, Lin CS, Kronenberg HM, Cobrinik D. p107 and p130 Coordinately regulate proliferation, Cbfa1 expression, and hypertrophic differentiation during endochondral bone development. Dev Biol. 2002 Jul 15; 247(2):271-85. PMID: 12086466.
        View in: PubMed
      23. Liberto M, Cobrinik D, Minden A. Rho regulates p21(CIP1), cyclin D1, and checkpoint control in mammary epithelial cells. Oncogene. 2002 Feb 28; 21(10):1590-9. PMID: 11896588.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Antman K, Benson MC, Chabot J, Cobrinik D, Grann VR, Jacobson JS, Joe AK, Katz AE, Kelly K, Neugut AI, Russo D, Tiersten A, Weinstein IB. Complementary and alternative medicine: the role of the cancer center. J Clin Oncol. 2001 Sep 15; 19(18 Suppl):55S-60S. PMID: 11560974.
        View in: PubMed
      25. Cheng L, Rossi F, Fang W, Mori T, Cobrinik D. Cdk2-dependent phosphorylation and functional inactivation of the pRB-related p130 protein in pRB(-), p16INK4A(+) tumor cells. J Biol Chem. 2000 Sep 29; 275(39):30317-25. PMID: 10906146.
        View in: PubMed
      26. Liberto M, Cobrinik D. Growth factor-dependent induction of p21(CIP1) by the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate. Cancer Lett. 2000 Jun 30; 154(2):151-61. PMID: 10806303.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Hurford RK, Cobrinik D, Lee MH, Dyson N. pRB and p107/p130 are required for the regulated expression of different sets of E2F responsive genes. Genes Dev. 1997 Jun 01; 11(11):1447-63. PMID: 9192872.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Cobrinik D, Lee MH, Hannon G, Mulligan G, Bronson RT, Dyson N, Harlow E, Beach D, Weinberg RA, Jacks T. Shared role of the pRB-related p130 and p107 proteins in limb development. Genes Dev. 1996 Jul 01; 10(13):1633-44. PMID: 8682294.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Cobrinik D. Regulatory interactions among E2Fs and cell cycle control proteins. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 1996; 208:31-61. PMID: 8575212.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Sardet C, Vidal M, Cobrinik D, Geng Y, Onufryk C, Chen A, Weinberg RA. E2F-4 and E2F-5, two members of the E2F family, are expressed in the early phases of the cell cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 14; 92(6):2403-7. PMID: 7892279; PMCID: PMC42492.
      31. Cobrinik D, Whyte P, Peeper DS, Jacks T, Weinberg RA. Cell cycle-specific association of E2F with the p130 E1A-binding protein. Genes Dev. 1993 Dec; 7(12A):2392-404. PMID: 8253385.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Cobrinik D, Dowdy SF, Hinds PW, Mittnacht S, Weinberg RA. The retinoblastoma protein and the regulation of cell cycling. Trends Biochem Sci. 1992 Aug; 17(8):312-5. PMID: 1412705.
        View in: PubMed
      33. Aiyar A, Cobrinik D, Ge Z, Kung HJ, Leis J. Interaction between retroviral U5 RNA and the T psi C loop of the tRNA(Trp) primer is required for efficient initiation of reverse transcription. J Virol. 1992 Apr; 66(4):2464-72. PMID: 1548772; PMCID: PMC289042.
      34. Cobrinik D, Aiyar A, Ge Z, Katzman M, Huang H, Leis J. Overlapping retrovirus U5 sequence elements are required for efficient integration and initiation of reverse transcription. J Virol. 1991 Jul; 65(7):3864-72. PMID: 1710292; PMCID: PMC241417.
      35. Cobrinik D, Soskey L, Leis J. A retroviral RNA secondary structure required for efficient initiation of reverse transcription. J Virol. 1988 Oct; 62(10):3622-30. PMID: 2458484; PMCID: PMC253503.
      36. Terry R, Soltis DA, Katzman M, Cobrinik D, Leis J, Skalka AM. Properties of avian sarcoma-leukosis virus pp32-related pol-endonucleases produced in Escherichia coli. J Virol. 1988 Jul; 62(7):2358-65. PMID: 2836618; PMCID: PMC253392.
      37. Cobrinik D, Katz R, Terry R, Skalka AM, Leis J. Avian sarcoma and leukosis virus pol-endonuclease recognition of the tandem long terminal repeat junction: minimum site required for cleavage is also required for viral growth. J Virol. 1987 Jun; 61(6):1999-2008. PMID: 3033327; PMCID: PMC254209.
      38. Duyk G, Longiaru M, Cobrinik D, Kowal R, deHaseth P, Skalka AM, Leis J. Circles with two tandem long terminal repeats are specifically cleaved by pol gene-associated endonuclease from avian sarcoma and leukosis viruses: nucleotide sequences required for site-specific cleavage. J Virol. 1985 Nov; 56(2):589-99. PMID: 2414465; PMCID: PMC252616.
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