Adhiambo Biography

I am a lecturer and the Year II BSc. Biochemistry Department Coordinator. My research interest include the use of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology techniques to study protozoan parasites Leishmania and Trypanosoma. Leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis are characterized by WHO/TDR as neglected tropical diseases.

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Lu, W, Liu S, Li B, Xie Y, Adhiambo C, Yang Q, Ballard BR, Nakayama KI, Matusik RJ, Chen Z.  2015.  SKP2 inactivation suppresses prostate tumorigenesis by mediating JARID1B ubiquitination., 2015 Jan 20. Oncotarget. 6(2):771-88. Abstract

Aberrant elevation of JARID1B and histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) is frequently observed in many diseases including prostate cancer (PCa), yet the mechanisms on the regulation of JARID1B and H3K4me3 through epigenetic alterations still remain poorly understood. Here we report that Skp2 modulates JARID1B and H3K4me3 levels in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo in mouse models. We demonstrated that Skp2 inactivation decreased H3K4me3 levels, along with a reduction of cell growth, cell migration and malignant transformation of Pten/Trp53 double null MEFs, and further restrained prostate tumorigenesis of Pten/Trp53 mutant mice. Mechanistically, Skp2 decreased the K63-linked ubiquitination of JARID1B by E3 ubiquitin ligase TRAF6, thus decreasing JARID1B demethylase activity and in turn increasing H3K4me3. In agreement, Skp2 deficiency resulted in an increase of JARID1B ubiquitination and in turn a reduction of H3K4me3, and induced senescence through JARID1B accumulation in nucleoli of PCa cells and prostate tumors of mice. Furthermore, we showed that the elevations of Skp2 and H3K4me3 contributed to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in mice, and were positively correlated in human PCa specimens. Taken together, our findings reveal a novel network of SKP2-JARID1B, and targeting SKP2 and JARID1B may be a potential strategy for PCa control.


Guillory, B, Sakwe AM, Saria M, Thompson P, Adhiambo C, Koumangoye R, Ballard B, Binhazim A, Cone C, Jahanen-Dechent W, Ochieng J.  2010.  Lack of fetuin-A (alpha2-HS-glycoprotein) reduces mammary tumor incidence and prolongs tumor latency via the transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathway in a mouse model of breast cancer., 2010 Nov. The American journal of pathology. 177(5):2635-44. Abstract

The present analyses were done to define the role of fetuin-A (Fet) in mammary tumorigenesis using the polyoma middle T antigen (PyMT) transgenic mouse model. We crossed Fet-null mice in the C57BL/6 background with PyMT mice in the same background and after a controlled breeding protocol obtained PyMT/Fet+/+, PyMT/Fet+/-, and PyMT/Fet-/- mice that were placed in control and experimental groups. Whereas the control group (PyMT/Fet+/+) formed mammary tumors 90 days after birth, tumor latency was prolonged in the PyMT/Fet-/- and PyMT/Fet+/- mice. The majority of the PyMT/Fet-/- mice were tumor-free at the end of the study, at approximately 40 weeks. The pathology of the mammary tumors in the Fet-null mice showed extensive fibrosis, necrosis, and squamous metaplasia. The preneoplastic mammary tissues of the PyMT/Fet-/- mice showed intense phopho-Smad2/3 staining relative to control tissues, indicating that transforming growth factor-β signaling is enhanced in these tissues in the absence of Fet. Likewise, p19ARF and p53 were highly expressed in tumor tissues of PyMT/Fet-/- mice relative to the controls in the absence of Fet. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway that we previously showed to be activated by Fet, on the other hand, was unaffected by the absence of Fet. The data indicate that Fet is a powerful modulator of breast tumorigenesis in this model system and has the potential to modulate breast cancer progression in humans.


Adhiambo, C, Blisnick T, Toutirais G, Delannoy E, Bastin P.  2009.  A novel function for the atypical small G protein Rab-like 5 in the assembly of the trypanosome flagellum., 2009 Mar 15. Journal of cell science. 122(Pt 6):834-41. Abstract

The atypical small G protein Rab-like 5 has been shown to traffic in sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis elegans, where it participates in signalling processes but not in cilia construction. In this report, we demonstrate that RABL5 colocalises with intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins at the basal body and in the flagellum matrix of the protist Trypanosoma brucei. RABL5 fused to GFP exhibits anterograde movement in the flagellum of live trypanosomes, suggesting it could be associated with IFT. Accordingly, RABL5 accumulates in the short flagella of the retrograde IFT140(RNAi) mutant and is restricted to the basal body region in the IFT88(RNAi) anterograde mutant, a behaviour that is identical to other IFT proteins. Strikingly, RNAi silencing reveals an essential role for RABL5 in trypanosome flagellum construction. RNAi knock-down produces a phenotype similar to inactivation of retrograde IFT with formation of short flagella that are filled with a high amount of IFT proteins. These data reveal for the first time a functional difference for a conserved flagellar matrix protein between two different ciliated species and raise questions related to cilia diversity.


Adhiambo, C, Forney JD, Asai DJ, LeBowitz JH.  2005.  The two cytoplasmic dynein-2 isoforms in Leishmania mexicana perform separate functions., 2005 Oct. Molecular and biochemical parasitology. 143(2):216-25. Abstract

Eukaryotic organisms with cilia or flagella typically express two non-axonemal or "cytoplasmic" dyneins, dynein-1 and dynein-2. Interestingly, we find that Leishmania mexicana is unusual and contains two distinct cytoplasmic dynein-2 heavy chain genes (designated LmxDHC2.1 and LmxDHC2.2) along with a single dynein-1 heavy chain (LmxDHC1). Disruption of LmxDHC2.2 resulted in immotile parasites that had a rounded cell body. Although they assume amastigote morphology, immunoblot analysis of these cells demonstrates protein expression consistent with the promastigote stage. Ultrastructural analysis revealed non-emergent flagella that lacked the paraflagellar rod and an axoneme with deficiencies in several components. We confirmed the absence of paraflagellar rod proteins PFR1 and PFR2. These results show that LmxDHC2.2 is required for flagellar assembly and also participates in the maintenance of promastigote cell shape. In contrast to the results with LmxDHC2.2, we were unable to generate homologous disruptions of LmxDHC2.1. This result suggests that, unlike LmxDHC2.2, LmxDHC2.1 is an essential gene in Leishmania. Together, these findings demonstrate that the two dynein-2 heavy chain isoforms in Leishmania perform distinct functions. The observation that the genomes of Leishmania major, Leishmania infantum and Trypanosoma brucei also contain two dynein-2 isoforms suggests that this unusual aspect of cytoplasmic dynein is a conserved feature of the kinetoplastids.


Gicheru, MM, Olobo JO, Kariuki TM, Adhiambo C.  1995.  Visceral leishmaniasis in vervet monkeys: immunological responses during asymptomatic infections., 1995 Feb. Scandinavian journal of immunology. 41(2):202-8. Abstract

Nine vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) were infected intradermally with 8 x 10(7) virulent L. donovani promastigotes. Four animals developed clinical visceral leishmaniasis and died over a period of 18 months. The remaining five animals have remained asymptomatic for a period of 3 years now. Attempts to isolate parasites from spleen and liver through biopsies were fruitless. Immunological responses of these subclinically infected animals were examined. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blot analyses demonstrated Leishmania specific antibodies in these animals, but the antibody titres were low. When proliferation of peripheral blood monocytes (PBMC) to Concanavalin A (Con A) of these animals was compared with control 'disease free animals' there were no significant differences in response. However, L. donovani antigen (fixed promastigotes) specific proliferation was demonstrated in the five subclinically infected animals. High and varying levels of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) were secreted in PBMC cultures from the five vervet monkeys when stimulated with either Con A or L. donovani antigens. In control animals, IFN-gamma was only detected when PBMC were stimulated with Con A. Marked delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses were demonstrated in the five subclinically infected animals 48 h after injection with formalin fixed promastgotes. It was concluded that the visceral Leishmania disease spectrum due to L. donovani observed in humans could be induced in vervet monkeys and that L. donovani asymptomatic/cryptic infected animals have competent humoral and cellular responses to homologous parasites.

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