Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Michael Leffak, Ph.D., Interim Chair

Dr. Steve Berberich


Steven J. Berberich, Ph.D.

Associate Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Office: 268 University Hall
(937) 775-3036


Ph.D.: 1990 Wright State University (M. Leffak)
Postdoctoral: Princeton University (M.D. Cole)

Berberich Laboratory Research Interests

Gene expression profiling experiments performed with MCF7 breast cancer cells where wild-type p53 was reactivated using RNAi knockdown of Hdm2 or HdmX led to our discovery that YPEL3 (Yippee-like-3), a member of a family of putative zinc finger motif coding genes, is a p53-regulated gene (Heminger, Markey et al. 2009).

We recently published that YPEL3 is directly transactivated by p53, that YPEL3 induction is growth suppressive triggering cellular senescence in various tumor and primary cells and that YPEL3 expression is reduced in ovarian tumors through CpG DNA hypermethylation (Kelley, Miller et al. 2010).

Current research is aimed at addressing the following aspects pertaining to YPEL3:

  • What is the mechanism by which YPEL3 triggers cellular senescence?
  • Development of mouse models and cell based assays to assess whether YPEL3 a tumor suppressor.
  • Understanding how YPEL3 is regulated independent of the p53 tumor suppressor.
  • Role of p53 family members in YPEL3 expression.
  • Determining the role other YPEL family members play in cell growth.

Recent Publications

Kelley, K. D., K. R. Miller, A. Todd, A. R. Kelley, R. Tuttle and S. J. Berberich (2010). "YPEL3, a p53-Regulated Gene that Induces Cellular Senescence." Cancer Res 70(9): 3566-75.

Berberich, S. J. (2010). "RNAi knockdown of HdmX or Hdm2 leads to new insights into p53 signaling." Cell Cycle 9(18): 3640-1.

Miller, K. R., K. Kelley, R. Tuttle and S. J. Berberich (2010). "HdmX overexpression inhibits oncogene induced cellular senescence." Cell Cycle 9(16): 3376-82.

Kelley, K. and S.J. Berberich (2011). FHIT gene expression is repressed by mitogenic signaling through the PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway. Am J Cancer Res, 1(1): p. 62-70.

Tuttle, R., M. Simond, D. C. Hitch, J. N. Maiorano, M. Hellan, J. Ouellette, P. Termuhlen and S. J. Berberich (2011). "Senescence Associated Gene, YPEL3, is Down-regulated in Human Colon Tumors." Annals of Surgical Oncology, in press.