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Department of Immunology
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Phone: 412-383-9737
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milcarek-b.jpg Christine A. Milcarek , Ph.D.
E1054 BST (Office)
E1011 & E1008 BST (Labs)
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412.648.9098
Fax: 412.648.7042
Faculty Research Interests
Research Interests
We are interested in understanding the regulation of heavy chain immunoglobulin (Ig) RNA processing and the development of immunological memory during B-cell development. Alterations in the homeostatic regulation of Ig secretion may result in immunodeficiency-like states while overproduction can occur in diseases like amyloidosis, arthritis, or myeloma. Understanding the basic mechanisms of secretory mRNA production may lead to insights for control and disease amelioration.
  • B.S. - Duquesne University
  • Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins University
  • Postdoc - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Distinguished Mentor (1999) - Survival Skills and Ethics Program, University of Pittsburgh
  • Woman of Distinction (2000) - Girl Scouts of Southwestern PA (Trillium Council)
  • Master Educator, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (2009-2014 )
  • National Board of Medical Examiners Step 1 Test Material Development Committee (2011-2013)
Academic Affiliation
  • Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Member, Graduate Programs in Immunology and Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
  • Chair, Committee on the Status of Women, American Association of Immunologists (2007-2009)
  • Member, Committee on the Status of Women, American Association of Immunologists (2006-2009)
Selected Publications
Zhang L, Vlad A, Milcarek C, Finn OJ. Human mucin MUC1 RNA undergoes different
types of alternative splicing resulting in multiple isoforms. Cancer Immunol
Immunother. 2013 Mar;62(3):423-35. doi: 10.1007/s00262-012-1325-2. Epub 2012 Sep 2. PubMed PMID: 22941036; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3538090.

Milcarek C, Albring M, Langer C, Park KS. The eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia gene (ELL2) influences the histone H3 protein modifications accompanying the shift to secretory immunoglobulin heavy chain mRNA production. J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 30;286(39):33795-803. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.272096. Epub 2011 Aug 9. PubMed PMID: 21832080; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3190787.

Price, P., E.C. McKinney, Y. Wang, L.E. Sasser, M. K. Kandasamy, L. Matsuuchi, C. Milcarek, R.B. Deal, D.G. Culver and R. B. Meagher (2009) "Engineered cell surface expression of membrane immunoglobulin as a means to identify monoclonal antibody-secreting hybridomas." Journal of Immunological Methods 343 (1):28-41. Epub 2009 Jan 31. PMID: 19187782

K. Martincic, S. A. Alkan, A. Cheatle, L. Borghesi and C. Milcarek (2009) Transcription elongation factor ELL2 directs immunoglobulin secretion in plasma cells by stimulating altered RNA processing. Nature Immunology 10 (10): 1102-9. PMID: 19749764

R. Pal1, M. Janz, D. L. Galson1, K. Johrens, I. Anagnostopoulos, B. Dorken, M. Y. Mapara1, L. Borghesi, L. Kardava, C. Milcarek, and S. Lentzsch (2009) C/EBP? Regulates IRF4-Dependent Transcription Factors Critical for Proliferation and Survival in Multiple Myeloma. Blood 114(18):3890-8. Epub 2009 Aug 28.PMID: 19717648.

K. J. Hockert; K. Martincic; S. M. L. C. Mendis-Handagama; L. A. Borghesi; C. Milcarek; B. Dass; C. MacDonald. (2011) Spermatogenetic But Not Immunological Defects in Mice Lacking the &[tau]CstF-64 Polyadenylation Protein. Journal Reproductive Immunology 89: 26-37. doi:10.1016/j.jri.2011.01.018

Kardava L, Yang Q, St Leger A, Foon KA, Lentzsch S, Vallejo AN, Milcarek C, Borghesi L. (2011) The B lineage transcription factor E2A regulates apoptosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells. Int Immunol. 23(6):375-84. Epub 2011 May 6. PMID: 21551245

Milcarek, C., Albring, M., Langer, C., Park, K.S. (2011) The Eleven-Nineteen Lysine-rich Leukemia gene (ELL2) influences the histone H3 modifications accompanying the shift to secretory Immunoglobulin heavy chain mRNA production. J. Biol. Chem. 286: 33795-33803.

Milcarek, C. (2011) Hide and go seek: activation of the secretory-specific poly (A) site of Igh by transcription elongation factors/ Control of RNA Polymerase II elongation, RNA polyadenylation, and chromatin modification: collaboration for efficient transcription and high yield. in "RNA Processing", ISBN 978-953-307-332-3. Permanent Link

Santos, P. Arumemi, F.O., Park, K.S., Borghesi, L. and Milcarek, C. (2011) Transcriptional and Epigenetic Regulation of B Cell Development. Immunological Research 50: 105-112. edited by O.J. Finn, PMID: 2171707 Download PDF

PubMed Link
Title: Role of ELL2 in RNA polyadenylation versus splicing
Agency: NSF
Role: PI
Funding Period: 2009-2012

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