Marino De Leon, PhD
Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology
School of Medicine
University Faculty Profile

Research Interests

Dr. Marino De Leon's laboratory interest is in the neurobiology of neuronal injury and axonal regeneration/degeneration. Current studies in the laboratory are identifying cellular mechanism(s) associated with lipotoxicity and the function of fatty acid binding proteins in cell growth and differentiation. An important long-term translational outcome is to elucidate the role of the "augmented state of cellular oxidative stress" (ASCOS) in the development of health disparities such as diabetes and stroke.

Dr. Marino De Leon is the founding director of the newly created Loma Linda University School of Medicine Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine (CHDMM). Dr. De Leon received his doctorate in physiology (neurophysiology) from the University of California at Davis and completed post-doctoral studies in molecular neurobiology at Stanford University under the mentorship of Dr. Eric M. Shooter. His graduate and postdoctoral studies were supported by fellowships and assistantships from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stanford University and UC Davis.

Dr. De Leon's focus on student training has resulted in the development of several research and academic programs to eliminate health disparities and increase diversity among biomedical and physician scientists who graduate from Loma Linda University. These programs include the Apprenticeship Bridge to College (ABC) high school program, the Undergraduate Training Program (UTP), Medical Training Program (MTP), and the PhD educational research training program Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD). He is the founding director of the Office of Student Development (OSD) in the Loma Linda University School of Medicine (2001), which administrates these programs. He is the principal investigator and program director for two major NIH awards from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities that fund these programs.

Dr. De Leon's professional career has led to serving on research advisory panels for the National Research Council and the National Institutes of Health (NICHD, NIGMS and NCMHD), Bethesda, MD. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Montgomery Street Foundation, and Loma Linda University School of Medicine have funded his research. Numerous honors received by Dr. De Leon include the "Loma Linda University Outstanding Leadership of Minority Student and Principle of Diversity Award" (1995), the "Loma Linda University Diversity Service Award" (1998), the "Walter E. McPherson Society Faculty Researcher for The Year Award" (2001), the "Loma Linda University Hispanic Alumni award for contributions leading to Hispanic Empowerment" (2003), and the "Loma Linda University Health Science Center Centennial Vanguard Award" (2006).

Selected Publications

1. Wheeler G, Montgomery SB, Beeson L, Bahjri K, Shulz E, Firek A, De Leon M, Cordero-MacIntyre Z. En Balance: the effects of Spanish diabetes education on physical activity changes and diabetes control. Diabetes Educ. 2012 Sep-Oct;38(5):723-32. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

2. Lai Sum Leoh, Bart van Heertum, Jan De Rijck, Maria Filippova, Leslimar Rios-Colon, Anamika Basu, Shannalee R Martinez, Sandy S Tungteakkhun, Valeri Filippov, Frauke Christ, Marino De León, Zeger Debyser, Carlos A Casiano. The Stress Oncoprotein LEDGF/p75 Interacts with the Methyl CpG Binding Protein MeCP2 and Influences Its Transcriptional Activity. Mol Cancer Res. 2012 Mar;10(3):378-91. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-11-0314. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

3. Johnny D Figueroa, Kathia Cordero, Keisha Baledosingh, Aranza I Torrado, Robert L Walker, Jorge David Miranda, Marino De León. Docosahexaenoic acid pretreatment confers protection and functional improvements after acute spinal cord injury in adult rats. Journal of Neurotrauma. February 10, 2012, 29(3): 551-566. doi:10.1089/neu.2011.2141.

4. Anamika Basu, Heather Rojas, Hiya Banerjee, Irena B Cabrera, Kayla Y Perez, Marino De León, Carlos A Casiano. Expression of the Stress Response Oncoprotein LEDGF/p75 in Human Cancer: A Study of 21 Tumor Types. Human Cancer: A Study of 21 Tumor Types. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30132. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030132.

5. Ihuoma Chukwueke, Anthony Firek, Larry Beeson, Maribet Brute, Eloy Shulz, Marino De León, Zaida R Cordero-MacIntyre. The En Balance Spanish Diabetes Education Program Improves Apolipoproteins, Serum Glucose and Body Composition in Hispanic Diabetics. Ethnicity and Disease 22.2 (2012): 215.

6. S Kalla Singh, C Brito, QW Tan, M De León, D De León. Differential expression and signaling activation of insulin receptor isoforms A and B: A link between breast cancer and diabetes. Growth Factors, December 2011, Vol. 29, No. 6 , Pages 278-289, doi:10.3109/08977194.2011.616200.

7. Basu A, Drame A, Munoz R, Gijsbers R, Debyser Z, De Leon M, Casiano CA. Pathway specific gene expression profiling reveals oxidative stress genes potentially regulated by transcription co-activator LEDGF/p75 in prostate cancer cells. Prostate. doi: 10.1002/pros.21463. 2011

8. Salto LM, Beeson, L, Eloy Schulz, Firek, A, Cordero-MacIntyre Z., De Leon, M. En Balance participants decrease dietary fat and cholesterol intake as part of a culturally-sensitive, Hispanic diabetes education program. The Diabetes Educator 37(2): 239-253. 2011

9. Padilla, A, Descorbeth, M, Almeyda, LK, Payne, K and De Leon, M, Hyperglycemia magnifies Schwann cell dysfunction and cell death triggered by PA-induced lipotoxicity. Brain Research 1370:64-79. 2011

10. Liming B., De Leon KJ, Salto, L, De Leon M, Polymorphisms in fatty acid binding protein 5 show association with type 2 diabetes. Submitted to Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 92(1): 82-91. 2010

11. Peterson. RM, Beeson, L, Shulz, E, Firek, A, De Leon, M, Balcazar, H, Tonstad, S, and Zaida R. Cordero-MacIntyre. Impacting obesity and glycemic control using a culturally-sensitive diabetes education program in Hispanic patients with type 2 diabetes.  International Journal of Body Composition Research 8:87-96. 2010

12. Basu A, Banerjee H, Rojas H, Martinez S, Roy S, Jia Z, De Leon M, Lilly MB and Casiano CA (2010) Peroxiredoxin expression in prostate cancer: consistent upregulation of PRDX3 and PRDX4. Prostate. 2010. In press.

13. Kalla Singh S, Tan QW, Brito C, De Leon M, Garberoglio C, De Leon D. Differential insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) expression: A potential role for breast cancer survival disparity. Growth Hormone and IGF Research 20:162-70, 2010.

14. Kalla Singh S, Tan QW, Brito C, De Leon M and De Leon D. Insulin-like growth factors I and II receptors in the breast cancer survival disparity among African-American women Growth Hormone & IGF Research 20:245-254. 2010.

15. Beeson W. Larry, Batech Michael, Schultz Eloy, Salto Lorena, Firek Anthony, De Leon Marino, Balcazar Hector, Cordero-MacIntyre Zaida. Comparison of Body Composition by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry in Hispanic Diabetics. International Journal of Body Composition Research. 8: 45-50. 2010.

16. Almaguel FG, Liu JW, Pacheco FJ, De Leon D, Casiano CA, De Leon M. Lipotoxicity-mediated cell dysfunction and death involve lysosomal membrane permeabilization and cathepsin L activity. Brain Research 1318C:133-143. 2010.

17. E. Ojo, L Beeson, E. Shulz, A. Firek, M De Leon, H. Balcazar and Z. Cordero-McIntyere. Effect of the EnBalance, a cultural and language-sensitive diabetes education program, on dietary changes and plasma lipid profile in Hispanic diabetics. International Journal of Body Composition 8:S69-76. 2010.

18. Ralph M. Peterson1, Larry Beeson1, Eloy Shulz, Anthony Firek, Marino De Leon, Hector Balcazar, Serena Tonstad, and Zaida R. Cordero-MacIntyre. Impacting obesity and glycemic control using a culturally-sensitive diabetes education program in Hispanic patients with type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Body Composition Research 8:87-96. 2010

19. Melanie Mediavilla-Varela, Fabio J Pacheco, Frankis Almaguel, Jossymar Perez, Eva Sahakian, Tracy R Daniels, Nathan R Wall, Michael B Lilly, Marino De Leon and Carlos A Casiano. Docetaxel-induced prostate cancer cell death involves concomitant activation of caspase and lysosomal pathways and is attenuated by LEDGF/p75. Molecular Cancer 8:68 2009.

20. Khan S, Aspe JR, Asumen MG, Almaguel F, Odumosu O, Acevedo-Martinez S, De Leon M, Langridge WH, Wall NR. Extracellular, cell-permeable surviving inhibits apoptosis while promoting proliferative and metastatic potential. Br J Cancer 100(7):1073-86, 2009.

21. Almaguel FG, Liu J-W, Pacheco FJ, Casiano CA and Marino De Leon. Activation and reversal of lipotoxicity in PC12 and rat cortical cells following exposure to palmitic acid. Journal of Neuroscience Research. 87:1207-1218. 2009.

22. Metghalchi S, Rivera M, Beeson L, Firek, A, De Leon M, Balcazar H, Cordero-Macintyere, ZR. Improved clinical outcomes using a culturally sensitive diabetes education program in a Hispanic population. The Diabetes Educ 34:698-706, 2008.

23. Liu J-W, Almaguel FG, Bu L, De Leon DD, De Leon M. Expression of E-FABP in PC12 cells increases neurite extension during differentiation: involvement of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Journal of Neurochem. 1006(5):2015-2029. 2008.

24. Sing KS, Moretta D, Almaguel F, Wall NR, De Leon M, De Leon, Daisy D. Differential effect of proIGF-II and IGF-II on resveratrol induced cell death by regulating surviving cellular localization and mitochondrial depolarization in breast cancer cells. Growth Factors 25(6): 363-372, 2008.

25. Singh KS, Moretta D, Almaguel F, De Leon M, De Leon DD. Precursor Igf-II (Proigf-II) and Mature Igf-II (MIgf-II) Induce Bcl-2 And Bcl-x(l) Expression Through Different Signalling Pathways In Breast Cancer Cells. Growth Factors 26(2): 92-103, 2008.

26. Ulloth JE, Almaguel FG, Padilla A, Bu L, Liu JW, De Leon M. Characterization of methyl-beta-Cyclodextrin toxicity in NGF-differentiated PC12 cell death. Neurotoxicology: 28:613-621, 2007.

27. Chang Y, Edeen K, Lu X, De Leon, M, and Mason RJ. Keratinocyte growth factor induces lipogenesis in alveolar type II cells through a sterol regulatory element binding protein-ic-dependent pathway. 2006. American Journal Cell Molecular Biology 35: 268-274.

28. Allen, GA, Denes B, Fodor I., and De Leon M. Vaccinia virus infection & gene transduction in cultured neurons. 2005. Microbes and Infection 7:1087-1096.

29. Ulloth JE, Casiano CA, and De Leon M. Palmitic and Stearic Fatty Acids Induce Caspase Dependent and Independent Cell Death in Nerve Growth Factor Differentiated PC12 Cells. 2003. Journal of Neurochemistry 84: 655-668.

30. Allen GW, Liu J-W, Kirby MA and De Leon M. Induction and axonal localization of E-FABP in retinal Ganglion cells is associated with axonal growth and regeneration. 2001 Journal of Neuroscience Research 66: 396-400.

31. Allen GW, Liu J-W and De Leon M. Depletion of a fatty acid-binding protein impairs neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. 2000. Molecular Brain Research 29: 315-324.


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