Micah Alan Luftig, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Vice-Chair in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Immunology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 213 Research Dr, CARL 0036, Box 3054, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 668-3091
Email address micah.luftig@duke.edu

The laboratory focuses on the mechanisms by which Epstein-Barr virus activates and ultimately subverts the host oncogenic stress response to growth transform primary B lymphocytes into indefinitely proliferating lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). EBV infection of B cells leads to a latent growth program where eight viral proteins and several non-coding RNAs are expressed. Among these gene products, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (EBNA) 2 are the core transforming oncogenes. These proteins are capable of driving B cell proliferation and act to suppress the apoptotic response induced by aberrant S phase induction. The goals of the laboratory include: i) understanding the host pathways that respond to and suppress EBV-mediated growth transformation, ii) understanding the viral gene products important for activating the oncogenic stress response and ultimately overcoming this response, and iii) identifying and characterizing a cell population within the CD21-expressing primary B cell population that has an increased susceptibility to oncogenic stress.

The biochemical and genetic analyses of these pathways will provide valuable insight into our understanding of oncogenes and oncogenic viruses and the host cell response to such insults. Further, detailed understanding of the virus/host interaction may allow for the identification of specific pathways for therapeutic intervention in EBV-associated malignancies and possibly more broadly in malignancies which rely on similar pathways for their proliferation, survival, or self-renewal.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University , 2003

Publications

Yellen, Benjamin B., Jon S. Zawistowski, Eric A. Czech, Caleb I. Sanford, Elliott D. SoRelle, Micah A. Luftig, Zachary G. Forbes, Kris C. Wood, and Jeff Hammerbacher. “Massively parallel quantification of phenotypic heterogeneity in single-cell drug responses.” Sci Adv 7, no. 38 (September 17, 2021): eabf9840. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abf9840.

PMID
34533995
Full Text

Zaffiri, Lorenzo, Courtney Frankel, Erika J. Bush, Megan L. Neely, Elizabeth N. Pavlisko, Irina L. Mokrova, Micah A. Luftig, and Scott M. Palmer. “Evidence of Epstein-Barr virus heterogeneous gene expression in adult lung transplant recipients with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder.” J Med Virol 93, no. 8 (August 2021): 5040–47. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.26936.

PMID
33704812
Full Text

Bonglack, Emmanuela N., Joshua E. Messinger, Jana M. Cable, James Ch’ng, K Mark Parnell, Nicolás M. Reinoso-Vizcaíno, Ashley P. Barry, et al. “Monocarboxylate transporter antagonism reveals metabolic vulnerabilities of viral-driven lymphomas.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118, no. 25 (June 22, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2022495118.

PMID
34161263
Full Text

Padmanabhan, Nisha, Huang Kie Kyon, Arnoud Boot, Kevin Lim, Supriya Srivastava, Shuwen Chen, Zhiyuan Wu, et al. “Author Correction: Highly recurrent CBS epimutations in gastric cancer CpG island methylator phenotypes and inflammation.” Genome Biology 22, no. 1 (June 17, 2021): 181. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02405-z.

PMID
34140045
Full Text

Padmanabhan, Nisha, Huang Kie Kyon, Arnoud Boot, Kevin Lim, Supriya Srivastava, Shuwen Chen, Zhiyuan Wu, et al. “Highly recurrent CBS epimutations in gastric cancer CpG island methylator phenotypes and inflammation.” Genome Biology 22, no. 1 (June 2021): 167. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02375-2.

PMID
34074348
Full Text

SoRelle, Elliott D., Joanne Dai, Emmanuela N. Bonglack, Emma M. Heckenberg, Jeffrey Y. Zhou, Stephanie N. Giamberardino, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Simon G. Gregory, Cliburn Chan, and Micah A. Luftig. “Single-cell RNA-seq reveals transcriptomic heterogeneity mediated by host-pathogen dynamics in lymphoblastoid cell lines.” Elife 10 (January 27, 2021). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.62586.

PMID
33501914
Full Text

Klionsky, Daniel J., Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz, Sara Abdelfatah, Mahmoud Abdellatif, Asghar Abdoli, Steffen Abel, Hagai Abeliovich, et al. “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition)1.” Autophagy 17, no. 1 (January 2021): 1–382. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280.

PMID
33634751
Full Text

Stanland, Lyla J., and Micah A. Luftig. “The Role of EBV-Induced Hypermethylation in Gastric Cancer Tumorigenesis.” Viruses 12, no. 11 (October 28, 2020). https://doi.org/10.3390/v12111222.

PMID
33126718
Full Text

Kaymaz, Yasin, Cliff I. Oduor, Ozkan Aydemir, Micah A. Luftig, Juliana A. Otieno, John Michael Ong’echa, Jeffrey A. Bailey, and Ann M. Moormann. “Epstein-Barr Virus Genomes Reveal Population Structure and Type 1 Association with Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma.” J Virol 94, no. 17 (August 17, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02007-19.

PMID
32581102
Full Text

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