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Rajeev S. Samant, PhD

Rajeev S. Samant, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
WTI 320E
1824 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
Phone: (205) 975-6262
Fax: (205) 975-6615

Dr. Samant received his M.S. and Ph. D. degree in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai, India). He worked in the field of metastasis suppression in the laboratory of Dr. Danny R. Welch at Hershey, PA. He was a faculty at the Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama (2004-2012) before joining UAB in 2012. He is an active member of both UAB’s NORC and the UAB-Comprehensive Cancer Center.


  • 1991 - B.S., Chemistry, University of Bombay, India
  • 1993 - M.S., Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Bombay, India
  • 1998 - Ph. D., Molecular Biology, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Bombay, India

Research Interests

My laboratory specializes in identification and characterization of novel modulators of developmental signaling involved in tumor progression and metastasis. The principal focus is to identify and understand the functional contributions of unique transcriptional, translational and epigenetic changes which affect tumor invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), developmental signaling (Wnt, Hedgehog and TGFβ) and crosstalk of tumor cells with the tumor microenvironment. We have identified two novel molecular switches; (viz. NMI and MRJ), that modulate Wnt and TGF-β signaling and guard the epithelial phenotype. We brought to light the first evidences of the mechanistic relevance of these novel molecules to the suppression of tumor growth and EMT.


  1. Samant, RS*, Seraj, MJ*, Verderame, MF, and Welch, DR (2000) Functional evidence for a novel human breast carcinoma metastasis suppressor, BRMS1, encoded at chromosome 11q13. Cancer Res 60, 2764-2769. PMID: 10850410
  2. Samant, RS, Seraj, MJ, Saunders, MM, Sakamaki, TS, Shevde, LA, Harms, JF, Leonard, TO, Goldberg, SF, Budgeon, L, Meehan, WJ, Winter, CR, Christensen, ND, Verderame, MF, Donahue, HJ, and Welch, DR (2000) Analysis of mechanisms underlying BRMS1 suppression of metastasis. Clin Exp Metastasis 18, 683-693. PMID: 11827072
  3. Jaeger, EB, Samant, RS, and Rinker-Schaeffer, CW (2001) Metastasis suppression in prostate cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev 20, 279-286. PMID: 12085966
  4. Manni, A, Washington, S, Griffith, JW, Verderame, MF, Mauger, D, Demers, LM, Samant, RS, and Welch, DR (2002) Influence of polyamines on in vitro and in vivo features of aggressive and metastatic behavior by human breast cancer cells. Clin Exp Metastasis 19, 95-105. PMID: 11964084
  5. Park, YG, Lukes, L, Yang, H, Debies, MT, Samant, RS, Welch, DR, Lee, M, and Hunter, KW (2002) Comparative sequence analysis in eight inbred strains of the metastasis modifier QTL candidate gene Brms1. Mamm Genome 13, 289-292. PMID: 12115030
  6. Samant, RS, Debies, MT, Shevde, LA, Verderame, MF, and Welch, DR (2002) Identification and characterization of the murine ortholog (brms1) of breast-cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1). Int J Cancer 97(1), 15-20. PMID: 11774238
  7. Shevde, LA, Samant, RS, Goldberg, SF, Sikaneta, T, Alessandrini, A, Donahue, HJ, Mauger, DT, and Welch, DR (2002) Suppression of human melanoma metastasis by the metastasis suppressor gene, BRMS1. Exp Cell Res 273, 229-239. PMID: 11822878
  8. Cicek, M, Samant, RS, Kinter, M, Welch, DR, and Casey, G (2004) Identification of metastasis-associated proteins through protein analysis of metastatic MDA-MB-435 and metastasis-suppressed BRMS1 transfected-MDA-MB-435 cells. Clin Exp Metastasis 21, 149-157. PMID: 15168732
  9. Harms, JF, Welch, DR, Samant, RS, Shevde, LA, Miele, ME, Babu, GR, Goldberg, SF, Gilman, VR, Sosnowski, DM, Campo, DA, Gay, CV, Budgeon, LR, Mercer, R, Jewell, J, Mastro, AM, Donahue, HJ, Erin, N, Debies, MT, Meehan, WJ, Jones, AL, Mbalaviele, G, Nickols, A, Christensen, ND, Melly, R, Beck, LN, Kent, J, Rader, RK, Kotyk, JJ, Pagel, MD, Westlin, WF, and Griggs, DW (2004) A small molecule antagonist of the alpha(v)beta3 integrin suppresses MDA-MB-435 skeletal metastasis. Clin Exp Metastasis 21, 119-128. PMID: 15168729
  10. Jaeger, EB, Chekmareva, MA, Tennant, TR, Luu, HH, Hickson, JA, Chen, SL, Samant, RS, Sokoloff, MH, and Rinker-Schaeffer, CW (2004) Inhibition of prostate cancer metastatic colonization by approximately 4.2 Mb of human chromosome 12. Int J Cancer 108, 15-22. PMID: 14618610
  11. Kapoor, P, Saunders, MM, Li, Z, Zhou, Z, Sheaffer, N, Kunze, EL, Samant, RS, Welch, DR, and Donahue, HJ (2004) Breast cancer metastatic potential: correlation with increased heterotypic gap junctional intercellular communication between breast cancer cells and osteoblastic cells. Int J Cancer 111(5), 693-697. PMID: 15252837
  12. Samant, RS*, Meehan, WJ*,Hopper, JE, Carrozza, MJ, Shevde, LA, Workman, JL, Eckert, KA, Verderame, MF, and Welch, DR (2004) Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) forms complexes with retinoblastoma-binding protein 1 (RBP1) and the mSin3 histone deacetylase complex and represses transcription. J Biol Chem 279, 1562-1569. PMID: 14581478
  13. DeWald, DB, Torabinejad, J, Samant, RS, Johnston, D, Erin, N, Shope, JC, Xie, Y, and Welch, DR (2005). Metastasis suppression by breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 involves reduction of phosphoinositide signaling in MDA-MB-435 breast carcinoma cells. Cancer Res 65, 713-717. PMID: 15705865
  14. Hurst, DR, Mehta, A, Moore, BP, Phadke, PA, Meehan, WJ, Accavitti, MA, Shevde, LA, Hopper, JE, Xie, Y, Welch, DR, and Samant, RS (2006). Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) is stabilized by the Hsp90 chaperone. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 348, 1429-1435. PMID: 16919237
  15. Samant, R.S., Debies, MT, Hurst, DR, Moore, BP, Shevde, LA, and Welch, DR (2006). Suppression of murine mammary carcinoma metastasis by the murine ortholog of breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (Brms1). Cancer Lett 235, 260-265. PMID: 15978719
  16. Shevde, LA, Samant, RS, Paik, JC, Metge, BJ, Chambers, AF, Casey, G, Frost, AR, and Welch, DR (2006) Osteopontin knockdown suppresses tumorigenicity of human metastatic breast carcinoma, MDA-MB-435. Clin Exp Metastasis 23, 123-133. PMID: 16830223
  17. Bauer, NN, Chen, YW, Samant, RS, Shevde, LA, and Fodstad, O (2007) Rac1 activity regulates proliferation of aggressive metastatic melanoma. Exp Cell Res 313, 3832-3839. PMID: 17904119
  18. Samant, RS, Clark, DW, Fillmore, RA, Cicek, M, Metge, BJ, Chandramouli, KH, Chambers, AF, Casey, G, Welch, DR, and Shevde, LA (2007) Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) inhibits osteopontin transcription by abrogating NF-kappaB activation. Mol Cancer 6, 6. PMID: 17227585
  19. Clark, DW, Mitra, A, Fillmore, RA, Jiang, WG, Samant, RS, Fodstad, O, and Shevde, LA (2008) NUPR1 interacts with p53, transcriptionally regulates p21 and rescues breast epithelial cells from doxorubicin-induced genotoxic stress. Curr Cancer Drug Targets 8, 421-430. PMID: 18690848
  20. Golden, T, Aragon, IV, Rutland, B, Tucker, JA, Shevde, LA, Samant, RS, Zhou, G, Amable, L, Skarra, D, and Honkanen, RE (2008) Elevated levels of Ser/Thr protein phosphatase 5 (PP5) in human breast cancer. Biochim Biophys Acta 1782, 259-270. PMID: 18280813
  21. Hurst, DR, Xie, Y, Vaidya, KS, Mehta, A, Moore, BP, Accavitti-Loper, MA, Samant, RS, Saxena, R, Silveira, AC, and Welch, DR (2008) Alterations of BRMS1-ARID4A interaction modify gene expression but still suppress metastasis in human breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem 283, 7438-7444. PMID: 18211900
  22. Metge, BJ, Frost, AR, King, JA, Dyess, DL, Welch, DR, Samant, RS, and Shevde, LA (2008) Epigenetic silencing contributes to the loss of BRMS1 expression in breast cancer. Clin Exp Metastasis 25, 753-763. PMID: 18566899
  23. Mitra, A, Fillmore, RA, Metge, BJ, Rajesh, M, Xi, Y, King, J, Ju, J, Pannell, L, Shevde, LA, and Samant, RS (2008) Large isoform of MRJ (DNAJB6) reduces malignant activity of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res 10, R22. PMID: 18328103
  24. Riker, AI, Enkemann, SA, Fodstad, O, Liu, S, Ren, S, Morris, C, Xi, Y, Howell, P, Metge, B, Samant, RS, Shevde, LA, Li, W, Eschrich, S, Daud, A, Ju, J, and Matta, J (2008) The gene expression profiles of primary and metastatic melanoma yields a transition point of tumor progression and metastasis. BMC Med Genomics 1, 13. PMID: 18442402
  25. Samant, RS, Shevde, LA. (2008) BRMS1 Targeted Proteins Database 1, [22093], 10.2970/ tpdb. 2008.180.
  26. Xi, Y, Riker, A, Shevde-Samant, L, Samant, R, Morris, C, Gavin, E, Fodstad, O, and Ju, J (2008) Global comparative gene expression analysis of melanoma patient samples, derived cell lines and corresponding tumor xenografts. Cancer Genomics Proteomics 5, 1-35. PMID: 18359977
  27. Chowdhury, UR, Samant, RS, Fodstad, O, and Shevde, LA (2009) Emerging role of nuclear protein 1 (NUPR1) in cancer biology. Cancer Metastasis Rev 28, 225-232. PMID: 19153668
  28. Das, S, Harris, LG, Metge, BJ, Liu, S, Riker, AI, Samant, RS, and Shevde, LA (2009) The hedgehog pathway transcription factor GLI1 promotes malignant behavior of cancer cells by up-regulating osteopontin. J Biol Chem 284, 22888-22897. PMID: 19556240
  29. Fillmore, RA, Mitra, A, Xi, Y, Ju, J, Scammell, J, Shevde, LA, and Samant, RS (2009). Nmi (N-Myc interactor) inhibits Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and retards tumor growth. Int J Cancer 125(3), 556-564. PMID: 19358268
  30. Liu, S, Howell, P, Ren, S, Fodstad, O, Zhang, G, Samant, R, Shevde, L, Xi, Y, Pannell, LK, and Riker, AI (2009) Expression and functional analysis of the WAP four disulfide core domain 1 gene in human melanoma. Clin Exp Metastasis 26, 739-749. PMID: 19488830
  31. Mitra, A, Shevde, LA, and Samant, RS (2009) Multi-faceted role of HSP40 in cancer. Clin Exp Metastasis 26(6), 559-567. PMID: 19340594
  32. Ren, S, Liu, S, Howell, PM, Jr., Zhang, G, Pannell, L, Samant, R, Shevde-Samant, L, Tucker, JA, Fodstad, O, and Riker, AI (2010) Functional characterization of the progestagen-associated endometrial protein gene in human melanoma. J Cell Mol Med. 14: 6B. 1693-1706, PMID: 19799645
  33. Shevde, LA, Metge, BJ, Mitra, A, Xi, Y, Ju, J, King, JA, and Samant, RS (2010). Spheroid-forming sub-population of breast cancer cells demonstrates vasculogenic mimicry via hsa-mir-299-5P regulated de novo expression of osteopontin. J Cell Mol Med. 14: 6B. 1693-1706 PMID: 19538464
  34. Metge, B.J., Liu, S., Riker, A.I., Fodstad, O., Samant, RS, Shevde, L.A. (2010) Epigenetic silencing of BRMS1 is concomitant with increased osteopontin expression in melanoma. Oncology ;78:75-86 (DOI: 10.1159/000292363)
  35. Shevde, LA, Das, S, Clark, DW, and Samant, RS (2010) Osteopontin: An Effector and an Effect of Tumor Metastasis. Curr Mol Med. 10(1), 71-81 PMID: 20205680
  36. Mitra, A., Menezes, M.E., Shevde, L.A., Samant RS. (2010) DNAJB6 induces degradation of β-catenin and causes partial reversal of mesenchymal phenotype. J. Biol. Chem. 285(32):24686-94. PMID: 20522561
  37. Das, S., Samant, R.S., Shevde L.A. (2011) Hedgehog signaling induced by breast cancer cells promotes osteoclastogenesis and osteolysis. J. Biol. Chem, 286(11):9612-22 (DOI: 10.1074/jbc. M110.174920). PMID: 21169638
  38. Samant, R.S. and. Shevde, L.A. (2011) Recent advances in anti-angiogenic therapy of cancer. Oncotarget 2(3): 122-134, 2011.
  39. Harris, L.G., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L.A. (2011) Multifaceted roles of the Hedgehog pathway in tumor progression and metastasis. Mol Cancer Res,9(9):1165-74. PMID: 21775419 (Most cited article of 2012 for Mol Cancer Res; featured in 2011 most cited collection by AACR)
  40. Morrow, K. A., Das, S., Metge, B.M., Ye, K., Mulekar, M.S., Tucker, J.A., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L.A. (2011) The tumor suppressor Merlin is lost in breast cancer by osteopontin-induced degradation. J Biol Chem. 286(46):40376-85.
  41. Harris, L.G., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L.A. (2012) Hedgehog signaling promotes breast cancer vascularity and spontaneous hematogenous metastasis by upregulating CYR61. Oncogene 31 (28) : 3370-80
  42. Das, S., Samant, R.S., Shevde L.A. (2012) The Hedgehog Pathway conditions the bone microenvironment of osteolytic metastasis of Breast Cancer. International Journal of Breast cancer. Special Issue: The influence of Cancer micro-environment on Cancer Metastasis. Int J Breast Cancer. 2012:298623
  43. Menezes M.E., Devine, D.J., Shevde L.A., Samant R.S. (2012) Dickkopf1: A tumor suppressor or metastasis promoter? Int J Cancer 130(7):1477-83.
  44. Das, S., Tucker, J.A., Khullar, S., Mastro, A., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L. A. (2012) Hedgehog Signaling in Tumor Cells Facilitates Osteoblast-Enhanced Osteolytic Metastases. PLoS One,7(3):e34374.
  45. Riker AI, Samant RS. (2012) Location, location, location: The BRMS1 protein and melanoma progression. BMC Med.;10(1):19.
  46. Frost, A.R., Hurst, D.R., Shevde L.A. and Samant, R.S. (2012) The Influence of the Cancer Microenvironment on the Process of Metastasis (Editorial) International Journal of Breast cancer. Special Issue: The influence of Cancer micro-environment on Cancer Metastasis. Int J Breast Cancer. 2012:756257
  47. Andrews, J.F, Sykora, L.J, Letostak-Barik, T., Menezes, M.E., Mitra, A., Barik, S., Shevde, L.A. and Samant, R.S. (2012) Cellular stress stimulates NLS independent nuclear transport of DNAJB6. Exp Cell Res. 318(10):1086-93.
  48. Harris L.G, Pannell L.K., Singh S., Samant R.S., Shevde L.A. (2012) Increased vascularity and spontaneous metastasis of breast cancer by hedgehog signaling mediated upregulation of cyr61. Oncogene, 31(28), 3370-80.
  49. Menezes, M.E., Mitra, Shevde, L.A. and Samant, R.S. (2012) DNAJB6 governs a novel regulatory loop determining Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity Biochem J. 444(3):573-80
  50. Mitra, A., Rostas J.W., Dyess D.L., Shevde, L.A. and Samant, R.S. (2012) Micro-RNA-632 down regulates DNAJB6 in breast cancer. Lab Invest. 92(9):1310-7. (Cover art: September 2012 issue)
  51. Vincent, A. J., Ren, S., Harris, L.G., Devine, D. J., Samant, R.S., Fodstad, O., Shevde, L.A. (2012) Cytoplasmic translocation of p21 mediates NUPR1-induced chemoresistance. FEBS Lett. 586(19):3429-34. PMID: 22858377
  52. Li, X., Gao, L., Cui, Q., Gary, B., Dyess, D.L., Taylor, W., Shevde L.A., Samant , R. S., Piazza, G., Xi, Y., (2012) Micro RNA and NF-κβsupporession mediates inhibition of human tumor cell invasion by sulindac. Oncogene; 31(48):4979-86. PMID:22286762
  53. Mitra, A., Menezes, M.E., Pannell, L.K., Mulekar, M.S., Honkanen, R.E., Shevde, L.A., and Samant, R.S. (2012) DNAJB6 chaperones PP2A mediated dephosphorylation of GSK3β to down regulate β-catenin transcription target, osteopontin. Oncogene; 31(41):4472-83. PMID: 22266849
  54. Das, S., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L.A. (2013) Non-classical activation of hedgehog signaling enhances multidrug resistance and makes cancer cells refractory to SMOH-targeting hedgehog inhibition. J. Biol Chem.; 288(17):11824-33
  55. K Vig, K Casey, PM Tiwari, M Miller, R Samant, SR Singh (2013) Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Vehicles. Nanotechnology: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy (3): 407-410.
  56. Devine, D.J., Rostas, J.W., Metge, B.J., Das, S., Mulekar, M.S., Tucker, J.A., Grizzle W.E., Buchsbaum, D.J., Shevde, L.A., Samant, R.S. (2014) Loss of N-Myc interactor promotes epithelial-mesenchymal-transition by activation of TGF-β/SMAD signaling. Oncogene, 33(20), 2620-8.
  57. Shevde, L. A. and Samant, R. S. (2014) Non-Classical Hedgehog-GLI Signaling and Its Clinical Implications. Int. J. Cancer; 135(1), 1-6.
  58. Londoño-Joshi A.I., Arend R., Aristizabal L., LuW., Samant R.S., Metge B.J., Forero A., LoBuglio A.F., Li Y., and Buchsbaum, D.J. (2014) Enhanced Anticancer Effect of the Combination of Niclosamide and Anti-DR5 in Basal-like Breast Cancers. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics,13(4), 800-811. (Designated as Journal Highlight)
  59. Shevde, L., Samant, R. S. (2014) Role of Osteopontin in the Pathophysiology of Cancer. Matrix Biol, 37, 131-41
  60. Li, Y., Li, P.K., Roberts, M.J., Arend, R., Samant, R.S., Buchsbaum, D.J. (2014) Multi-targeted therapy of cancer by niclosamide: a new mission for an old drug. Cancer Lett, 349(1), 8-14.
  61. Arend R., Londoño-Joshi A.I., Lu W., Samant R.S., Li Y., Katre A.A., Kurpad C., Haygood C.W., Gangrade A., Metge B.J., Conner, M., Landen C.N., Straughn J.M. and Buchsbaum, D.J. (2014) Inhibition of WNT/β-catenin pathway by niclosamide: A therapeutic target for ovarian cancer. Gyn Onc 134(1), 112-20
  62. Samant, R.S. and Shevde, L. A. (2014) NMI and EMT. Oncoscience, I (7), 476-477.
  63. Rostas, J.W., Pruitt, H.C., Mitra A., Metge, B.J., Bae, S., Singh, K., Devine, D.J., Dyess D.L., Richards W.O., Tucker, J.A., Shevde, L.A., Samant, R.S. (2014) Downregulation of N-myc Interactor by microRNA 29 in Breast Cancer. Mol Cancer, 13, 200 (Designated as Highly Accessed)
  64. Metge, B.J., Mitra, A., Devine, D.J., Shevde, L.A., Samant, R.S. (2015) NMI contributes to autophagic responses in breast cancer cells. Sci Rep.5:11995
  65. Meng, E., Hanna, A., Samant, R.S., Shevde, L.A. (2015) The Impact of Hedgehog Signaling Pathway on DNA Repair Mechanisms in Human Cancer. Cancers, 7(3), 1333-1348
  66. Yu VZ, Wong VC, Dai W, Ko JM, Lam AK, Chan KW, Samant R.S., Lung HL, Shuen WH, Law S, Chan YP, Lee NP, Tong DK, Law TT, Lee VH, Lung ML. (2015) Nuclear Localization of DNAJB6 is Associated with Survival of Patients with Esophageal Cancer and Reduces AKT Signaling and Proliferation of Cancer Cells. Gastroenterology, 5085(15),01193-2.
  67. Pruitt, H.C., Devine, D.J., Samant, R.S. (2016) Roles of N-Myc and STAT Interactor in Cancer: From Initiation to Dissemination. Int J Cancer. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30043.
  68. Morrow, K.A. et al. Loss of tumor suppressor Merlin results in aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cancer. Accepted for publication in Oncotarget