John H. White

John H. White, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Dept. of Physiology, McGill University
McIntyre Bldg, Rm 1001, 3655 Prom. Sir William Osler, Montreal, Qc H3G 1Y6

Tel: 514 398 4318 (Admin. Office), 514 398 8498 (Lab office)

john.white [at] mcgill.ca
Vitamindlab

Biographical Sketch

Dr. White, who obtained his Ph.D. in 1987 from Harvard, is a molecular biologist and molecular geneticist who has made numerous broad-ranging contributions to the fields of gene regulation and vitamin D physiology. His work on the molecular mechanisms of vitamin D action opened up the field of study of vitamin D as an inducer of antimicrobial innate immunity in humans, and has provided fundamental insights into its potential role as a cancer chemopreventive agent.

Keywords

Gene regulation, vitamin D, innate immunity, cancer prevention

Research or Clinical Activities

Much of the lab's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of action of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) with a focus on its function in regulating innate immunity and its role in cancer chemoprevention. Our work has revealed that the hormonal form of vitamin D stimulates several aspects of innate immune responses to pathogen threat, and that, moreover, many of the mechanisms are human/primate-specific. We are also exploring the molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D signaling through the VDR arrests cancer cell proliferation. In addition, we are collaborating with Dr. Jim Gleason (Chemistry) on the development of bifunctional vitamin D analogues as cancer therapeutics.

Selected Recent Publications

Dimitrov, V., Bouttier, G., Boukhaled, G., Salehi-Tabar R., Memari, B., Hasaj, B., Krawczyk, C.M. and White, J.H. (2017) Species- and tissue-specific induction of PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression by hormonal vitamin D. J. Biol. Chem. Oct. 23, doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.793885.

Bijian, K., Kaldre, D., Wang, T.-T., Bouttier, M, Boucher, A., Alaoui-Jamali, M., White, J.H.*, Gleason, J.L.* (2017) Efficacy of hybrid vitamin D receptor agonist/histone deacetylase inhibitors in vitamin D-resistant triple-negative 4T1 breast cancer. J. Ster. Biochem. Mol. Biol. doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.08.010 *corresponding authors.

Dimitrov, V. and White, J.H. (2017) Vitamin D signaling in intestinal innate immunity and homeostasis. Mol. Cell Endocrinol. 453, 68-78.

Bouttier, M., Laperriere, D., Memari, B., Verway, M., Fiore, A, Mitchell, E., Wang, T.T., Sladek, R., Behr, M., Mader, S. and White, J.H. (2016) Alu repeats as transcriptional regulatory platforms in macrophage responses to M. tuberculosis infection. Nucl. Acid. Res. 44, 10571-87.

Memari, B., Bouttier, M., Dimitrov, V., Behr, M.A., Fritz, J.H., and White, J.H.(2015) Engagement of aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling by M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages. J. Immunol. 195, 4479-91.

Calderon, M. Verway, M., Benslama, R.O., Birlea, M., Bouttier, M., Dimitrov, V., Mader, S., and White, J.H. (2014) Ligand-dependent corepressor contributes to transcriptional repression by C2H2 zinc-finger transcription factor ZBRK1 through association with KRAB-associated protein-1. Nucl. Acids Res. 42, 7012-27.

Verway, M., Bouttier, M., Wang, T.T., Carrier, M., Calderon, M., An, B.-S., Devemy, E., McIntosh, F., Divangahi, M., Behr, M.A. and White, J.H. (2013) Vitamin D induces interleukin-1 expression: Paracrine macrophage-epithelial signaling controls M. tuberculosis infection. PLoS Pathogens 9(6): e1003407. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003407

Salehi-Tabar, R., Nguyen-Yamamoto, L., Tavera-Mendoza, L.E., Quail, T., Dimitrov, V., An, B.-S., Glass, L., Goltzman, D. and White, J.H. (2012) The vitamin D receptor as a master regulator of the cMYC/MXD1 network. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 18827-32. Voted one of the top 10 cancer research stories of 2012 by the Canadian Cancer Society.

PubMed Publications – J. White