Chioma M. Okeoma, PhD


Assistant Professor of Microbiology

Contact Information

Office: 3-612 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
Office Phone: 319-335-7906

Lab: 3-615 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-7612

Email: chioma-okeoma@uiowa.edu


B Agric Tech, Animal Science & Health, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
MSc, Animal Science, Federal University of Agriculture, Nigeria
PhD, Animal Science, Massey University, New Zealand

Post Doctoral, Microbiology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Post Doctoral, Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program
Department of Microbiology Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary

Mammalian hosts are susceptible to infection by viruses, including retro and alpha viruses, in part because these agents possess strategies designed to evade the host innate and adaptive immune systems. In response, the hosts have developed a number of cellular based defense systems called host restriction factors (HRFs) and includes apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme (APOBEC3, A3) and bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2) or tetherin. My laboratory studies HRFs as inhibitors of virus infection and transmission by evaluating the mechanisms of interaction between host cells and viral agents.

In addition to inhibition of viral replication, we discovered that A3 and BST-2 are important proteins in the development and pathogenesis of mammary cancer. As such, we study the pro- and anti- tumorigenic functions of HRFs in mammary oncogenesis.

Specific areas of current research include:

1) Determination of the impact of innate immune response-directed HRF modulation on viral pathogenesis;

2) Determination of the mechanisms by which HRFs expressed in the urogenital tract imped sexual transmission of retroviruses;

3) Elucidation of the role of HRFs in mammary cancer development and pathogenesis; and

4) Identification of signaling events and pathways that regulate HRF expression and function.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Helen C. Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

Selected Publications

Show All

Jones P, Okeoma C.  Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is involved in Toll-like receptor 4-mediated BST-2/tetherin regulation.  Cell Signal.  2013 December. 25(12):2752-61.

Jones P, Mahauad-Fernandez W, Madison M, Okeoma C.  BST-2/tetherin is overexpressed in mammary gland and tumor tissues in MMTV-induced mammary cancer.  Virology.  2013 September. 444(1-2):124-39.

Jones P, Maric M, Madison M, Maury W, Roller R, Okeoma C.  BST-2/tetherin-mediated restriction of chikungunya (CHIKV) VLP budding is counteracted by CHIKV non-structural protein 1 (nsP1).  Virology.  2013 March 30. 438(1):37-49.

Mehta H, Jones P, Weiss J, Okeoma C.  IFN-α and lipopolysaccharide upregulate APOBEC3 mRNA through different signaling pathways.  J Immunol.  2012 October 15. 189(8):4088-103.

Jones P, Mehta H, Okeoma C.  A novel role for APOBEC3: susceptibility to sexual transmission of murine acquired immunodeficiency virus (mAIDS) is aggravated in APOBEC3 deficient mice.  Retrovirology.  2012 June 12. 9:50.

Jones P, Mehta H, Maric M, Roller R, Okeoma C.  Bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2) restricts mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) replication in vivo.  Retrovirology.  2012 January 27. 9:10.

Okeoma C, Huegel A, Lingappa J, Feldman M, Ross S.  APOBEC3 proteins expressed in mammary epithelial cells are packaged into retroviruses and can restrict transmission of milk-borne virions.  Cell Host Microbe.  2010 December 16. 8(6):534-43.

Okeoma C, Petersen J, Ross S.  Expression of murine APOBEC3 alleles in different mouse strains and their effect on mouse mammary tumor virus infection.  J Virol.  2009 April. 83(7):3029-38.

Okeoma C, Low A, Bailis W, Fan H, Peterlin B, Ross S.  Induction of APOBEC3 in vivo causes increased restriction of retrovirus infection.  J Virol.  2009 April. 83(8):3486-95.

Okeoma C, Shen M, Ross S.  A novel block to mouse mammary tumor virus infection of lymphocytes in B10.BR mice.  J Virol.  2008 February. 82(3):1314-22.

Date Last Modified: 06/07/2014 - 21:56:23