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Daniel Frigo, PhD

Assistant Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Frigo earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University, and then was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship and appointed to research scientist in the pharmacology and cancer biology department at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He was appointed to a faculty position at the University of Houston’s Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling in 2010, and became an affiliate member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2012. Dr. Frigo has also been a member of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program study sections, and served on the editorial board of Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases beginning in 2012.

Description of Research

Despite the discovery of nuclear receptors (NRs) more than four decades ago, their regulation and machinsims of action are still not well understood. The objective of the Frigo laboratory is to better understand how NRs function in specific disease states, with a focus on cancer. The long-term goal of Dr. Frigo’s research is to develop novel therapies that target these newly identified NR-mediated mechanisms.

Areas Of Expertise

Nuclear receptors Signal transduction Metabolism Prostate cancer Autophagy
Education & Training

, Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Departments of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center
, Tulane University

Inhibition of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway promotes castration-resistant prostate cancer
Kaushik, AK, Shojaie, A, Panzitt, K, Sonavane, R, Venghatakrishnan, H, Manikkam, M, Zaslavsky, A, Putluri, V, Vasu, VT, Zhang, Y, Khan, AS, Lloyd, S, Szafran, AT, Dasgupta, S, Bader, DA, Stossi, F, Li, H, Samanta, S, Cao, X, Tsouko, E, Huang, S, Frigo, DE, Chan, L, Edwards, DP, Kaipparettu, BA, Mitsiades, N, Weigel, NL, Mancini, M, McGuire, SE, Mehra, R, Ittmann, MM, Chinnaiyan, AM, Putluri, N, Palapattu, GS, Michailidis, G & Sreekumar, A 2016, Nature Communications, vol 7, 11612. DOI:

Fatty Acid Oxidation-Driven Src Links Mitochondrial Energy Reprogramming and Oncogenic Properties in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Park, JH, Vithayathil, S, Kumar, S, Sung, PL, Dobrolecki, LE, Putluri, V, Bhat, VB, Bhowmik, SK, Gupta, V, Arora, K, Wu, D, Tsouko, E, Zhang, Y, Maity, S, Donti, TR, Graham, BH, Frigo, DE, Coarfa, C, Yotnda, P, Putluri, N, Sreekumar, A, Lewis, MT, Creighton, CJ, Wong, LJC & Kaipparettu, BA 2016, Cell Reports, vol 14, no. 9, pp. 2154-2165. DOI:

Identification of a novel coregulator, SH3YL1, that interacts with the androgen receptor n-terminus
Blessing, AM, Ganesan, S, Rajapakshe, K, Sung, YY, Bollu, LR, Shi, Y, Cheung, E, Coarfa, C, Chang, JT, McDonnell, DP & Frigo, DE 2015, Molecular Endocrinology, vol 29, no. 10, pp. 1426-1439. DOI:

Targeting the 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase and related metabolic pathways for the treatment of prostate cancer
Popovics, P, Frigo, DE, Schally, AV & Rick, FG 2015, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, vol 19, no. 5, pp. 617-632. DOI:

miR-200a inhibits migration of triple-negative breast cancer cells through direct repression of the EPHA2 oncogene
Tsouko, E, Wang, J, Frigo, DE, Aydogdu, E & Williams, C 2015, Carcinogenesis, vol 36, no. 9, pp. 1051-1060. DOI:

Chitosan nanoparticle-mediated delivery of miRNA-34a decreases prostate tumor growth in the bone and its expression induces non-canonical autophagy
Gaur, S, Wen, Y, Song, JH, Parikh, NU, Mangala, LS, Blessing, AM, Ivan, C, Wu, SY, Varkaris, A, Shi, Y, Lopez-Berestein, G, Frigo, DE, Sood, AK & Gallick, GE 2015, Oncotarget, vol 6, no. 30, pp. 29161-29177. DOI:

Differential regulation of metabolic pathways by androgen receptor (AR) and its constitutively active splice variant, AR-V7, in prostate cancer cells
Shafi, AA, Putluri, V, Arnold, JM, Tsouko, E, Maity, S, Roberts, JM, Coarfa, C, Frigo, DE, Putluri, N, Sreekumar, A & Weigel, NL 2015, Oncotarget, vol 6, no. 31, pp. 31997-32012. DOI:

Regulation of the pentose phosphate pathway by an androgen receptor-mTOR-mediated mechanism and its role in prostate cancer cell growth
Tsouko, E, Khan, AS, White, MA, Han, JJ, Shi, Y, Merchant, FA, Sharpe, MA, Xin, L & Frigo, DE 2014, Oncogenesis, vol 3, no. 5, e103. DOI:

Androgens regulate prostate cancer cell growth via an AMPK-PGC-1a-mediated metabolic switch
Tennakoon, JB, Shi, Y, Han, JJ, Tsouko, E, White, MA, Burns, AR, Zhang, A, Xia, X, Ilkayeva, OR, Xin, L, Ittmann, MM, Rick, FG, Schally, AV & Frigo, DE 2013, Oncogene. DOI:

Androgens promote prostate cancer cell growth through induction of autophagy
Shi, Y, Han, JJ, Tennakoon, JB, Mehta, FF, Merchant, FA, Burns, AR, Howe, MK, McDonnell, DP & Frigo, DE 2013, Molecular Endocrinology, vol 27, no. 2, pp. 280-295. DOI:

Convergence of oncogenic and hormone receptor pathways promotes metastatic phenotypes
Augello, MA, Burd, CJ, Birbe, R, McNair, C, Ertel, A, Magee, MS, Frigo, DE, Wilder-Romans, K, Shilkrut, M, Han, S, Jernigan, DL, Dean, JL, Fatatis, A, McDonnell, DP, Visakorpi, T, Feng, FY & Knudsen, KE 2013, Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 123, no. 1, pp. 493-508. DOI:

Antiestrogenic activity of flavonoid phytochemicals mediated via the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase pathway. Cell-type specific regulation of estrogen receptor alpha
Collins-Burow, BM, Antoon, JW, Frigo, DE, Elliott, S, Weldon, CB, Boue, SM, Beckman, BS, Curiel, TJ, Alam, J, McLachlan, JA & Burow, ME 2012, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol 132, no. 1-2, pp. 186-193. DOI:

The organochlorine o,p'-DDT plays a role in coactivator-mediated MAPK crosstalk in MCF-7 breast cancer cells
Bratton, MR, Frigo, DE, Chris Segar, H, Nephew, KP, McLachlan, JA, Wiese, TE & Burow, ME 2012, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol 120, no. 9, pp. 1291-1296. DOI:

Gaopotentiates estrogen receptor a activity via the ERK signaling pathway
Bratton, MR, WAntoon, J, Duong, BN, Frigo, DE, Tilghman, S, Collins-Burow, BM, Elliott, S, Tang, Y, Melnik, LI, Lai, L, Alam, J, Beckman, BS, Hill, SM, Rowan, BG, McLachlan, JA & Burow, ME 2012, Journal of Endocrinology, vol 214, no. 1, pp. 45-54. DOI:

The organochlorine o,p'-DDT plays a role in coactivator-mediated MAPK crosstalk in MCF-7 breast cancer cells
Bratton, MR, Frigo, DE, Chris Segar, H, Nephew, KP, McLachlan, JA, Wiese, TE & Burow, ME 2012, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol 120, no. 9, pp. 1291-1296. DOI:

CaM kinase kinase ß-mediated activation of the growth regulatory kinase AMPK is required for androgen-dependent migration of prostate cancer cells
Frigo, DE, Howe, MK, Wittmann, BM, Brunner, AM, Cushman, I, Wang, Q, Brown, M, Means, AR & McDonnell, DP 2011, Cancer Research, vol 71, no. 2, pp. 528-537. DOI:

Induction of Krüppel-like factor 5 expression by androgens results in increased CXCR4-dependent migration of prostate cancer cells in vitro
Frigo, DE, Sherk, AB, Wittmann, BM, Norris, JD, Wang, Q, Joseph, JD, Toner, AP, Brown, M & McDonnell, DP 2009, Molecular Endocrinology, vol 23, no. 9, pp. 1385-1396. DOI:

Glucose metabolism as a target of histone deacetylase inhibitors
Wardell, SE, Ilkayeva, OR, Wieman, HL, Frigo, DE, Rathmell, JC, Newgard, CB & McDonnell, DP 2009, Molecular Endocrinology, vol 23, no. 3, pp. 388-401. DOI:

Organochlorine-mediated potentiation of the general coactivator p300 through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase
Bratton, MR, Frigo, DE, Vigh-Conrad, KA, Fan, D, Wadsworth, S, Mclachlan, JA & Burow, ME 2009, Carcinogenesis, vol 30, no. 1, pp. 106-113. DOI:

Development of a small-molecule serum- and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase-1 antagonist and its evaluation as a prostate cancer therapeutic
Sherk, AB, Frigo, DE, Schnackenberg, CG, Bray, JD, Laping, NJ, Trizna, W, Hammond, M, Patterson, JR, Thompson, SK, Kazmin, D, Norris, JD & McDonnell, DP 2008, Cancer Research, vol 68, no. 18, pp. 7475-7483. DOI: