Project Director, Lady Davis Institute
Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University
Dr. Kostas Pantopoulos received a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He had his post-doctoral training in the lab of M. W. Hentze at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1999, he obtained a faculty appointment at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and the Department of Medicine at McGill University. He also became associate member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He was awarded tenure in 2006 and promoted to full Professor in 2010.
Dr. Pantopoulos is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of iron metabolism. His work has contributed to understanding the mechanisms of intracellular iron sensing by “iron regulatory proteins,” IRP1 and IRP2. His lab has been continuously supported by extramural funds from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Quebéc (FRSQ), the Cancer Research Society, the Canadian Liver Foundation, and other agencies. He has received scholarships from the CIHR and FRSQ and he currently holds the prestigious FRSQ Chercheur national award.
Dr. Pantopoulos is an active member of the International BioIron Society (IBIS) and the Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium. He was Vice Chairman of BioIron 2005 – World Congress on Iron Metabolism in Prague, and organizer of the 5th Conference of the Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium in Montreal in 2007. He serves on reviewing panels of the CIHR and the European Commission and has been ad hoc reviewer for funding agencies in Canada, the United States, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, Austria, Estonia and Greece. He is member of the editorial advisory panel of the Biochemical Journal and the editorial board of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Pantopoulos’s lab is investigating mechanisms for the regulation of IRP1 and IRP2. To better understand the physiological function of these proteins, the lab is currently developing mouse models with defects in “iron-responsive elements,” the IRP1 and IRP2 target sequences. Another ongoing research project aims to uncover the roles of IRP1 and IRP2 in cancer biology.
His lab is also studying the function of hemojuvelin on systemic iron homeostasis, as an upstream activator of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin. In addition, the lab is employing mouse models of iron overload to assess the role of iron as a risk factor for chemically-induced liver fibrosis. Finally, it is investigating molecular links between iron metabolism and hepatitis C virus (HCV) biology.
Maffettone, C., Chen, G., Drozdov, I., Ouzounis, C. and Pantopoulos, K.,Tumorigenic properties of iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2) mediated by its specific 73-amino acids insert, PLoS ONE 5:e10163, 2010
Zimmer, M., Ebert, B. L., Neil, C., Brenner, K., Papaioannou, I., Melas, A., Tolliday, N., Lamb, J., Pantopoulos, K., Golub, T. and Iliopoulos, O. Small molecule inhibitors of HIF-2α translation link its 5’-UTR iron-responsive element (IRE) to oxygen sensing, Mol. Cell 32:838-848, 2008
Wang, J., Fillebeen, C., Chen, G., Biederbick, A., Lill, R. and Pantopoulos, K. Iron-dependent degradation of apo-IRP1 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, Mol. Cell. Biol. 27:2423-2430, 2007