Postdoctoral Fellow
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas - Health Science Center, Houston
Wayne State University, Detroit
Novosibirsk State University, Russia

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Cancer Progression in Obesity

Research Information

Cancer Progression in Obesity

Dr. Mikhail Kolonin, received his B.S./M.S. degree from Novosibirsk State University (Russia) and Ph.D. from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) where he has pioneered the concept of expressing small peptides designed to disrupt specific protein interactions in live animals using Drosophila as a model. As a post-doctoral fellow at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, he has optimized in vivo phage display technology to isolate differentially expressed vascular cell surface molecules by integrating molecular biology of angiogenesis with bioinformatics. This work, first initiated in the mouse model and then translated to screens in cancer patients, has led to several tissue-specific cell surface protein interactions that are now pursued as therapy targets. A drug prototype based on a peptide targeting interleukin-11 receptor in the prostate is in clinical trials. Based on peptide-directed drug delivery, Dr. Kolonin also co-invented an approach to obesity reversal through directed ablation of white fat vasculature. A compound targeting prohibitin protein on the surface of adipose endothelium (Adipotide), currently under commercial development, has proven effective as an experimental obesity drug in rodent and non-human primate models.

Research in the Kolonin Laboratory converges on stem cells, obesity, and cancer. Specifically, the focus is on intercellular interactions in adipose tissues and tumors and the role of adult progenitor cells in pathology. These studies are based on the analysis of clinical specimens and mouse models. Dr. Kolonin and colleagues have discovered the phenomenon of adipose cell mobilization and trafficking to tumors and the stimulatory effect of adipose stromal cells on cancer progression. These findings have provided new insights on the association between obesity and cancer. The molecular mechanisms of adipose cell migration to tumors and their role in tumor microenvironment are under investigation. The group expertise in cell population separation and identification of tissue-specific cell surface receptors has led to the recent identification of delta-decorin as the first known marker selectively expressed on adipose progenitor cells. An agent designed to target adipose progenitor cells through binding to delta-decorin is being pre-clinically tested for long-term treatment of obesity and a combination cancer therapy. Other projects are focused on identification of molecules targeting brown adipose tissue for whole body imaging applications, adipose tissue engineering in three-dimensional culture, identification of liposarcoma-initiating cells, and exploring the role of adipose tissue in leukemia progression.


Publication Information


  • Daquinag AC, Dadbin A, Snyder B, Wang X, Sahin AA, Ueno NT, Kolonin MG.  (2017).  Non-glycanated Decorin Is a Drug Target on Human Adipose Stromal Cells. Mol Ther Oncolytics. May 17;6:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.omto.2017.05.003. eCollection 2017 Sep 15.
  • Kolonin MG, Sergeeva A, Staquicini DI, Smith TL, Tarleton CA, Molldrem JJ, Sidman RL, Marchiò S, Pasqualini R, Arap W.  (2017).  Interaction between Tumor Cell Surface Receptor RAGE and Proteinase 3 Mediates Prostate Cancer Metastasis to Bone. Cancer Res. Jun 15;77(12):3144-3150. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0708. Epub 2017 Apr 20.
  • Lodi A, Saha A, Lu X, Wang B, Sentandreu E, Collins M, Kolonin M, DiGiobvanni J, Tiziani S. (2017).  Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism. npj Precision Oncology.  1:18 ; doi:10.1038/s41698-017-0024-z.
  • Staquicini DI, Rangel R, Guzman-Rojas L, Staquicini FI, Dobroff AS, Tarleton CA, Ozbun MA, Kolonin MG, Gelovani JG, Marchiò S, Sidman RL, Hajjar KA, Arap W, Pasqualini R. (2017).  Intracellular targeting of annexin A2 inhibits tumor cell adhesion, migration, and in vivo grafting. Sci Rep. Jun 26;7(1):4243. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03470-w.
  • Barnhart K, et al., Kolonin MG, et al. and Pasqualini R. (2011).  A peptidomimetic targeting white fat causes weight loss and improved insulin resistance in obese monkeys. Sci Translational Med., 3:108-112.
  • Kolonin MG, Evans KW, Mani SA, Gomer RH.  (2012).  Alternative origins of stroma in normal organs and disease. Stem Cell Res. Dec 8. 8:312-323.
  • Klopp AH, Zhang Y, Solley T, Amaya-Manzanares F, Marini F, Andreeff M, Debeb B, Woodward WA, Schmandt R, Broaddus RR, Lu KH, Kolonin MG.  (2012) Omental adipose tissue-derived stromal cells promote vascularization and growth of endometrial tumors. Clinical Can Res18:771-782.
  • Guzman-Rojas L, et al., Kolonin MG, et al., and Pasqualini R. (2012). Cooperative effects of aminopeptidase N (CD13) expressed by non-malignant and cancer cells within the tumor microenvironment. PNAS, USA, 109:1637-1642.
  • Bellows CF, Zhang Y, Simmons PJ, Khalsa A, and Kolonin MG.  (2011).  Influence of BMI on Level of Circulating Progenitor Cells. Obesity. 19 (8):1722-1726.
  • Daquinag A, Zhang Y, Amaya F, Simmons P, and Kolonin MG. (2011).  An Isoform of Decorin is a Resistin Receptor on the Surface of Adipose Progenitor Cells. Cell Stem Cell(1):74-86.
  • Bellows CF, Zhang Y, Chen J, Frazier ML, and Kolonin MG. (2011).  Circulation of Progenitor Cells in Obese and Lean Colorectal Cancer Patients. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 20 (11): 2461-2468.
  • Kolonin MG*, Staquicini F I*, Cardó-Vila M.*, et al. and Arap W. (2011).  Ligand-receptor vascular systems mapped by serial combinatorial selection in cancer patients. PNAS, USA.  108: 18637-18642, (*Equal contribution).
  • Daquinag A, Zhang Y, and Kolonin MG.  (2011).   Vascular targeting of adipose tissue as an anti-obesity approach.  Trends in Pharmacological Sciences32:300-307.
  • Zhang Y, Bellows CF, and Kolonin MG.  (2010).  Adipose-tissue derived progenitor cells and cancer.  World Journal of Stem Cells (Topic Highlight). 2 (5): 103-113.
  • Zhang Y, Daquinag A, Traktuev D, Amaya F, Simmons PJ, March KL, Pasqualini R, Arap W, and Kolonin MG.  (2009).  Mouse white adipose tissue is a source of cells that are recruited by tumors and promote cancer progression.  Cancer Res., 15 (69) 5259-5266.
  • Kolonin MG, and Simmons PJ.  (2009).  Combinatorial stem cell mobilization. Nature Biotechnology.,  27 (3) 252-253.
  • Traktuev D, Merfeld-Clauss S, Li J, Kolonin MG, Arap W, Pasqualini R, Johnstone BH, and March KL.  (2008).  A population of CD34-positive adipose stromal cells share pericyte and mesenchymal surface markers, reside in a perivascular niche, and stabilize endothelial networks. Circulation Research.,  102, 77-85.
  • Cardo-Vila M, Zurita AJ, Giordano RJ, Sun J, Rangel R, Guzman-Rojas L, Anobom CD, Valente AP, Almeida F, Lahdenranta J, Kolonin MG, Arap W, and Pasqualini R.  (2008).  A ligand peptide motif selected from a cancer patient is a receptor-interacting site within human interleukin-11. PLoS ONE.  3 (10) 3452-2460.
  • Nie J, Chang B, Traktuev D, Sun J, March KL, Chan L, Sage EH, Pasqualini R, Arap W, and Kolonin MG.  (2008).  Integrin α5/β1 is a receptor for the matricellular protein SPARC on adipose stromal cells and a prospective therapeutic target.  Stem Cells.  26 (10), 2735-2745.
  • Kolonin MG,  et al.,  and Pasqualini R. (2006).  Ligand-directed surface profiling of human cancer cells with combinatorial peptide libraries.  Cancer Research66, 34-40.
  • Kolonin MG,  et al., and Arap W.  (2006).  Synchronous selection of homing peptides for multiple tissues by in vivo phage display. FASEB J.  20 (7), 979-981.
  • Kolonin MG*, Sergeeva A*, Molldrem  J, Pasqualini R, and Arap W. (2006).  Display technologies: application for the discovery of drug and gene delivery agents.  Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews58, 1622-1654, (*Equal contribution).
  • Kolonin MG, Saha PK, Chan L, Pasqualini R, Arap W.  (2004).  Reversal of obesity by targeted ablation of adipose tissue.  Nature Medicine10, 625-32.
  • Arap W, Kolonin MG, et al., and R Pasqualini.  (2002).  Steps toward mapping the human vasculature by phage display.  Nature Medicine8, 121-7.
  • Kolonin MG, Arap W, and Pasqualini R.  (2002).  Teratogenicity induced by targeting a placental immunoglobulin transporter. PNAS, USA99 (20):13055-60.
  • Kolonin MG, Pasqualini R, and Arap W.  (2001).  Molecular addresses in blood vessels as targets for therapy. Current Opinions in Chemical Biology5, 308-313.
  • Kolonin MG, and Finley RL, Jr.  (2000).   A Role for Cyclin J in the Rapid Nuclear Division Cycles of Early Drosophila Embryogenesis. Developmental Biology227, 661-672.
  • Kolonin MG, Zhong J, and Finley RL, Jr. (2000).  Interaction matting methods in two-hybrid systems. Methods in Enzymology328, 26-46.
  • Kolonin MG, and Finley RL, Jr. (1998).  Targeting cyclin-dependent kinases in Drosophila with peptide aptamers. PNAS, USA95, 14266-71.