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Susan J. Zunino

Susan J. Zunino

  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Research Molecular Biologist, Western Human Nutrition Research Center


(530) 752-5156



  • B.S., Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno

Research Interests

Dr. Zunino’s lab is interested in the regulation of genomic stability, gene transcription, and protein translation in immune cells in response to phytochemicals and their metabolites. Dr. Zunino is particularly interested in the epigenetic regulation of genome stability in response to genotoxic and oxidative stress, and the role that phytochemical antioxidants may play in controlling these responses, thus preventing the development of hematological malignancies. Other areas of interest include anti-inflammatory activities of phytochemicals and prevention of autoimmunity.

Selected Publications

  • Peipp, M., D. Saul, K. Barbin, J. Bruenke, S.J. Zunino, M. Niederweis, and G.H. Fey. 2004. Efficient secretion of fluorescent scFv-fusion proteins directed against CD antigens from insect and mammalian cells. J. Immunol. Methods 285: 265-280.
  • Bruenke, J., B. Fischer, K. Barbin, K. Schreiter, Y. Wachter, K. Mahr, F. Titgemeyer, M. Peipp, S.J. Zunino, R. Repp, T. Valerius, and G.H. Fey. 2004. A recombinant bispecific single-chain Fv antibody against HLA class II and Fc RIII (CD16) triggers effective lysis of lymphoma cells. Br. J. Haematol. 125: 167-179.
  • Lang, P., K. Barbin, T. Feuchtinger, J. Greil, M. Peipp, S.J. Zunino, M. Pfeiffer, R. Handgretinger, D. Niethammer, G.H. Fey. 2004. Chimeric CD19 antibody mediates cytotoxic activity against leukemic blasts with effector cells from pediatric patients who received T-cell-depleted allografts. Blood 103: 3982-3985.
  • Kellner, C. and S.J. Zunino. 2004. Nitric oxide is synthesized in acute leukemia cells after exposure to phenolic antioxidants and initially protects against mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Cancer Lett., in press.
  • Peipp, M., D. Saul, K. Barbin, J. Bruenke, S.J. Zunino, J.G. van de Winkel, M. Niederweis, and G.H. Fey. 2003. Efficient secretion of fluorescent scFv-fusion proteins directed against CD antigens from insect and mammalian cells. manuscript submitted, J. Immunol. Methods
  • Knott, A., Y. Mueller, S.J. Zunino, C. Berens, and W. Hillen. 2003. Conditional cell suicide using dox-dependent caspase-2 expression. J. Gene Med. 5: 343-354.
  • Dörrie, J., K. Sapala, and S.J. Zunino. 2002. Interferon-g increases the expression of glycosylated CD95 in B-leukemic cells: An inducible model to study the role of glycosylation in CD95-signaling and trafficking. Cytokine 18: 98-107.
  • Peipp, M., H. Küpers, D. Saul, B. Schlierf, J. Greil, S.J. Zunino, M. Gramatzki, and G.H. Fey. 2002. A recombinant CD7-specific single-chain immunotoxin is a potent inducer of apoptosis in acute leukemic T cells. Cancer Res. 62: 2848-2855.
  • Dörrie, J., K. Sapala, and S.J. Zunino. 2001. Carnosol-induced apoptosis and downregulation of Bcl-2 in B-lineage leukemia cells. Cancer Lett. 170: 33-39.
  • Dörrie, J., H. Gerauer, Y. Wachter, and S.J. Zunino. 2001. Resveratrol induces extensive apoptosis by depolarizing mitochondrial membranes and activating caspase-9 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Cancer Res. 61: 4731-4739.
  • Peipp, M., N. Simon, A. Loichinger, W. Baum, K. Mahr, S.J. Zunino, and G. H. Fey. 2001. An improved procedure for the generation of recombinant single-chain Fv antibody fragments reacting with human CD13 on intact cells. J. Immunol. Methods 251: 161-176.
  • Dörrie, J., W. Schuh, A. Keil, E. Bongards, J. Greil, G.H. Fey, and S.J. Zunino. 1999. Regulation of CD95 expression and CD95-mediated cell death by interferon-g in acute lymphoblastic leukemia with chromosomal translocation t(4;11). Leukemia 13: 1539-1547.
  • Zunino, S.J., J. Bass, M. Singh, and L.J. Picker. 1996. Immunodetection of histone epitopes correlates with early stages of apoptosis in activated human peripheral T lymphocytes. Am. J. Pathol. 149(2): 653-663.
  • Zunino, S.J., L.F. Simons, J.F. Sambrook, and M.J.H. Gething. 1994. Interleukin-1 promotes hyperglycemia and insulitis in mice normally resistant to streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Am. J. Pathol. 145(3): 661-670.
  • Hudig, D., N.J. Allison, G.R. Ewoldt, R. Gault, D. Netski, T.M. Pickett, D.D. Redelman, M.T. Wang, U. Winkler, S.J. Zunino, C.-M. Kam, S. Odake, and J.C. Powers. 1993. Serine protease control of lymphocyte-mediated cytolysis. In Cytotoxic Cells: Generation, Recognition, Effector Functions and Methods. M.V. Sitkovsky and P.A. Henkart (eds.), Springer Verlag, Boston, pp 295-304.
  • Gething, M.J.H., L. Roman, L. Simons, S. Zunino, N. Jiang, R. Hammer, and J. Sambrook. 1991. Transgenic animal models in biomedical research. Proceedings National Institute of Health Symposium, Washington, D.C. (November 4-5), D.G. Scarpelli, G. Migaki, and J.M. Pletcher (eds.), pp 43-46.
  • Zunino, S.J., R.C. Bleackley, J. Martinez, and D. Hudig. 1990. RNKP-1, a novel NK-associated serine protease gene cloned from RNK-16 cytotoxic lymphocytes. J. Immunol. 144: 2001-2009.
  • Zunino, S.J., N.J. Allison, C.-M. Kam, J.C. Powers, and D. Hudig. 1988. Localization, function, and gene expression of chymotrypsin-like proteases of cytotoxic RNK-16 lymphocytes. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 967: 331-340.
  • Zunino, S.J. and D. Hudig. 1988. Interactions between human natural killer (NK) lymphocytes and yeast cells: human NK cells do not kill Candida albicans, although C. albicans blocks NK lysis of K562. Infect. Immun. 56(3): 564-569.