Mitchell Denning, PhD

Mitchell Denning, PhDProfessor
Phone: 708-327-3358
Fax: 708-327-3158

Dr. Denning received his Ph.D. (Human Cancer Biology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 in the laboratory of Dr. Ajit K. Verma.  He continued his training as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NIH) in the Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis and Tumor Promotion under the guidance of Dr. Stuart Yuspa.  In 1995, Dr. Denning became a Research Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Green at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, and in 1997 joined the faculty of Loyola University Medical Center in the Skin Cancer Research Program as an Assistant Professor.  Dr. Denning holds a primary appointment in the Department of Pathology, and has adjunct appointments in two graduate programs, the Molecular Biology Program and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.  Dr. Denning also has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics. 

His primary research interest is the role of protein kinase C signal transduction in the regulation of keratinocyte growth, differentiation and apoptosis.  Dr. Denning has focused on UV carcinogenesis as the primary etiological agent for human skin cancers.  Dr. Denning is also exploring protein kinase C as a therapeutic target for malignant melanoma.

Dr. Denning's novel findings include discovering that UV radiation selectively activates the delta isoform of protein kinase C in human keratinocytes, and how inactivation of protein kinase C delta by the ras oncogene may lead to skin cancer formation.  His laboratory is also interested in understanding basic epidermal homeostatic mechanism that control normal keratinocyte cell cycle withdrawal.

Dr. Denning is the author of over 60 publications, and is active in teaching and research training of both graduate and medical students.  His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.


  • Yadav, V, and Denning, MF, Fyn is Induced by Ras/PI3K/Akt Signaling and is Required for Enhanced Invasion/Migration.  Molecular Carcinogenesis.  50: 346-352, 2011.

  • La Gory, EL, Sitailo, LA, and Denning, MF, The PKCδ catalytic fragment is critical for maintenance of the G2/M DNA damage checkpoint.  Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285: 1879-1887, 2010.

  • Yadav, V, Yanez, NC, Fenton, SE, and Denning, MF, Loss of protein kinase C δ gene expression in human squamous cell carcinomas:  A laser capture microdissection study.  American Journal of Pathology, 176: 1091-1096, 2010.
  • Voris, JP, Sitailo, LA,, Rahn, HR, Defnet, A, Gerds, AT, Sprague, R, Yadav, V, Le Poole, IC, and Denning, MF, Functional alterations in protein kinase C beta II in melanoma.  Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, 23: 215-224, 2010.

  • Jerome, A, Rahn, HR, Tibudan, SS, and Denning MF, Role for PKC-α in keratinocyte growth arrest. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129:2365-2375, 2009.
  • Sitailo LA, Jerome-Morias A, Denning MF, Mcl-1 functions as a major epidermal survival protein required for proper keratinocyte differentiation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129:1351-1360, 2009
  • D'Costa, A. M., Robinson, J. K., Maududi, T., Chaturvedi, V., Nickoloff, B. J., and Denning, M. F.: The pro-apoptotic tumor suppressor protein kinase C-delta is lost in human squamous cell carcinomas. Oncogene, 25: 378-86, 2006
  • Sitailo, L. A., Tibudan, S. S., and Denning, M. F.: The protein kinase C delta catalytic fragment targets Mcl-1 for degradation to trigger apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 29703-10, 2006
  • D'Costa, A. M. and Denning, M. F.: A caspase resistant mutant of PKC-d protects keratinocytes from UV-induced apoptosis. Cell Death Differ., 12: 224-232, 2005.
  • Sitailo, L. A., Tibudan, S. S., and Denning, M. F.: Bax activation and induction of apoptosis in human keratinocytes by the protein kinase C d catalytic domain. J. Invest. Dermatol., 123: 434-443, 2004.