Kenneth Bernstein, MD

Director, Experimental Pathology

Research Scientist, Biomedical Sciences
Phone:(310) 423-3527
Fax:(310) 423-7331

Academic Appointments

Professor, Biomedical Sciences
Professor, Pathology and Lab Medicine

Awards and Activities

Distinguished Scientist, American Heart Association2013
Member of the Association of American Physicians2009
Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association2007
Co-recipient of the AHA 2005 Novartis Prize for Hypertension Research2005

Research Focus

The laboratory studies the renin-angiotensin system, a collection of proteins important in blood pressure control, heart disease and renal disease. Genetic models in mice are used to investigate the basic physiology and biochemistry of the renin-angiotensin system. The lab discovered important contributions of this system to hematopoiesis, reproduction, cancer immunology and lung injury, in addition to the cardiovascular system. In particular, the lab is investigating the possibility of manipulating this system as a means of increasing immune resistance.

Research Contributions

Cloning of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and the major receptor for angiotensin II (AT1). Determination that testis ACE is the result of an intragenic, testis-specific promoter. Studies characterizing angiotensin II, the AT1 receptor and intracellular kinase activation. Creation of a mouse model null for ACE. Determination that ACE is important in hematopoiesis, reproduction and lung injury. Discovery that mice with the over expression of ACE in macrophages have an enhanced immune response to tumors.

Current investigations include:

The use of mouse genetic models to investigate the physiology and biochemistry of the renin-angiotensin system in cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. The manipulation of the renin-angiotensin system as a means of increasing immune resistance to cancer.

Selected Publications

  1. Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Janjoulia T, Fletcher NK, Giani JF, Nguyen MT, Riquier-Brison AD, Seth DM, Fuchs S, Eladari D, Picard N, Bachmann S, Delpire E, Peti-Peterdi J, Navar LG, Bernstein KE, McDonough AA: The absence of intrarenal ACE protects against hypertension. J. Clin. Invest., 123(5): 2011-23, 2013
  2. Shen XZ, Billet S, Lin C, Okwan-Duodu D, Chen X, Lukacher AE, Bernstein KE: The carboxypeptidase ACE shapes the MHC class I peptide repertoire. Nat. Immunol., 12(11): 1078-85, 2011
  3. Okwan-Duodu D, Datta V, Shen XZ, Goodridge HS, Bernstein EA, Fuchs S, Liu GY, Bernstein KE: Angiotensin-converting enzyme overexpression in mouse myelomonocytic cells augments resistance to Listeria and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The Journal of biological chemistry, 285(50): 39051-60, 2010
  4. Bernstein KE, Fuchs S: Angiotensin II and JAK2 put on the pressure. Nat. Med., 16(2): 165-6, 2010
  5. Shen XZ, Lukacher AE, Billet S, Williams IR, Bernstein KE: Expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme changes major histocompatibility complex class I peptide presentation by modifying C termini of peptide precursors. J. Biol. Chem., 283(15): 9957-65, 2008
  6. Murphy TJ, Alexander RW, Griendling KK, Runge MS, Bernstein KE: Isolation of a cDNA encoding the vascular type-1 angiotensin II receptor. Nature, 351(6323): 233-6, 1991

Lab Information