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Urology Research Laboratory
Harrison Department of Surgical Research
Dr. Samuel K. Chacko
Research Personnel
Boopathi Ettickan, Ph.D.
Basic Urological Research
Laboratory of Dr. Samuel K. Chacko
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Glenolden Research Laboratory
500 South Ridgeway Avenue, Room 182
Glenolden, PA 19036
Phone: 267-350-9602
Fax: 267-350-9609
1999 Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Indian Institute of Science
1999 - 2002 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
2002 - 2006 Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania
2006 - present Senior Research Investigator, University of Pennsylvania
Research Interest
Transcriptional Regulation and Gene Expression in Smooth Muscle
Description of Research

Transcriptional regulation of calcium sensitization pathway proteins, RhoA, ROCK I and CPI-17 in partial bladder outlet obstruction and diabetics
Smooth muscle contraction is primarily regulated by the levels of phosphorylation of myosin light chain which has been considered to be governed by a Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent MLC kinase pathway. The level of myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is regulated not only by fluctuation in cytoplasmic calcium, but also by other Ca2+-independent pathway what is known as Ca2+-sensitization mechanisms. It is now well recognized that the RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway plays a major role in Ca2+ sensitization through inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase. The contribution of the RhoA/ROCK pathway to contraction differs in different muscles. The investigation focus on the effect of partial bladder outlet obstruction and diabetics on the transcriptional regulation of RhoA, ROCK I and CPI-17.

Transcriptional regulation of caveolins in partial bladder outlet obstruction
Caveolins are the principal components of caveolae, the invagination of the plasma membrane. Caveolae have emerged as sites of important regulatory events at the cell membrane in many different cell types. Caveolins are the main structural components of caveolae and belong to a family of highly conserved integral membrane proteins. The function of caveolin-1 appears to be intrinsically linked to cell signaling modulation by multiple pathways. The impaired detrusor contractility and disrupted muscarinic activity in the aging bladder was observed in caveolin-1 knockout mice. Therefore the aim of the present study is to elucidate the molecular basis of caveolin-1 gene repression in PBOO detrusor smooth muscle.

Transcriptional regulation of desmin and vimentin in partial bladder outlet obstruction
Intermediate filaments (IF) consisting of desmin and vimentin are the integral part of cytoskeletal structure in the cells. They undergo spatial reorganization in response to stimulation with physiological signal. They regulate various cellular functions including signal transduction, force development and gene expression. The present study investigates the molecular basis of desmin and vimentin gene expression in PBOO detrusor smooth muscle.

Selected Publications
  1. Boopathi, E, Srinivasan S, Fang JK, Avadhani NG (2008) Bimodal Targeting of Proteins with Chimeric Signals and Activation of Cryptic Mitochondrial Targeting Signal by a Novel Cytoplasmic Endoprotease. Molecular Cell (Cell Press) Accepted for publication
  2. Dasari VR, Anandatheerthavarada HK, Robin MA, Boopathi E, Biswas G, Fang JK, Nebert DW, Avadhani NG (2006). Role of protein kinase C-mediated protein phosphorylation in mitochondrial translocation of mouse CYP1A1, which contains a non-canonical targeting signal. J Biol Chem. Oct 13;281(41):30834-47.
  3. Boopathi E, Lenka N, Prabu SK, Fang JK, Wilkinson F, Atchison M, Giallongo A, Avadhani NG (2004). Regulation of murine cytochrome c oxidase Vb gene expression during myogenesis: YY-1 and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D-like protein (JKTBP1) reciprocally regulate transcription activity by physical interaction with the BERF-1/ZBP-89 factor. J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 20;279(34):35242-54
  4. Venkatesh N, Zaltsman Y, Somjen D, Gayer B, Boopathi E, Kasher R, Kulik T, Katchalski-Katzir E, Kohen F (2202) A synthetic peptide with estrogen-like activity derived from a phage-display peptide library. Peptides. Mar;23(3):573-80.
  5. Boopathi E, Anandatheerthavarada HK, Bhagwat SV, Biswas G, Fang JK, Avadhani NG (2000). Accumulation of mitochondrial P450MT2, NH(2)-terminal truncated cytochrome P4501A1 in rat brain during chronic treatment with beta-naphthoflavone. A role in the metabolism of neuroactive drugs. J Biol Chem. Nov 3;275(44):34415-23.
  6. Boopathi E, Rao KS (1999). A siderophore from Pseudomonas putida type A1: structural and biological characterization. Biochim Biophys Acta. Nov 16;1435(1-2):30-40.


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