R Kannan Mutharasan

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States

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Publications (8)75.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Doxorubicin is an effective anticancer drug with known cardiotoxic side effects. It has been hypothesized that doxorubicin-dependent cardiotoxicity occurs through ROS production and possibly cellular iron accumulation. Here, we found that cardiotoxicity develops through the preferential accumulation of iron inside the mitochondria following doxorubicin treatment. In isolated cardiomyocytes, doxorubicin became concentrated in the mitochondria and increased both mitochondrial iron and cellular ROS levels. Overexpression of ABCB8, a mitochondrial protein that facilitates iron export, in vitro and in the hearts of transgenic mice decreased mitochondrial iron and cellular ROS and protected against doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. Dexrazoxane, a drug that attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, decreased mitochondrial iron levels and reversed doxorubicin-induced cardiac damage. Finally, hearts from patients with doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy had markedly higher mitochondrial iron levels than hearts from patients with other types of cardiomyopathies or normal cardiac function. These results suggest that the cardiotoxic effects of doxorubicin develop from mitochondrial iron accumulation and that reducing mitochondrial iron levels protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 01/2014; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNA-210 (miR-210) increases in hypoxia and regulates mitochondrial respiration through modulation of iron-sulfur cluster assembly proteins (ISCU1/2), a protein that is involved in Fe/S cluster synthesis. However, it is not known how miR-210 affects cellular iron levels or production of heme, another iron containing molecule that is also needed for cellular and mitochondrial function. To screen for micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) regulated by iron, we performed a miRNA gene array in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes treated with iron chelators. Levels of miR-210 are significantly increased with iron chelation, however, this response was mediated entirely through the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. Furthermore, miR-210 reduced cellular heme levels and the activity of mitochondrial and cytosolic heme-containing proteins by modulating ferrochelatase (FECH), the last enzyme in heme biosynthesis. Mutation of the 2 miR-210 binding sites in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of FECH reversed the miR-210 response, while mutation of either binding site in isolation did not exert any effects. Changes mediated by miR-210 in heme and FECH were independent of ISCU, as overexpression of an ISCU construct lacking the 3' UTR does not alter miR-210 regulation of heme and FECH. Finally, FECH levels increased in hypoxia, and this effect was not reversed by miR-210 knockdown, suggesting that the effects of miR-210 on heme are restricted to normoxic conditions, and that the pathway is overriden in hypoxia. Our results identify a role for miR-210 in the regulation of heme production by targeting and inhibiting FECH under normoxic conditions.
    Journal of the American Heart Association. 02/2013; 2(2):e000121.
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    ABSTRACT: High density lipoproteins (HDLs) are dynamic natural nanoparticles best known for their role in cholesterol transport and the inverse correlation that exists between blood HDL levels and the risk of developing coronary heart disease. In addition, enhanced HDL-cholesterol uptake has been demonstrated in several human cancers. As such, the use of HDL as a therapeutic and as a vehicle for systemic delivery of drugs and as imaging agents is increasingly important. HDLs exist on a continuum from the secreted HDL-scaffolding protein, apolipoprotein A-1 (Apo A1), to complex, spherical "mature" HDLs. Aspects of HDL particles including their size, shape, and surface chemical composition are being recognized as critical to their diverse biological functions. Here we review HDL biology; strategies for synthesizing HDLs; data supporting the clinical use and benefit of directly administered HDL; a rationale for developing synthetic methods for spherical, mature HDLs; and, the potential to employ HDLs as therapies, imaging agents, and drug delivery vehicles. Importantly, methods that utilize nanoparticle templates to control synthetic HDL size, shape, and surface chemistry are highlighted.
    Advanced drug delivery reviews 08/2012; · 11.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial iron levels are tightly regulated, as iron is essential for the synthesis of Fe/S clusters and heme in the mitochondria, but high levels can cause oxidative stress. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB8 is a mitochondrial inner membrane protein with an unknown function. Here, we show that ABCB8 is involved in mitochondrial iron export and is essential for baseline cardiac function. Induced genetic deletion of ABCB8 in mouse hearts resulted in mitochondrial iron accumulation and cardiomyopathy, as assessed by echocardiography and invasive hemodynamics. Mice with ABCB8 deletion in the heart also displayed mitochondrial damage, and higher levels of reactive oxygen species and cell death. Down-regulation of ABCB8 in vitro resulted in decreased iron export from isolated mitochondria, whereas its overexpression had the opposite effect. Furthermore, ABCB8 is needed for the maturation of the cytosolic Fe/S proteins, as its deletion in vitro and in vivo led to decreased activity of cytosolic, but not mitochondrial, iron-sulfur-containing enzymes. These results indicate that ABCB8 is essential for normal cardiac function, maintenance of mitochondrial iron homeostasis and maturation of cytosolic Fe/S proteins. In summary, this report provides characterization of a protein involved in mitochondrial iron export.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(11):4152-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: microRNA-210 (miR-210) is upregulated in hypoxia, but its function in cardiomyocytes and its regulation in response to hypoxia are not well characterized. The purpose of this study was to identify upstream regulators of miR-210, as well as to characterize miR-210's function in cardiomyocytes. We first showed miR-210 is upregulated through both hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-dependent and -independent pathways, since aryl hydrocarbon nuclear translocator (ARNT) knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF), lacking intact HIF signaling, still displayed increased miR-210 levels in hypoxia. To determine the mechanism for HIF-independent regulation of miR-210, we focused on p53 and protein kinase B (Akt). Overexpression of p53 in wild-type MEFs induced miR-210, whereas p53 overexpression in ARNT knockout MEFs did not, suggesting p53 regulates miR-210 in a HIF-dependent mechanism. Akt inhibition reduced miR-210 induction by hypoxia, whereas Akt overexpression increased miR-210 levels in both wild-type and ARNT knockout MEFs, indicating Akt regulation of miR-210 is HIF-independent. We then studied the effects of miR-210 in cardiomyocytes. Overexpression of miR-210 reduced cell death in response to oxidative stress and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production both at baseline and after treatment with antimycin A. Furthermore, downregulation of miR-210 increased ROS after hypoxia-reoxygenation. To determine a mechanism for the cytoprotective effects of miR-210, we focused on the predicted target, apoptosis-inducing factor, mitochondrion-associated 3 (AIFM3), known to induce cell death. Although miR-210 reduced AIFM3 levels, overexpression of AIFM3 in the presence of miR-210 overexpression did not reduce cellular viability either at baseline or after hydrogen peroxide treatment, suggesting AIFM3 does not mediate miR-210's cytoprotective effects. Furthermore, HIF-3α, a negative regulator of HIF signaling, is targeted by miR-210, but miR-210 does not modulate HIF activity. In conclusion, we demonstrate a novel role for p53 and Akt in regulating miR-210 and demonstrate that, in cardiomyocytes, miR-210 exerts cytoprotective effects, potentially by reducing mitochondrial ROS production.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 08/2011; 301(4):H1519-30. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a gold nanoparticle-templated high density lipoprotein (HDL AuNP) platform for gene therapy that combines lipid-based nucleic acid transfection strategies with HDL biomimicry. For proof-of-concept, HDL AuNPs are shown to adsorb antisense cholesterylated DNA. The conjugates are internalized by human cells, can be tracked within cells using transmission electron microscopy, and regulate target gene expression. Overall, the ability to directly image the AuNP core within cells, the chemical tailorability of the HDL AuNP platform, and the potential for cell-specific targeting afforded by HDL biomimicry make this platform appealing for nucleic acid delivery.
    Nano Letters 02/2011; 11(3):1208-14. · 13.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is the disease mechanism responsible for coronary heart disease (CHD), the leading cause of death worldwide. One strategy to combat atherosclerosis is to increase the amount of circulating high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which transport cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver for excretion. The process, known as reverse cholesterol transport, is thought to be one of the main reasons for the significant inverse correlation observed between HDL blood levels and the development of CHD. This article highlights the most common strategies for treating atherosclerosis using HDL. We further detail potential treatment opportunities that utilize nanotechnology to increase the amount of HDL in circulation. The synthesis of biomimetic HDL nanostructures that replicate the chemical and physical properties of natural HDL provides novel materials for investigating the structure-function relationships of HDL and for potential new therapeutics to combat CHD.
    Trends in Molecular Medicine 11/2010; 16(12):553-60. · 10.11 Impact Factor
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    Michael A Burke, R Kannan Mutharasan, Hossein Ardehali
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    ABSTRACT: ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins are highly conserved and widely expressed throughout nature and found in all organisms, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic. They mediate myriad critical cellular processes, from nutrient import to toxin efflux using the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. Most ABC proteins mediate transport of substances across lipid membranes. However, there are atypical ABC proteins that mediate other processes. These include, but are not limited to, DNA repair (bacterial MutS), ion transport (cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor), and mRNA trafficking (yeast Elf1p). The sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) is another atypical ABC protein that regulates activity of the potassium ATP channel (K(ATP)). K(ATP) is widely expressed in nearly all tissues of higher organisms and couples cellular energy status to membrane potential. K(ATP) is particularly important in the regulation of insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells and in regulating action potential duration in muscle cells. SUR is indispensable for normal channel function, and mutations in genes encoding SURs increase the susceptibility to diabetes, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Here, we review the structure and function of ABC proteins and discuss SUR, its regulation of the K(ATP) channel, and its role in cardiovascular disease.
    Circulation Research 03/2008; 102(2):164-76. · 11.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

139 Citations
75.39 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2013
    • Northwestern University
      • • Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute
      • • Department of Urology
      • • Division of Cardiology (Dept. of Medicine)
      Evanston, IL, United States