Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Survivin belongs to the family of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) and is present in most cancers while being below detection limits in most terminally differentiated adult tissues, making it an attractive protein to target for diagnostic and, potentially, therapeutic roles. Sub-100 nm poly(propargyl acrylate) (PA) particles were surface modified through the copper-catalyzed azide/alkyne cycloaddition of an azide-terminated survivin ligand derivative (azTM) originally proposed by Abbott Laboratories and speculated to bind directly to survivin (protein) at its dimer interface. Using affinity pull-down studies, it was determined that the PA/azTM nanoparticles selectively bind survivin and the particles can enhance apoptotic cell death in glioblastoma cell lines and other survivin over-expressing cell lines such as A549 and MCF7 relative to cells incubated with the original Abbott-derived small molecule inhibitor.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan K. Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Protection of motoneurons is an important therapeutic goal in the treatment of neurological disorders. Recent reports have suggested that specific microRNAs (miRs) could modulate the expression of particular proteins for significant alterations in the pathogenesis of different neurological disorders. Thus, combination of overexpression of a specific neuroprotective miR and treatment with a neuroprotective agent could be a novel strategy for functional protection of motoneurons. The protocols described herein demonstrate that miR-7-1, a neuroprotective miR, can enhance the functional neuroprotective effects of estrogen receptor agonists such as 1,3,5-tris(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-propyl-1 H -pyrazole (PPT), Way 200070 (WAY), and estrogen (E2) in preventing apoptosis in A23187 calcium ionophore (CI) exposed VSC4.1 motoneurons. This article describes the protocols for the cell viability assay, transfection of VSC4.1 motoneurons with miRs, Annexin V/propidium iodide staining for apoptosis, Western blotting, patch-clamp recording of whole-cell membrane potential, and JC-1 staining for detection of mitochondrial membrane potential. Taken together, these protocols are used to demonstrate that miR-7-1 caused significant enhancement of the efficacy of estrogen receptor agonists for functional neuroprotection in VSC4.1 motoneurons.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives, interact through retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and have profound effects on several physiological and pathological processes in the brain. The presence of retinoic acid signaling is extensively detected in the adult central nervous system, including the amygdala, cortex, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and other brain areas. Retinoids are primarily involved in neural patterning, differentiation, and axon outgrowth. Retinoids also play a key role in the preservation of the differentiated state of adult neurons. Impairment in retinoic acid signaling can result in neurodegeneration and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies demonstrated severe deficiencies in spatial learning and memory in mice during retinoic acid (vitamin A) deprivation indicating its significance in preserving memory function. Defective cholinergic neurotransmission plays an important role in cognitive deficits in AD. All-trans retinoic acid is known to enhance the expression and activity of choline acetyltransferase in neuronal cell lines. Activation of RAR and RXR is also known to impede the pathogenesis of AD in mice by inhibiting accumulation of amyloids. In addition, retinoids have been shown to inhibit the expression of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines in microglia and astrocytes, which are activated in AD. In this review article, we have described the chemistry and molecular signaling mechanisms of natural and synthetic retinoids and current understandings of their therapeutic potentials in prevention of AD pathology.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    ABSTRACT: Targeted therapies and the consequent adoption of “personalized” oncology have achieved notable successes in some cancers; however, significant problems remain with this approach. Many targeted therapies are highly toxic, costs are extremely high, and most patients experience relapse after a few disease-free months. Relapses arise from genetic heterogeneity in tumors, which harbor therapy-resistant immortalized cells that have adopted alternate and compensatory pathways (i.e., pathways that are not reliant upon the same mechanisms as those which have been targeted). To address these limitations, an international task force of 180 scientists was assembled to explore the concept of a low-toxicity “broad-spectrum” therapeutic approach that could simultaneously target many key pathways and mechanisms. Using cancer hallmark phenotypes and the tumor microenvironment to account for the various aspects of relevant cancer biology, interdisciplinary teams reviewed each hallmark area and nominated a wide range of high-priority targets (74 in total) that could be modified to improve patient outcomes. For these targets, corresponding low-toxicity therapeutic approaches were then suggested, many of which were phytochemicals. Proposed actions on each target and all of the approaches were further reviewed for known effects on other hallmark areas and the tumor microenvironment. Potential contrary or procarcinogenic effects were found for 3.9% of the relationships between targets and hallmarks, and mixed evidence of complementary and contrary relationships was found for 7.1%. Approximately 67% of the relationships revealed potentially complementary effects, and the remainder had no known relationship. Among the approaches, 1.1% had contrary, 2.8% had mixed and 62.1% had complementary relationships. These results suggest that a broad-spectrum approach should be feasible from a safety standpoint. This novel approach has potential to be relatively inexpensive, it should help us address stages and types of cancer that lack conventional treatment, and it may reduce relapse risks. A proposed agenda for future research is offered.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Seminars in Cancer Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis or programmed cell death is natural way of removing aged cells from the body. Most of the anti-cancer therapies trigger apoptosis induction and related cell death networks to eliminate malignant cells. However, in cancer, de-regulated apoptotic signaling, particularly the activation of an anti-apoptotic systems, allows cancer cells to escape this program leading to uncontrolled proliferation resulting in tumor survival, therapeutic resistance and recurrence of cancer. This resistance is a complicated phenomenon that emanates from the interactions of various molecules and signaling pathways. In this comprehensive review we discuss the various factors contributing to apoptosis resistance in cancers. The key resistance targets that are discussed include (1) Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 proteins; (2) autophagy processes; (3) necrosis and necroptosis; (4) heat shock protein signaling; (5) the proteasome pathway; (6) epigenetic mechanisms; and (7) aberrant nuclear export signaling. The shortcomings of current therapeutic modalities are highlighted and a broad spectrum strategy using approaches including (a) gossypol; (b) epigallocatechin-3-gallate; (c) UMI-77 (d) triptolide and (e) selinexor that can be used to overcome cell death resistance is presented. This review provides a roadmap for the design of successful anti-cancer strategies that overcome resistance to apoptosis for better therapeutic outcome in patients with cancer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Seminars in Cancer Biology
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan k. Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the deadliest brain tumor in humans. High systemic toxicity of conventional chemotherapies prompted the search for natural compounds for controlling glioblastoma. The natural flavonoids luteolin (LUT) and silibinin (SIL) have anti-tumor activities. LUT inhibits autophagy, cell proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis and induces apoptosis; while SIL activates caspase-8 cascades to induce apoptosis. However, synergistic anti-tumor effects of LUT and SIL in glioblastoma remain unknown. Overexpression of tumor suppressor microRNA (miR) could enhance the anti-tumor effects of LUT and SIL. Here, we showed that 20 µM LUT and 50 µM SIL worked synergistically for inhibiting growth of two different human glioblastoma U87MG (wild-type p53) and T98G (mutant p53) cell lines and natural combination therapy was more effective than conventional chemotherapy (10 µM BCNU or 100 µM TMZ). Combination of LUT and SIL caused inhibition of growth of glioblastoma cells due to induction of significant amounts of apoptosis and complete inhibition of invasion and migration. Further, combination of LUT and SIL inhibited rapamycin (RAPA)-induced autophagy, a survival mechanism, with suppression of PKCα and promotion of apoptosis through down regulation of iNOS and significant increase in expression of the tumor suppressor miR-7-1-3p in glioblastoma cells. Our in vivo studies confirmed that overexpression of miR-7-1-3p augmented anti-tumor activities of LUT and SIL in RAPA pre-treated both U87MG and T98G tumors. In conclusion, our results clearly demonstrated that overexpression of miR-7-1-3p augmented the anti-tumor activities of LUT and SIL to inhibit autophagy and induce apoptosis for controlling growth of different human glioblastomas in vivo.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Apoptosis
  • SK Ray · M Chakrabarti · BC Das

    No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2015
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan K. Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most lethal brain tumor. Failure of conventional chemotherapies prompted the search for natural compounds for treatment of glioblastoma. Plant-derived flavonoids could be alternative medicine for inhibiting not only glioblastoma cells but also glioblastoma stem cells (GSC). Two plant-derived flavonoids are luteolin (LUT) and silibinin (SIL). We investigated anti-tumor mechanisms of LUT and SIL in different human glioblastoma cells and GSC and found significant synergistic inhibition of human glioblastoma LN18 and SNB19 cells and GSC following treatment with combination of 20µM LUT and 50µM SIL. Combination of 20µM LUT and 50µM SIL was more effective than a conventional chemotherapeutic agent (BCNU or TMZ). We continued our studies with SNB19 cells and GSC and found dramatic inhibition of cell migration from spheroids and also cell invasion through matrigel following treatment with combination of LUT and SIL. This combination was highly effective to block angiogenesis and survival pathways leading to induction of apoptosis. Inhibition of PKCα, XIAP, and iNOS ultimately caused induction of extrinsic and intrinsic pathways of apoptosis. Collectively, synergistic efficacy of LUT and SIL could be a promising therapy to inhibit cell migration and invasion and induce apoptosis in different glioblastoma cells including GSC.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Brain research
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Arabinda Das · Supriti Samantaray · Smith JA · Banik NL · Azizul Haque · Ray SK
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen (EST) is a steroid hormone that exhibits several important physiological roles in the human body. During the last few decades, EST has been well recognized as an important neuroprotective agent in a variety of neurological disorders in the central nervous system (CNS), such as spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis. The exact molecular mechanisms of EST-mediated neuroprotection in the CNS remain unclear due to heterogeneity of cell populations that express EST receptors (ERs) in the CNS as well as in the innate and adaptive immune system. Recent investigations suggest that EST protects the CNS from injury by suppressing pro-inflammatory pathways, oxidative stress, and cell death, while promoting neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and neurotrophic support. In this review, we have described the currently known molecular mechanisms of EST-mediated neuroprotection and neuroregeneration in SCI and TBI. At the same time, we have emphasized on the recent in vitro and in vivo findings from our and other laboratories, implying potential clinical benefits of EST in the treatment of SCI and TBI.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Reviews in the neurosciences
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Walden Ai · SK Ray

    No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2015
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Angela Murphy · SK Ray

    No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2015
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Raisa Kiseleva · Alexey Vertegel · Swapan K. Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology is one of the most exciting disciplines and it incorporates physics, chemistry, materials science, and biology. It can be applied to design cancer medicines with improved therapeutic indices. At the basic level, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene are sp2 carbon nanomaterials. Their unique physical and chemical properties make them interesting candidates of research in a wide range of areas including biological systems and different diseases. Recent research has been focused on exploring the potential of the CNTs as a carrier or vehicle for intracellular transport of drugs, proteins, and targeted genes in vitro and in vivo. Several research groups are actively involved to find out a functional CNT carrier capable of transporting targeted drug molecules in animal models with least toxicity. Current investigations are also focused on graphene, an allotrope of carbon, which appears to be a promising agent for successful delivery of biomolecules in various animal models. But potential clinical implementations of CNTs are still hampered by distinctive barriers such as poor bioavailability and intrinsic toxicity, which pose difficulties in tumor targeting and penetration as well as in improving therapeutic outcome. This article presents recent progresses in the design and evaluation of closely related CNTs for experimental cancer therapy and explores their implications in bringing nanomedicines into the clinics.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan K. Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the deadliest brain tumor in humans. Recent studies suggested that 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (AzaC) could inhibit cell cycle progression in human glioblastoma stem cells by an indirect increase in expression of the tumor suppressor microRNA-137 (miR-137). Delphinidin (DPN), a new anthocyanidin, inhibits cell growth in different cancers. We investigated inhibition of glioblastoma growth after indirect or direct overexpression of miR-137 and then DPN treatment. The highest inhibition of cell growth occurred due to treatment with combination of 10μM AzaC and 50μM DPN in human glioblastoma U87MG and LN18 cells. The methylation sensitive-polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR) results showed that AzaC inhibited methylation of miR-137 promoter region, which was hypermethylated in both glioblastoma cell lines, to cause indirect increase in miR-137 expression. Our results also indicated the highest miR-137 expression after direct transfection of miR-137 mimics and DPN treatment. Combination of miR-137 mimics transfection and DPN treatment caused the highest inhibition of cell invasion and prevented angiogenic network formation due to the least expression of angiogenic factor (VEGF) in human glioblastoma cells in co-culture with human microvascular endothelial cells. This combination strategy most effectively inhibited survival factors (p-Akt and NF-κB), angiogenic factors (VEGF and b-FGF), growth factor receptor (EGFR), and invasive factors (MMP-9 and MMP-2). Direct overexpression of miR-137 most effectively augmented efficacy of DPN to induce apoptosis with activation of extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. So, sequential miR-137 overexpression and DPN treatment could be a promising combination treatment to inhibit growth of human glioblastoma cells. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Gene
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Walden Ai · Swapan K. Ray

    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cancer Research
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan K. Ray

    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Recent results from laboratory investigations and clinical trials indicate important roles for estrogen receptor (ER) agonists in protecting the central nervous system (CNS) from noxious consequences of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Neurodegenerative processes in several CNS disorders including spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are associated with activation of microglia and astrocytes, which drive the resident neuroinflammatory response. During neurodegenerative processes, activated microglia and astrocytes cause deleterious effects on surrounding neurons. The inhibitory activity of ER agonists on microglia activation might be a beneficial therapeutic option for delaying the onset or progression of neurodegenerative injuries and diseases. Recent studies suggest that ER agonists can provide neuroprotection by modulation of cell survival mechanisms, synaptic reorganization, regenerative responses to axonal injury, and neurogenesis process. The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions of ER agonists are mediated mainly via two ERs known as ERα and ERβ. Although some studies have suggested that ER agonists may be deleterious to some neuronal populations, the potential clinical benefits of ER agonists for augmenting cognitive function may triumph over the associated side effects. Also, understanding the modulatory activities of ER agonists on inflammatory pathways will possibly lead to the development of selective anti-inflammatory molecules with neuroprotective roles in different CNS disorders such as SCI, MS, PD, and AD in humans. Future studies should be concentrated on finding the most plausible molecular pathways for enhancing protective functions of ER agonists in treating neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative injuries and diseases in the CNS.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Brain Research Bulletin
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Swapan K Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal brain tumor in adults. Current monotherapeutic agents for glioblastoma patients are not effective to increase median survival for more than one year. So, innovative combination therapeutic strategies to target multiple molecular characteristics must be developed to control growth of glioblastoma. Recent investigations suggest important roles of flavonoids including anthocyanins in inhibiting tumor growth and reducing risk of tumor development. Delphinidin (DPN) is a relatively new anthocyanin. Remarkable bioavailability and antitumor properties of DPN make it an attractive agent for treatment of glioblastoma. Epigenetic deregulations such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and alteration in levels of non-coding RNAs occur in many tumors including glioblastoma. DNA methylation can modulate expression of tumor suppressor microRNAs (miRs) for inhibiting growth of tumor cells. Hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoter region results in transcriptional down regulation of the tumor suppressor genes in many tumors. 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine (AzaC) is a cytosine nucleoside analog that can inhibit DNA methylation and activate the tumor suppressor molecules to control tumor growth. Recent studies indicate that promoter region of the tumor suppressor miR-137 is significantly methylated in glioblastoma. So, AzaC can be used for upregulation of miR-137 in human glioblastoma cells. We investigated epigenetic upregulation or direct overexpression of miR-137 and DPN treatment as a promising combination therapy for controlling growth of human glioblastoma T98G cells. Here, we present results to show that epigenetic upregulation or direct overexpression of miR-137 can enhance anti-tumor activity of DPN for inducing apoptosis in human glioblastoma T98G cells.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • M Chakrabarti · N L Banik · S K Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Protection of motoneurons is an important goal in the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). We tested whether neuroprotective microRNAs (miRs) like miR-206, miR-17, miR-21, miR-7-1, and miR-106a could enhance efficacy of estrogen receptor (ER) agonists such as 1,3,5-tris (4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-propyl-1H-pyrazole (PPT, ERα agonist), Way200070 (WAY, ERβ agonist), and estrogen (EST, ERα and ERβ agonist) in preventing apoptosis in the calcium ionophore (CI) insulted VSC4.1 motoneurons. We determined that 200 nM CI induced 70% cell death. Treatment with 50 nM PPT, 100 nM WAY, and 150 nM EST induced overexpression of ERα, ERβ, and both receptors, respectively, at mRNA and protein levels. Treatment with ER agonists significantly upregulated miR-206, miR-17, and miR-7-1 in the CI insulted VSC4.1 motoneurons. Transfection with miR-206, miR-17, or miR-7-1 mimic potentiated WAY or EST to inhibit apoptosis in the CI insulted VSC4.1 motoneurons. Overexpression of miR-7-1 maximally increased efficacy of WAY and EST for down regulation of pro-apoptotic Bax and upregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. A search using miRDB indicated that miR-7-1 could inhibit expression of L-type Ca(2+) channel protein alpha 1C (CPα1C). miR-7-1 overexpression and WAY or EST treatment down regulated CPα1C but upregulated p-Akt to trigger cell survival signaling. The same therapeutic strategy increased expression of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II beta (CaMKIIβ) and the phosphorylated cAMP response element binding protein (p-CREB) so as to promote Bcl-2 transcription. Whole cell membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential studies indicated that miR-7-1 highly potentiated EST to preserve functionality in the CI insulted VSC4.1 motoneurons. In conclusion, our data indicated that miR-7-1 most significantly potentiated efficacy of EST for functional neuroprotection and this therapeutic strategy could be used in the future to attenuate apoptosis of motoneurons in SCI.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Neuroscience
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    Nishant Mohan · Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Naren L Banik · Swapan K Ray
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant neuroblastoma is an extracranial solid tumor that usually occurs in children. Autophagy, which is a survival mechanism in many solid tumors including malignant neuroblastoma, deters the efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic agents. To mimic starvation, we used 200 nM rapamycin that induced autophagy in human malignant neuroblastoma SK-N-BE2 and IMR-32 cells in cell culture and animal models. Combination of microtubule associated protein light chain 3 short hairpin RNA (LC3 shRNA) plasmid transfection and genistein (GST) treatment was tested for inhibiting rapamycin-induced autophagy and promoting apoptosis. The best synergistic efficacy caused the highest decrease in cell viability due to combination of 50 nM LC3 shRNA plasmid transfection and 25 µM GST treatment in rapamycin-treated SK-N-BE2 cells while combination of 100 nM LC3 shRNA plasmid transfection and 25 µM GST treatment in rapamycin-treated IMR-32 cells. Quantitation of acidic vesicular organelles confirmed that combination of LC3 shRNA plasmid transfection and GST treatment prevented rapamycin-induced autophagy due to down regulation of autophagy promoting marker molecules (LC3 II, Beclin 1, TLR-4, and Myd88) and upregulation of autophagy inhibiting marker molecules (p62 and mTOR) in both cell lines. Apoptosis assays showed that combination therapy most effectively activated mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in human malignant neuroblastoma in cell culture and animal models. Collectively, our current combination of LC3 shRNA plasmid transfection and GST treatment could serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for inhibiting autophagy and increasing apoptosis in human malignant neuroblastoma in cell culture and animal models.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
  • Mrinmay Chakrabarti · Naren L. Banik · Swapan K. Ray

    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Cancer Research

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