Shibnath Ghatak

Sibnath Ghatak, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Member of Hollings Cancer Center

Room 614, Basic Science Building
Office: (843) 792-2965
Lab: Room 604, Children’s Research Institute (843) 876-5919
Email: ghatak@musc.edu


PhD Biochemistry
MS Computer Science

Research Interests:

Our laboratory has invented a new application of cre-lox interaction to deliver HyaRshRNA in cancer cells, and rescue cells from pathological condition lack of hyaluronan required for the normal function. We use two plasmids – one that gives the cell specificity produces cre recombinase under the influence of tissue specific promoter and the second is a floxed plasmid which can be conditionally activated to produce shRNA or add the cDNA to recover from pathological condition.
HyaR (aka CD44v6), a single pass transmembrane receptor protein, is an oncogene. Cancer cells express this oncogene. The interaction of HyaR with its ligand hyaluronan sends signal for cancer cell survival, proliferation and metastasis. Inhibition of interaction leads to cancer cell death. We have verified this in APC Min/+ mice model of colon tumor. The first plasmid contains Fatty acid binding protein liver form (Fabpl) promoter that drives cre recombinase production in the colon/intestine cells. The second plasmid that transcribes HyaRshRNA by U6 promoter is conditionally silenced by a floxed sequence downstream of U6 promoter. Each of the plasmids is coated with transferrin containing nanoparticle and the mixture is delivered into tumor bearing APC Min/+ mice. The two plasmids will work only in intestine or colon cells and the U6 promoter transcribes HyaRshRNA gene. HyaR production is blocked in the post transcriptional step and interferes with HyaR-hyaluronan interaction. As a proof of principle a short time delivery caused significant reduction of tumors and signaling components of cell survival and proliferation.
Our current interests are in the bladder cancer where HyaR is overexpressed and in overactive bladder / interstitial cystitis where loss of glycosamineglycan (hyaluronan) layer is one of the causes. Interaction of hyaluronan and HyaR in the bladder cancer cell is interrupted by using urothelium specific cre plasmid and the conditionally silenced shRNA plasmid as above. This loss hyaluronan can be rescued in overactive bladder / interstitial cystitis by transfecting hyaluronan synthase gene into the urothelium cell layer. In this case a mixture of floxed plasmid containing hyaluronan synthase gene and urothelium specific cre will be used.  This work is under way.

Current research areas in the laboratory:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Hyaluronan pathobiology of overactive bladder
  • microRNA in systemic fibrosis in skin
  • Matricellular protein signaling in valvulogenesis


  1. Misra S, Hascall VC, Markwald RR, Ghatak S. Front Immunol. 2015; 6:201. Review.  PMID: 25999946
  2. Misra S, Hascall VC, Atanelishvili I, Rodriguez RM, Markwald RR, and Ghatak S. 2015. International Journal of Cell Biology. Article ID 537560. URL http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcb/aa/537560/  
  3. Ghatak S, Maytin EV, Mack JA, Hascall VC, Atanelishvili I, Rodriguez RM, Markwald RR, and Misra S. 2015. International Journal of Cell Biology. Article ID 834893. URL http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcb/aa/834893/      
  4.  Misra S, Ghatak S, Vyas A, O'Brien P, Markwald RR, Khetmalas M, Hascall VC, McCarthy JB, Karamanos NK, Tammi MI, Tammi RH, Prestwitch GD, Padhye S.  Med Chem Res. 2014; 23(8):3836-3851. PMID: 25013352
  5. Ghatak S, Misra S, Norris RA, Moreno-Rodriguez RA, Hoffman S, Levine RA, Hascall VC, Markwald RR. J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(12):8545-61. PMID: 24469446
  6. Ghatak S, Bogatkevich GS, Atanelishvili I, Akter T, Feghali-Bostwick C, Hoffman S, Fresco VM, Fuchs JC, Visconti RP, Markwald RR, Padhye SB, Silver RM, Hascall VC, Misra S. J Biol Chem. 2014;289(11):7856-72. PMID:24324260
  7. Ghatak S, Vyas A, Misra S, O'Brien P, Zambre A, Fresco VM, Markwald RR, Swamy KV, Afrasiabi Z, Choudhury A, Khetmalas M, Padhye S. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2014; 24(1):317-24. PMID: 24295787
  8. Kolpa HJ, Peal DS, Lynch SN, Giokas AC, Ghatak S, Misra S, Norris RA, Macrae CA, Markwald RR, Ellinor P, Bischoff J, Milan DJ. Development. 2013; 140(10):2172-80. PMID: 23578931
  9. Misra S, Ghatak S, Patil N, Dandawate P, Ambike V, Adsule S, Unni D, Venkateswara Swamy K, Padhye S. Bioorg Med Chem. 2013;21(9):2551-9. PMID: 23517721
  10. Misra S, Heldin P, Hascall VC, Karamanos NK, Skandalis SS, Markwald RR, Ghatak S. FEBS J. 2011; 278(9):1429-43. Review. PMID: 21362138
  11. Ghatak S, Hascall VC, Markwald RR, Misra S. J Biol Chem. 2010 ; 285(26):19821-32. PMID: 20200161
  12. Misra S, Hascall VC, De Giovanni C, Markwald RR, Ghatak S. J Biol Chem. 2009; 284(18):12432-46. PMID: 19246453
  13. Toole BP, Ghatak S, Misra S. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2008;9(4):249-52. PMID: 18691085
  14. Ghatak S, Hascall VC, Berger FG, Penas MM, Davis C, Jabari E, He X, Norris JS, Dang Y, Markwald RR, Misra S. Connect Tissue Res. 2008; 49(3):265-9. PMID: 18661357
  15. Misra S, Hascall VC, Berger FG, Markwald RR, Ghatak S. Connect Tissue Res. 2008; 49(3):219-24. Review. PMID: 18661347
  16. Misra S, Obeid LM, Hannun YA, Minamisawa S, Berger FG, Markwald RR, Toole BP, Ghatak S. J Biol Chem. 2008;283(21):14335-44. PMID: 18326857
  17. Yokoyama U, Minamisawa S, Quan H, Ghatak S, Akaike T, Segi-Nishida E, Iwasaki S, Iwamoto M, Misra S, Tamura K, Hori H, Yokota S, Toole BP, Sugimoto Y, Ishikawa Y. J Clin Invest. 2006; 116(11):3026-34. PMID: 17080198
  18. Misra S, Toole BP, Ghatak S. J Biol Chem. 2006; 281(46):34936-41. PMID: 16959784
  19. Toole BP, Zoltan-Jones A, Misra S, Ghatak S. Cells Tissues Organs. 2005; 179(1-2):66-72. Review. PMID: 15942194
  20. Misra S, Ghatak S, Toole BP. J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(21):20310-5. PMID: 15784621
  21. Ghatak S, Misra S, Toole BP. J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(10):8875-83. PMID: 15632176
  22. Marieb EA, Zoltan-Jones A, Li R, Misra S, Ghatak S, Cao J, Zucker S, Toole BP. Cancer Res. 2004; 64(4):1229-32. PMID: 14983875
  23. Misra S, Ghatak S, Toole BP. J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(21):20310-5. PMID: 15784621
  24. Ghatak S, Misra S, Toole BP. J Biol Chem. 2002; 277(41):38013-20. PMID: 12145277
  25. Tam NN, Ghatak S, Ho SM. Prostate. 2003;55(1):1-8. PMID: 12640655
  26. Ho SM, Leav I, Ghatak S, Merk F, Jagannathan VS, Mallery K. Am J Pathol. 1998; 153(1):131-9. PMID:9665473
  27. Ghatak S, Oliveria P, Kaplan P, Ho SM. Prostate. 1996; 29(2):91-100.PMID: 8700805

Complete bibliography can be seen HERE

Last updated on 29-Oct-2015

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