Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell biology


Suniti Misra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Member of Hollings Cancer Center

Room 613, Basic Science Building
Office: (843) 792-8642


 Misra CV


MS Univ. Massachusetts, 2004 Computer Science
PhD Calcutta Univ. (India), 1982 Biochemistry

Research Interests:

The ductus arteriosus (DA) is a vessel that connects the pulmonary artery and aorta in a developing fetus; blood bypasses the immature fetal lungs and flows to the placenta, where the carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen. Shortly after birth, when the neonatal lungs take over responsibility for oxygenation of the blood, DA, normally closes. The condition when DA fails to close, called patent DA (PDA), can strain the lungs and lead to various forms of vascular disease. The DA remains open in the fetus in part through the vasodilatory effects of circulating prostaglandins such as PGE, and for this reason drugs (such as indomethicin) that inhibit the production of PGE by cyclooxygenase (COX) are commonly used to treat PDA. Working in a rat model system, we have shown that PGE prepares the fetal DA for closure by promoting the formation of the "intimal cushion," a buildup of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and extracellular matrix component Hyaluronan (HA) that anatomically occludes the vessel. Intimal thickening and SMCs invasion are characteristic, not only in DA development, but also in atherosclerosis. Accordingly, expression of CD44 (a major HA receptor) is required for, and increased HA synthesis promotes, intimal changes in atherosclerosis-prone ApoE deficient mice (ApoE-/-) mice. These studies indicate that HA is crucial to both normal and pathological processes of intimal thickening. Reports from my laboratory, using colon cancer cells as a model, show that constitutive interaction of HA with CD44 induces phosphorylation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases which in turn regulates COX-2/PGE2 mediated oncogenic properties. It is widely accepted that similar or overlapping pathways are activated in cancer and atherosclerosis, including PGE2, EP receptors, COX-2 and the RTK, PI3K/ AKT, ERK signaling pathways. Long term goal of my research is to understand the role of HA in inflammation, atherosclerosis, ductus arteriosus development and colorectal cancer

Recent Publications:

  1. Kolpa, H. J., D. S. Peal, S. N. Lynch, A. C. Giokas, S. Ghatak, S. Misra, R. A. Norris, C. A. Macrae, R. R. Markwald, P. Ellinor, J. Bischoff and D. J. Milan. "Mir-21 Represses Pdcd4 During Cardiac Valvulogenesis." Development 140, no. 10 (2013): 2172-80 [PMID: 23578931]
  2. Misra, S., S. Ghatak, N. Patil, P. Dandawate, V. Ambike, S. Adsule, D. Unni, K. Venkateswara Swamy and S. Padhye. "Novel Dual Cyclooxygenase and Lipoxygenase Inhibitors Targeting Hyaluronan-Cd44v6 Pathway and Inducing Cytotoxicity in Colon Cancer Cells." Bioorg Med Chem 21, no. 9 (2013): 2551-9 [PMID: 23517721]
  3. Misra, S., P. Heldin, V. C. Hascall, N. K. Karamanos, S. S. Skandalis, R. R. Markwald and S. Ghatak. "Hyaluronan-Cd44 Interactions as Potential Targets for Cancer Therapy." FEBS J 278, no. 9 (2011): 1429-43 [PMID: 21362138]
  4. Ghatak, S., V. C. Hascall, R. R. Markwald and S. Misra. "Stromal Hyaluronan Interaction with Epithelial Cd44 Variants Promotes Prostate Cancer Invasiveness by Augmenting Expression and Function of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Androgen Receptor." J Biol Chem 285, no. 26 (2010): 19821-32 [PMID: 20200161]
  5. Misra, S., V. C. Hascall, C. De Giovanni, R. R. Markwald and S. Ghatak. "Delivery of Cd44 Shrna/Nanoparticles within Cancer Cells: Perturbation of Hyaluronan/Cd44v6 Interactions and Reduction in Adenoma Growth in Apc Min/+ Mice." J Biol Chem 284, no. 18 (2009): 12432-46 [PMID: 19246453]
  6. Ghatak, S., V. C. Hascall, F. G. Berger, M. M. Penas, C. Davis, E. Jabari, X. He, J. S. Norris, Y. Dang, R. R. Markwald and S. Misra. "Tissue-Specific Shrna Delivery: A Novel Approach for Gene Therapy in Cancer." Connect Tissue Res 49, no. 3 (2008): 265-9 [PMID: 18661357]
  7. Misra, S., V. C. Hascall, F. G. Berger, R. R. Markwald and S. Ghatak. "Hyaluronan, Cd44, and Cyclooxygenase-2 in Colon Cancer." Connect Tissue Res 49, no. 3 (2008): 219-24 [PMID: 18661347]
  8. Misra, S., L. M. Obeid, Y. A. Hannun, S. Minamisawa, F. G. Berger, R. R. Markwald, B. P. Toole and S. Ghatak. "Hyaluronan Constitutively Regulates Activation of Cox-2-Mediated Cell Survival Activity in Intestinal Epithelial and Colon Carcinoma Cells." J Biol Chem 283, no. 21 (2008): 14335-44 [PMID: 18326857]
  9. Toole, B. P., S. Ghatak and S. Misra. "Hyaluronan Oligosaccharides as a Potential Anticancer Therapeutic." Curr Pharm Biotechnol 9, no. 4 (2008): 249-52 [PMID: 18691085]


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