Arun Kumar Ganesan, Ph.D.
Arun is studying the role of oncogenic long non-coding RNAs in mislocalizing centromere-specific protein CENP-A to ectopic sites and its impact on chromosome stability in cancer cells. His research particularly focuses on chromosome 8q24 locus that is a frequent chromosome breakpoint and translocation-prone region in several cancers.
1) cancer biology, 2) non-coding RNAs, 3) epigenetics
Centromeric protein A (CENP-A), a histone H3 variant, is tightly regulated and present only at the centromeric alpha-satellite DNA where it gives the epigenetic identity to centromeres. In several cancers, CENP-A is overexpressed and mislocalized to ectopic sites, i.e., chromosome arms, in particular to frequent breakpoints, telomeric regions, and high transcription turnover regions. One such region is chromosome 8q24 locus, a sub-telomeric site that harbors the Myc oncogene and several other oncogenic lncRNAs. This region is prone to break and translocation in several cancers and accounts for disease severity and therapeutic resistance. We use machine learning to analyze DNA-fluorescent in-situ hybridization images and atomic force microscopy data to measure the elasticity of this breakpoint in colon cancer cells and study the functional consequences of CENP-A mislocalization to ectopic sites using various biochemical/genetic approaches.
Selected Key Publications
- Genes. 11(8): 911, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
LncRNA OIP5-AS1 is overexpressed in undifferentiated oral tumors and integrated analysis identifies as a downstream effector of stemness-associated transcription factors.Sci Rep. 8(1): 7018, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Comprehensive analysis of aberrantly expressed lncRNAs and construction of ceRNA network in gastric cancer.Oncotarget. 9(26): 18386-18399, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Dysregulation of miR-200 family microRNAs and epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in oral squamous cell carcinoma.Oncol Lett. 5(1): 649-657, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Expression profiling of long non-coding RNA identifies linc-RoR as a prognostic biomarker in oral cancer.Tumour Biol. 39(4): 1010428317698366, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
Arun Kumar received his Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from Tiruvalluvar University, India, and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Genetics from the University of Madras, India. For his degree, he worked in Dr. Munirajan’s Lab at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, India, studying the expression profile of chromosome 21 derived microRNAs in Trisomy 21 patients. For his Ph.D., Arun joined the same lab in 2011 to continue studying the role of oncogenic and EMT/stemness promoting microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs in oral squamous cell carcinoma. During his Ph.D., Arun identified several differentially expressed non-coding RNAs that are associated with tumor progression and therapeutic resistance in oral, cervical, and gastric cancers. He also collaborated with several other researchers/departments at the University of Madras and the National Institute of Genetics, Japan, to study the mutational landscape of south Indian oral cancer patients. In 2018, Arun Kumar joined the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Genetics/CSEM as a Postdoctoral Fellow, where he works under the mentorship of Dr. Yamini Dalal, studying the role of oncogenic lncRNAs in mislocalizing centromere-specific protein A (CENP-A) to ectopic sites in cancers. His primary focus is chromosome 8q24 locus, which is a common breakpoint and frequently translocated locus in several cancers, using in-situ fluorescent hybridization imaging, atomic force microscopy, machine-learning, and other biochemical/genetic approaches. Other than biology he is passionate about astronomy. Outside the lab, he plays Asphalt9 every day, hikes every weekend and travels to different places.