Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research


M R S Rao

Honorary Professor
Chromatin Biology Laboratory
Neuroscience Unit (NSU)
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR)
Bangalore, India.
Telephone : +91-80-2362 2864 (Office)
                    +91-80-2208 2865 (Lab)
Email :         mrsrao@jncasr.ac.in
Website:      http://www.jncasr.ac.in/mrsrao/

Research Interests

Neuro-oncology: Genomics of Glioblastoma multiforme and molecular pathways of gliomagenesis.

GBM(Glioblastoma multiforme, Grade IV Astrocytoma) is a very aggressive form of brain cancer with very poor prognosis. These cancer patients survive only for a period of 12-16 months even after of a standardized treatment protocol involving surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project around 2000, Biomedical research and clinical applications there of have witnessed a tremendous opportunity to apply the genomcis platform/ technologies to address both the fundamental science of Disease Biology as well clinical management particularly in the area of Cancer. Over the last decade,Prof. Rao has led an inter-institutional program on Genomcis of cancer using the GBM as the model disease. This group identified several biomarkers which are grade specific and class specific (Primary vs Secondary GBM). They have also identified a 14 gene signature which can predict the survival of GBM patients following the standard treatment protocol. The gene signature will be of great clinical importance for the management of GBM patients in the clinical set up.

Transcriptome profiling of primary and secondary GBM tumor samples showed that the two transcription factors AEBP1 and ASCL1 are highly up regulated in these two tumors respectively. Recent work has shown that AEBP1 is an anti apoptotic protein and is necessary for cellular growth and survival. Loss of function of AEBP1 leads to Caspase independent, but PAR and AIF dependent cell death in glioma cells. The biological functions of ASCL1 in glioma cells are currently being investigated.

Recent Publications

  • Upregulation of ASCL1 and inhibition of Notch signalling pathway characterize Progressive Astrocytoma. Oncogene (2005) 24, 7073-7083

  • Novel glioblastoma markers with diagnostic and prognostic value identified through transriptome analysis. ( 2008) Clin. Cancer Res. 14 (10), 2978-2987

  • PEBF1/NAmPRTase/Visfatin: A potential malignant astrocytoma/glioblsatoma serum marker with prognostic value. (2008) Cancer Biology and Therapy 7, 665-670

  • Glioblastoma specific protein interaction network identifies PP1A and CSK21 asconnecting molecules between cell cycle associated genes. (2010) Cancer Research 70, 6437-6447

  • Grade specific expression of IGFBP-2, -3 and -5 in astrocytomas: IGFBP3 emerges as a strong predictor of survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (2010) Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 19(6), 1399-1408

  • Identification of potential serum biomarkers of glioblastoma: Serum osteopontin levels correlate with poor prognosis (2010) Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 19(6),1409-1422

  • Higher TOP2A levels predict better prognosis in GBM patiens receiving Temozolamide chemotherapy: Identification of temozolamide as a Topo 2A inhibitor. Journal of Neuro-oncology (2012)107, 289-297

  • A Fourteen gene GBM prognostic signature identifies association of immune response pathway and mesenchymal subtypes with high risk group. (2013)PLoS One 8(4):e62042.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062042

  • A 16 gene signature distinguishes anaplastic astrocytoma from glioblastoma. (2014) PLoS ONE 9(1): e85200. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085200