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Department of biochemistry and Molecular biology

Vamsi Gangaraju, PhD

Assistant ProfessorVamsi Gangaraju, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2011-2013 Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2006-2011 Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, New Haven, CT


2006 PhD, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

Awards and Honors
2012 NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award

Contact Info
Office (BSB-518D): 843-792-2387
Lab (BSB-525): 843-792-5493

Research Interests

Using Drosophila as the model system, one of the major goals of my lab is to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which the Piwi-piRNA pathway silences transposons and maintains genome integrity. Our recent work has shown that epigenetic regulation by Piwi prevents trans-generational phenotypic variations. This work has revealed an unprecedented link between Hsp90, a highly selective molecular chaperone and an anti-cancer target, and Piwi. My lab will extend these studies and further unravel the mechanisms by which heat shock machinery regulates Piwi-piRNA pathway. Lastly, we are also interested in understanding if and how the relationship between piRNA pathway and heat shock machinery plays a role in generation of trans-generational epialleles in response to extreme environmental stress. We hope that this study will provide novel insights into stress response pathways and provide us tools to counteract adverse effects of extreme environmental stress and prevent human disease.

Recent Publications

Grelet S, Link LA, Howley B, Obellianne C, Palanisamy V, Gangaraju VK, Diehl JA, and Howe PH. (2017) An hnRNP E1-regulated mRNA to lncRNA splice switch mediates EMT and tumor progressionNat Cell Bio [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28825698.

Karam JA, Parikh RY, Nayak D, Rosenkranz D, Gangaraju VK. (2017) Co-chaperone Hsp70/Hsp90-organizing protein (Hop) is required for transposon silencing and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis. J Biol Chem 292(15):6039-6046.

Ku HY, Gangaraju VK, Qi H, Liu N and Lin H. (2016) Tudor-SN interacts with Piwi antagonistically in regulating spermatogenesis but synergistically in silencing transposons in Drosophila. PLoS Genet Jan 25;12(1):e1005813. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005813

Darst RP, Pardo CE, Pondugula S, Gangaraju VK, Nabilsi NH, Bartholomew B, Kladde MP. (2012) Simultaneous single-molecule detection of endogenous C-5 DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility using MAPit. Methods Mol Biol 833:125-41.

Gangaraju VK, Yin H, Weiner MM, Wang J, Huang XA and Lin H. (2011) Drosophila Piwi functions in Hsp90 mediated suppression of phenotypic variation. Nature Genetics 43(2):153-8.

Gangaraju VK*, Punit Prasad*, Ali Srour, Mohamedi N. Kagalwala and Blaine Bartholomew. (2009) Structural changes associated with template commitment in ATP dependent chromatin remodeling by ISW2. Molecular Cell 35(1):58-69 (*authors contributed equally).

Gangaraju VK, Lin H. (2009) microRNAs: key regulators of stem cells. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 10(2):116-25

Gangaraju VK, Bartholomew B. (2007) Dependency of ISW1a chromatin remodeling on extranucleosomal DNA. Molecular and Cellular Biology 27(8):3217-25.

Gangaraju VK, Bartholomew B. (2007) Mechanisms of ATP dependent chromatin remodeling. Mutation Research 618(1-2):3-17.

Vary JC Jr, Gangaraju VK, Qin J, Landel CC, Kooperberg C, Bartholomew B, Tsukiyama T. (2003) Yeast Isw1p forms two separable complexes in vivo. Molecular and Cellular Biology 23(1):80-91.

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