Faculty & Staff Details
|Name:||U. Subrahmanyeswara Rao|
|Bio||Dr. U.S. Rao, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science, India, in 1987 under the guidance of Dr. S. Krishna Murthy. Dr. Rao’s thesis was on the identification of enzymes that hydrolyze cellulose and their characterization. He did his postdoctoral study on the H+-translocating ATPase in the department of Pharmacology, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1987 to 1992. The work on H+-ATPase was a major influence in refocusing his fascination with the biomembrane transport. After completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Rao began developing an independent research program on P-glycoprotein, an active transporter and, the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a channel. These proteins are clinically important as these are, respectively, responsible for cancer drug resistance and hypertension. He went to the Univ. Nebraska Medical Center in 1998 as an assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and continued his investigation on these proteins.
Recently, Dr. Rao has been exploring the idea that there may be auxilliary proteins that regulate P-glycoprotein expression and function. Dr. Rao has now identified two proteins, one a RING finger protein, and an endoplasmic reticulum protein, being the other, which are the central theme of his current research. Dr. Rao’s research on the RING finger protein is supported by NIH.
Cancer is an abnormal growth in an organ/tissue of the body. However, cells in the cancer mass detach and migrate to other parts of the body, and this phenomenon is known as metastasis. One of the proteins that is responsible for gluing cells (including cancer cells) to one another is Galectin-1, a carbohydrate binding protein. Galectin-1 expression is abnormal in many metastasized cancers. While so much is known about this lectin, the mechanism of its extracellular export is unknown. Dr. Rao will investigate the Galectin-1 export mechanisms using a grant he received from the Department of Defense.