Parameswaran Ramakrishnan, M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Mailing Address:
2103 Cornell Rd.
WRB 6526
Cleveland, OH 44106-7288

phone: (216) 368-2387
fax: (216) 368-0494
email: pxr150@case.edu

Biography

Parameswaran Ramakrishnan obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc in Biotechnology degrees from Mahatma Gandhi University, India. Later he worked in an Indo-Swiss collaborative project studying the genome diversity in Mycobacterium leprae in the Department of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India. He obtained his Ph.D from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, under the guidance of Prof. David Wallach and studied signal transduction in the immune system. For postdoctoral work, Dr. Ramakrishnan joined the lab of Nobel Laureate Prof. David Baltimore in the Department of Biology at California Institute of Technology in 2008. In the Baltimore lab, Dr. Ramakrishnan studied cell signaling involving unique intracellular glycosylation called O-GlcNAc glycosylation. He also studied novel mechanisms regulating proinflammatory and apoptotic signaling and revealed the role of the RNA binding protein, Sam68, in TNF signaling. Dr. Ramakrishnan joined Case Western Reserve University as an Assistant Professor of Immunology in the Department of Pathology in the summer of 2013. He is the recipient of Inclusion and Diversity Faculty Leadership Award, 2016. Funding from National Institute of Health as well as various foundations supports research at Dr. Ramakrishnan’s lab.

Research

Dr. Ramakrishnan's lab focuses on signal transduction in immunity, metabolism and cancer using cellular and molecular approaches and animal models with the aim of identifying fundamental mechanisms leading to development and evaluation of therapeutic targets.

Research projects
NF-κB is known to be a family of dimeric transcription factor that act as a key regulator of the immune and inflammatory responses. Because inflammation has been linked to so many diseases in recent times, there is much interest in the role of NF-κB in autoimmune conditions like diabetes and cancer.

  • Inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer.
  • Immunometabolism - Regulation of signal transduction in the immune system by metabolic signaling such as O-GlcNAcylation and acetylation.
  • Bioregulation- Transcriptional regulation and posttranslational modifications.
  • Regulation of NF-κB activity by O-GlcNAc glycosylation and its role in type 1 diabetes.
  • Novel mechanism regulating chronic inflammation induced cancer.
  • Novel players mediating carcinogenesis- hematopoietic malignancies, Sarcoma and Carcinoma
  • Cytokine and TLR signaling

Regulation of NF-κB activity by O-GlcNAc glycosylation and its role in diabetes
Significance: NF-κB is a preformed protein and its activation is dependent on posttranslational regulations. O-GlcNAcylation is a reversible intracellular protein modification whose levels are affected by glucose and other signals. Both O-GlcNAcylation and NF-κB activation has been associated in several physiological and pathological conditions including experimental and clinical diabetes, yet a direct link between them is missing and glycosylation of NF-κB by O-GlcNAc remains poorly defined.

Aims
To identify O-GlcNAcylated NF-κB proteins, the site(s) of modification and study this process both structurally and functionally, under physiological and pathological conditions.
To determine the role of O-GlcNAcylation of NF-κB in vivo using transgenic and knockout mouse models.

Role of Sam68 in inflammatory signaling, diabetes and associated cancer
Significance: Sam68 plays crucial role in innate immune and apoptotic signaling by tumor necrosis factor, TNF. This novel finding links Sam68 function in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases as well as inflammation induced cancer where deregulated TNF signaling is implicated.

Aims
To understand the molecular determinants of Sam68 function and its role in inflammatory signaling.
To study the physiological role of Sam68 in vivo in the immune system and delineate the RNA binding independent functions of Sam68.

Dynamic regulation of signaling in the immune system by protein modifications

Selected Publications

Tomalka, J, Jesus, TD, Ramakrishnan, P. (2016). Sam68 is a Regulator of Toll Like Receptor Signaling, Cell Mol Immunol. 2016 Jul 4. doi:10.1038/cmi.2016.32. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27374795

Ramakrishnan, P*, Yui, M, Tomalka, J, Majumdar, D, Parameswaran R, Baltimore, D. (2016). Deficiency of NF-kappaB c-Rel accelerates the development of autoimmune diabetes in non obese diabetic mice. Diabetes. 2016 Aug;65(8):2367-79. doi: 10.2337/db15-1607. Epub 2016 May 23. PMID: 27217485, Co-corresponding Author.

Parameswaran R, Ramakrishnan P, De Lima M, Lee DA, Moreton S and Wald DN. Repression of GSK3 restores NK cell cytotoxicity in AML patients. Nature Communications, Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 4;7:11154. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11154.

de Jesus TJ and Ramakrishnan P. Sugar-Coating the Skin. Austin Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2015 Nov; 2(3): 1035.

So, A.Y., Chaudhuri, A., Sookram, R., Minisandram, A., Cheng, D., Xie, C., Lim, L., Garcia Flores, Y., Jiang, S., Keown, C., Ramakrishnan, P., Baltimore, D. (2014), Dual mechanisms by which mir-125b represses IRF4 to cause myeloid and B-cell Leukemia. Blood. Jul 8. pii: blood-2014-02-553842. PMID: 25006123.

Ramakrishnan, P., Clark, PM., Mason, DE., Peters, ED., Hsieh-Wilson, LC and Baltimore, D. (2013). Activation of the Transcriptional Function of the NF-κB Protein c-Rel by O-GlcNAc Glycosylation. Science Signaling, August 27. Vol 6 Issue 290 ra75.

Yang, L., Boldin,M.P., Yu, Y., Liu,C.S., Ea.C.K., Ramakrishnan, P., Taganov,K.D., Zhao.J.L, and Baltimore.D (2012) miR-146a control of the resolution of T cell responses in mice. J Exp Med. Aug 27;209(9):1655-70.

Jevgenij A. Raskatov, Jordan L. Meier, James W. Puckett, Fei Yang, Ramakrishnan, P, and Peter B. Dervan. (2012) Modulation of NF-κB Dependent Gene Transcription Using Programmable DNA Minor Groove Binders. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 24;109(4):1023-8.

Ramakrishnan, P., Baltimore, D. (2011). Sam68 is Required for both NF-κB Activation and Apoptosis Signaling by the TNF receptor. Molecular Cell, Jul 22;43(2):167-79.

Ramakrishnan, P., Kahn, D., Baltimore, D. (2011) Anti-apoptotic effect of hyperglycemia can allow survival of potentially autoreactive T cells. Cell Death and Differentiation, April;18(4):690-9.

Citri A, Harari D, Shohat G, Ramakrishnan P, Gan J, Lavi S, Eisenstein M, Kimchi A, Wallach D, Pietrokovski S, Yarden Y. (2006) Hsp90 recognizes a common surface on client kinases. J Biol Chem. May 19;281(20):14361-9.

Sanchez-Valdepenas C, Martin AG, Ramakrishnan P, Wallach D, Fresno M. (2006). NF-κB-inducing kinase is involved in the activation of the CD28 responsive element through phosphorylation of c-Rel and regulation of its transactivating activity. J Immunol. Apr 15;176(8):4666-74.

Hauer, J., Puschner, S., Ramakrishnan, P., Simon, U., Bongers,M., Federle, C., and Engelmann, H. (2005). TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor (TRAF) 3 serves as an inhibitor of TRAF2/5-mediated activation of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway by TRAF-binding TNFRs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102, 2874-2879.

Ramakrishnan, P., Wang, W., and Wallach, D. (2004). Receptor-specific signaling for both the alternative and the canonical NF-κB activation pathways by NF-κB-inducing kinase. Immunity 21, 477-489.

Kang, T. B., Ben-Moshe, T., Varfolomeev, E. E., Pewzner-Jung, Y., Yogev, N., Jurewicz, A., Waisman, A., Brenner, O., Haffner, R., Gustafsson, E., Ramakrishnan, P., Lapidot, T., and Wallach, D. (2004). Caspase-8 serves both apoptotic and nonapoptotic roles. J Immunol 173, 2976-2984.

Patents

Derivatives of NF-κB inducing enzyme, their preparation and use (2003): Patent No: AU2003226607:Ramakrishnan P, Shmushkovich T, Wallach D.

Derivatives of IL-2 receptor gamma chain, their production and use (2003): Patent number-CA2482718: Ramakrishnan P, Shmushkovich T, Wallach D.

Anti-NIK antibodies and uses thereof (2005): Patent number-WO2005033142: Ramakrishnan P, Wallach D.

Antibodies to NIK, their preparation and use (2005): Patent number-WO2005033145: Ramakrishnan P, Wallach D.

Methods and agents for immune modulation and methods for identifying immune modulators (2005): Patent number-WO2005051423: Ramakrishnan P, Shmushkovich T, Wang W, Wallach D.

Agents for modulating NIK binding to hC8 and methods of using same for treating diseases associated with NF-κB activity (2004) Patent number (IL) -166006: Ramakrishnan P, Shmushkovich T, Wallach D.

NIK binding ubiquitination and/or degradation-related activity and modulators thereof (2006) No:PCT/IL2007/000050. Ramakrishnan P, WangW,Wallach D.

SIVA 3, its preparation and pharmaceutical compositions containing it (2008). Filing number 189408: Ramakrishnan P, Kovalenko A,Wallach D.

Stabilization of SIVA2 (2008) Filing number 189405: Ramakrishnan P, Kovalenko A,Wallach D.

Use of SAM68 for modulating signaling through the TNF receptor (2010). Ramakrishnan, P., Baltimore, D. US 2012/0121608 A1.

Targeting c-Rel O-GlcNAcylation and uses there of (2012). Ramakrishnan P, Baltimore D. CIT File No.: US20140212876 A1