Home » Faculty » Karunagaran D

Karunagaran D

Ph.D, Sri Krishnadevaraya University
M.Phil, University of Madras
Office: BT 401
Tel: +91-44-2257-4126
Email: karuna@iitm·ac·in
Lab: BT 414 (Website)

Research Interests

Cancer Biology:

  • Mechanisms of Apoptosis activated by anticancer agents
  • Signaling by growth factors
  • NF-kappa B signaling




  1. Kavitha K, Vidya Priyadarsini R, Anitha P, Ramalingam K, Sakthivel R, Purushothaman G, Singh AK, Karunagaran D, Nagini S (2012).Nimbolide, a neem limonoid abrogates canonical NF-κB and Wnt signaling to induce caspase-dependent apoptosis in human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells.Eur J Pharmacol.15;681,6-14.
  2. Subramoniam A, Asha VV, Nair SA, Sasidharan SP, Sureshkumar PK, Rajendran KN, Karunagaran D, Ramalingam K (2012).Chlorophyll revisited: anti-inflammatory activities of chlorophyll a and inhibition of expression of TNF-α gene by the same.Inflammation.35;3,959-66.


  1. Vidya Priyadarsini R, Senthil Murugan R, Maitreyi S, Ramalingam K, Karunagaran D, Nagini S (2010). The flavonoid quercetin induces cell cycle arrest and mitochondria mediated apoptosis in human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells through p53 induction and NF-κB inhibition. Eur J Pharmacol (In Press).
  2. Murugan RS, Priyadarsini RV, Ramalingam K, Hara Y, Karunagaran D, Nagini S. (2010) Intrinsic apoptosis and NF-κB signaling are potential molecular targets for chemoprevention by black tea polyphenols in HepG2 cells in vitro and in a rat hepatocarcinogenesis model in vivo. Food Chem Toxicol (In Press).
  3. Sumith Retnamma Panicker, Prethish Sreenivas, Mani Sankar Babu, Devarajan Karunagaran and Chandrasekharan Cheranellore Kartha (2010) Quercetin attenuates Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 gene expression in glucose primed aortic endothelial cells through NF-κB and AP-1. Pharmacol Res 62, 328-336.
  4. Vidya Priyadarsini, R., Senthil Murugan, R., Sripriya, P., Karunagaran D and Nagini, S. (2010) The neem limonoids azadirachtin and nimbolide induce cell cycle arrest and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. Free Radic Res. 44, 624-634.
  5. Marie Lue Antony, Rema Nair , Paul Sebastian and Devarajan Karunagaran (2010) Changes in expression, and/or mutations in TGF-β receptors (TGF-β RI and TGF-β RII) and Smad 4 in human ovarian tumors J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 136, 351-361


  1. Sivakumar, KC, Thomas B, and Karunagaran D (2009) Three dimensional structure of the closed conformation (active) of human merlin reveals masking of actin binding site in the FERM domain Int. J. Bioinformatics Research and Applications 5, 516-524
  2. Paul BT, Babu MS, Santhoshkumar TR, Karunagaran D, Selvam GS, Brown K, Woo T, Sharma S, Naicker S, Murugesan R. (2009) Biophysical evaluation of two red-shifted hypocrellin B derivatives as novel PDT agents J Photochem Photobiol B. 94, 38-44
  3. Marie Lue Antony, Rema Nair , Paul Sebastian and Devarajan Karunagaran (2009) Changes in expression, and/or mutations in TGF-β receptors (TGF-β RI and TGF-β RII) and Smad 4 in human ovarian tumors J Cancer Res Clin Oncol (In Press)


  1. Karunagaran D, Sripriya P, and Prabhakar BN. (2008) MicroRNAs: Novel and potential candidates for cancer therapy, ICFAI Journal of Biotechnology 2, 38-51


  1. Karunagaran D, Joseph J, Kumar TR. (2007) Cell growth regulation, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 595, 245-268
  2. Saja K, Babu MS, Karunagaran D, and Sudhakaran PR (2007) Anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin involves downregulation of MMP-9 in blood mononuclear cells. Int. Immunopharmacol. 7, 1659-1667.


  1. Shlomit Erlich, Pazit Tal-Or, Roy Blum, Yoel Kloog, Devarajan Karunagaran and Ronit Pinkas-Kramarski (2006) Ras Inhibition Results in Growth Arrest and Death of Androgen-Dependent and Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells. Biochem pharmacol., 72, 427-436
  2. John Mohan, Alankaram Arul Gandhi, Balan Chandrika Bhavya, Ramachandran Rashmi, Devarajan Karunagaran, Ramachandran Indu, and Thankayyan Retnabhai Santhoshkumar (2006) Caspase-2 triggers Bax-Bak dependent and independent cell death in colon cancer cells treated with resveratrol. J. Biol. Chem., 281, 17599-17611
  3. Kumaraguruparan R, Karunagaran D, Balachandran C, Manohar BM, Nagini S (2006). Of humans and canines: A comparative evaluation of heat shock and apoptosis-associated proteins in mammary tumors. Clin Chim Acta. 365, 168-176


  1. Manickam Venkatraman, Ruby John Anto, Asha Nair, Merina Varghese and Devarajan Karunagaran (2005) Biological and chemical inhibitors of NF-κB sensitize SiHa cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Mol. Carcinogenesis 44, 51-59
  2. D. Karunagaran, R. Rashmi and T. R. Santhosh Kumar (2005) Induction of Apoptosis by Curcumin and Its Implications for Cancer Therapy. Curr. Cancer Drug Targets 5, 117-129
  3. Ramachandran Rashmi, Santhosh Kumar and Devarajan Karunagaran (2005) Human colon cancer cells lacking Bax resist curcumin-induced apoptosis and Bax requirement is dispensable with ectopic expression of Smac or downregulation of Bcl-XL. Carcinogenesis 26, 713-723
  4. Smitha V. Bava, Vineshkumar T. Puliappadamba, Ayswaria Deepti, Asha Nair, Devarajan Karunagaran, and Ruby John Anto (2005) Sensitization of Taxol-induced Apoptosis by Curcumin Involves Down-regulation of Nuclear Factor-κB and the Serine/Threonine Kinase Akt and Is Independent of Tubulin Polymerization. J. Biol. Chem., 280, 6301-6308


  1. Ramachandran Rashmi, Santhosh Kumar and Devarajan Karunagaran (2004) Ectopic expression of Bcl-XL or Ku70 protects human colon cancer cells (SW480) against curcumin-induced apoptosis while their downregulation potentiates it. Carcinogenesis 25, 1867-1877
  2. Tessy T Maliekal, Ruby John Anto and Devarajan Karunagaran (2004) Differential Activation of Smads in HeLa and SiHa Cells that Differ in their Response to Transforming Growth Factor-β. J. Biol. Chem., 279, 36287-36292
  3. Suby Oommen, Ruby John Anto, Gopal Srinivas and Devarajan Karunagaran (2004) Allicin (from garlic) induces caspase-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells. European Journal of Pharmacology 485, 97-103
  4. Ramachandran Rashmi, Santhosh Kumar and Devarajan Karunagaran (2004) Ectopic Expression of Hsp70 Confers Resistance, and Silencing Its Expression Sensitizes Human Colon Cancer Cells to Curcumin-induced Apoptosis. Carcinogenesis 25, 179-187


  1. Tessy T Maliekal, Marie-Lue Antony, Asha Nair, Ramasamy Paulmurugan and Devarajan Karunagaran (2003) Loss of expression, and mutations of Smad 2 and Smad 4 in human cervical cancer. Oncogene 22, 4889-4897
  2. Gopal Srinivas, Ruby John Anto, Priya Srinivas, Subramanian Vidhyalakshmi, Vijayamma Priya Senan and Devarajan Karunagaran (2003) Emodin induces apoptosis of human cervical cancer cells through poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and activation of caspase 9. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 473, 117-125
  3. Ruby John Anto, Manickam Venkatraman, and Devarajan Karunagaran (2003) Inhibition of NF-κB sensitizes A431 Cells to EGF-induced apoptosis whereas its activation by Ectopic expression of RelA confers resistance J. Biol. Chem. 278, 25490-25498
  4. R. Rashmi, T. R. Santhosh Kumar, D. Karunagaran (2003) Human colon cancer cells differ in their sensitivity to curcumin-induced apoptosis and heat shock protects them by inhibiting the release of apoptosis-inducing factor and caspases FEBS Letters 538, 19-24
  5. Asha Nair, Manickam Venkatraman, Tessy T. Maliekal, Balaraman Nair, and Devarajan Karunagaran (2003) Nuclear Factor-κB is Constitutively Activated in High grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions and Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Human Uterine Cervix. Oncogene 22, 50-58.
  6. Asha Nair, S., Karunagaran, D., and Sudhakaran, P. R. (2003) Changes in matrix metalloproteinases and their endogenous inhibitors during tumor progression in the uterine cervix. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 129, 123-131


  1. Rabi T, Karunagaran D, Krishnan Nair M, Bhattathiri VN. (2002) Cytotoxic activity of amooranin and its derivatives. Phytother. Res. 1, S84-86


  1. Anto, R. J., Maliekal, T. T., and Karunagaran D. (2000) L-929 cells harboring ectopically expressed RelA resist curcumin-induced apoptosis J. Biol.Chem. 275, 15601-15604


  1. Chen, H., Yu, D., Chinnadurai, G., Karunagaran, D. and Hung, M. C. (1997) Mapping of adenovirus 5 E1A domains responsible for suppression of neu-mediated transformation via transcriptional repression of neu. Oncogene 14, 1965-1971.
  2. Kiyokawa, N., Karunagaran, D., Lee, E.K., Xie, Y., Yan, D-H., and Hung, M.C. (1997) Involvement of cdc2-mediated phosphorylation in the cell cycle-dependent regulation of p185 neu. Oncogene 15, 2633-2641.
  3. Kiyokawa, N., Lee, E. K., Karunagaran, D., Lin, S-Y., and Hung, M.C. (1997) Mitosis-specific negative regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor triggered by a decrease in ligand binding and dimerization can be overcome by overexpression of receptor. J. Biol. Chem., 272, 18656-18665.
  4. Shao, R., Karunagaran, D., Zhou, B. P., Li, K., Lo, S-S., Deng, J., Chiao, P., and Hung, M. C. (1997) Inhibition of nuclear factor – κB activity is involved in E1A-mediated sensitization of radiation-induced apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem., 272, 32739-32742.


  1. Karunagaran, D., Tzahar, E., Beerli, R. R., Chen, X., Graus-Porta, D., Ratzkin, B., Seger, R., Hynes, N.E. and Yarden, Y. (1996) ErbB-2 is a common auxiliary subunit of NDF- and EGF-receptors: implications for breast cancer. EMBO.J.15: 254-264.
  2. Chen, X., Levkowitz, G., Tzahar, E., Karunagaran, D., Lavi, S., Ben-Baruch, N., Leitner, O., Ratzkin, B. J., Bacus, S. S. and Yarden, Y. (1996) An immunological approach reveals biological differences between the two NDF/heregulin receptors, ErbB-3 and ErbB-4. J. Biol. Chem. 271: 7620-7629.
  3. Tzahar, E., Waterman, H., Chen, X., Levkowitz, G., Karunagaran, D., Lavi, S., Ratzkin, B.J. and Yarden, Y. (1996) A Hierarchial Network of Interreceptor Interactions Determines Signal Transduction by Neu Differentiation Factor/Neuregulin and Epidermal Growth Factor. Mol.Cell. Biol.16, 5276-5287.


  1. Karunagaran, D., Tzahar, E., Liu, N., Wen, D. and Yarden, Y. (1995) Neu Differentiation Factor Inhibits EGF Binding: A Model for Trans-Regulation Within the ErbB Family of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases. J. Biol. Chem., 270, 9982-9990.
  2. Lu, H.S., Chang, D., Philo, J. S., Zhang, K., Linda, O. N., Liu, N., Zhang, M., Sun, J., Wen, J., Yanagihara, D., Karunagaran, D., Yarden, Y. and Ratzkin, B. (1995) Studies on the Structure and Function of Glycosylated and Nonglycosylated neu Differentiation Factors: Similarities and differences of the α and β isoforms. J. Biol. Chem. 270, 4784-4791.
  3. Marikovsky, M., Lavi, S., Pinkas-Kramarski, R., Karunagaran, D., Liu, N., Wen, D. and Yarden, Y. (1995) ErbB-3 mediates differential mitogenic effects of NDF/heregulin isoforms on mouse keratinocytes. Oncogene, 10, 1403-1411.


  1. Wen, D., Suggs, S. V., Karunagaran, D., Liu, N., Cupples, R. L., Luo, Y., Janssen, A. M., Ben-Baruch, N., Trollinger, D. B., Jacobsen, V. L., Meng, S-Y., Lu, H.S., Hu, S., Chang, D., Yanigahara, D. Koski, R.A. and Yarden, Y. (1994). Structural and Functional Aspects of the Multiplicity of Neu Differentiation Factors. Mol. Cell. Biol.14, 1909-1919.
  2. Tzahar, E., Levkowitz, G., Karunagaran, D., Yi, L., Peles, E., Lavi.S., Chang, D., Liu, N., Yayon, A., Wen. D. and Yarden, Y (1994) ErbB-3 and ErbB-4 Function as the Respective Low and High Affinity Receptors of All Neu Differentiation Factor/Heregulin Isoforms. J. Biol. Chem. 269, 25226-25233.


  1. Dhanunjayanath, V., Karunagaran, D., and Ramakrishna Rao, P. (1993) Effect of fluoride on germination and starch mobilization of horse gram seeds. Indian J. Plant Physiol., 36:131-133.


  1. Karunagaran, D., Mohana, M.N and Usha, V. (1992). Influence of axis on hydrolase development in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) cotyledons during germination. Indian J. Plant Physiol., 35: 300-304.


  1. Karunagaran, D., and Ramakrishna Rao, P. (1991) Mode and control of starch mobilization during germination of seeds of horse gram. Plant Sci,, 73: 155-159.


  1. Karunagaran, D. and Ramakrishna Rao, P. (1990) Development of mitochondria in horse gram cotyledons during germination. Indian J. Plant Physiol., 33: 219-225
  2. Karunagaran, D. and Ramakrishna Rao, P. (1990) Axial control of protease development in cotyledons of horse gram (Macrotyloma uniform Lam.) seeds during germination. Indian J. Plant Physiol., 33: 232-238.


  1. Herbert Manoharan, T., Jayachandran, N., Karunagaran, D and Natarajan, K. R. (1981) Influence of Fluchloralin on the growth and metabolism of maize seedlings. The Plant Biochem. J., (India), 8, 103-116.
  2. Herbert Manoharan, T., Thirunavukkarasu, A., Karunagaran, D. and Natarajan, K. R. (1981) Effects of Fluchloralin on the metabolism of cowpea ( Vigna unguiculata L.) seedlings. Indian J. Exp. Biol., 19, 943-947

Non-Peer Reviewed:

  1. D. Karunagaran and S.Asha Nair (2001) Relevance of Rel signaling in cancer Amala Research Bulletin 21: 1-3.
  2. D. Karunagaran (2003) Fight against cancer continues, armed with novel biotechnological tools pp 68-74 In ” A Compendium on the Focal Theme of National Science Day” State Committee on Science, Technology and Environment, Government of Kerala.
  3. Cancer treatment: Novel biotechnological approaches, Kerala Calling, December 2003 18-20.
  4. Transforming growth factor-β signaling in cancer (2004) Amala Research Bulletin 24: 12-17.
  5. Coercing cancer cells to commit suicide through molecular targeting. Advanced Biotech, October 2004, 15-18.

Gene Bank Submission:

  1. Jinesh, G. and Karunagaran, D., (2004) Identification of new transcription factors Homo sapiens zinc finger domain-related protein TSRM (TSRM) mRNA, partial cds. GenBank Accession No. AY742823
  2. Jinesh, G. and Karunagaran, D., (2007) Homo sapiens mothers against decapentapelagic homolog 3 [Smad3] alternatively spliced and mutant mRNA at exon8, 9 in SiHa cell line. GenBank Accession No. EU016554
  3. Jinesh, G. and Karunagaran, D., (2007) Homo sapiens mothers against decapentapelagic homolog 3 [Smad3] mRNA, splicing error mutant in SiHa cell line, exon 3 to 6. GenBank Accession No. EU016553
  4. Jinesh, G. and Karunagaran, D., (2007) Homo sapiens mothers against decapentapelagic homolog 3 [Smad3] intron-8 to exon-9 splicing error mutant mRNA in HeLa cell line. GenBank Accession No. EU016552
  5. Antony,M. and Karunagaran, D., (2007) Mutated TGF beta RI in ovarian cancer. GenBank Accession No. EF142854
  6. Antony,M. and Karunagaran, D.,(2007) Mutated TGF beta RI in ovarian cancer. GenBank Accession No. EF142853