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Vargheese Chennathukuzhi, PhD

Associate Professor
Molecular and Integrative Physiology

PhD, Indian Institute of Technology, India, 1995
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Indian Institute of Science, India, 1995-1997
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1998-2001

Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors of the female reproductive tract, clinically relevant in 20-40% of reproductive aged women, occurring in up to 70% of white and 80% of black women by the age of 50 years. Uterine fibroids account for over 200,000 hysterectomies annually in the United States alone. Currently there is no approved drug for the long-term medical therapy of fibroids. One of our research interests is to understand the biology of an aberrantly expressed G protein-coupled receptor that contributes to the fibroids tumor growth. We utilize genetically modified animal models as well as primary human fibroids cells to study the etiology of uterine leiomyomas. Our goal is to develop small molecule and peptidomimetic drugs for the treatment of uterine fibroids.
My laboratory also studies the biology of a sperm-specific sodium-proton exchanger that regulates intracellular pH and motility of the sperm. In addition we are interested in novel cancer testis antigens and development of targeted cancer therapies.

Selected Publications

Chennathukuzhi V, Morales CR, El-Alfy M, Hecht NB. The kinesin KIF17b and RNA-binding protein TB-RBP transport specific cAMP-responsive element modulator-regulated mRNAs in male germ cells.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 100(26): 15566-71.

Yang S, Cho YS, Chennathukuzhi VM, Underkoffler LA, Loomes K, Hecht NB. Translin-associated factor X is post-transcriptionally regulated by its partner protein TB-RBP, and both are essential for normal cell proliferation.J Biol Chem. 2004 279(13): 12605-14.

Cho YS, Chennathukuzhi VM, Handel MA, Eppig J, Hecht NB. The relative levels of translin-associated factor X (TRAX) and testis brain RNA-binding protein determine their nucleocytoplasmic distribution in male germ cells. J Biol Chem. 2004 279(30): 31514-23.

Bray JD, Chennathukuzhi VM, Hecht NB.  KIF2Abeta: A kinesin family member  enriched in mouse male germ cells, interacts with translin associated factor-X (TRAX). Mol Reprod Dev. 2004, 69(4):387-96.

Nipper RW, Chennathukuzhi V, Tutuncu L, Williams CJ, Gerton GL, Moss SB. Differential RNA expression and polyribosome loading of alternative transcripts of the Akap4 gene in murine spermatids. Mol Reprod Dev. 2005;70(4):397-405.

Cotreau MM, Chennathukuzhi VM, Harris HA, Han L, Dorner AJ, Apseloff G, Varadarajan U, Hatstat E, Zakaria M, Strahs AL, Crabtree JS, Winneker RC, Jelinsky SA.  A study of 17b-estradiol-regulated genes in the vagina of postmenopausal women with vaginal atrophy. Maturitas. 2007, 58(4): 366-76.

Harris HA, Chennathukuzhi VM, Zhang X, Mekonnen B, Jelinsky SA, Schelling SH, Patel VS, Huselton C, Negahban A, Winneker RC. Development of an early biomarker for the ovarian liability of selective estrogen receptor modulators in rats. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008, 112(1-3): 40-6.

Petucci C, Lloyd T, Harris HA, Zhang X, Chennathukuzhi VM, Mekonnen B, Cai Y. Trace LC/MS/MS quantitation of 17beta-estradiol as a biomarker for selective estrogen receptor modulator activity in the rat brain. J Mass Spectrom. 2009 Nov 2.

Fitzgerald JB, Chennathukuzhi V, Koohestani F, Nowak RA, Christenson LK. Role of microRNA-21 and programmed cell death 4 in the pathogenesis of human uterine leiomyomas. Fertil Steril. 2012 98(3): 726-734.

Varghese BV, Koohestani F, McWilliams M, Colvin A, Gunewardena S, Kinsey WH, Nowak RA, Nothnick WB, Chennathukuzhi VM. The loss of REST in uterine fibroids promotes aberrant GPR10 expression and enables mTOR pathway activation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013, 110(6): 2187-92.

Last modified: Dec 27, 2018


Vargheese Chennathukuzhi, PhD
Associate Professor