MEMPHIS TN 381630000
Tel: (901) 448-3235


  • Ph.D., The M. S. University of Baroda, India., Biochemistry
  • Ph.D., M.S. University, India, Biochemistry
  • M.S., The University of Mysore, India., Biochemistry
  • M.S., University of Mysore, India, Biochemistry
  • B.S., The University of Mysore, India., Chemistry/Biology
  • B.S., University of Mysore, India, Biology (Chemistry)

Research interest/specialty

The focus of research interests in my laboratory is the regulation of epithelial tight junctions and cell-cell adhesion by intracellular signalling pathways.

Research keywords

epithelial tight junctions, occludin, ZO-1, E-cadherin, -catenin, Src kinases, PKC, FAK, MAPK, PP2A, PP1, PTP1B, cytoskeleton.

Research description

The primary research interest involves delineating the role of phosphorylation of tight junction and adherens junction proteins (occludin, ZO-1, E-cadherin and -catenin) by protein kinases (Src kinases, PKC, FAK & MAPK) and proteins phosphatases (PP2A, PP1 and PTP1B) in the regulation of the assembly of tight junction and adherrens junction protein complexes and their interactions with the actin cytoskeleton. Out come of these studies are important to understand the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and alcoholic liver disease.


  1. Elias, BC, Suzuki, T, Seth, A, Giorgianni, F, Kale, G, Shen, L, Turner, JR, Naren, A, Desiderio, DM, Rao, R. Phosphorylation of Tyr-398 and Tyr-402 in occludin prevents its interaction with ZO-1 and destabilizes its assembly at the tight junctions. J Biol Chem, 284 (3), 1559-69, 2009.
  2. Suzuki, T, Elias, BC, Seth, A, Shen, L, Turner, JR, Giorgianni, F, Desiderio, D, Guntaka, R, Rao, R. PKC eta regulates occludin phosphorylation and epithelial tight junction integrity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106 (1), 61-6, 2009.
  3. Rao, R. Oxidative stress-induced disruption of epithelial and endothelial tight junctions. Front Biosci, 13, 7210-26, 2008.
  4. Rao, RK. Acetaldehyde-induced Barrier Disruption and Paracellular Permeability in Caco-2 Cell Monolayer. Methods Mol Biol, 447, 171-83, 2008.
  5. Seth, A, Yan, F, Polk, DB, Rao, RK. Probiotics Ameliorate the Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Epithelial Barrier Disruption by a PKC and MAP Kinase-Dependent Mechanism. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 2008.
  6. Suzuki, T, Seth, A, Rao, R. Role of phospholipase Cgamma-induced activation of protein kinase Cepsilon (PKCepsilon) and PKCbetaI in epidermal growth factor-mediated protection of tight junctions from acetaldehyde in Caco-2 cell monolayers. J Biol Chem, 283 (6), 3574-83, 2008.
  7. Sheth, P, Delos Santos, N, Seth, A, LaRusso, NF, Rao, RK. Lipopolysaccharide disrupts tight junctions in cholangiocyte monolayers by a c-Src-, TLR4-, and LBP-dependent mechanism. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 293 (1), G308-18, 2007.
  8. Seth, A, Sheth, P, Elias, BC, Rao, R. Protein phosphatases 2A and 1 interact with occludin and negatively regulate the assembly of tight junctions in the CACO-2 cell monolayer. J Biol Chem, 282 (15), 11487-98, 2007.
  9. Sheth, P, Seth, A, Atkinson, KJ, Gheyi, T, Kale, G, Giorgianni, F, Desiderio, DM, Li, C, Naren, A, Rao, R. Acetaldehyde dissociates the PTP1B-E-cadherin-beta-catenin complex in Caco-2 cell monolayers by a phosphorylation-dependent mechanism. Biochem J, 402 (2), 291-300, 2007.
  10. Basuroy, S, Seth, A, Elias, B, Naren, AP, Rao, R. MAPK interacts with occludin and mediates EGF-induced prevention of tight junction disruption by hydrogen peroxide. Biochem J, 393 (Pt 1), 69-77, 2006.
  11. Basuroy, S, Sheth, P, Mansbach, CM, Rao, RK. Acetaldehyde disrupts tight junctions and adherens junctions in human colonic mucosa: protection by EGF and L-glutamine. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 289 (2), G367-75, 2005.
  12. Seth, A, Basuroy, S, Sheth, P, Rao, RK. L-Glutamine ameliorates acetaldehyde-induced increase in paracellular permeability in Caco-2 cell monolayer. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 287 (3), G510-7, 2004.
  13. Rao, RK, Seth, A, Sheth, P. Recent Advances in Alcoholic Liver Disease I. Role of intestinal permeability and endotoxemia in alcoholic liver disease. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 286 (6), G881-4, 2004.
  14. Sheth, P, Seth, A, Thangavel, M, Basuroy, S, Rao, RK. Epidermal growth factor prevents acetaldehyde-induced paracellular permeability in Caco-2 cell monolayer. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 28 (5), 797-804, 2004.
  15. Sheth, P, Basuroy, S, Li, C, Naren, AP, Rao, RK. Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in oxidative stress-induced disruption of tight junctions. J Biol Chem, 278 (49), 49239-45, 2003.
  16. Basuroy, S, Sheth, P, Kuppuswamy, D, Balasubramanian, S, Ray, RM, Rao, RK. Expression of kinase-inactive c-Src delays oxidative stress-induced disassembly and accelerates calcium-mediated reassembly of tight junctions in the Caco-2 cell monolayer. J Biol Chem, 278 (14), 11916-24, 2003.
  17. Kale, G, Naren, AP, Sheth, P, Rao, RK. Tyrosine phosphorylation of occludin attenuates its interactions with ZO-1, ZO-2, and ZO-3. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 302 (2), 324-9, 2003.
  18. Rao, RK, Basuroy, S, Rao, VU, Karnaky Jr, KJ, Gupta, A. Tyrosine phosphorylation and dissociation of occludin-ZO-1 and E-cadherin-beta-catenin complexes from the cytoskeleton by oxidative stress. Biochem J, 368 (Pt 2), 471-81, 2002.
  19. Yellaturu, CR, Ghosh, SK, Rao, RK, Jennings, LK, Hassid, A, Rao, GN. A potential role for nuclear factor of activated T-cells in receptor tyrosine kinase and G-protein-coupled receptor agonist-induced cell proliferation. Biochem J, 368 (Pt 1), 183-90, 2002.
  20. Rao, RK, Clayton, LW. Regulation of protein phosphatase 2A by hydrogen peroxide and glutathionylation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 293 (1), 610-6, 2002.