Mala V. Rao

Biosketch / Results /

Mala V. Rao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor;
Department of Psychiatry

Contact Info

140 Old Orangeburg Road
Orangeburg , NY 10962


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— 7/95-7/99 Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Don W. Cleveland, Department of Cell Biology, UCSD School of Medicine, PostDoctoral Training
— 12/91-12/92 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in Dr. Eli Gorelick's lab at Department of Pathology, PostDoctoral Training
— 8/86-11/91 Graduate student at the Department of Biochemistry in Prof. G. Padmanaban's lab, PostDoctoral Training
— Indian Institute of Science, Graduate Education
— 1/93-6/95 Postdoctoral Fellow in lab of late Prof. John P. Merlie, Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, PostDoctoral Training

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Research Summary

The major focus of my lab is to understand molecular cues that control the radia l growth of axons and death of motor neurons. Radial growth of axons is studied in mice by ES cell mediated homologous recombination. Motor neurons disease is s tudied in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in transgenic mice for neurofilaments and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). During development, axons undergo two major changes. First, the long, thin axons make growth cones and establish stable synapses. Second, axonal volume increase s 100 fold, and large myelinated axons accumulate large numbers of neurofilament s (NFs). NFs are 10 nm filaments composed of NF-H (200 kd), NF-M (150 kd) and N F-L (68 kd) subunits. Genetic analysis has shown a direct correlation between t he number of filaments and axonal volume. Our transgenic mouse models have indi cated that subunit ratios play a critical role in controlling radial growth of a xons. Recent gene deletion analysis on individual subunits indicate that NF-L i s important for filament formation; NF-M is important for filament assembly and control of filament number. In order to identify the domains of NF subunits tha t are responsible for controlling the radial growth of axons, a systematic domai n deletion approach is being used. We have successfully produced mice for carbox yl terminal deletions of NF-M and NF-H, and analyses of these mice are in progre ss. Approximately 2% of human ALS patients have mutations in the gene encoding for S OD1. A hallmark of ALS is neurofilament accumulation in cell bodies and proxima l axons. Over 50 mutations in SOD1 have been identified in human ALS patients. A large number of mouse models exist for ALS. The role of each NF subunit in d isease onset and progression of motor neuron death is unknown. In order to addr ess this question, NF-H deleted and over-expressing mice are bred with SOD1 over -expressing mice and efforts are underway to characterize these mice. Results will indicate the role of NF-H in motor neuron-mediated cell death.

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All data from NYU Health Sciences Library Faculty Bibliography — -


Overexpression of the calpain-specific inhibitor calpastatin reduces human alpha-Synuclein processing, aggregation and synaptic impairment in [A30P]alphaSyn transgenic mice
Diepenbroek, Meike; Casadei, Nicolas; Esmer, Hakan; Saido, Takaomi C; Takano, Jiro; Kahle, Philipp J; Nixon, Ralph A; Rao, Mala V; Melki, Ronald; Pieri, Laura; Helling, Stefan; Marcus, Katrin; Krueger, Rejko; Masliah, Eliezer; Riess, Olaf; Nuber, Silke
2014 Aug;23(15):3975-3989, Human molecular genetics
— id: 1085982, year: 2014, vol: 23, page: 3975, stat: Journal Article,

Specific Calpain Inhibition by Calpastatin Prevents Tauopathy and Neurodegeneration and Restores Normal Lifespan in Tau P301L Mice
Rao, Mala V; McBrayer, Mary Kate; Campbell, Jabbar; Kumar, Asok; Hashim, Audrey; Sershen, Henry; Stavrides, Philip H; Ohno, Masuo; Hutton, Michael; Nixon, Ralph A
2014 Jul;34(28):9222-9234, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 1074822, year: 2014, vol: 34, page: 9222, stat: Journal Article,

Immunofocusing to HIV's V2 Loop C beta-Strand
Shmelkov, S. ; Rao, M. ; Wang, S. ; Kong, X. ; Lu, S. ; Cardozo, T.
2013 NOV 1;29(11):A140-A140, AIDS research & human retroviruses
— id: 657092, year: 2013, vol: 29, page: A140, stat: Journal Article,

Comparable Antigenicity and Immunogenicity of Multimeric Forms of a Novel, Acute HIV-1 Subtype C Gp145 Envelope for Clinical Development
Wieczorek, L. ; Krebs, S. ; Kalyanaraman, V. ; Whitney, S. ; Matyas, G. R. ; Rao, M. ; Alving, C. R. ; Tong, T. ; Molnar, S. ; Wesberry, M. ; Chenine, A. Laurence ; Tovanabutra, S. ; Sanders-Buell, E. ; Slike, B. ; Alam, S. ; Liao, H. ; Haynes, B. F. ; Williams, C. ; Zolla-Pazner, S. ; Moscoso, C. ; Cheng, H. ; Hoelscher, M. ; Maboko, L. ; Michael, N. ; Robb, M. L. ; VanCott, T. ; Marovich, M. ; Polonis, V.
2013 NOV 1;29(11):A30-A30, AIDS research & human retroviruses
— id: 657022, year: 2013, vol: 29, page: A30, stat: Journal Article,

Calpastatin modulates APP processing in the brains of beta-amyloid depositing but not wild-type mice
Morales-Corraliza, Jose; Berger, Jason D; Mazzella, Matthew J; Neubert, Thomas A; Ghiso, Jorge; Rao, Mala V; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Nixon, Ralph A; Mathews, Paul M
2012 Jun;33(6):1125.e9-1125.18, Neurobiology of aging
— id: 164336, year: 2012, vol: 33, page: 1125.e9, stat: Journal Article,

Antigenicity and immunogenicity of a novel, acute HIV-1 Tanzanian subtype C gp145 envelope protein for clinical development
Polonis, V.; Wieczorek, L.; Kalyanaraman, V.; Matyas, G.; Whitney, S.; Williams, C.; Tovanabutra, S.; Sanders-Buell, E.; Wesberry, M.; Ochsenbauer, C.; Chenine, A.; Rao, M.; Tong, T.; Alving, C.; Cheng, H.; Zolla-Pazner, S.; Michael, N.; VanCott, T.; Marovich, M.
2012 SEP 13;9 2 2:-, Retrovirology
— id: 181622, year: 2012, vol: 9 2 2, page: , stat: Journal Article,

Detection of antibodies to the alpha 4 beta 7 integrin binding site on HIV-1 gp120 V2 loop using a novel cell adhesion assay
Rao, M.; Karasavvas, N.; Pinter, A.; Liao, H.; Bonsignori, M.; Mathieson, B.; Zolla-Pazner, S.; Haynes, B. F.; Michael, N. L.; Kim, J. H.; Alving, C. R.; Peachman, K. K.
2012 SEP 13;9 2 2:-, Retrovirology
— id: 181572, year: 2012, vol: 9 2 2, page: , stat: Journal Article,

The C-Terminal Domains of NF-H and NF-M Subunits Maintain Axonal Neurofilament Content by Blocking Turnover of the Stationary Neurofilament Network
Rao, Mala V; Yuan, Aidong; Campbell, Jabbar; Kumar, Asok; Nixon, Ralph A
2012 ;7(9):e44320-e44320 e44320, PLoS one
— id: 179098, year: 2012, vol: 7, page: e44320, stat: Journal Article,

Neurofilaments at a glance
Yuan, Aidong; Rao, Mala V; Veeranna; Nixon, Ralph A
2012 Jul;125(Pt 14):3257-3263, Journal of cell science
— id: 179149, year: 2012, vol: 125, page: 3257, stat: Journal Article,

Peripherin is a subunit of peripheral nerve neurofilaments: implications for differential vulnerability of CNS and peripheral nervous system axons
Yuan, Aidong; Sasaki, Takahiro; Kumar, Asok; Peterhoff, Corrinne M; Rao, Mala V; Liem, Ronald K; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Nixon, Ralph A
2012 Jun;32(25):8501-8508, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 170430, year: 2012, vol: 32, page: 8501, stat: Journal Article,

Role of vaccine-induced V2 antibodies in protection from HIV infection of recipients in the RV144 clinical vaccine trial
Zolla-Pazner, S; Williams, C; De, Camp A; Morris, D; Haynes, B; Kim, J; Michael, N; Rao, M
2012 April 2012;59:46-46, Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes. JAIDS
— id: 602642, year: 2012, vol: 59, page: 46, stat: Journal Article,

The Myosin Va Head Domain Binds to the Neurofilament-L Rod and Modulates Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Content and Distribution within Axons
Rao, Mala V; Mohan, Panaiyur S; Kumar, Asok; Yuan, Aidong; Montagna, Lee; Campbell, Jabbar; Espreafico, Enilza M; Julien, Jean P; Nixon, Ralph A
2011 ;6(2):e17087-e17087, PLoS one
— id: 126479, year: 2011, vol: 6, page: e17087, stat: Journal Article,

The contributions of myelin and axonal caliber to transverse relaxation time in shiverer and neurofilament-deficient mouse models
Dyakin, Victor V; Chen, Yuanxin; Branch, Craig A; Yuan, Aidong; Rao, Mala; Kumar, Asok; Peterhoff, Corrinne M; Nixon, Ralph A
2010 Jul 1;51(3):1098-1105, Neuroimage
— id: 126489, year: 2010, vol: 51, page: 1098, stat: Journal Article,

Phosphorylation of highly conserved neurofilament medium KSP repeats is not required for myelin-dependent radial axonal growth
Garcia, Michael L; Rao, Mala V; Fujimoto, Jiro; Garcia, Virginia B; Shah, Sameer B; Crum, John; Gotow, Takahiro; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Ellisman, Mark; Calcutt, Nigel A; Cleveland, Don W
2009 Feb 4;29(5):1277-1284, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 94361, year: 2009, vol: 29, page: 1277, stat: Journal Article,

Garcia, ML; Rao, MV; Garcia, VB; Ellisman, M; Calcutt, NA; Cleveland, DW
2009 JUL ;14(9):54-55, Journal of the peripheral nervous system
— id: 102289, year: 2009, vol: 14, page: 54, stat: Journal Article,

Neurofilaments form a highly stable stationary cytoskeleton after reaching a critical level in axons
Yuan, Aidong; Sasaki, Takahiro; Rao, Mala V; Kumar, Asok; Kanumuri, Vivek; Dunlop, David S; Liem, Ronald K; Nixon, Ralph A
2009 Sep 9;29(36):11316-11329, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 126492, year: 2009, vol: 29, page: 11316, stat: Journal Article,

Marked calpastatin (CAST) depletion in Alzheimer's disease accelerates cytoskeleton disruption and neurodegeneration: neuroprotection by CAST overexpression
Rao, Mala V; Mohan, Panaiyur S; Peterhoff, Corrinne M; Yang, Dun-Sheng; Schmidt, Stephen D; Stavrides, Philip H; Campbell, Jabbar; Chen, Yuanxin; Jiang, Ying; Paskevich, Peter A; Cataldo, Anne M; Haroutunian, Vahram; Nixon, Ralph A
2008 Nov 19;28(47):12241-12254, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 94362, year: 2008, vol: 28, page: 12241, stat: Journal Article,

Deleting the phosphorylated tail domain of the neurofilament heavy subunit does not alter neurofilament transport rate in vivo
Yuan, Aidong; Nixon, Ralph A; Rao, Mala V
2006 Jan 30;393(2-3):264-268, Neuroscience letters
— id: 60252, year: 2006, vol: 393, page: 264, stat: Journal Article,

Alpha-internexin is structurally and functionally associated with the neurofilament triplet proteins in the mature CNS
Yuan, Aidong; Rao, Mala V; Sasaki, Takahiro; Chen, Yuanxin; Kumar, Asok; Liem, Ronald K H; Eyer, Joel; Peterson, Alan C; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Nixon, Ralph A
2006 Sep 27;26(39):10006-10019, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 94108, year: 2006, vol: 26, page: 10006, stat: Journal Article,

The neurofilament middle molecular mass subunit carboxyl-terminal tail domains is essential for the radial growth and cytoskeletal architecture of axons but not for regulating neurofilament transport rate
Rao, Mala V; Campbell, Jabbar; Yuan, Aidong; Kumar, Asok; Gotow, Takahiro; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Nixon, Ralph A
2003 Dec 8;163(5):1021-1031, Journal of cell biology
— id: 40064, year: 2003, vol: 163, page: 1021, stat: Journal Article,

Defective neurofilament transport in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a review
Rao, Mala V; Nixon, Ralph A
2003 Jul;28(7):1041-1047, Neurochemical research
— id: 60267, year: 2003, vol: 28, page: 1041, stat: Journal Article,

Neurofilament transport in vivo minimally requires hetero-oligomer formation
Yuan, Aidong; Rao, Mala V; Kumar, Asok; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Nixon, Ralph A
2003 Oct 15;23(28):9452-9458, Journal of neuroscience
— id: 39029, year: 2003, vol: 23, page: 9452, stat: Journal Article,

Myosin Va binding to neurofilaments is essential for correct myosin Va distribution and transport and neurofilament density
Rao, Mala V; Engle, Linda J; Mohan, Panaiyur S; Yuan, Aidong; Qiu, Dike; Cataldo, Anne; Hassinger, Linda; Jacobsen, Stephen; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Andreadis, Athena; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Bridgman, Paul C; Nixon, Ralph A
2002 Oct 28;159(2):279-290, Journal of cell biology
— id: 32536, year: 2002, vol: 159, page: 279, stat: Journal Article,

Gene replacement in mice reveals that the heavily phosphorylated tail of neurofilament heavy subunit does not affect axonal caliber or the transit of cargoes in slow axonal transport
Rao, Mala V; Garcia, Michael L; Miyazaki, Yukio; Gotow, Takahiro; Yuan, Aidong; Mattina, Salvatore; Ward, Chris M; Calcutt, Nigel A; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Nixon, Ralph A; Cleveland, Don W
2002 Aug 19;158(4):681-693, Journal of cell biology
— id: 32535, year: 2002, vol: 158, page: 681, stat: Journal Article,

Progress in the modeling of neurodegenerative diseases in transgenic mice
Duff K; Rao MV
2001 Aug;14(4):441-447, Current opinion in neurology
— id: 24731, year: 2001, vol: 14, page: 441, stat: Journal Article,

Nixon RA; Rao MV
Encyclopedia of molecular medicine Chichester : Wiley, 2001,
— id: 2724, year: 2001, vol: , page: 1589, stat: Chapter,

Neurofilament-dependent radial growth of motor axons and axonal organization of neurofilaments does not require the neurofilament heavy subunit (NF-H) or its phosphorylation
Rao MV; Houseweart MK; Williamson TL; Crawford TO; Folmer J; Cleveland DW
1998 Oct 5;143(1):171-181, Journal of cell biology
— id: 24732, year: 1998, vol: 143, page: 171, stat: Journal Article,

Distinct regulatory elements control muscle-specific, fiber-type-selective, and axially graded expression of a myosin light-chain gene in transgenic mice
Rao MV; Donoghue MJ; Merlie JP; Sanes JR
1996 Jul;16(7):3909-3922, Molecular & cellular biology
— id: 24766, year: 1996, vol: 16, page: 3909, stat: Journal Article,

Molecular docking programs successfully predict the binding of a beta-lactamase inhibitory protein to TEM-1 beta-lactamase
Strynadka, NCJ; Eisenstein, M; KatchalskiKatzir, E; Shoichet, BK; Kuntz, ID; Abagyan, R; Totrov, M; Janin, J; Cherfils, J; Zimmerman, F; Olson, A; Duncan, B; Rao, M; Jackson, R; Sternberg, M; James, MNG
1996 MAR ;3(3):233-239, Nature structural biology
— id: 53051, year: 1996, vol: 3, page: 233, stat: Journal Article,

Characterization of a negative cis-acting DNA element regulating the transcription of CYP2B1/B2 gene in rat liver
Ram N; Rao MV; Prabhu L; Nirodi CS; Sultana S; Vatsala PG; Padmanaban G
1995 Feb 20;317(1):39-45, Archives of biochemistry & biophysics. ABB
— id: 24733, year: 1995, vol: 317, page: 39, stat: Journal Article,

Passive immunotherapy in the treatment of advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection
Jacobson, J M; Colman, N; Ostrow, N A; Simson, R W; Tomesch, D; Marlin, L; Rao, M; Mills, J L; Clemens, J; Prince, A M
1993 Aug;168(2):298-305, Journal of infectious diseases
— id: 916992, year: 1993, vol: 168, page: 298, stat: Journal Article,

Lectin-induced apoptosis of tumour cells
Kim M; Rao MV; Tweardy DJ; Prakash M; Galili U; Gorelik E
1993 Oct;3(5):447-453, Glycobiology
— id: 24734, year: 1993, vol: 3, page: 447, stat: Journal Article,

Identification and functional characterization of a cis-acting positive DNA element regulating CYP 2B1/B2 gene transcription in rat liver
Upadhya P; Rao MV; Venkateswar V; Rangarajan PN; Padmanaban G
1992 Feb 11;20(3):557-562, Nucleic acids research
— id: 24735, year: 1992, vol: 20, page: 557, stat: Journal Article,

Culture adaptation and characterization of group A rotaviruses causing diarrheal illnesses in Bangladesh from 1985 to 1986
Ward, R L; Clemens, J D; Sack, D A; Knowlton, D R; McNeal, M M; Huda, N; Ahmed, F; Rao, M; Schiff, G M
1991 Sep;29(9):1915-1923, Journal of clinical microbiology
— id: 530402, year: 1991, vol: 29, page: 1915, stat: Journal Article,

Transcriptional regulation of Cytochrome P-450b/e gene expression in rat liver
Padmanaban G; Rangarajan PN; Venkateswar V; Rao MV; Upadya P
Biological oxidation systems San Diego : Academic Press, 1990,
— id: 2659, year: 1990, vol: 1, page: 39, stat: Chapter,

Dexamethasone negatively regulates phenobarbitone-activated transcription but synergistically enhances cytoplasmic levels of cytochrome P-450b/e messenger RNA
Rao MV; Rangarajan PN; Padmanaban G
1990 Apr 5;265(10):5617-5622, Journal of biological chemistry
— id: 24736, year: 1990, vol: 265, page: 5617, stat: Journal Article,