Team members

Mrs. Smitha K. R. (Part time)
Several structural classes of compounds are in use to defend against cancers; however, severe side effects associated with the treatment often worsen the patient’s health. Hence, there is a need to identify a novel chemical entity having a broad range of therapeutic activity with fewer side effects. Recently plants belonging to family Annonaceae have been investigated as potential sources of biologically active compounds, especially with anti-tumor activity. Annonaceousacetogenins, polyoxy-cyclohexenoids, and styryl-lactones having antitumor activities.U.narum (Annonaceae) present in Western Ghats of Kerala has been less explored for its biological activity. A detailed study on this plants with special reference to its anticancer properties are being undertaken.

Mr. Shaji E.M. (UGC- FDP)
Phytochemicals play a crucial role in the treatment of cancers. Recently, an exotic plant Simarouba glauca DC (Laxmitaru) has gained much attention in Kerala, as a supportive medicine for patients undergoing various sorts of cancer treatments. Since there are no scientific reports for anticancer and chemopreventive activity of this plant, an inquisitive approach has taken to disclose the reliability of the plant.

Mr. Arunaksharan N. (CSIR-SRF)
Epidemiologic evidence suggests that people with type 2 diabetes are at significantly higher risk for many forms of cancer including CRC. The chronic inflammatory response underlining T2D is likely to have a significant role in neoplasmic transformation, proliferation and metastasis. These events are known to be regulated by inflammatory mediators of adipocytes and other immune cells. An increased propensity for oxidative and carbonyl stress exists in hyper triglyceridemia and hyper insulinemia associated with T2D. Under the T2D, lipoprotein lipase and paraoxonase activities are lower and increased non esterified fatty acids are circulating in the blood. Considering the fact that fatty aldehyde detoxifying molecules such as GSH and fatty aldehyde dehydrogenases are under-expressed in cancers, it is expected that the dietary fat derived changes may link type-2 diabetes and aetiology of colorectal cancer. It is also evident that dietary fatty acids can contribute to insulin resistance; hence the dietary fatty acids or their heated products may act as the signalling molecules in the changes associated with colon carcinogenesis under type 2 diabetes.

Ms. Soorya P.I. (KSCSTE- JRF)
Coconut oil and virgin coconut oil are the two edible oils, having substantial nutritional and medicinal value. They are rich in medium chain saturated fatty acids, with lauric acid as the major fatty acid (50- 52% of the oil). Apart from this VCO possesses some polyphenolic compounds such as ferulic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid etc. Among these, ferulic acid exhibits strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. VCO can reduce lipogenesis due to its hypolipidemic effect as well as enhanced rate of fatty acid catabolism. So the combined effect of these two active compounds in the progression of cancer cells with lipogenic phenotype is a novel area of research. There are no such studies on the pharmacological potential of lauryl esters of ferulic acid in relation to cancer initiation, progression or metastasis. Hence, the present study is aimed to evaluate the biological efficacy of lauric acid and its ferulyl esters on cancer progression and metastasis.

Ms. Dhanyamol T.S. (UGC-JRF)
Oxidative stress to cellular environment generates lipid derived reactive aldehydes many of which are suspected carcinogens. 4- Hydroxynonenal, crotanaldehyde and malondialdehyde are examples for such molecules. Human body has a well-defined system to detoxify aldehyde species which include aldehyde reductase oxidases, dehydrogenases and GSH which are thought to be under the regulation of nuclear transcription factor (NrF2). Regulation of fatty aldehyde dehydrogenases which can detoxify fatty acid derived aldehydes into nontoxic acids under the regulation of Nrf2 thus assumes anti-carcinogenic efficacy. The role of Nrf2 modulating aldehyde detoxification system during carcinogenesis is least explored and the physiological relevance of acid moiety generated is largely unknown. Using invitro cell culture system and animal models, present study attempts to unravels the physiological role of representative fatty aldehydes and their acid moieties on carcinogenesis. The present study thus expected to provide insight into the aldehyde detoxification system in the cell/tissue environment during carcinogenesis.

Mrs. Indu M.S. (DST- Fellow)
Increased levels of plasma high density lipoproteins protect against the development of atherosclerosis in rodents and humans possibly as a result of enhanced reverse cholesterol transport ( RCT) i.e., transfer of cholesterol from the arterial wall to the liver, followed by excretion into bile.Therefore modulators of HDL and lipoprotein metabolism are considered as a promising candidate drug for atherosclerosis. D HDL enhancing principles from Desmodium gyrans DC has been found to reduce hyperlipidemia with proven potential to increase functional HDL. An investigation to understand detail mechanistic basis of D. gyrans in promoting RCT is undertaken

Mrs. Ramya M.K. (KSCSTE Fellow)
DantiMool or Baliospermun montanum is well known in folklore and Ayurveda system of medicine to correct digestive system and support liver metablism. Almost all parts of this plant (Roots, seeds, leaves and seed oil) are used to treat jaundice, constipation, piles, anemia and conjunctivitis. A sinere effort to purify the antilipoxigenase molecule from this plant is continuing.