Rupasri Ain , Ph.D.

Principal Scientist
Cell Biology & Physiology
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Research Focus

Trophoblast stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Spiral artery remodeling, Epithelial mesenchymal transition, Cardiac hypertrophy, Colorectal cancer.

Research Interest

Our group is interested in understanding and expanding our knowledge on development of placenta, the lifeline of the baby in Eutherian mammals. When the placenta develops abnormally or malfunctions, babies are born small and/or premature. This poses serious health problems to the mother and baby in peri-natal period leading to hypertension, bleeding and abnormal development of the brain, blindness, and gastrointestinal problems. Even when the small premature baby survives the neonatal period, s/he will face an increased risk of complications including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, adding to the already over-burdened healthcare system.

The overarching goal of research in our laboratory is to unravel the mechanism by which multi-potent trophoblast stem cells, the progenitor cells of the placenta, self renew as well as differentiate into various cell lineages of the placenta. We work on regulatory non-coding RNAs, transcription factors and cell signaling pathways that regulate trophoblast function. In addition, we are working on the molecular regulation of key developmental events that are indispensible for healthy pregnancy outcome, which include a) spiral artery remodeling, b) decidual cell maturation, and c) epithelial mesenchymal transition. We have recently started working on molecular regulation of cardiac hypertrophy and colorectal cancer biology as some molecules we worked on, turned out to be important regulators of a) cardiac hypertrophy and b) inhibition of colorectal carcinogenesis. We use the tools and concepts of molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, genetics and microscopy to address our research questions.  Finally, our research efforts in understanding placental biology and trophoblast stem cell differentiation is a valuable approach for understanding the etiology of early pregnancy loss and discovering diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for the detection, treatment, and prevention of the placenta associated diseases.

Credentials

  • 2012- till date: Principal Scientist, CSIR-IICB; Associate Professor, Academy of Scientific and Innovative research
  • 2007-2012: Head, Mouse Genetics Facility, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India 
  • 2006-2007: Executive Manager, Research and Development, Bangalore Genei.
  • 2003-2006: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrated Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
  • 1998-2003: Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS, USA
  • 1997-1998: Post-doctoral Fellow, Freie Universitaet, Berline, Germany
  • 1993-1997: Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Science.

Honours & Awards

  • Taskforce member of Metabolic Diseases and Autoimmune DisordersTask Force, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2017-2020.
  • Taskforce member of Human Disease and Developmental Biology Task Force, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2014-2017.
  • Adhoc Reviewer for FASEB J, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, Molecular Human Reproduction, Reproduction, Molecular Medicine, Cell Communication and Signaling, Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Journal of Endocrinology, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, J Soc Gynecological Investigation
  • Eastman Kodak New Investigator Travel Award (2003) from International Federation of Placenta Association
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association, 2000-2002.
  • Endocrine Society Travel Grant Award, 2001.
  • Biomedical Research Scholar Fellowship from KUMC, 1999-2000.
  • Best Poster Award. At the "International Symposium on Prospects of Zona Pellucida Glycoproteins for Immunocontraception" at the National Institute of Immunology (New Delhi, India) during December 2-5, 1995.

Grant Supports

Ongoing: 

  1. Regulation of trophoblast-vasculogenic mimicry (2018-2020), DBT.
  2. MicroRNAs in trophoblast stem cell differentiation (2016-2019), SERB.

 

Completed:

  1. Transgenic Over-expression of NOSTRIN in Mice and Pregnancy-induced hypertension (2015-2018), ICMR.
  2. Studies on trophoblast and natural killer cell interaction at the maternal-fetal interface (2013-2016), DST/SERB.
  3. Transgenic Over-expression of NOSIP in Mice and Pregnancy-induced hypertension (2014-2016), DBT.

Patents & Publications

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2018) NOSTRIN: A novel modulator of trophoblast giant cell differentiation. Stem Cell Research. 31:135-146.
  2. Chakraborty S, Islam S, Saha S and Ain R (2018) Dexamethasone-induced Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction impacts NOSTRIN and its downstream effector genes in the rat mesometrial uterus. Scientific  Reports.  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-26590-3.
  3. Bose R and Ain R (2018) Regulation of transcription by Circular RNAs. In “Circular RNAs: Biogenesis and Functions”, Springer Nature Publishers, Book Series: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.
  4. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2017) Nitric-oxide synthase trafficking inducer is a pleiotropic regulator of endothelial cell function and signaling. J Biol Chem. 292(16):6600-6620. 
  5. Saha S, Chakraborty S, Bhattacharyay A, BiswasA and Ain R (2017) MicroRNA regulation of Transthyretin in trophoblast differentiation and Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction. Scientific  Reports 7 (1):16548-16560.
  6. Joshi R, Quadros R, Drumm M, Ain R, Panicker M (2017) Sedative effect of Clozapine is a function of 5-HT2A and environmental novelty. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 27(1):70-81.
  7. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2016) “Endothelial Cell Biology: Assessment of Endothelial Cell Function” in Trends in Experimental Biology, Volume-II. L. Kma ed. pp. 1-27. Excel India Publishers, New Delhi, India.
  8. Saha S, Choudhury J and Ain R (2015) MicroRNA-141-3p and miR-200a-3p regulate Insulin-like growth factor-II during mouse placental development. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 414:186-193.
  9. Rosario GX*, Ain R*, Konno T and Soares MJ (2009) Intrauterine fate of invasive trophoblast cells. Placenta 30 (5): 457-463.  *Equal contribution
  10. Chaturvedi G, Simone PD, Ain R, Soares MJ and Wolfe MW (2009) Noggin maintains pluripotency of human embryonic stem cells grown on matrigel. Cell Proliferation 42 (4): 425-433.
  11. Soares MJ, Alam SMK, Konno T and Ain, R. (2007) The prolactin family: regulators of uterine biology. In: Endometrium-2, J. Aplin, A. Fazleabas, S.R. Glasser, L. Giudice (eds), Taylor and Francis Publishers, London, pp. 342-353
  12. Ain R*, Konno T, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2006) Phenotypic analysis of the rat placenta. In: Soares MJ and Hunt JS (eds) Placental and trophoblast biology: Methods in Molecular Medicine, vol.I, Humana Press, Inc. 121:295-313. *Corresponding Author.
  13. Alam SM, Ain R, Konno T, Ho-Chen JK, Soares MJ (2006) The rat prolactin gene family locus: species-specific gene family expansion. Mammalian Genome. 17(8): 858-877
  14. Ho-Chen JK, Ain R, Alt AR, Gonzalez NC, Wood JG and Soares MJ (2006) Hypobaric Hypoxia as a Tool to Study Pregnancy-Dependent Responses at the Maternal-Fetal Interface.  In: Soares MJ and Hunt JS (eds) Placental and trophoblast biology: Methods in Molecular Medicine, vol. II, Humana Press, Inc. 122:427-434.
  15. Ain R*, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2005) Glucocorticoid induced intrauterine growth restriction impacts placental prolactin family and IGF-II/Akt signaling pathway. Journal of Endocrinology. 185:253-263.  *Corresponding Author
  16. Ain R, Dai G, Godwin AR, Dunmore J and Soares MJ (2004) A prolactin family paralog regulates reproductive adaptations to a physiological stressor.Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA, 101(47): 16543-16548.
  17. Ain R*, Trinh M-L, and Soares MJ (2004) Interleukin-11 signaling is required for the differentiation of Natural Killer Cells at the Maternal-Fetal interface. Developmental Dynamics 231(4): 700-708. *Corresponding Author
  18. Ain R* and Soares MJ (2004) Is the metrial gland really a gland? Journal of Reproductive Immunology 61(2): 127-129. *Corresponding Author
  19. Pijnenborg R, Aplin JD, Ain  R, Bevilacqua E, Bulmer JN, Cartwright J, Hüppertz B, Knöfler M, Maxwell C and Vercruysse L (2004) Trophoblast and the Endometrium––A Workshop Report. Placenta, 25: S42-S44. 
  20. Ain R, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2003) Gestation stage-dependent intrauterine trophoblast cell invasion in the mouse and the rat: novelendocrine phenotype and regulation. Developmental Biology 260: 176-190.
  21. Ain R, Tash JS and Soares MJ (2003)Prolactin-like protein-A is a functional modulator of Natural Killer cells at the maternal-fetal interface. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 204:65-74.
  22. Wiemer D*, Ain R*,  Ohboshi S and Soares MJ (2003) Migratory trophoblast cells express a newly identified member of the prolactin gene. Journal of Endocrinology 179: 335-346. *Equal Authorship
  23. Wiemer D, Shao L, Ain R,  Dai G and Soares MJ (2003) Mouse Prolactin Family Gene Locus. Endocrinology. 144:313-325.
  24. Ain R, Tash JS, and Soares MJ (2002) A Simple method for the in situ detection of eosinophils. Journal of Immunological Methods 260: 273-278.
  25. Ain R, Muller H, Sahgal N, Dai G and Soares MJ (2002) Uteroplacental Prolactin Family: Immunological Regulators of Viviparity. In: Matera L and Rapaport  R (eds) Growth and Lactogenic Hormones: Neuroimmune Biology, vol. 2, pp 187-202, Elsevier Science Publisher.
  26. Dutta B, Ain R, Seshagiri PB and Karande AA (2001). Differential influence of recombinant non-glycosylated and glycosylated glycodelin on human sperm function: comparative studies with hamster spermatozoa. Reproduction Fertility and Development 13: 111-118.
  27. Ain R, K  Uma, S Shivaji and P B Seshagiri (1999). Pentoxifylline stimulated capacitation and acrosome reaction in hamster spermatozoa: involvement of intracellular signaling molecules.(1999) Molecular Human Reproduction 5(7):618-626.
  28. Ain R, J Rao, A T Peter, H Sridhar, B R Vijaykumar and P B    Seshagiri (1998). Bacterial infection and endotoxin levels in the female reproductive tract in rat: Correlation with the developmental status of   preimplantation embryos. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 36  (9): 867-874.
  29. Ain R and P B Seshagiri (1997). Succinate and malate improve development of hamster eight-cell embryos in vitro: confirmation of  viability by embryo transfer. Molecular Reproduction and Development 44: 440-447.
  30. Ain R and P B Seshagiri (1997). Micromolar concentration of pentoxifylline improves in vitro development of hamster 8-cell embryos: Confirmation of viability by embryo transfer. Reproduction Fertility and Development 9: 697-702.
  31. Ain R, D Jayaprakash, A T Peter, M S Sreenivasa, M Kumar and  P B Seshagiri (1995). Pentoxifylline improves sperm capacitation and affects in vitro fertilization of oocytes in the golden hamster.  Theriogenology 44:553-562.
  32. Ain R, K R Shivkumar, B R Sreenath and P B Seshagiri (1995). Assessment of developmental retardation and abnormality of in vivo produced preimplantation embryos in the rat.  Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 33: 911-926.