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Punit Kaur, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Division of Investigative Pathology
Assistant Director, Proteomics Core Facility
Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic and
The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine
Phone: 254-743-1327
Fax: 254-743-0247
Email: pkaur@medicine.tamhsc.edu
pkaur@swmail.sw.org
proteomics@swmail.sw.org

Education
1999 - B.Sc., Botany, Zoology and Chemistry from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India
2001 - M.Sc., Microbiology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2008 - Ph.D., Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Summary of Research Interests
Our long term goal is the research and development of heat shock protein-based therapies to be used alone or in combination with current therapies for the eradication of triple-negative breast cancer. Recent studies on surface receptors and gene expression of breast tumors have come up with a term triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), creating a phenotype and disease quite distinct from that seen in HER2- or ER-positive breast cancers, which is a much more aggressive disease without tumor-specific treatment options. Our studies employ gold nanoshell-mediated hyperthermia in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, also known as the triple-modality approach. The program project is supported by Scott & White RGP Award.

We will expose tumors to hyperthermic temperatures non-invasively using optically activated gold nanoshells in combination with radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (CT). This combined therapy is termed the triple-modality approach. These studies are being performed in collaboration with Dr. Sunil Krishnan (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX). My studies utilize functional immunological approaches, genomics, proteomics, transgenic and knock out tumor animal models.

Collaborations

Current chemotherapeutic agents exhibit antitumor effects in a small number of cancers and adverse toxic effects in most of the patients. To overcome these problems, new antitumor agents are required. In this collaboration with Dr Susana Fiorentino from Grupo de Inmunobiología y Biología Celular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, we have identified a plant extract F4, derived from Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae), which has been used against leukemia and breast cancer with a lack of toxicity.

Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of non-specific resistance” in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. The objective of our research with Drs Alexander Panossian and Georg Wikman from Swedish Herbal Institute, Sweden is to identify the mechanism by which Hsp72 is involved in an adaptogen-induced stress response.

In the last decade alone, there has been an increase of 40% in the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes. Over that same period, the obesity rate has also increased by nearly 20%. Therefore, efforts to identify any biomarker(s) to assist with obesity and diabetes prevention are of paramount importance. This study was designed to address the link between obesity and diabetes using proteomic analysis of drawn blood and collected urine samples. These studies are being performed in collaboration with Dr Samuel Forjuoh from Department of Family & Community Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Temple, TX.

Quercetin is a widely distributed bioflavonoid thought to act as a hyperthermia sensitizer in tumor cells by suppressing the expression of the seventy kilo-Dalton heat shock protein (Hsp72). However, the bioavailability of quercetin is very poor, and intravenous administration is necessary to establish efficient plasma concentrations of quercetin (PQC) in humans. In collaboration with Dr. Rűediger Wessalowski from the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Immunology, University Children’s Hospital, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany, successful intravenous application of quercetin in a 4-year-old girl with refractory sarcoma treated with combined thermo-chemotherapy.

Publications

  • Kaur P, Asea A. The chaperokine activity of HspA1A. In Extracellular Heat Shock Proteins, eds. AG Pockley, B Henderson. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. 2012 (in press).
  • Kaur P, Pradeep ANR, Asea A. Nucleolin: a novel intracellular transporter of HspA1A. In Extracellular Heat Shock Proteins, eds. AG Pockley, B Henderson. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. 2012 (in press).
  • Panossian A, Kaur P, Wikman G, Asea A. 2012. Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 and salidroside stimulate neuropeptide Y expression in neuroglia cells. Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Science (in press).
  • Nagaraja GM, Kaur P, Neumann W, Asea EE, Bausero MA, Multhoff G, Asea A. 2012. Silencing hsp25/hsp27 gene expression augments proteasome activity and increases CD8+ T cell-mediated tumor killing and memory responses. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 5:122-137 (Figure featured on journal cover).
  • Kaur P, Asea A. 2011. Quantitation methods for heat shock proteins in clinical samples using mass spectrometry. Meth Mol Biol 787:165-88.
  • Kaur P, Hurwitz MD, Krishnan S, Asea A. 2011. Combined hyperthermia and radiotherapy for the eradication of cancer. Cancers 3: 3799-3823.
  • Kaur P, Nagaraja GM, Asea, A. 2011. Combined lentiviral and RNAi technologies for the delivery and permanent silencing of the hsp25 gene. Meth Mol Biol 787:121-36.
  • Nagaraja GM, Kaur P, Zheng H, Bausero MA, Multhoff G, Asea A. 2011. Hsp25 is a repressor of PA28α and prohibitin: role in tumor growth and antigen presentation. Can. Preven. Res.
  • Kaur P, Asea A. 2011. Quantitation Methods for Heat Shock Proteins in Clinical Samples Using Mass Spectrometry. Meth. Mol. Biol.
  • Vareed SK, Bhat VB, Thompson C, Vasu VT, Fermin D, Hyungwon C, Creighton CJ, Gayatri S, Lan L, Putluri N, Thangjam GS, Kaur P, Shabahang M, Giri JG, Nesvizhskii AI, Asea A, Cashikar AG, Rao A, McLoughlin J, Sreekumar A. 2011. Metabolites of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (NP) in serum have the potential to delineate pancreatic adenocarcinoma. PLoS ONE. Mar; 6 (3): 1-11.
  • Kaur P, Reis MD, Couchman GR, Forjuoh SN, Greene Jr JF, Asea A. 2010. SERPINE 1 Links Obesity and Diabetes: A Pilot Study. J Proteomics Bioinform 3: 191-199.
  • Hurwitz MD, Kaur P, Nagaraja GM, Bausero MA, Asea A. 2010. Radiation therapy induces circulating serum Hsp72 in patients with prostate cancer. Radiother & Oncol. Jun; 95(3): 350-8.
  • Kaur P, Chakraborti A. 2010. Proteome analysis of a foodborne pathogen Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli under acid stress. J. Proteomics Bioinform. 3 (1): 10-19.
  • Zheng H, Nagaraja GM, Kaur P, Asea EE, Asea A. 2010. Chaperokine function of recombinant Hsp70 produced in insect cells using a baculovirus expression system is intact. J. Biol. Chem. 285(1): 349-356.
  • Kaur P, Chakraborti A, Asea A. 2010. Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli: An emerging food borne pathogen. Interdis. J. Infect. Dis. 254159. Epub 2010 Mar 11.
  • Kaur P, Reis MD, Couchman GR, Forjuoh SN, Greene Jr JF, Asea A. 2010. Role of heat shock proteins in obesity and type 2 diabetes. In Heat Shock Proteins and Whole Body Physiology, ed. A Asea, BK Pedersen. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, Jan 3, 19-29.
  • Kaur P, Asea A. 2010. Heat shock proteins and diarrhea causing bacteria. In Heat Shock Proteins and Whole Body Physiology, ed. A Asea, BK Pedersen. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, Jan 3, 163-175.
  • Panossian A, Wikman G, Kaur P, Asea A. 2010. Molecular chaperones as mediators of stress protective effect of plant adaptogens. In Heat Shock Proteins and Whole Body Physiology, ed. A Asea, BK Pedersen. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, Jan 3, 351-364.
  • Panossian A, Wikman G, Kaur P, Asea A. 2009. Adaptogens exert a stress-protective effect by modulation of expression of molecular chaperones. Phytomedicine 16: 617-622.
  • Kaur P, Asea A. 2009. Toll-like receptors and infectious diseases: Role of heat shock proteins. In Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Heat Shock Proteins in Infectious Disease, ed. AG Pockley, SK Calderwood, MG Santoro. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, Vol. 4, 153-1.
  • Hurwitz, M., Zheng, H., Mallappa, N., Bausero, M., Manola, J., Kaur, P., and Asea, A. 2008. Radiation therapy induces circulating serum heat shock proteins in prostate cancer patients: Clinical findings and laboratory correlates. Int. J. Rad. Oncol. Biol. Phy. 72, S63.
  • Urueña CP, Cifuentes C, Castañeda DM, Arango AD, Kaur P, Asea AA, Fiorentino S. 2008. Petiveria alliacea extracts uses multiple mechanisms to inhibit growth of human and mouse tumoral cells. BMC Complement Altern. Med. 8: 60.
  • Asea A, Jean-Pierre C, Kaur P, Rao P, Linhares IM, Skupski D, Witkin SS. 2008. Heat shock protein-containing exosomes in mid-trimester amniotic fluids. J. Reprod. Immunol. 79: 12-17.
Last edited by: tarpley 05/27/2016

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