Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Campus Address WTI 602A Zip 3300
Phone  205-975-3730
Other websites

Graduate  Annamalai University, India    1997  MSc 
Graduate  Annamalai University, India    1999  MPhil  
Graduate  University of Kerala, India    2003  PhD 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pathology   Molecular & Cellular Pathology Instructor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Instructor

Biographical Sketch 
I received my PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Kerala, India. I completed my post doctoral research in Dr. Kazuyuki Sugahara's lab at the Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan before joining Dr. Sanderson's lab at UAB in 2006. In 2012 I was promoted to the rank of Instructor in the Department of Pathology at UAB.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association for Cancer Research      
American Society for Matrix Biology      
American Society of Hematology     

Research/Clinical Interest
Role of Glycosaminoglycans in Regualting Tumor Microenvironment
My long term goal is to understand how tumor-stromal interactions mediated by heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulafte glycosaminoglycans regulate growth, metastasis and angiogenesis of hematological cancers. This also includes therapeutic strategies for interfering with the cancer stem cell niche. The tumor microenvironment or niche which includes the stroma, inflammatory cells and vasculature has a significant role in all stages of tumorigenesis. Heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulafte glycosaminoglycans are ubiquitous to the cell surface and extracellular matrix (ECM) and mediates cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions. A variety of growth factors and cytokines interacts with these glycosaminoglycans and sometimes these interactions go awry and cause or exacerbate pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation, tumor growth and angiogenesis. My hypothesis is that glycosaminoglycans drives tumor growth by two pathways; 1) Sequestering growth factors/angiogenic factors (VEGF, Wnt, and FGF) and simultaneously modulating growth factor receptor activity and signaling efficacy; 2) Inducing variations in the tumor microenvironment rigidity during stromagenesis that selectively induce different signaling pathways in cancer cells. Thus, understanding the roles of heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulafet chains in cancer can help to modulate critical signaling pathways in tumor growth and angiogenesis. This will be studied using both in vitro and in vivo models using tumor xenograft growth in immuno-compromised mice.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
1. Yoshida CA*, Kawane T*, Moriishi T*, Purushothaman A*, Miyazaki T, Komori H, Mori M, QinX, Hashimoto A, Sugahara K, Yamana K, Takada K, Komori T. Overexpression of Galnt3 in chondrocytes resulted in dwarfism due to the increase of mucin type O-glycans but reduction of glycosaminoglycans. J Biol Chem 289(38):26584-96, 2014 (*co-first authors).
2. Purushothaman A, Toole BP. Serglycin proteoglycan is required for multiple myeloma cell adhesion, in vivo growth and vascularization. J Biol Chem 289:5499-509, 2014 (corresponding author).
3. Thompson CA, Purushothaman A, Ramani VC, Vlodavsky I, Sanderson RD. Heparanase regulates secretion, composition and function of tumor cell-derived exosomes. J Biol Chem, 2013 (in press) (selected as JBC paper of the week).
4. Purushothaman A, Babitz SK, Sanderson RD. Heparanase Enhances the Insulin Receptor Signaling Pathway to Activate Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase in Multiple Myeloma. J Biol Chem 287(49):41288-96, 2012.
5. Purushothaman A, Hurst DR, Pisano C, Mizumoto S, Sugahara K and Sanderson RD. Heparanase-mediated loss of nuclear syndecan-1 enhances histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity to promote expression of genes that drive an aggressive tumor phenotype. J Biol Chem 286(35):30377-83, 2011.
6. Purushothaman A, Sugahara K and Faissner A. Chondroitin Sulfate Modulates the Maintenance and Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells. J Biol Chem 287(5):2935-42, 2012.
7. Purushothaman A, Toru Uyama, Fumi Kobayashi, Shuhei Yamada, Kazuyuki Sugahara, Alan C. Rapraeger, and Ralph D. Sanderson. Heparanase enhanced shedding of syndecan-1 by myeloma cells promotes endothelial invasion and angiogenesis. Blood 115(12):2449-57, 2010.
8. Purushothaman A., Sanderson, R.D. SDC1 (syndecan 1). Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. 13 (1):57-61, 2009.
9. Purushothaman A, Chen L, Yang Y, Sanderson RD. Heparanase stimulation of protease expression implicates it as a master regulator of the aggressive tumor phenotype in myeloma. J Biol Chem. 283 (47):32628-36, 2008.
10. Purushothaman A, Fukuda J, Mizumoto S, ten Dam GB, van Kuppevelt TH, Kitagawa H, Mikami T, Sugahara K. Functions of chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate chains in brain development. Critical roles of E and iE disaccharide units recognized by a single chain antibody GD3G7. J Biol Chem.282 (27):19442-52, 2007.


Chondroitin sulfate, Heparan sulfate, myeloma, serglycin, syndecan