Kishore Challagundla

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Kaustubh Datta, PhDPhone: 402-559-9032 (Office)
402-559-3441 (Lab)
Fax: 402-559-6650 

Ph.D. (Biochemistry): University of Lucknow, India; 2001-2007
PG Diploma in Nutrition: National Institute of Nutrition, India; 2000
Masters (Biochemistry): Bharathidasan University, India; 1997-1999
Bachelors (Botany, Zoology, Chemistry): Nagarjuna University, India; 1994-1997

Post-Doctoral Training:
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN); 2007-2009
Oregon Health & Science University (Portland, OR); 2009-2012
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); 2012-2016



Uncontrolled growth, drug resistance, and distant metastasis are the principle causes of mortality among cancer patients. Increasing evidence indicates that communication between cancer cells and other cells of the tumor microenvironment adds fuel to cancer cell survival and disease progression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs, whose gene regulatory functions are dysregulated in almost all human cancers.

Although notable advances have been made in treating various types of cancers in the last few decades, curing this disease remains a great challenge. Even though there is a significant research effort in studying the function of non-coding RNAs in cancer biology, the role of tumor-stromal cell interactions and their secretomes in regulating therapy resistance are largely unknown.

The goal of my research program is to investigate the roles of exosomes and non-coding RNAs in inducing immunotherapy resistance, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies and non-coding RNA based biomarkers in pediatric cancers. My group also investigates on the post-translational modifications of immune checkpoint inhibitors by ubiquitination and their potential role in escaping immune surveillance in pediatric cancers.

Research Opportunities in my laboratory:
Currently accepting motivated, fun loving, enthusiastic MD/PhD students, graduate students, summer Fellows, and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Primary Research/Clinical Interests/Expertise:
Pediatric cancers including Neuroblastoma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Exosomes and non-coding RNAs in tumor microenvironment
MicroRNA biogenesis mechanism(s)
Post-translational modifications of immune checkpoint inhibitors
Immunotherapy resistance
Identification of biomarkers and developing new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment 

Selected Publications/Significant Contributions:
Awasthee N, Vipin Rai V, Chava S, Nallasamy P, Kunnumakkara A, Bishayee A, Chauhan SC, Challagundla KB*, Gupta, SC. (2018) Targeting IκappaB kinases for cancer therapy. Semin Cancer Biol, Available online 24 February 2018 (In Press) *corresponding author

Nallasamy P, Chava S, Verma SS, Mishra S, Gorantla S, Coulter DW, Byrareddy SN, Batra SK, Gupta SC, Challagundla KB* (2018). PD-L1, Inflammation, non-coding RNAs, and Neuroblastoma: Immuno-oncology Perspective. Semin Cancer Biol, Nov 28. pii: S1044-579X(17)30173-6. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2017.11.009. (In press) Review. PMID:29196189 *corresponding author

Vannini I, Wise PM, Challagundla KB, Plousiou M, Raffini M, Bandini E, Fanini F, Paliaga G, Crawford M, Ferracin M, Ivan C, Fabris L, Davuluri RV, Guo Z, Cortez MA, Zhang X, Chen L, Zhang S, Fernandez-Cymering C, Han L, Carloni S, Salvi S, Ling H, Murtadha M, Neviani P, Gitlitz BJ, Laird-Offringa IA, Nana-Sinkam P, Negrini M, Liang H, Amadori D, Cimmino A, Calin GA, and Fabbri M.
(2017). Transcribed ultraconserved region 339 promotes carcinogenesis by modulating tumor suppressor microRNAs. Nature Communications, 8(1):1801, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01562-9. PMCID: PMC5703849

Challagundla KB, Wise PM, Neviani P, Chava H, Murtadha M, Xu T, Kennedy R, Ivan C, Zhang X, Vannini I, Fanini F, Amadori D, Calin GA, Hadjidaniel M, Shimada H, Jong A, Seeger RC, Asgharzadeh S, Goldkorn A, Fabbri M. (2015). Exosome-Mediated Transfer of microRNAs Within the Tumor Microenvironment and Neuroblastoma Resistance to Chemotherapy. J Natl Cancer Inst, 107(7):djv135. PMCID: PMC4651042

Li Y, Challagundla KB, Sun XX, Zhang Q, Dai MS. (2015). MicroRNA-130a associates with ribosomal protein L11 to suppress c-Myc expression in response to UV irradiation. Oncotarget, 6(2):1101-14. PMCID: PMC4359220

Sun X-X, Challagundla KB, Dai M-S. (2012) Positive regulation of p53 stability and activity by the deubiquitinating enzyme Otubain 1. EMBO J, 31(3):576-592. PMCID: PMC3273389

Challagundla KB, Sun X-X, Zhang X, DeVine T, Zhang Q, Sears RC, Dai M-S. (2011) Ribosomal protein L11 recruits miR-24/miRISC to repress c-Myc expression in response to ribosomal stress. Mol Cell Biol, 31(19):4007-4021. PMCID: PMC3187350


Current Grants:

Funding Institution: NIH/NCI-K22 Transition Career Development Award
Dates: 09/01/2016-08/30/2019
Title: Exosomic miRNAs and drug resistance in AML tumor microenvironment
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Institution: State of Nebraska - Pediatric Cancer Research Center
Dates: 03/01/2017 – 02/28/2019
Title: Targeting exosomic microRNAs-Dicer-MycN axis in Neuroblastoma chemoresistance
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Institution: LB506, DHHS, Nebraska State
Dates: 07/01/2017 – 06/31/2018
Title: Targeted therapy of exosomes and telomerase axis in AML therapy resistance
Role: Principal Investigator


Challagundla’s Lab Publications on PubMed

Non-Coding RNA Network:
Gene/miRNA and their targetsmiRBaseTargetScanTranscription Factor-MicroRNA RegulationsUC Base Data MiningPredicting RNA Targets of lncRNAsUltraconserved Non-Coding Elements and Genomic Regulatory BlocksRNAhybrid

Exosome Database:
ExoCarta-Exosome Database
Exosome RNA DatabasesEVpedia - Extracellular Vesicle Database
Vesiclepedia-Extracellular Vesicles Database
exoRBase: Database of circRNA, lncRNA and mRNA

Cancer Datasets Portals:
R2: Genomics Analysis and Visualization PlatformThe Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)ONCOMINE: A Cancer Microarray Database and Integrated Data-Mining PlatformNCI Cancer Datasets Portal

Neuroblastoma Key Resources:
Neuroblastoma TARGETTranscriptomic profiling of 39 commonly-used neuroblastoma cell linesChildren’s Oncology Group  

Ensembl Genome Browser  
UCSC Genome Browser NCBI (Entrez) (OMIM)
Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer (COSMIC)cBioPortal for Cancer GenomicsUniProt: The Universal Protein Knowledgebase
STRING: Protein Association Network
BioGRID | Database of Protein, Chemical, and Genetic InteractionsIntAct database - EMBL-EBIProtein Blast NCBI

NIH Resources:
NIH Grant Cycle & Due Dates
NIH Career Development Programs   
NIH resources for new investigators
NIH Current RFAs & PQs
NIH RePORTER search tool (formerly the CRISP database)  
Grantome:The Entirety Of Funding Information