Komal Ramani, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

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Komal Ramani, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

The research of Komal Ramani, PhD, focuses on two areas: interactions of methionine adenosyltransferases (MAT) proteins during liver injury, and evaluation of gravin as a molecular target in liver fibrosis. Ramani is evaluating how the phosphorylation of MAT proteins affects fibrogenic phenotype in the liver. Preliminary work from her laboratory has shown that MAT proteins can signal the phosphorylation of the scaffolding protein AKAP12, or gravin, in human hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Gravin phosphorylation has been shown in other systems to promote cellular proliferation via a cyclin-D1-dependent mechanism, but how this affects liver fibrosis is unknown. Ramani also is examining the role of gravin during development of liver fibrosis. Her preliminary analysis has shown that gravin phosphorylation is enhanced during human HSC activation and that expression of gravin is intrinsically linked to cell proliferation caused by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). She is examining whether the gravin-PDGF axis promotes HSC mitogenesis and is a putative molecular target in liver fibrosis. The long-term goal of these projects is to identify small molecules to block the pathways of gravin or MAT phosphorylation, thereby blocking the progression of HSC activation and liver fibrogenesis.

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Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Ramani K, Yang H, Xia M, Ara AI, Mato JM, Lu SC. Leptin's mitogenic effect in human liver cancer cells requires induction of both methionine adenosyltransferase 2A and 2β. Hepatology. 2008;47(2):521-531.
  • *Ramani K, Yang H, Kuhlenkamp J, Tomasi L, Tsukamoto H, Mato JM, Lu SC. Changes in the expression of methionine adenosyltransferase genes and S-adenosylmethionine homeostasis during hepatic stellate cell activation. Hepatology. 2010;51:986-995. *Corresponding and first author
  • *Ramani K, Tomasi ML. Transcriptional regulation of methionine adenosyltransferase 2A by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in rat hepatic stellate cells. Hepatology. 2012;55:1942-1953. *Corresponding author
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