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Balu Chacko, PhD

Balu Chacko, PhD
Research Associate
Pathology, Molecular & Cellular Pathology
BMR2 512 Zip 2180
Telephone:(205) 975-9568


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chacko received his MSc in Medical Biochemistry degree from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India and his PhD from Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, India. He completed postdoctoral training in Vascular Biology with Dr.Rakesh P Patel and in the area of Mitochondrial Biology with Dr.Victor Darley-Usmar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is currently an Instructor in the Department of Pathology.

Research/Clinical Interest

My research interests are focused on the alterations in mitochondrial regulation of cellular function in the pathogenesis acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. An important aspect in the development of diseases is the individual susceptibility which is determined by genetic and lifestyle factors and interestingly enough, these factors have shown to significantly influence the bioenergetic capability of the individual. Recent literature demonstrates a strong correlation between alteration in mitochondrial bioenergetics in leukocytes and the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. These developments can be extended using bioenergetic function in blood leukocytes to determine the individual susceptibility to disease development.

Selected Publications

  1. Vitturi DA, Sun CW, Harper VM, Thrash-Williams B, Cantu-Medellin N, Chacko BK, Peng N, Dai Y, Michael Wyss J, Townes T, Patel RP. Antioxidant functions for the hemoglobin β93 cysteine residue in erythrocytes and in the vascular compartment in vivo. Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Feb;55:119-29  23159546
  2. Mitchell T, Chacko BK, Darley-Usmar V. Controlling Radicals in the Powerhouse: Development of MitoSOD. Chem Biol. 2012 Oct 26;19(10):1217-8  23102214
  3. Cummins TD, Higdon AN, Kramer PA, Chacko BK, Riggs DW, Salabei JK, Dell'italia LJ, Zhang J, Darley-Usmar VM, Hill BG. Utilization of fluorescent probes for the quantification and identification of subcellular proteomes and biological processes regulated by lipid peroxidation products. Free Radic Biol Med. 2012   22954622
  4. David W Scott, Jie Chen, Balu K Chacko, James G Traylor Jr., Anthony W Orr and Rakesh P Patel. Role for endothelial N-glycan mannose residues in monocyte recruitment during atherogenesis Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012;32(8):e51-9  22723438
  5. Ashlee N. Higdon, Gloria A. Benavides, Balu Chacko, Xiaosen Ouyang, Michelle S. Johnson, Aimee Landar, Jianhua Zhang and Victor M. Darley-Usmar. Hemin causes mitochondrial dysfunction in endothelial cells through promoting lipid peroxidation: The protective role of autophagy. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012;302(7):H1394-409  22245770
  6. Blake R. Zelickson, Gloria A. Benavides, Michelle S. Johnson, Balu K.Chacko, Aparna Venkatraman, Aimee Landar, Angela M. Betancourt, Shannon M. Bailey, Victor M. Darley-Usmar Nitric oxide and hypoxia exacerbate alcohol-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatocytes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011;1807(12):1573-82  21971515
  7. Balu K. Chacko, David W Scott, Robert T. Chandler, Rakesh P. Patel Endothelial surface N-glycans mediate monocyte adhesion and are targets for anti-inflammatory effects of PPAR ligands. J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 4;286(44):38738-47  21911496
  8. Balu K Chacko, Anup Srivastava, Michelle Johnson, Gloria A. Benavides, Mi Jung Chang, Yaozu Ye, Nirag Jhala, Michael P Murphy, Balaraman Kalyanaraman and Victor-Darley Usmar. The Mitochondria-targeted ubiquinone MitoQ decreases ethanol-dependent micro and macro hepatosteatosis. Hepatology. 2011 Biochem J. 2010;432(1):9-19.  21520201
  9. Chacko BK, Reily C, Srivastava A, Johnson MS, Ye Y, Ulasova E, Agarwal A, Zinn KR, Murphy MP, Kalyanaraman B, Darley-Usmar V. Prevention of diabetic nephropathy in Ins2+/-AkitaJ mice by the mitochondria-targeted therapy MitoQ. Biochem J. 2010;432(1):9-19.  20825366
  10. Tanecia Mitchell, Balu Chacko, Scott W Ballinger, Shannon M Bailey, Jianhua Zhang, Victor Darley-Usmar. Convergent mechanisms for dysregulation of mitochondrial quality control in metabolic disease: implications for mitochondrial therapeutics. Biochem Soc Trans. 2013 Feb 1;41(1):127-33  (Pending)
  11. C Reily, T Mitchell, BK Chacko, GA Benavides, MP Murphy, VM Darley-Usmar. Mitochondrially targeted compounds and their impact on cellular bioenergetics. Redox Biology 2013  (Pending)