Mahua Choudhury

Mahua Choudhury

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy
Mail Stop 1114
159 Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, Texas   77843-1114

Phone: 979-436-0286
Fax: 979-436-0087
mchoudhury@pharmacy.tamhsc.edu

Education and Training

University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
Research Instructor of Pediatrics, Neonatology, September 2011-September 2012

University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
Postdoctoral Fellow of Pediatrics, Neonatology, August 2008-August 2011

University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri
Ph.D., Medical Pharmacology, 2008

University of Calcutta, India
Master of Science in Molecular Biology, Biophysics & Genetics, 2001

University of Calcutta, India
Bachelor of Science in Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, 1999

Teaching Interests

  • Principles of drug action
  • Endocrinology

Research Interests

  • Prediction of disease risk
  • Genes and the environment
  • Pathology

Metabolic Complication Project

Our project is focused on the metabolic complications especially obesity. The rising prevalence of obesity worldwide presents a growing medical concern due to the many severe complications associated with it, with diabetes being the most common. It is estimated that about 6% of the US adult population suffers from type 2 diabetes and that more than 300 million individuals worldwide will be affected by 2020. Recently, emerging field of research raises the possibility that the aberrant epigenetic alterations might be of central regulator in metabolic complications. Acetylation has emerged as an important mechanism for controlling metabolism of a broad array of metabolic fuels. Acetylation regulates many enzymes in key pathways including TCA cycle, gluconeogenesis, and beta oxidation in yeast and human liver. This post-translational modification is governed, in part, by sirtuins, class III NAD+-dependent deacetylases (HDACs) that regulate lipid and glucose metabolism in liver during fasting and aging. SIRT3, a mitochondrial sirtuin, appears to be the primary mediator of mitochondrial acetylation, since no significant changes in acetylation status are detectable in mice lacking SIRT4 and SIRT5. Compared to caloric restriction, relatively little is known about the role of sirtuins and acetylation under conditions of caloric excess. We are examining whether rescuing SIRT3 can modify specific end points in diabetes and fatty liver, which may lead to understanding whether SIRT3 specific activators (currently in development) can be used as a pharmaceutical target.

Biomarkers Study

Three decades of intensive research have yielded an impressive body of scientific knowledge about the genetic and cellular mechanisms of Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Obesity.  However, despite our increased understanding of these critical areas, these diseases are in rising worldwide.  This increase is primarily due to a lack of focus on prevention.  Management of diabetes represents an enormous challenge for health systems, and these systems are burdened with the task of delivering quality care to patients in all stages of the disease. The increased number of diabetic and obese people, the lack of access to screening, and the expense of appropriate therapy argue strongly for a greater focus on preventive strategies.  But what is the best approach to preventing diabetes and obesity?  The answer is –discovering the biomarkers that indicate the susceptibility of developing the disease. These are complex diseases that are harmful to human health and quality of life.  Most of the existing biomarkers are used to measure the phenotype after disease onset and damage.  At this point there is no effective biomarker to predict the threat of diabetes and obesity.  Therefore, novel, early biomarkers are needed to facilitate the development of preventive interventions.

Pregnancy Complication Project

The maternal epigenome has a unique history that may be useful to interrogate in order to understand her susceptibility for pregnancy-associated diseases, such as pre-eclampsia. Thus, this unconventional approach could be used eventually to diagnose and therefore decrease the mortality rate associated with this disorder by predicting which pregnancies may be more susceptible to pre-eclampsia. In the long run, identifying these modifications could provide new drug targets or at the very least identify those at high risk for the disease in early pregnancy by properly predicting maternal risk before it emerges as a life-threatening outcome for mother and her fetus. Our idea is the novel use of epigenetics (DNA methylation, microRNA, histone modifications) as an early step towards diminishing mortality in women and babies at high risk with pregnancy disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Choudhury M* & Jacob E. Friedman. Epigenetics and micro-RNAs in Preeclampsia. Clinical and Experimental Hypertension 2012 *Corresponding Author. PMID: 22468840
  • Choudhury M & Jacob E. Friedman. Childhood obesity: methylate now, pay later? Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2011; 7(8):439-40 PMID: 21691305
  • Choudhury M, Karen R. Jonscher, and Jacob E. Friedman. Reduced mitochondrial function in obesity-associated fatty liver: SIRT3 takes on the fat. Aging (Albany NY) 2011; 3(2):175-8. PMID: 21386135
  • Choudhury M, Pandey RS, Clemens DL, Davis JW, Lim RW, Shukla SD. Knock down of GCN5 histone acetyltransferase by siRNA decreases ethanol-induced histone acetylation and affects differential expression of genes in human hepatoma cells. Alcohol 2011 PMID: 21367571

National Service and Recognition

Funding

  • Program to Enhance Scholarly and Creative Activities
  • ConnecticutInstituteforClinicalandTranslational Science
  • Mitsubishi,Japan
  • Bill&MelindaGatesFoundation
  • Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship