Arun K. Rishi

Arun K. Rishi, Ph.D.
4646 John R.
John D. Dingell VA Medical Center
Detroit, MI 48201

Research Interests:

  • Apoptosis signaling by CARP-1.

Cell growth inhibition by CARP-1-inducing Small molecule(s).

Research Description:
Research in our laboratory focuses on elucidating pathways regulating cellular growth and apoptosis. By utilizing a functional gene-knockout approach, we identified and characterized a novel, apoptosis inducing protein termed CARP-1/CCAR1. CARP-1 regulates cell-growth inhibitory and apoptosis-promoting signals by chemotherapy drug adriamycin, as well as a novel class of apoptosis-inducing adamantyl retinoids. CARP-1 also regulates epidermal growth factor (EGFR)-dependent signaling events since inhibition of EGFR results in increased levels of CARP-1 and apoptosis. CARP-1 is a tyrosine as well as serine phoshorylated protein that functions in part by interacting with multiple regulators of cell growth and apoptosis signaling. The growing list of CARP-1 interacting proteins include the tumor suppressor protein p53, cell cycle regulatory Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC)-2, nuclear factor kappa B upstream kinase subunit gamma (IKKgamma/NEMO), stress-activated map kinase p38, nuclear receptors of steroid/thyroid superfamily, 14-3-3, TAZ, and p21Rac-1 proteins. Our data from biopsies of human breast and colon cancers, and lymphomas suggest an inverse correlation of CARP-1 expression with tumor grades, indicating a potential tumor suppressor property of CARP-1. Administration of peptide(s) derived from CARP-1 suppresses growth of human breast cancer and lymphoma cells in vitro, as well as of tumor xenografts. The molecular complexity of cancers and therapy-associated side effects often limit effectiveness of many therapies, and warrant development of new agents for specific molecular targets, while minimizing off-target effects. Our long-term goal is to develop mechanism-based novel, safer and effective targeted anti-cancer therapies.

Selected Publications:

Cheriyan, V.T., Alsaab, H., Sekhar, S., Venkatesh, J., Mondal, A., Vhora, I., Sau, S., Muthu, M., Polin, L.A., Levi, E., Bepler, G., Iyer, A.K., Singh, M., Rishi, A.K. A CARP-1 functional mimetic compound is synergistic with BRAF-targeting in non-small cell lung cancers. Oncotarget 2018;9:29680-97.

Cheriyan, V.T., Alsaab, H., Sekhar, S., Stieber, C., Kesharwani, P., Sau, S., Muthu, M., Polin, L.A., Levi, E., Iyer, A.K., Rishi, A.K. A CARP-1 functional mimetic loaded vitamin E-TPGS micellar nano-formulation for inhibition of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Oncotarget  2017;8:104928-45.

Cheriyan, V.T., Muthu, M., Sekhar, S., Patel, K., Larsen, S.D., Rajeswaran, W., Polin, L. A., Levi, E., Singh, M., and Rishi, A.K. CARP-1 functional mimetics are novel inhibitors of drug-resistant triple-negative breast cancers. Oncotarget 2016;7:73370-88.

Muthu, M., Cheriyan, V.T., Rishi, A.K. CARP-1/CCAR1: A bophasic regulator of cancer cell growth and apoptosis. Oncotarget 2015;6:6499-510.


Muthu, M., Somagoni, J.M., Cheriyan, V.T., Munie, S., Levi, E., Ashour, A.E., Alafeefy, A.M., Sochacki, P., Polin, L.A., Reddy, K.B., Larsen, S.D., Singh, M., and Rishi, A.K. Identification and testing of novel CARP-1 functional mimetic compounds as inhibitors of non-small cell lung and triple-negative breast cancers. J. Biomed. Nanotechnol. 2015;11:1608-27.



Education and Training:
MSc Biochemistry: University College of London, University of London, United Kingdom
PhD Molecular Biology: Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of London, UK
Post-Doc: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Post-Doc: Brigham & Womens Hospital, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cancer Biology Courses Taught:
CB7220 Molecular Biology of Cancer Development
CB7300 Special Topics - F31 Grant Writing Course
CB7460 Mechanism of Neoplasia: Alterations to Cellular Signaling (Course Director)