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Kuberan Balagurunathan

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and
Adjunct Professor of Biology and Bioengineering

Kuby Balagurunathan

B.S. St. Joseph College's, India

Ph.D. University of Iowa



Kuby Balagurunathan's Lab Page

Kuby Balagurunathan's PubMed Literature Search

Biological Chemistry Program

Glycobiology, Glycomedicine, and Carbohydrate Biosynthesis, Chemical Biology of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan


In the post-genomics era, it is now accepted that complex glycoconjugates such as proteoglycan regulate numerous patho-physiological processes in all living species. They carry enormous structural information in terms of sulfation, epimerization, domain organization, chain length, number of chains and type of chains along with their core proteins. Production of proteoglycans with such high complexity occurs in template-independent fashion seamlessly, yet our understanding of their biosynthesis, structures and functions is somewhat incomplete and imperfect. We are developing a wide variety of chemical biology tools to define the biosynthetic pathways of heparan sulfate and related glycosaminoglycans (GAG) such as chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate. We synthesize heparin and heparan sulfate structures with a dozen recombinant enzymes to define the structural basis for the interactions of growth factors and Heparan sulfates and the subsequent biological actions. We recently found that a library of click-xylosides produce distinct GAG chains in cellular systems and proposed a GAGOSOME model for the dynamic regulation of combinatorial GAG biosynthesis. These molecular tools are currently used in the lab to define the snap shots of biosynthetic events and signaling events that are associated with development and diseases with a final goal to advance the study of heparanomics.

Kuby Balagurunathan's Figure



  1. “Synthesis of Fluorophore-tagged Xylosides that Prime Glycosaminoglycan Chains”, V. M. Tran, B. Kuberan, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 25, 262-268, 2014
  2. “A Nanosensor for Ultransenstive Detection of Oversulfated Chondroitin Sulfate Contaminant in Heparin”, M. Kalita, S. Balivada, V. Swarup, C. Mencio, K. Raman, U. R. Desai, D. Troyer, B. Kuberan, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136, 554-557, 2014
  3. “Chemogenesis of Anti-Angiogenic Glycosaminoglycans”, K. Raman, S. Arungundram, B. Kuberan, 5, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 644-646, 2014
  4. “Sulfation Patterns Determine Cellular Localization of Heparin-like Polysaccharides”, K. Raman, C. P. Mencio, U. R. Desai, B. Kuberan, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10, 1442-1449, 2013
  5. “Dimerized Glycosaminoglycan Chains Enhance FGF Signaling During Zebrafish Development”, T. K. N. Nguyen, V. M. Tran, V. Sorna, I. Eriksson, A. Kojima, M. Koketsu, D. Loganathan, L. Kjellén, R. I. Dorsky, C.-B. Chien, B. Kuberan, ACS Chemical Biology, 8, 939-948, 2013
  6. “Synthesis and Assessment of Glycosaminoglycan Priming Activity of Cluster-Xylosides for Potential Use as Proteoglycan Mimetics”, V. M. Tran, T. K. N. Nguyen, V. Sorna, D. Loganathan, B. Kuberan, ACS Chemical Biology, 8, 949-957, 2013
  7. “Sugar Glues for Broken Neurons”, V. P. Swarup, C. P. Mencio, V. Hlady, B. Kuberan, Biomolecular Concepts, 4, 233-257, 2013
  8. “A Synthetic Heparan Sulfate Oligosaccharide Library Reveals the Novel Enzymatic Action of D-Glucosaminyl 3-O-Sulfotransferase-3a”, T. K. N. Nguyen, S. Arungundram, V. M. Tran, K. Raman, K. Al-Mafraji, A. Venot, G. J. Boons, B. Kuberan, Molecular BioSystems, 8, 609-614, 2012
  9. “Applications of Isotopes in Advancing Structural and Functional Heparanomics”, V. M. Tran, T. K. N. Nguyen, K. Raman, B. Kuberan, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 399, 559-570, 2011
  10. “Characterization of Uniformly and Atom-Specially 13C-Labeled Heparin and Heparan Sulfate Polysaccharide Precursors using 13C-NMR Spectroscopy and ESI-Mass Spectrometry”, T. K. N. Nguyen, V. M. Tran, X. V. Victor, J. Skalicky, B. Kuberan, Carbohydrate Research, 345, 2228-2232, 2010

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Last Updated: 8/22/17