Skip to main content
Dr. Kuberan Balagurunathan

Kuberan Balagurunathan

Academic Information

Departments College of Pharmacy , Professor - Medicinal Chemistry

Academic Office Information


Research Interests

  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans


Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans: Biosynthesis, Structures and Functions

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.



Kuberan Balagurunathan, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator


Please email Dr. Kuberan Balagurunathan for inquiries or information.

Education History

Postdoctoral Training MIT
Post-Doctoral Training
University of Iowa
Graduate Training Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Discovery of novel sulfonated small molecules that inhibit vascular tube formation.
    Raman K, Karuturi R, Swarup VP, Desai UR, Kuberan B. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Jul 1;22(13):4467-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.04.014. Epub 2012 Apr 16. PMID: 22627041.

  2. Differential effects of Heparitinase I and Heparitinase III on endothelial tube formation in vitro. Raman K, Kuberan B. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jul 23;398(2):191-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.06.055. Epub 2010 Jun 17. PMID: 20599743.

  3. Applications of isotopes in advancing structural and functional heparanomics.
    Tran VM, Nguyen TK, Raman K, Kuberan B. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Jan;399(2):559-70. doi: 10.1007/s00216-010-4166-x. Epub 2010 Sep 14. PMID: 20838780 Free PMC article. 

Book Chapter

  1. "New Approaches to Study Structures of Heparan Sulfate Polysaccharides", Balagurunathan Kuberan, Miroslaw Lech, Robert D. Rosenberg, in Polysaccharides: Structural Diversity and Functional Versatility, 2nd Edition, S. Dumitriu, Ed., Marcel Dekker, New York, 2004

  2. "Mechanism of Heparan Sulfate Biosynthesis"  Balagurunathan Kuberan, Robert D. Rosenberg, in Polysaccharides: Structural Diversity and Functional Versatility, 2nd Edition, S. Dumitriu, Ed., Marcel Dekker, New York, 2004


  1. “Synthesis of Novel Xylosides and their potential uses thereof”, B. Kuberan, M. Ethirajan, X. Victor, V. Tran, K. Nguyen, U.S. Patent Pending, 2007

  2. “Rapid Two Step Synthesis of Anticoagulants”, B. Kuberan, R. D. Rosenberg, U.S. Patent Pending, 2004

  3. “Methods for Synthesizing Polysaccharides”, B. Kuberan, R. D. Rosenberg, US Patent Pending, 2004

  4. “Methods for Synthesis of Sulfated Saccharides” B. Kuberan, R. D. Rosenberg, U.S. Patent # US 7, 655, 445 B2, 2010

  5. “A Method for Obtaining Equilibrated Anomeric Mixture of Sugars Using Non-Aqueous Media”, D. Loganathan, S. S. Allavudeen, B. Kuberan, Indian Patent # 2430 / MAS / 98

    More Selected Publications