Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Houston College of Pharmacy
4849 Calhoun Road, Room 7035
Houston, TX 77204-5037
M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry, University of Burdwan, India
B.Sc. in Chemistry (with Honors), University of Calcutta, India
Postdoctoral: Medical University of South Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Molecular targets of ethanol in the brain:
We are studying the actions of alcohol on the proteins involved in the presynaptic SNARE complex that regulates synaptic vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release. Munc13-1 is one of such presynaptic active zone-protein implicated in modulating short-term presynaptic plasticity. We are looking at the effects of ethanol on the expression of this protein in in vitro cell culture and in vivo rodent models and how drinking can affect neurotransmitter release in different brain regions. The long-term goal of this project is to identify molecular targets of ethanol and design drug based on these targets.
Development of subtype specific PKC activators/inhibitors:
Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a serine threonine kinase that plays a central role in signal transduction, regulating divergent cellular functions. Aberrations in PKC signaling have been implicated in the development of multiple human diseases including several types of cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular complications of diabetes, central nervous system dysfunctions, neuronal degeneration and cardiovascular disorders and alcoholism. Our ongoing research aims at developing subtype specific activators/inhibitors leading to therapeutics. We are developing molecules based on simple chemical scaffold and testing their effects on subtype-specific PKC activities.
To accomplish our goals, we use cell and molecular biology, protein biochemistry, histology, confocal microscopy, rodent brain micro-dissection, primary neuronal culture, X-ray crystallography, organic synthesis and molecular docking techniques.
- PCOL 7297 Drug design and discovery
- PHAR 5302 Medicinal Chemistry I
- PHAR 5203 Medicinal Chemistry II
- PHPS 3101 Chemical functional group analysis
- PHPS 4301 Medicinal Chemistry I
Repurposing of Drugs-The Ketamine Story. Das J. J Med Chem. 2020 Nov 25;63(22):13514-13525. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01193. Epub 2020 Sep 22. Review.
Effect of ethanol on Munc13-1 C1 in Membrane: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study. You Y, Das J. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020 Jul;44(7):1344-1355. doi: 10.1111/acer.14363. Epub 2020 Jun 18.
Das J. SNARE Complex-Associated Proteins and Alcohol. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020 Jan;44(1):7-18. doi: 10.1111/acer.14238. Epub 2019 Dec 11. Review.
Wooden JI, Schuller K, Roman G, Das J, Leasure JL. MUNC13-1 heterozygosity does not alter voluntary ethanol consumption or sensitivity in mice. Alcohol. 2019 Jun 29;83:89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.06.007.
Blanco FA, Czikora A, Kedei N, You Y, Mitchell GA, Pany S, Ghosh A, Blumberg PM, Das J. Munc13 Is a Molecular Target of Bryostatin 1. Biochemistry. 2019 Jul 9;58(27):3016-3030. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00427. Epub 2019 Jun 20.
Das J. Identification of alcohol-binding site(s) in proteins using diazirine-based photoaffinity labeling and mass spectrometry. Chem Biol Drug Des. 2019 Jun;93(6):1158-1165. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.13403. Epub 2018 Oct 22.
Xu S, Pany S, Benny K, Tarique K, Al-Hatem O, Gajewski K, Leasure JL, Das J, Roman G. Ethanol Regulates Presynaptic Activity and Sedation through Presynaptic Unc13 Proteins in Drosophila. eNeuro. 2018 Jun 8;5(3). pii: ENEURO.0125-18.2018. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0125-18.2018. eCollection 2018 May-Jun. PMID: 29911175
Czikora A, Pany S, You Y, Saini AS, Lewin NE, Mitchell GA, Abramovitz A, Kedei N, Blumberg PM, Das J. Structural determinants of phorbol ester binding activity of the C1a and C1b domains of protein kinase C theta. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2018 May;1860(5):1046-1056. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2018.01.007. Epub 2018 Jan 6.
Das J, Kedei N, Kelsey JS, You Y, Pany S, Mitchell GA, Lewin NE, Blumberg PM. Critical Role of Trp-588 of Presynaptic Munc13-1 for Ligand Binding and Membrane Translocation. Biochemistry. 2018 Feb 6;57(5):732-741. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00764. Epub 2018 Jan 5.
S. Pany, A. Ghosh; Y. You, N. Nguyen and J. Das. Resveratrol inhibits phorbol ester-induced membrane translocation of presynaptic Munc13-1. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Nov;1861(11 Pt A):2640-2651. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2017.07.006.
J. Das, J. Fernandez, D. Shah, L. Williams and M. Zagaar. Case-based studies in teaching medicinal chemistry in Pharm.D. Curriculum: Perspectives of students, faculty and pharmacists from academia. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2018 Jan - Feb;10(1):85-89. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2017.09.004. Epub 2017 Oct 29.
S. Pany, Y. You and J. Das. Curcumin inhibits PKCα activity by binding to its C1 domain. Biochemistry, 55, 6327-6336 (2016).
J. Das, R. Ramani and M.O. Suraju. Polyphenol compounds and PKC signaling. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1860, 2107-2121(2016).
J. Das. Drugs to treat alcohol dependence-A perspective, J. Addict. Depend. 2, 1- 4(2016).
J. Das, R. Ramani and M.O. Suraju. Polyphenol compounds and PKC signaling, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1860, 2107-2121(2016).
Pany S, Majhi A, Das J. Selective Modulation of Protein Kinase C α over Protein Kinase C ε by Curcumin and Its Derivatives in CHO-K1 Cells. Biochemistry. 2016 Apr 12;55(14):2135-43.
Das J. Novel N-pyrimidin-4-yl-3-amino-pyrrolo [3, 4-C] pyrazole derivatives as PKC kinase inhibitors: a patent evaluation of US2015099743 (A1). Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2016 Apr;26(4):523-8.
S. Pany and J. Das, Alcohol binding in the C1 (C1A+C1B) domain of protein kinase C epsilon. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Nov;1850(11):2368-76.
J. Das and Ghazi M. Rahman, C1 domains: structure and ligand-binding properties, Chem. Rev. 114, 12108-31(2014)
G. Rahman and J. Das, Modeling studies on the structural determinants for the DAG/phorbol ester binding to C1 domain, J. Biomol. Struct. Dyn., DOI:10.1080/07391102.2014.895679, 2014.
J. Das, S. Xu, S. Pany, A. Guillory and G.W. Roman. The presynaptic Munc13-1 binds alcohol and modulates alcohol self-administration in Drosophila, J. Neurochem. 2013 May 20. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12315. J. Neurochem. 126, 715-26 (2013).
J. Das. Protein Kinase C: the drug target one must see, Med. Chem. 2, e103. Doi: 10.4172/2161-0444.1000e103.
G.M. Rahman, S. Shanker, N.E. Lewin, B.V.V. Prasad, P.M. Blumberg and J. Das. Identification of the Activator Binding Residues in the Second Cysteine-Rich Regulatory Domain of Protein Kinase C Theta (PKCθ), Biochem. J. 2013 Apr 1;451(1):33-44. doi: 10.1042/BJ20121307.
S. Pany, A. Majhi and J. Das. PKC activation by resveratrol analog with unsaturated aliphatic chain. PLOS ONE, 2012;7(12):e52888. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052888
S. Shanmugasundararaj*, J. Das*, W.S. Sandberg, X. Zhou, D. Wang, R.O. Messing, K. S. Bruzik, T. Stehle and K.W. Miller. Structural and functional characterization of an anesthetic binding site in the second cysteine rich domain of protein kinase C delta, Biophys. J., 2012 Dec 5;103(11):2331-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.10.034. *joint 1st authors
J. Das, S. Pany and A. Majhi, Chemical modification of resveratrol for improved PKC alpha activity Bioorg. Med. Chem. 19, 5321-5333 (2011)
J. Das, S. Pany, S. Panchal, A. Majhi and G.M. Rahman. Binding of isoxazole and pyrazole derivatives of curcumin with the activator binding domain of novel protein kinase C. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2011 Nov 1;19(21):6196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.09.011.
S.C. Gupta, R. Kannapan, J. Hye Kim, G. M. Rahman, S.K. Francis, R. Raveendran, M.S. Nair, J. Das and B.B. Aggarwal. Bharangin, a Diterpenoid Quinonemethide, Abolishes Constitutive and Inducible NF-kB Activation by Modifying p65 on Cysteine 38 residue and Inhibiting IkBalpha Kinase Activation, Leading to Suppression of NF-kB-Regulated Gene expression and Sensitization of Tumor Cells to Chemotherapeutic Agents., Mol. Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;80(5):769-81. doi: 10.1124/mol.111.073122.
J. Das. Aliphatic diazirines as probes for proteins: recent developments. Chem. Rev. 2011 Aug 10;111(8):4405-17. doi: 10.1021/cr1002722.
R. Howard, P. Slesinger, D. Davies, J. Das, R. Harris and J. Trudell. Alcohol-binding sites in distinct brain proteins: the quest for atomic level resolution. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011 Sep;35(9):1561-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01502.x.
Majhi, G.M. Rahman, S. Panchal and J. Das. Binding of curcumin and its long chain derivatives to the activator binding domain of novel Protein Kinase C. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Feb 15;18(4):1591-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.12.075.
J. Das, S. Pany, G. M. Rahman and S. J. Slater. PKC epsilon has an alcohol binding site in its second cysteine rich regulatory domain, Bioorg Med Chem. Biochem J. 2009 Jul 15;421(3):405-13. doi: 10.1042/BJ20082271. Erratum in: Biochem J. 2009 Nov 1;423(3):442.
J. Das. Photoincorporation of azioctanol to the C1B domain of PKC delta is buffer dependent. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2009 Jun 3;95(3):185-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2009.03.004.
J. Das, X. Zhou and K. W. Miller. Identification of an alcohol binding site in the first cysteine-rich domain of Protein Kinase C delta. Protein Sci. 2006 Sep;15(9):2107-19.
J. Das, G. H. Addona, W. S. Sandberg, S. S. Husain, T. Stehle and K. W. Miller (2004) Identification of a general anesthetic binding site in the diacylglycerol–binding domain of Protein Kinase C delta, J. Biol. Chem., 279, 37964-37972.
J. Das, M. Kono, J-x. Ma, D.D. Oprian and R.K. Crouch (2004) C9 methyl group of retinal modulates the absorption and transducin activation properties in cone pigments, Biochemistry, 43, 5532-5538.
J. Ma, S. Znoiko, K.L. Othersen, J.C. Ryan, J. Das , T. Isayama, M. Kono, D.D. Oprian, D.W. Corson, M.C. Cornwall, D.A. Cameron, F.I. Harosi, C.L. Makino, R.K. Crouch (2001) A visual pigment expressed in both rod and cone photoreceptors. Neuron, 32, 451-461.
J. Ma, M. Kono, L. Xu, J. Das, J. C. Ryan, E. S. Hazard III, D. D. Oprian and R. K. Crouch (2001) Cloning, expression and spectral analysis of the Salamander UV cone visual pigment, Vis. Neuroscience, 18,393-399.
J. Das, R. K. Crouch and P. L. Chong (2000) Fluorescence properties of pyrylretinol, Photochem. Photobiol., 72, 415-422.
H. Stecher, O Prezhdo, J. Das, R. K. Crouch and K. Palczewski (1999)Isomerization of all-trans-9- and 13-desmethylretinol by retinal pigment epithelial cells, Biochemistry, 38, 13542-13550.
J. Das, R. K. Crouch, R. Govindjee and T.G. Ebrey (1999) Studies on the Pyryl retinal analogues of bacteriorhodopsin, Photochem. Photobiol., 70, 949-956.
A. Ghosh, J. Wooden, J.L. Leasure and J. Das, Ethanol upregulates active zone protein Munc13-1: A possible implication in presynaptic physiology and alcoholism, Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 41S, 2017, 24A
Y. You, S. Pany, F. Blanco, A. Ghosh, and J. Das, Differential binding and modulation of Munc13-1 activity by Bryostain-1 and resveratrol, 44th MALTO abstract book, 2017, p50
A. Czikora, S. Pany, Y. You, A. Saini, N. Kedei, N.E. Lewin, A. Abramovitz, J. Das, P. M. Blumberg, Analysis of the distinct activities of the C1a and C1b domains of protein kinase C theta. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research, Volume 58, April 2017, p607
F. Blanco, S. Pany, A. Ghosh, Y. You and J. Das, Novel Bryostatin-1 Targets: Mammalian Unc13-1 and Unc13-2 Isoforms. ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2017, Chicago, The FASEB Journal vol. 31 no. 1 Supplement 760.11
F. Blanco, S. Pany, A. Ghosh, Y. You and J. Das, Mammalian Unc13-1 and Unc13-2 Isoforms as Potential Novel Bryostatin-1 Targets, P39, 4th Annual University of Houston Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Symposium, August 2016
F. Blanco, S. Pany, A. Ghosh, Y. You and J. Das, Mammalian Unc13-1 and Unc13-2 Isoforms as Potential Novel Bryostatin-1 Targets, University of Houston Undergraduate Research Day, October 2016
F. Blanco, S. Pany, A. Ghosh, Y. You and J. Das, Mammalian Unc13-1 and Unc13-2 Isoforms as Potential Novel Bryostatin-1 Targets, 16th Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), November 2016
Y. You, N. Kedei, J. Kelsey, S. Pany and P.M. Blumberg and J. Das, Role of Trp-588 of presynaptic munc13-1 in ligand binding and membrane translocation, 43rd MALTO abstract book, 2016, p54
S. Pany and J. Das, Effect of curcumin on PKC is C1 domain dependent, 43rd MALTO abstract book, 2016, p72
N. Nguyen, S. Pany and J. Das, Effect of resveratrol and its derivatives on munc13-1 activity, 43rd MALTO abstract book, 2016, p65
F. Blanco, S. Pany, A. Ghosh, Y. You and J. Das, Munc13-1 membrane translocation upon bryostatin1 treatment 43rd MALTO abstract book, 2016, p67
J. Das, S. Pany, S. Xu, J. Wooden, J.L. Leasure and G. Roman, Presynaptic Munc13-1 binds ethanol and affects ethanol sedation sensitivity, Gordon Research Conference, Galveston, TX, 2016
S. Pany, S. Xu, J. Das, G. Roman. Presynaptic MUNC13-1 is an ethanol binding protein and effector of ethanol sedation sensitivity. Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 39S, 2015, p71A
S. Pany and J. Das, Importance of C1 domain of PKC in its regulation by curcumin, 42rd MALTO abstract book, 2015, p70
G.W. Roman, S. Xu, J. Wooden, J. Das, L. Leasure. Unc13 is a presynaptic ethanol binding protein and a regulator of ethanol sedation sensitivity. Program No. 324.26/Z31. 2014 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, 2014. Online.
J. Das, S. Pany, S. Xu and G.W. Roman. Presynaptic Munc13-1 regulates alcohol action in the brain. World Science Congress: 4th International Conference, 2014. Abstract No. Ci5, p7.
S. Xu, S. Pany, V. Shah, J. Das and G. Roman, UNC-13, a presynaptic ethanol binding protein in regulates alcohol-related behavior in drosophila, Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 37S, 2013, 71A
S. Xu, S. Pany, J. Das and G. Roman. Reducing UNC-13, a presynaptic ethanol binding protein in drosophila melanogaster increases ethanol self-administration, Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 36S, 2012, 258A
J. Das and S. Pany. Binding of alcohol to the C1 domain of PKC epsilon, Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 36S, 2012, 15A
G.M. Rahman, S. Sanker, N. Lewin, B.V.V. Prasad, P.M. Blumberg and J. Das. Identification of the activator binding residues in protein kinase C theta C1B domain FASEB J., 2012 26:749.2
G.M. Rahman, S. Shanker, N. Lewin, B.V.V. Prasad, P.M. Blumberg and J. Das, Comparison of the activator binding residues of PKC, 39th MALTO abstract book, 2012, p24
S. Pany, A. Majhi and J. Das. Selectivity of curcumin and its analogs for conventional PKCs, 39th MALTO abstract book, 2012, p49.
J. Das, S. Pany, S. Xu, V. Shah and G. Roman. Presynaptic Munc13.1 is a potential target of alcohol action, in From Innovation in Nucleic acid research to regulation of biological processes, Abstract book, 2011, p185
J. Das and S. Pany. Interactions of presynaptic munc13.1 with alcohols, Alcohol. Clin. Ex. Res., 35S, 2011, 256A
G.M. Rahman and J. Das. Identification of activator binding residues in PKCthetaC1B domain: the effect of mutation in activator binding, 38th MALTO abstract book, 2011, p41
S. Pany, A. Majhi and J. Das. Synthesis and evaluation of resveratrol analogues as PKC alpha modulators, 38th MALTO abstract book, p 52
Pany, S. and J. Das. Presynaptic munc 13.1, a molecular target of alcohol? Program No. 473.14/JJ10. 2010 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2010. Online.
Z. Trivedi, G.M. Rahman and J. Das. Effects of mutations in the C1B subdomain of PKC gamma on activator binding, University of Houston Research Day Poster session, 2010.
S. Panchal, A. Majhi, V. Tam and J. Das, Synthesis of Poly-Phenolic Derivatives and Evaluation for Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Activity, University of Houston Research Day Poster session, 2009.
J. Das and G. M. Rahman, Development of alcohol antagonists based on Protein Kinase C epsilon, Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res., 33(6), 2009, suppl. Issue, p17A
A. Majhi, S. Panchal, G.M. Rahman and J. Das., Interaction protein Kinase C and Curcumin and its derivatives, Thirty-Sixth Annual MALTO, Memphis, May 17-19, 2009
A. Guillory, S. Pany and J. Das, Alcohol binding site(s) in the C1 domain of MUNC 13.1, Thirty-Sixth Annual MALTO, Memphis, May 17-19, 2009
G.M. Rahman and J. Das., Virtual molecular docking study of DAG and phorbol ester-like compounds to explore the differential binding affinity of C1A and C1B subdomains of Novel PKCs, Thirty-Sixth Annual MALTO, Memphis, May 17-19, 2009
A. Guillory, S. Pany and J. Das, Alcohol binding site(s) in the C1 domain of PKC epsilon and MUNC 13.1, Behavior, Biology, Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction, San Antonio, TX March 21-22, 2009 (Travel Award to A. Guillory).
J. Das, Role of histidine and tyrosine residues in the alcohol binding in Protein Kinase C Epsilon, Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res., 32(6), 2008, suppl. Issue, p161A.
J. Das, S. Shunmugasundararaj, T. Stehle, and K. W. Miller. Crystal structure of an alcohol complexed with the cysteine-rich domain of Protein Kinase C delta. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res., 2007, 31(6), suppl. Issue, p202A
J. Das. Investigation on the alcohol binding site(s) in the cysteine-rich domain of Protein Kinase C epsilon. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res., 2007, 31(6), suppl. Issue, p195A.
J. Das and K. W. Miller. In the C1 domain of Protein Kinase C delta both C1A and C1B contain an alcohol binding domain. Biophys. J. 2006; 90(1):40a.
J. Das and K. W. Miller. Identification of an alcohol binding site in the first cysteine rich domain of protein kinase C delta by photolabeling and mass spectrometry. Biophys. J. 2005; 88(1):45a
Invited Lectures and Seminars
104th Indian Science Congress, Tirupati, India, January 2017
ACS South West Regional Meeting, Galveston, TX, November 2016
World Congress on Alcohol and Alcoholism and joint meeting of ISBRA/ESBRA in Berlin, September 2016
48th Annual Conference of Indian Pharmacological Society & International Conference on Cutting-Edge Pharmacology: Contemporary Issues and Future Challenges, Rajkot, India, December 2015
International Summit on Trends in Mass Spectrometry, New Orleans, 2015
World Science Congress, Kolkata, 2014
Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 2011
IISER, Kolkata, 2011
National Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, San Antonio 2010.
Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, January 2008.
University of Houston, Houston, 2007
The University of Texas at El Paso, Texas, November 2007
Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 2005
Curagen Corporation, Branford, Connecticut, March 2004
- Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) Cluster for Alcohol and Addiction Research
- Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) Cluster for Mental Health
- International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism
- Asia-Pacific Society for Alcohol and Addiction Research
- International Society for Neurochemistry
- Association of Alcohol Researchers of Indian Origin
- American Chemical Society
- American Society for Photobiology
- Research Society on Alcoholism
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
- Protein Society
- Biophysical Society
- American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
- Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Addiction and Dependence
- Editorial Board, Medicinal Chemistry
- Editorial Board, Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology and Drug Research
A post-doctoral position is available immediately to study the effects of alcohol on brain proteins. A Ph.D. in neuroscience/physiology/cell biology familiar with different brain regions, neuronal cell culture, Western blotting etc. is encouraged to apply. An ideal candidate should be able to work independently and possess good writing skills. Send CV to: Joydip Das, Ph.D., University of Houston, College of Pharmacy, e-mail: email@example.com