Photo Gopal Babu
Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Medicine
Medical Science Building, G661
Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School
185 South Orange Ave,
Newark, NJ 07103

Tel: 973-972-5376
Fax: 973-972-7489
Email Address:
Homepage Address:
Highest Earned Degree
PhD, 1995, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India.
  Research Interests
Description of Research and Scholarly or Creative Objectives
Abnormal intracellular Ca2+ overload is an important, early pathogenic event that initiates and perpetuates disease progression in DMD. We recently found that sarcolipin (SLN), a potent inhibitor of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA), is significantly increased in the skeletal and cardiac muscles of mouse models and in tissues of human DMD. We are hypothesizing that in dystrophic muscles, chronic inhibition of SERCA by high-levels of SLN could majorly contribute to the abnormal elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ and muscle pathogenesis. Accordingly, germline or AAV mediated postnatal reduction in SLN expression restored the SERCA function and mitigates the skeletal and cardiac muscle pathophysiology in mouse models of DMD. Our findings demonstrate a crucial role for SLN in regulating SERCA function in dystrophic skeletal and cardiac muscles and suggest that reducing SLN expression is a potential therapeutic approach for DMD and associated cardiomyopathy.
  Employment History
Positions Held
2017-ongoing: Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, Newark, NJ
2007-2017: Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, Newark, NJ
2003-2007: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001-2007: Research Scientist, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1997-2001: Post-doctoral Assistant, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Cincinnati,Cincinnati, OH
Articles in Refereed Journals
2017: Antanina Voit, Vishwendra Patel, Ronald Pachon, Vikas Shah, Mohammad Bakhutma, Erik Kohlbrenner, Joseph McArdle, Louis J. Dell’Italia, Jerry R. Mendell, Lai-Hua Xie, Roger J. Hajjar, Dongsheng Duan, Diego Fraidenraich and Gopal J. Babu. 2017. Reducing Sarcolipin Expression mitigates Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Associated Cardiomyopathy in Mice. Nature Communications. 2017 Oct 20;8(1):1068. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01146-7. PMID: 29051551.

2017: Takahisa Matsuda, Jae Im Jeong, Shohei Ikeda, Takanobu Yamamoto, Shumin Gao, Gopal J Babu, Peiyong Zhai, Dominic P. Del Re. 2017. H-Ras Isoform Mediates Protection Against Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction in Part Through Activation of AKT. Circ Heart Fail. 2017 Feb;10(2). pii: e003658. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.116.003658

2015: Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Dan Li, Shumin Gao, Nadezhda Fefelova, Vikas Shah, Antanina Voit, Ronald Pachon, Ghassan Yehia, Lai-Hua Xie, and Gopal J. Babu. (2015). Cardiac Specific Expression of Threonine 5 to Alanine Mutant Sarcolipin Results in Structural Remodeling and Diastolic Dysfunction.  PLoS One. 2015 Feb 11;10(2):e0115822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115822. eCollection 2015. PMID: 25671318.

2015: Zhenghang Zhao, Gopal J Babu, Hairuo Wen, Nadezhda Fefelova, Richard Gordan, Xiangzhen Sui, Lin Yan, Dorothy Vatner, Stephen Vatner, and Lai-Hua Xie. (2015). Overexpression of Adenylyl Cyclase Type 5 (AC5) Confers a Proarrhythmic Substrate to the Heart. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Feb 1;308(3):H240-9. PMID:25485900

2014: Vishwendra Patel, Anne Oh, Antanina Voit, Lester G. Sultatos, Gopal J. Babu, Brenda A Wilson, Meng Ho, Joseph J. McArdle. (2014). Altered Active Zones, Vesicle Pools, Nerve Terminal Conductivity, and Morphology during Experimental MuSK Myasthenia Gravis. PLoS ONE 9(12): e110571. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110571. PMID:25438154

2014: Junying Zheng, Danielle M Yancey, Mustafa I Ahmed, Chih-Chang Wei, Pamela C Powell, Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Himanshu Gupta, Steven G Lloyd, David C McGiffin, Chun G. Schiros, Thomas S Denney, Jr, Gopal J Babu and Louis J Dell’Italia. (2014). Increased sarcolipin expression and adrenergic drive in humans with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction and chronic isolated mitral regurgitation. Circulation: Heart Failure Circ Heart Fail. Jan 1;7(1):194-202. PMID: 24297688

2013: Joel S. Schneider, Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, James Patrick Gonzalez, Henderson Lopez, Richard Gordan, Diego Fraidenraich and Gopal J. Babu. (2013). Decreased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake and increased sarcolipin expression in skeletal muscles of mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. Dec;34(5-6):349-56. PMID:23748997

2013: James D. Gladden, Blake R. Zelickson, Jason L. Guichard, Mustafa I. Ahmed, Danielle M. Yancey, Scott Ballinger, Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Gopal J. Babu, Michelle S. Johnson Victor Darley-Usmar and Louis J. Dell'Italia. (2013). Xanthine Oxidase Inhibition Preserves Left Ventricular Systolic but not Diastolic Function in Cardiac Volume Overload. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Nov;305(10):H1440-50, PMID: 24014679

2013: Qian Huang, Gopal J Babu, Muthu Periasamy, and Thomas J. Eddinger. (2013). SMB Myosin Heavy Chain Knock Out Enhances Tonic Contraction and Reduces the Rate of Force Generation in Ileum and Stomach Antrum. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. an 15;304(2):C194-206PMID: 23135699

2012: Lai-Hua Xie, Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Ji Yeon Park, Zhenghang Zhao, Hairuo Wen, Bin Tian, Muthu Periasamy and Gopal J Babu. (2012). Ablation of sarcolipin results in atrial remodeling. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 302: C1762-C1771. PMID:22496245

2011: A. Russell Tupling, Eric Bombardier, Subash C. Gupta, Dawar Hussain, Chris Vigna, Darin Bloomberg, Joe Quardrilatero, Maria G.Trivieri, Gopal J. Babu, Peter H. Backx, Muthu Periasamy, David H. MacLennan and Anthony O. Gramolini. (2011). Enhanced Ca2+ transport and muscle relaxation in skeletal muscle from sarcolipin-null mice. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. Oct;301(4):C841-9. PMID: 21697544

2011: Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Cristina E. Molina, Shumin Gao, Renaud Severac-Bastide, Rodolphe Fischmeister and Gopal J. Babu. (2011). Decreased sarcolipin protein expression and enhanced sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake in human atrial fibrillation. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 410: 97-101. PMID: 21640081

2011: Zhenghang Zhao, Nadezhda Fefelova, Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Peter Bishara, Gopal J. Babu, Lai-Hua Xie. (2011). Angiotensin II Induces afterdepolarizations via reactive oxygen species and calmodulin kinase II signaling. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 50(1):128-136. PMID: 2105933.

2011: Mayilvahanan Shanmugam, Shumin Gao, Chull Hong, Nadezhda Fefelova, Martha C. Nowycky, Lai-Hua Xie, Muthu Periasamy, and Gopal J. Babu. (2011). Ablation of Phospholamban and Sarcolipin Results in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Decreased Cardiac Contractility. Cardiovas. Res. 89(2):353-361 PMID: 20833651

2008: Mei Chi, Yingbi Zhou, Srikanth Vedamoorthyrao, Gopal J. Babu and Muthu Periasamy. (2008). Ablation of smooth muscle myosin heavy chain SM2 increases smooth muscle contraction and results in postnatal death in mice. PNAS. Nov 25; 105(47):18614-8

2008: Muthu Periasamy, Poornima Bhupathy and Gopal J. Babu. (2008). Regulation of Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase pump expression and its relevance to cardiac muscle physiology and pathology. Cardiovas. Res. 77 (2): 265-273 (* Corresponding author).

2007: Gopal J. Babu*, Poornima Bhupathy, Valeriy Timofeyev, Natalia N Petrashevskaya, Peter J Reiser, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat and Muthu Periasamy. (2007). Ablation of sarcolipin enhances sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium transport and atrial contractility. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 17867-17872(* Corresponding author)

2007: Gopal J. Babu*, Poornima Bhupathy, Cynthia A. Carnes, George E. Billman and Muthu Periasamy. (2007). Differential expression of sarcolipin protein during muscle development and cardiac pathophysiology. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 43(2):215-22 (* Corresponding author)

2006: Gopal J. Babu, Poornima Bhupathy, Natalia N. Petrashevskaya, Honglan Wang, Sripriya Raman, Debra Wheeler, Ganapathy Jagatheesan, David Wieczorek, Arnold Schwartz, Paul M. L.Janssen, Mark T. Ziolo and Muthu Periasamy. (2006). Targeted over expression of sarcolipin in the mouse heart decreases sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium transport and cardiac contractility. J Biol Chem. 281(7):3972-3979.

2006: Gopal J Babu*, Gerard Celia, Albert Y Rhee, Hisako Yamamura, Katsuhito Takahashi, Frank Brozovich, George Osol and Muthu Periasamy. (2006). Effects of calponin ablation on the contractile properties of bladder vs. vascular smooth muscle in SM-B null mice. J Physiol (Lond). 577: 1033-1042 (* Corresponding author)

2005: Gopal J Babu, Zhaolun Zheng, Poornima Natarajan, Debra Wheeler, Paul M Janssen and Muthu Periasamy. (2005). Overexpression of sarcolipin decreases myocyte contractility and calcium transport. Cardiovas Res. 65: 177-186

2004: Gopal J. Babu, Gail J. Pyne, Yingbi Zhou, Chris Okwuchukuasanya, Joseph E. Brayden, George Osol, Richard J. Paul, Robert B. Low and Muthu Periasamy. (2004). Isoform switching from SM-B to SM-A myosin results in decreased contractility and altered expression of thin-filament/regulatory proteins Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 287: C723-C729

2001: Gopal J. Babu, Loukianov E, Loukianova T, Gail Pyne, Sabine Huke, George Osol, Robert B. Low, Richard Paul and Muthu Periasamy. (2001). Loss of SM-B myosin isoform affects muscle shortening velocity and maximal force development. Nature Cell Biol. 3 (11), 1025-1029.
  Teaching Activities
Courses Taught
2008 onward- “Developmental Biology” course (CBMM5020)- Two 2hr lectures

2012 onward- “Molecular Medicine of the Heart” (CBMM 5350Q, Course Director)

2012 onward- “Critical Readings”-CBNP, Graduate Program (CBNP5155Q, Course Director)

2011 onward- “Fundamentals II” (GSNDN 500B)-“Cardiac Tissue”- One 3 hr lecture

2012 onward- “Molecular Mechanisms of Diseases” (CBNP5068Q) - One 3 hr lecture

2016 onward- “Practical approaches for studying protein function” (CBMM5002Q)-One 2 hr lecture.