Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Shantu Amin, PhD

Shantu Amin, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Shantu Amin is director of the Organic Synthesis Core of Penn State Cancer Institute. His laboratory is nationally recognized for developing synthetic strategies for novel small drug-like molecules for cancer prevention and therapy.

The major focus of Dr. Amin’s research is the synthesis of anti-cancer agents, elucidating their efficacy and investigating their drug metabolism. He has also been involved in structure-activity studies with mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds and using this knowledge to develop appropriate chemopreventive agents.

These studies have resulted in the development of several chemopreventive/ chemotherapeutic agents and an understanding of their mechanisms of action. 

  • Neoplasms
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • DNA
  • Lung
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA Adducts
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Tobacco
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Liver
  • Skin

Recent Publications


Narayan, S, Ramisetti, S, Jaiswal, AS, Law, BK, Singh-Pillay, A, Singh, P, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2019, 'ASR352, A potent anticancer agent: Synthesis, preliminary SAR, and biological activities against colorectal cancer bulk, 5-fluorouracil/oxaliplatin resistant and stem cells', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 161, pp. 456-467.
Tan, SF, Dunton, W, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Doi, K, Conaway, MR, Amin, S, Claxton, D, Wang, HG, Kester, M, Cabot, MC, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2019, 'Acid ceramidase promotes drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia through NF-κB-dependent P-glycoprotein upregulation', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 1078-1086.
Frieben, EE, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2019, 'Development of Isoselenocyanate Compounds' Syntheses and Biological Applications', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 62, no. 11, pp. 5261-5275.
Alcolea, V, Karelia, DN, Pandey, MK, Plano, D, Singh, P, Palop, JA, Amin, S, Sanmartín, C & Sharma, A 2019, 'Identification of a novel quinoxaline-isoselenourea targeting the STAT3 pathway as a potential melanoma therapeutic' International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, no. 3, 521.
Desai, D, Lauver, M, Ostman, A, Cruz, L, Ferguson, K, Jin, G, Roper, B, Brosius, D, Lukacher, A, Amin, S & Buchkovich, N 2019, 'Inhibition of diverse opportunistic viruses by structurally optimized retrograde trafficking inhibitors' Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 27, no. 9, pp. 1795-1803.
Fernández-Rubio, C, Larrea, E, Guerrero, JP, Herrero, ES, Gamboa, I, Berrio, C, Plano, D, Amin, S, Sharma, A & Nguewa, PA 2019, 'Leishmanicidal activity of isoselenocyanate derivatives', Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, vol. 63, no. 2, e00904-18.
Hubbard, TD, Liu, Q, Murray, IA, Dong, F, Miller, C, Smith, PB, Gowda, K, Lin, JM, Amin, S, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2019, 'Microbiota Metabolism Promotes Synthesis of the Human Ah Receptor Agonist 2,8-Dihydroxyquinoline' Journal of Proteome Research, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 1715-1724.
Shafirovich, V, Kolbanovskiy, M, Kropachev, K, Liu, Z, Cai, Y, Terzidis, MA, Masi, A, Chatgilialoglu, C, Amin, S, Dadali, A, Broyde, S & Geacintov, NE 2019, 'Nucleotide Excision Repair and Impact of Site-Specific 5′,8-Cyclopurine and Bulky DNA Lesions on the Physical Properties of Nucleosomes' Biochemistry.


Chen, K-M, Sun, Y-W, Cooper, TK, Benitez, G, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2018, 'Comparative Tumorigenicity and DNA Damage Induced by Dibenzo[ def,p]chrysene and Its Metabolites in the Mouse Ovary' Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 31, no. 11, pp. 1111-1118.
Yang, Y, Lee, SM, Imamura, F, Gowda, K, Amin, S & Mailman, R 2018, 'D1 dopamine receptors intrinsic activity and functional selectivity affect working memory in prefrontal cortex', Molecular Psychiatry.
Chen, K-M, Guttenplan, JB, Sun, Y-W, Cooper, T, Shalaby, NAE, Kosinska, W, Benitez, G, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Liao, JJ, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stoner, G & El-Bayoumy, K 2018, 'Effects of Black Raspberry on Dibenzo[a,l]Pyrene Diol Epoxide Induced DNAAdducts, Mutagenesis, and Tumorigenesis in the Mouse Oral Cavity', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 157-164.
Dyba, M, Da Silva, B, Coia, H, Hou, Y, Noguchi, S, Pan, J, Berry, D, Creswell, K, Krzeminski, J, Desai, D, Amin, S, Yang, D & Chung, FL 2018, 'Monoclonal Antibodies for the Detection of a Specific Cyclic DNA Adduct Derived from ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids', Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 772-783.
Wu, W, Karelia, D, Pramanik, K, Amin, S, Sharma, A, Jiang, C & Lu, J 2018, 'Phenylbutyl isoselenocyanate induces reactive oxygen species to inhibit androgen receptor and to initiate p53-mediated apoptosis in LNCaP prostate cancer cells', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 57, no. 8, pp. 1055-1066.


Pandey, MK, Gowda, K, Sung, S, Abraham, T, Budak-Alpdogan, T, Talamo, G, Dovat, S & Amin, S 2017, 'A novel dual inhibitor of microtubule and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibits survival of multiple myeloma and osteoclastogenesis', Experimental Hematology, vol. 53, pp. 31-42.
Weng, MW, Lee, HW, Choi, B, Wang, HT, Hu, Y, Mehta, M, Desai, D, Amin, S, Zheng, Y & Tang, MS 2017, 'AFB1 hepatocarcinogenesis is via lipid peroxidation that inhibits DNA repair, sensitizes mutation susceptibility and induces aldehyde-DNA adducts at p53 mutational hotspot codon 249', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 18213-18226.
Smith, KJ, Boyer, JA, Muku, GE, Murray, IA, Gowda, K, Desai, D, Amin, S, Glick, AB & Perdew, GH 2017, 'Ah receptor activation potentiates neutrophil chemoattractant (C-X-C Motif) ligand 5 expression in keratinocytes and skin', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 160, no. 1, pp. 83-94.
Ramisetti, SR, Oña-Ruales, JO, Wise, SA, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2017, 'An Efficient Synthesis of Dibenzo[a,l]tetracene and Dibenzo[a,j]tetracene and Their Identification in a Coal Tar Extract' Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, pp. 1-11.
El-Bayoumy, K, Chen, K-M, Zhang, SM, Sun, Y-W, Amin, S, Stoner, G & Guttenplan, JB 2017, 'Carcinogenesis of the oral cavity: Environmental causes and potential prevention by black raspberry', Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 126-144.
Ramisetti, SR, Pandey, MK, Lee, S, Karelia, D, Narayan, S, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2018, 'Design and synthesis of novel thiobarbituric acid derivatives targeting both wild-type and BRAF-mutated melanoma cells', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 143, pp. 1919-1930.
Karelia, DN, Sk, UH, Singh, P, Gowda, ASP, Pandey, MK, Ramisetti, SR, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2017, 'Design, synthesis, and identification of a novel napthalamide-isoselenocyanate compound NISC-6 as a dual Topoisomerase-IIα and Akt pathway inhibitor, and evaluation of its anti-melanoma activity', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 135, pp. 282-295.
Guttenplan, JB, Chen, K-M, Sun, Y-W, Lajara, B, Shalaby, NAE, Kosinska, W, Benitez, G, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stoner, G & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Effects of Black Raspberry Extract and Berry Compounds on Repair of DNA Damage and Mutagenesis Induced by Chemical and Physical Agents in Human Oral Leukoplakia and Rat Oral Fibroblasts', Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 2159-2164.
Chen, K-M, Schell, T, Richie, J, Sun, Y-W, Zhang, SM, Calcagnotto, A, Aliaga, C, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Effects of chronic alcohol consumption on DNA damage and immune regulation induced by the environmental pollutant dibenzo[a,l]pyrene in oral tissues of mice', Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part C Environmental Carcinogenesis and Ecotoxicology Reviews, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 213-222.
Sun, Y-W, Chen, K-M, Imamura, Y, Salzberg, AC, Cooper, TK, Caruso, C, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Hypomethylated Fgf3 is a potential biomarker for early detection of oral cancer in mice treated with the tobacco carcinogen dibenzo[def,p]chrysene', PloS one, vol. 12, no. 10, e0186873.
Gowda, R, Inamdar, GS, Kuzu, O, Dinavahi, SS, Krzeminski, J, Battu, MB, Voleti, SR, Amin, S & Robertson, G 2017, 'Identifying the structure-activity relationship of leelamine necessary for inhibiting intracellular cholesterol transport', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 17, pp. 28260-28277.
Maru, S, Jin, G, Desai, D, Amin, S, Shwetank, Lauver, MD & Lukacher, A 2017, 'Inhibition of retrograde transport limits polyomavirus infection in vivo', mSphere, vol. 2, no. 6, e00494-17.
Muku, GE, Lahoti, TS, Murray, IA, Podolsky, MA, Smith, KJ, Hubbard, TD, Kuzu, G, Gowda, K, Amin, S & Perdew, GH 2017, 'Ligand-mediated cytoplasmic retention of the Ah receptor inhibits macrophage-mediated acute inflammatory responses', Laboratory Investigation, vol. 97, no. 12, pp. 1471-1487.
Gowda, ASP, Krzeminski, J, Amin, S, Suo, Z & Spratt, T 2017, 'Mutagenic Replication of N2-Deoxyguanosine Benzo[a]pyrene Adducts by Escherichia coli DNA Polymerase i and Sulfolobus solfataricus DNA Polymerase IV', Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 1168-1176.
Cruz, L, Streck, NT, Ferguson, K, Desai, T, Desai, D, Amin, S & Buchkovich, N 2017, 'Potent inhibition of human cytomegalovirus by modulation of cellular SNARE syntaxin 5', Journal of virology, vol. 91, no. 1, e01637-16.
Hengst, J, Dick, TE, Sharma, A, Doi, K, Hegde, S, Tan, SF, Geffert, L, Fox, TE, Sharma, AK, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP, Paulson, R, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G & Yun, J 2017, 'SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models' Cancer Translational Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 109-121.


Tagaram, HRS, Desai, D, Li, G, Liu, D, Rountree, CB, Gowda, K, Berg, A, Amin, S, Staveley-O’carroll, KF & Kimchi, ET 2016, 'A selenium containing inhibitor for the treatment of hepatocellular cancer', Pharmaceuticals, vol. 9, no. 2, 18.
Tan, SF, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Barth, BM, Sharma, A, Turner, SD, Awwad, A, Dewey, A, Doi, K, Spitzer, B, Shah, MV, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Amin, S, Zhu, J, Liao, JJ, Yun, J, Kester, M, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G, Cabot, MC, Schuchman, EH, Levine, RL, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2016, 'Acid ceramidase is upregulated in AML and represents a novel therapeutic target', Oncotarget, vol. 7, no. 50, pp. 83208-83222.
Plano, D, Karelia, DN, Pandey, MK, Spallholz, JE, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2016, 'Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Selenium (Se-NSAID) Molecules as Anticancer Agents', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 1946-1959.
Guttenplan, JB, Chen, K-M, Sun, Y-W, Kosinska, W, Zhou, Y, Kim, SA, Sung, Y, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stoner, GD & El-Bayoumy, K 2016, 'Effects of black raspberry extract and protocatechuic acid on carcinogen-DNA adducts and mutagenesis, and oxidative stress in rat and human oral cells', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 704-712.
Pandey, MK, Karelia, D & Amin, S 2016, Gambogic acid and its role in chronic diseases. in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 928, Springer New York LLC, pp. 375-395.
Alcolea, V, Plano, D, Karelia, DN, Palop, JA, Amin, S, Sanmartín, C & Sharma, A 2016, 'Novel seleno- and thio-urea derivatives with potent in vitro activities against several cancer cell lines', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 113, pp. 134-144.
Chen, W, Padilla, MT, Xu, X, Desai, D, Krzeminski, J, Amin, S & Lin, Y 2016, 'Quercetin inhibits multiple pathways involved in interleukin 6 secretion from human lung fibroblasts and activity in bronchial epithelial cell transformation induced by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 55, no. 11, pp. 1858-1866.
Leng, S, Thomas, CL, Snider, AM, Picchi, MA, Chen, W, Willis, DG, Carr, TG, Krzeminski, J, Desai, D, Amin, S, Lin, Y, Jacobson, MR & Belinsky, SA 2016, 'Radon exposure, IL-6 promoter variants, and lung squamous cell carcinoma in former uranium miners', Environmental health perspectives, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 445-451.
Morad, SAF, Davis, TS, MacDougall, MR, Tan, SF, Feith, DJ, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP & Cabot, MC 2017, 'Role of P-glycoprotein inhibitors in ceramide-based therapeutics for treatment of cancer', Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 130, pp. 21-33.
Pandey, MK, Prasad, S, Tyagi, AK, Deb, L, Huang, J, Karelia, DN, Amin, S & Aggarwal, BB 2016, 'Targeting cell survival proteins for cancer cell death', Pharmaceuticals, vol. 9, no. 1, 11.


Hubbard, TD, Murray, IA, Bisson, WH, Lahoti, TS, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2015, 'Adaptation of the human aryl hydrocarbon receptor to sense microbiota-derived indoles', Scientific reports, vol. 5, 12689.
Mohinta, S, Kannan, AK, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Perdew, GH & August, A 2015, 'Differential regulation of Th17 and T regulatory cell differentiation by aryl hydrocarbon receptor dependent xenobiotic response element dependent and independent pathways' Toxicological Sciences, vol. 145, no. 2, pp. 233-243.
Liu, Z, Ding, S, Kropachev, K, Jia, L, Amin, S, Broyde, S & Geacintov, NE 2015, 'Erratum: Resistance to Nucleotide Excision Repair of Bulky Guanine Adducts Opposite Abasic Sites in DNA Duplexes and Relationships between Structure and Function (PLoS ONE (2015) 10:9 (e0137124) DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137124)', PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 10, e0142068.
Van Den Bogaard, EH, Podolsky, MA, Smits, JP, Cui, X, John, C, Gowda, K, Desai, D, Amin, S, Schalkwijk, J, Perdew, GH & Glick, AB 2015, 'Genetic and pharmacological analysis identifies a physiological role for the AHR in epidermal differentiation', Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 135, no. 5, pp. 1320-1328.
Leng, S, Wu, G, Collins, LB, Thomas, CL, Tellez, CS, Jauregui, AR, Picchi, MA, Zhang, X, Juri, DE, Desai, D, Amin, S, Crowell, RE, Stidley, CA, Liu, Y, Swenberg, JA, Lin, Y, Wathelet, MG, Gilliland, FD & Belinsky, SA 2015, 'Implication of a chromosome 15q15.2 locus in regulating UBR1 and predisposing smokers to MGMT methylation in lung' Cancer Research, vol. 75, no. 15, pp. 3108-3117.
Jiang, C, Xie, C, Li, F, Zhang, L, Nichols, RG, Krausz, KW, Cai, J, Qi, Y, Fang, ZZ, Takahashi, S, Tanaka, N, Desai, D, Amin, S, Albert, I, Patterson, AD & Gonzalez, FJ 2015, 'Intestinal farnesoid X receptor signaling promotes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease', Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 125, no. 1, pp. 386-402.
Jiang, C, Xie, C, Lv, Y, Li, J, Krausz, KW, Shi, J, Brocker, CN, Desai, D, Amin, S, Bisson, WH, Liu, Y, Gavrilova, O, Patterson, AD & Gonzalez, FJ 2015, 'Intestine-selective farnesoid X receptor inhibition improves obesity-related metabolic dysfunction', Nature communications, vol. 6, 10166.
Varadarajan, S, Poornima, P, Milani, M, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Wang, H-G & Cohen, GM 2015, 'Maritoclax and dinaciclib inhibit MCL-1 activity and induce apoptosis in both a MCL-1-dependent and -independent manner', Oncotarget, vol. 6, no. 14, pp. 12668-12681.
Liu, Z, Ding, S, Kropachev, K, Lei, J, Amin, S, Broyde, S & Geacintov, NE 2015, 'Resistance to nucleotide excision repair of bulky guanine adducts opposite abasic sites in DNA duplexes and relationships between structure and function', PloS one, vol. 10, no. 9, e0137124.
Song, C, Gowda, C, Pan, X, Ding, Y, Tong, Y, Tan, B, Wang, H, Muthusami, S, Ge, Z, Sachdev, M, Amin, S, Desai, D, Gowda, K, Gowda, R, Robertson, G, Schjerven, H, Muschen, M, Payne, KJ & Dovat, S 2015, 'Targeting casein kinase II restores Ikaros tumor suppressor activity and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-risk leukemia', Blood, vol. 126, no. 15, pp. 1813-1822.
Kale, VP, Amin, S & Pandey, MK 2015, 'Targeting ion channels for cancer therapy by repurposing the approved drugs', Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, vol. 1848, no. 10, 81871, pp. 2747-2755.
Dick, TE, Hengst, J, Fox, TE, Colledge, AL, Kale, VP, Sung, S, Sharma, A, Amin, S, Loughran, TP, Kester, M, Wang, H-G & Yun, J 2015, 'The apoptotic mechanism of action of the sphingosine kinase 1 selective inhibitor SKI-178 in human acute myeloid leukemia cell lines' Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, vol. 352, no. 3, pp. 494-508.
Kale, VP, Hengst, J, Desai, D, Amin, S & Yun, J 2015, 'The regulatory roles of ROCK and MRCK kinases in the plasticity of cancer cell migration', Cancer Letters, vol. 361, no. 2, pp. 185-196.
Sun, Y-W, El-Bayoumy, K, Aliaga, C, Awad, A, Gowda, K, Amin, S & Chen, K-M 2015, 'Tissue Distribution, Excretion and Pharmacokinetics of the Environmental Pollutant Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene in Mice' Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 1427-1433.

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