Sanu K. Shaji currently serves as Senior Research Fellow at the School of Biotechnology. He received his masters in Biotechnology from Amrita University, Amritapuri in 2012. He is perusing his doctoral degree in Biotechnology at Cell Biology lab, Amrita School of Biotechnology under the guidance of Dr. Bipin Nair. 


  • M. Sc. Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (2012)
  • B. Sc. Biotechnology and Botany, M.G. University (2010)



  • Senior Research Fellow, Amrita School of Biotechnology (current)
  • Junior Research Fellow, Molecular Biology Lab, Amrita School of Biotechnology



Role of miRNAs in cancer and modulation of oncogenes by natural products.»»


  • 3rd rank in M. Sc. Biotechnology (2010-2012) from Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham
  • Secured 32th rank in National Eligibility Test (NET), June 2012 conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India –University Grant Commission (UGC), India
  • Secured 34th rank in National Eligibility Test (NET), December 2012 conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India –University Grant Commission (UGC), India
  • N. C. C. army wing C certificate with Grade A, 2010


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


Drishya G., Dr. Jyotsna Nambiar, Sanu K. Shaji, Muralidharan Vanuopadath, A., A., Abishek, K., Ashna, A., Ayesha Sherif, Catherine Joseph, Divya P., Damu Sunilkumar, Chinchu Bose, Dr. Sobha V. Nair, S. Sudarslal, Dr. Geetha Kumar, S., L., and Dr. Bipin G. Nair, “RECK and TIMP-2 mediate inhibition of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by Annona muricata”, Journal of Biosciences, vol. 45, no. 1, p. 89, 2020.[Abstract]

Up-regulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 plays a significant role in promoting cancer progression by degrading the components of the extracellular matrix, thereby enhancing the migration of tumor cells. Although the anti-proliferative and apoptotic effect of Annona muricata is well established, its effect on MMP-2 and MMP-9, a major target in several types of cancers, has not been studied. Powdered samples of various parts of A. muricata like fruit, stem, seed, and twig extracted using aqueous methanol showed significant dose-dependent inhibition of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in a highly metastatic fibrosarcoma cell line, HT1080. Additionally, these extracts also up-regulated the expression of several endogenous inhibitors of MMP-2 and MMP-9 like REversion-inducing Cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK) and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2). Furthermore, primary cells developed from tumor tissues obtained from patients not exposed to chemotherapy, also exhibited similar results. Remarkably, the inhibition of MMP-2 and MMP-9 observed was tumor specific, with the A. muricata fruit extract showing only 2% inhibition in cells obtained from normal tissues, when compared to 60% inhibition observed in cells obtained from tumor samples. The present study elucidates a novel mechanism by which A. muricata extracts selectively exhibit their anti-cancer activity in tumor cells by down-regulating MMP-2 and MMP-9 that are important biomarkers in cancer.

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Sanu K. Shaji
Senior Research Fellow
School of Biotechnology
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amritapuri Campus)
Clappana P.O., Kollam, Kerala, India. 690525
Mob: +91 8589853131