Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal


San Antonio


At the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Dr. Tekmal is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and holds the Carl J. Pauerstein Professorship in Reproductive Research. As Director of the Division of Reproductive Research, he oversees the departments basic and translational research. Dr. Tekmals active faculty life includes service on numerous committees including the Faculty Senate and the senates executive committee.As a Full Professor with tenure at UTHSCSA, I have continued to maintain sustained excellence performance all three essential areas. I have continued carryout funded and am actively pursuing additional funding. I have been highly productive in publishing findings from my research activities both in peer reviewed journals and as published invited articles


Area of Interest

For the last ~25 years my research has focused on breast and other gynecological malignancies. For the past several years (20 plus) the special emphasis of my research is to understand the importance of local estrogen (as a result of aromatase overexpression or induction) in breast and other gynecological cancers. My work using our novelin vivo model is the first one to show local estrogen is responsible for initiation of breast cancer. We are also the first one to show estrogen receptor (ERα) is critical for mammary tumorigenesis irrespective of high local estrogen. Our in vivo studies with double transgenic models have provided first genetic evidence that high ERβ (change in ERα/β ratio) protein levels plays an important role in mammary tumorigenesis.
My laboratory is the first one to show local estrogen plays the important role in the progression of cervical tumors. Ongoing studies are aimed at further investigating the importance of tissue estrogen in cervical malignancy using both in vitro and in vivo model systems.My other research interests also include investigating the importance of ER/novel coactivator-mediated mechanisms in the induction of aromatase in breast and other gynecological cancers and cell cycle progression, chromatin remodeling and extra-nuclear signaling. Our ongoing studies are the first one to demonstrate the importance of ERβ agonists in overcoming resistance to endocrine therapies in breast cancer models. I have been an active researcher in the field of hormone-mediated tumorigenesis and hormonal signaling for ~23 years and I have published more than 80 peer reviewed research articles in this area.
Dr. Tekmal’s group also investigates the role of macrophage colony stimulating factor (CSF-1) and its receptor (c-fms) and the role of CD44 in endometriosis and gynecological malignancies. My work has been recognized and funded by NCI/National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Program and Koman Breast Cancer Program as well as from other foundations and pharmaceutical industries. I serve as a member of several grant study sections including NIH, Koman and DOD as well as other private/state funding organizations including international organizations.

top publication

Rao, T.R.: Studies on biliverdin associated proteins in ruminant milk. Natl. Dairy Res. Inst. Kurukshetra University, India. Ph.D. Thesis, 1982.

2. Rao, T.R., Dastur, N.N., Singh, A. and Ganguli, N.C.: Biochemical changes in milk. III. Origin of biliverdin in buffaloe’s milk. Milchwissenchaft 37:89-91, 1982.

3. Ullrey, D.E., Schwartz, C.C., Whetter, P.A., Rao, T.R., Euber, J.R., Cheng, S.G. and Brunner, J.R.: Blue green color and composition of Stejnegers beaked whale (Mesoplodon stejnegeri) milk. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 79B:349-352, 1984.

4. Rao, T.R. and Dastur, N.N.: Association of biliverdin with micellar and casein fractions of buffalo’s milk. Indian J. Dairy Sci. 37:234-240, 1984.

5. Rao, T.R. and Reddy, C.A.: DNA sequences from a ligninolytic filamentous fungus: Phanerochaete chrysosporium capable of autonomous replication in yeast. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 118:821-827, 1984.

6. Rao, T.R. and Slobin, L.I.: Structure of the amino terminal end of mammalian elongation factor. Nucl. Acids Res. 14:2409& 6344, 1986.

7. Rao, T.R. and Reddy, C.A.: A YIp5-kanr plasmid useful for isolating ars from yeast and other eukaryotes based on G418 resistance. Nucl. Acids Res. 14:7504, 1986.

8. Rao, T.R. and Slobin, L.I.: Regulation of the utilization of mRNA for eukaryotic elongation factor Tu in Friend erythroleukemia cells. Mol. Cell. Biol. 7:687-697, 1987.

9. Rao, T.R. and Slobin, L.I.: The stability of mRNA for eukaryotic elongation factor Tu in Friend erythroleukemia cells varies with growth rate. Mol. Cell. Biol. 8:1085-1092, 1988.

10. Randall, T., Rao, T.R. and Reddy, C.A.: Use of a shuttle vector for the transformation of the white rot basidiomycete, Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 161:720-725, 1989.

11. Burns, W.N., Rao, T.R., Olive, D.L., Jacobs, J.D., Riehl, R.M. and Schenken, R.S.: Immediate preovulatory inhibin alpha-subunit messenger ribonucleic acid levels are diminished in successful in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer. Hum. Reprod. 6:351-355, 1991.

12. Song, C.S., Rao, T.R., Demyan, W.F., Mancini, M.A., Chatterjee, B. and Roy, A.K.: Androgen receptor messenger RNA in the rat liver: Changes in the mRNA levels during maturation, aging and calorie restriction. Endocrinology 128:349-356, 1991.

13. Morris, V.L., Rao, T.R., Kozak, C., Gray, D.A., Lee Chan, E.C.M., Taylor, C., Cornell, T., Jones, R.F. and McGrath, C.M.: Characterization of int-5, a locus associated with early events in mammary carcinogenesis. Oncogene Res. 6:53-63, 1991.

14. Demyan, W.F., Song, C.S., Kim, D.S., Song, H., Gallwitz, W., Rao, T.R., Slomczynska, M., Chatterjee, B. and Roy, A.K.: Estrogen sulfotransferase of the rat liver: cDNA cloning, age- and sex-specific regulation of mRNA. Mol. Endocrinol. 6:589-597, 1992.

15. Mancini, M.A., Song, C.S., Rao, T.R., Chatterjee, B. and Roy, A.K.: Spatio-temporal expression of estrogen sulfotransferase within the hepatic lobule of male rats: Implication of in situ estrogen inactivation in androgen action. Endocrinology 131:1541-1546, 1992.

16. Ke, L.D., Rao-Tekmal, R. and Shain, S.A.: DNA sequencing artifacts: Band loss and smear. Biotechniques 15:840, 1993.

17. Klein, N.A., Pergola, G.M., Rao-Tekmal, R., Dey, T.D. and Schenken, R.S.: Enhanced expression of resident leukocyte IFN mRNA in endometriosis. Am. J. Reprod. Immunol. 30:74-81, 1993.

18. Schenken, R.S., Klein, N.A., Pergola, G.M., Tekmal, R.R., Montoya, I. and Dey, T.D.: Cytokine regulation of cellular proliferation in endometriosis. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 734:322-332, 1994.

19. Durgam, V.R., and Tekmal, R.R.: The nature and expression of int-5, a novel MMTV integration locus gene in chemical carcinogen-induced mammary tumors. Cancer Lett. 87:179-186, 1994.

20. Tekmal, R. R. and Durgam, V.R.: The overexpression of int-5/aromatase, a novel MMTV integration locus gene, is responsible for D2 mammary tumor cell proliferation. Cancer Lett. 88:147-155, 1995.

21. Durgam, V. R., Easton, J.A., Surya, R. and Tekmal, R.R.: Structure of the int-5, a novel MMTV integration genomic locus containing mouse early transposon LTR homology region. Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1263:89-92, 1995.

22. Burns, W.N., Oktay, K., Tekmal, R.R., Nelson, J.F. and Schenken, R.S.: Diminished α-inhibin messenger RNA in IVF-ET poor responders reflects declining follicle reserve rather than deteriorating granulosa cell function. Fertil. Steril. 65:394-399, 1996.

23. Tekmal, R.R., Ramachandra, N., Gubba, S., Durgam, V.R., Toda, K., Shizuta. Y. and Dillehay D.: Overexpression of int-5/aromatase in the mammary glands of transgenic mice results in the induction of hyperplasia and nuclear abnormalities. Cancer Res. 56: 3180-3185, 1996.

24. Tekmal, R.R., Burns, W. N., Rao, D.V., Montoya, I., Chang., P., Stoica, G. and Schenken, R.S.: Regulation of granulosa cell α-inhibin expression by luteinizing hormone and steroids. Am. J. Obst. Gynecol. 175: 420-427, 1996.

25. Tekmal, R.R. and Durgam, V.R.: A novel in vitro and in vivo breast cancer model for testing inhibitors of estrogen biosynthesis and action using D2 tumor cells with an activated int-5/ aromatase gene. Cancer Lett. 118: 21-28, 1997.