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Dipankar Chatterji

Honorary Professor

Molecular Biophysics Unit

Indian Institute of Science,

Bangalore-560012, India

dipankar@iisc.ac.in

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dipankarMolecular machines manage the flow of genetic information in DNA to active and functional proteins through the process of central dogma. The machines that mediate the information transfer from DNA to protein are RNA polymerase and ribosome. The synthesis of RNA from a DNA template is catalysed by RNA polymerase and the process is known as transcription. On the other hand, the process of information transfer from RNA to protein is mediated by ribosome. Our laboratory, since several decades has been working on the mechanistic details of transcription process in bacteria under stress.

The Lab focusses on the following questions:

1. Under nutritional starvation bacteria elicit 'stringent response' with concomitant synthesis of alarmone like (p)ppGpp. We focus our attention on how ppGpp modulate differential gene expression to balance the efficient utilization of available energy within the cell.

2. The second messenger like c-di-GMP or c-di-AMP play major role in bacterial communication network known as Quorum sensing. The proximate aim of our lab is to monitor the cross talk between stringent response and Quorum sensing. 

3. RNA polymerase is a multi-subunit enzyme and every subunit is essential except omega, which can be deleted without any deleterious effect. However, omega plays a major role in maturation of the enzyme and maintaining its structural integrity. We are trying to find out through critical genetic experiments, the structure-function relationship in omega.

4. Lastly, we devote our time to characterise yet another protein Dps, which is the iron store house in bacteria and is synthesized under stress like starvation.

 

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