Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
Research focus of the lab:
Understanding cellular processes by reconstitution:
Anyone who’s owned a watch would agree that this little machine is a marvelous creation. Some may admire it as it ticks undisturbed in it’s protective casing. But like the watchmaker, those curious to know how it functions are taken by an irresistible desire to open the back cover and dismantle the many small gears and springs. When put back together and the watch ticks as before, the 'watchmaker kinds' are overcome by a sense of gratification and humility in having understood how this little machine works.
Cells are like watches and molecules inside them are the gears and springs that have evolved to coordinate and catalyze reactions necessary for growth and survival of cells. But unlike watches, we don't quite know which molecules function as gears or springs. Cells transport soluble and membrane proteins across organelles in membrane bound vesicles - a process that is termed vesicular transport. This process is necessary to generate cellular organelles and maintain their identity throughout the lifespan of the cell. When applied to cellular processes, the watchmaker’s paradigm of learning by putting pieces back together to recreate function is termed biochemical reconstitution. We utilize this approach to understand the mechanism of vesicular transport and our efforts are guided by inputs from observing this process in living cells and rational design principles.
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