Chakrabarti lab is interested in understanding the role of RNA in genome regulation. For this purpose we investigate RNA based molecular processes that are critical in pathogen biology and host-pathogen interactions in human diseases. Our long term goal is to target such processes for therapeutic interventions. This work will include three main areas of investigation in parasites and viruses:
(1) Genome-wide profiling of RNA structures and RNA-Protein interactions in Plasmodium and Trypanosoma parasites to gain molecular understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation in parasitic diseases.
(2) Dissect regulatory roles of RNA-protein enzyme ‘Telomerase’ in human parasites. Protection of chromosome termini by telomere DNA repeats is one of several strategies eukaryotic cells have developed to maintain the integrity of their genomes. However, due to the fact that DNA polymerases cannot fully replicate linear DNAs, the termini of telomeric DNAs (chromosomes) are shortened every cell cycle. This telomere attrition is counterbalanced by the telomerase, an RNA-Protein enzyme that contains at least two essential components; the telomerase RNA that provides the template sequence for telomere synthesis, and the telomerase reverse transcriptase. We investigate enzymatic processes rendered by telomerase to gain insights into unique telomerase biogenesis and functional pathways in microbial pathogens among distinct evolutionary lineages.
Chakrabarti lab is interested in identifying unique RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions in RNA processing pathways of parasites and viruses that can attribute to rational design and testing of therapeutic molecules.