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Research

Our group designs, synthesizes and evaluates organic compounds that can produce reactive species in a spatiotemporally controlled manner as tools for biochemical and cell biological studies. Biological reactive species are produced during normal metabolism but elevated levels can cause irreparable damage to cells.

reactive oxygen species (ROS)

Superoxide radical is inadvertently generated during respiration and it is subsequently converted to hydrogen peroxide. Fenton chemistry produces hydroxyl radical, which can cause extensive damage to various cellular components. While ROS is considered as a cancer therapeutic, the role of ROS in bacteria has recently become controversial with a number of studies indicating that ROS can inhibit bacterial growth. Our lab works on developing new methodologies to generate ROS including the use of natural product-based scaffolds. We intend to develop new strategies to target Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

reactive sulfur species

Together with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide is now considered as the third gasotransmitter. Our lab is developing new sources of hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur dioxide is a product of oxidation of hydrogen sulfide and is used routinely in the food industry as a preservative and antibacterial agent. Our lab is developing new sources of sulfur dioxide to study is biological effects as well as to explore its therapeutic potential. We find that thiol-activated sources of sulfur dioxide are capable of inhibiting Mycobacterium tuberculosis at low micromolar levels.

reactive nitrogen species (RNS)

Nitric oxide (NO) was long considered an environmental pollutant but in the past three decades, NO has been found to mediate numerous cellular processes. Due to its ability to cause biomacromolecular damage, the use of NO as a therapeutic has been suggested. However, a major challenge associated with the use of NO is to direct its delivery. Our lab develops new methodologies for directed delivery of NO. For example, we are developing methods to produce NO in certain unique cellular situations such as hypoxia which is characterized by a reducing environment. Furthermore, our lab is also working on developing new tools to study cellular responses to peroxynitrite.

coordinates

111, Mendeleev Block, IISER Pune
Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411 008 Maharashtra, India
Ph: +91 20 2590 8090
Fax: +91 20 2589 9790

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