Dr. Soumitra Basu: "RNAs are not only ‘jack of a lot of trades’, they are also ‘master of many’"

Nucleic acids molecules (DNA and RNA) are intimately involved in modulating fundamental cellular processes. Among the nucleic acids RNAs are amazingly versatile and play diverse roles in cellular processes, such as, in protein synthesis, gene expression regulation, RNA processing, protein transport, and chromosome-end replication. RNAs have also been utilized as therapeutic targets and as therapeutic molecules. Such a functional diversity implies structural complexity once thought to be the domains of protein molecules.

My laboratory is very interested in understanding the chemical principles, which govern the complexity of RNA structure and how that relates to its function. Working towards that goal we will study the chemical basis of RNA-RNA, RNA-protein and RNA-ligand interactions. Furthermore, we would like to use RNA as therapeutic targets and utilize its plasticity to develop novel therapeutic molecules.

We study the role of nucleic acids in such diverse diseases as Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.

We utilize the tools of biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to achieve our research objectives. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to get involved.

Recent Publications:

  1. “A G-quadruplex within the human Tyrosine Hydroxylase promoter enhances transcription”, Farhath, M., Thompson, M., Ray, S., Sewell, A., Balci, H., and Basu, S*, (2015), Biochemistry, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00209.
  2. “An independently folding RNA G-quadruplex domain directly recruits 40S ribosomal subunit”, (2014), Bhattacharyya, D., Diamond, P., and Basu, S.* (2015), Biochemistry (accelerated publication), 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00091.
  3. “A potassium ion dependent RNA structural switch regulates human pre-miRNA 92b maturation”, Mirihana Arachchilage, G., Dassanayake, A, and Basu, S.* (2015), Chem Biol, 22, 2, 262–272.
  4. "Rationally Induced RNA:DNA G-Quadruplex Structures Elicit an Anticancer Effect by Inhibiting Endogenous eIF-4E Expression", Bhattacharyya, D., Nguyen, K., and Basu, S.* (2014), Biochemistry, 53, 5461, DOI: 10.1021/bi5008904.
  5. "A library screening approach identifies naturally occurring RNA sequences for a G-quadruplex binding ligand", Arachchilage, G. M., Morris, M.J. and Basu, S.* (2013), Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3CC47381C.
  6. "The porphyrin TmPyP4 unfolds the extremely stable G-quadruplex in MT3-MMP mRNA and alleviates its repressive effect to enhance translation in eukaryotic cells", Morris, M. J., Wingate, K. L., Silwal, J., Leeper, T C., and Basu, S.* (2012), Nucleic Acids Res. doi:10.1093/nar/gkr1308.
  7. "An RNA G-Quadruplex Is essential for cap-independent translation initiation in human VEGF IRES" Morris, M.J., Negishi, Y., Pazsint, C., Schonhoft, J.D. and Basu, S.* (2010), J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 17831–17839.