Invited Talk: Discovery, engineering and applications of Blue Fish Protein with Red Flourescence @ Sathyam Hall
Aug 12 @ 10:00 am – 10:15 am

RamaswamyS. Ramaswamy, Ph.D.
CEO of c-CAMP, Dean, inStem, NCBS, Bangalore, India

Discovery, engineering and applications of Blue Fish Protein with Red Fluorescence

Swagatha Ghosh, Chi-Li Yu, Daniel Ferraro,  Sai Sudha, Wayne Schaefer, David T Gibson and S. Ramaswamy

Fluorescent proteins and their applications have revolutionized our understanding of biology significantly.  In spite of several years since the discovery of the classic GFP, proteins of this class are used as the standard flag bearers.  We have recently discovered a protein from the fish Sanders vitrius that shows interesting fluorescent properties – including a 280 nm stoke shift and infrared emission.  The crystal structure of the wild type protein shows that it is a tetramer.  We have engineered mutations to make a monomer with very similar fluorescent properties. We have used this protein for tissue imaging as well as for in cell-fluorescence successfully

Ramaswamy (1) Ramaswamy (2) Ramaswamy (3) Ramaswamy (4)

Invited Talk: The system of PAS proteins (HIF and AhR) as an interface between environment and skin homeostasis @ Acharya Hall
Aug 13 @ 2:33 pm – 2:50 pm

andreyAndrey Panteleyev, Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Division of Molecular Biology, NBICS Centre-Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia

The system of PAS proteins (HIF and AhR) as an interface between environment and skin homeostasis

Regulation of normal skin functions as well as etiology of many skin diseases are both tightly linked to the environmental impact. Nevertheless, molecular aspects of skin-environment communication and mechanisms coordinating skin response to a plurality of environmental stressors remain poorly understood.

Our studies along with the work of other groups have identified the family of PAS dimeric transcription factors as an essential sensory and regulatory component of communication between skin and the environment. This protein family comprises a number of hypoxia-induced factors (HIF-alpha proteins), aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), AhR nuclear translocator (ARNT), and several proteins implicated in control of rhythmic processes (Clock, Period, and Bmal proteins). Together, various PAS proteins (and first of all ARNT – as the central dimerization partner in the family) control such pivotal aspects of cell physiology as drug/xenobiotic metabolism, hypoxic and UV light response, ROS activity, pathogen defense, overall energy balance and breathing pathways.

In his presentation Dr. Panteleyev will focus on the role of ARNT activity and local hypoxia in control of keratinocyte differentiation and cornification. His recent work revealed that ARNT negatively regulates expression of late differentiation genes through modulation of amphiregulin expression and downstream alterations in activity of EGFR pathway. All these effects are highly dependent on epigenetic mechanisms such as histone deacetylation. Characterisation of hypoxia as a key microenvironmental factor in the skin and the role of HIF pathway in control of dermal vasculature and epidermal functions is another major focus of Dr. Panteleyev’s presentation.

In general, the studies of Dr. Panteleyev’s laboratory provide an insight into the PAS-dependent maintenance of skin homeostasis and point to the potential role of these proteins in pathogenesis of environmentally-modulated skin diseases such as barrier defects, desquamation abnormalities, psoriasis, etc.