Structural and Mechanistic Studies of Epitranscriptomic Gene Regulation.

The Gupta lab studies the structure and function of protein/nucleic acid assemblies central to infectious diseases and childhood cancers. We are particularly interested in understanding the exact mechanisms by which different enzymes and accessory factors cross talk, assemble, and install various covalent chemical modifications on their RNA targets. These epigenetic marks regulate cellular fate decisions including oncogenic transformation of cancer cells. Our long-term goal is to understand the nature of subunit assemblies and sub cellular localization of the entire human RNA methylome. We employ a powerful combination of structural biology tools such as X-ray crystallography, NMR, Electron microscopy coupled with array of other biophysical, in silico, and cell based methods to address prevailing questions on this emerging field of RNA epigenetics. Our studies are expected to elucidate the role of RNA methylome and its potential as a novel anticancer target.

We are also pursuing structural and mechanistic studies on selective ATP motors that process abnormal nucleic acid structures to maintain genome’s integrity. These ATP motors appear to play direct role in disease progression including pediatric brain tumors.