Naorem Aruna Devi

The main aim of our laboratory is to understand the regulatory mechanisms underlying differential gene expression and cell differentiation during starvation-induced development in Dictyostelium discoideum. To achieve the aim, we follow different approaches - gene-specific transcription factors (basic Leucine Zipper, bZIP) and genes regulated by them; a family of Peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerase (PPIase) in regulating the effector molecules such as transcription factors; cell cycle regulator as cell cycle influences cell differentiation; and finally integration of the molecular events in understanding how the action of these regulatory protein in concert to achieve a complex process of cell differentiation during multicellular development.

D. discoideum cells exist as a unicellular haploid amoeba in moist soil under temperate conditions. The cells feed on soil microorganisms and divide by fission. Upon starvation, cells secrete cAMP and undergo a developmental program in which unicellular undifferentiated amoeba come together to form multicellular structure consisting of two terminally differentiated cell-types, spore cells and stalk cells. These homogenous cells respond to different signaling molecules, such as cAMP, DIF-1 etc. and differentiate into presumptive spore (prespore)/presumptive stalk (prestalk) cells. In slug stage, there is a clear and distinctive sorting of these cells wherein anterior portion, 1/5th is occupied by prestalk cells and the rest is occupied by prespore cells. Once the condition is favorable, slugs culminate into fruiting body with live spores supported on dead stalk.

Major Research Findings

Dr. Aruna Naorem’s lab is involved in elucidating the role of bZIP transcription factors, Parvulin type PPIases, PinA and other protein regulators during growth and development in a model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum
  1. BzpG, a bZIP transcription factor, may have an essential function in regulating important genes necessary for growth and development.
  2. PinA function is required for growth as well as cell type-specific gene marker expression during development.
Lab members
           1. Tanu Priya, PhD- submitted
           2. Nemneineng Haokip, PhD
           3. Thiyam Lakshmi Devi, PhD
           4. Preeti Agarwal, PhD
Recent Publications
  1. Kalleda N, Naorem A, Manchikatla RV (2013) Targeting Fungal Genes by Diced siRNAs: A Rapid Tool to Decipher Gene Function in Aspergillus nidulans. PLoS ONE 8(10): e75443. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075443   2788-2803.

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