Surajit Sarkar


Neurobiology & Developmental Genetics Lab

Human neurodegenerative disorders are devastating illnesses characterized by progressive loss of neurons in specific areas of brain causing various neurological complications leading to death. Some of these disorders are Huntington’s disease (HD), Spinal and bulbar Muscular atrophy (SBMA), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and several kinds of the Spinocerebellar ataxias etc. Our research interest is primarily focused on the genetic, cellular and molecular basis of such human neurodegenerative disorders and its association with aging.

In addition to neurosciences, we are also interested to study the developmental relevance of the multiple globins and stress genes. We extensively utilize Drosophila melanogaster as model organism which provides a powerful array of genetic, molecular, and cellular approaches. Furthermore, availability of Drosophila models of various human neurodegenerative diseases offers a unique opportunity to study the insights of neurodegenerative disorders.

Major Research Findings
Dr. Sarkar’s lab has demonstrated for the first time that targeted over-expression of dMyc (a homologue of human cMyc proto-oncogene) could potentially suppresses human poly(Q) induced neurodegeneration and cellular toxicity in Drosophila disease models. It was further established that dMyc mediated suppression of human poly(Q) toxicity is achieved by alleviating the cellular level of CREB-Binding Proteins (CBP) and improved histone acetylation, resulting restoration of transcriptional machinery which are otherwise abbreviated due to poly(Q) disease conditions. These novel finding could potentially help in designing novel therapeutic approach to suppress some fatal human neurodegenerative disorders.

Research Findings From Our Lab Making News



Gyan Vigyan- Hindi (Rajya Sabha TV)     Science Monitor- English (Rajya Sabha TV)

The Team

Dr. Surajit Sarkar
Ms. Nisha
Ms. Pragati
Ms. Shweta Tandon
Ms. Aqsa
Ms. Prerna Agarwal
Mr. Himanshu Rathore (Lab Help)

 The Dearly Departed

  Dr. M. Dhruba Singh (Ph.D)
  Dr. Renu Yadav (Ph.D)
  Dr. Soram Idiyasan Chanu (Ph.D)
  Dr. Kritika Raj (Ph.D)
  Ms. Versha Yadav (M. Phil)

  Ms. Samriddhi Sharma (M.Phil)

 Selected Publications:


  • Raj K., Sarkar S (2018) Tissue-specific upregulation of Drosophila insulin receptor (InR) mitigates poly(Q)-mediated neurotoxicity by restoration of cellular transcription machinery. Mol Neurobiol. (ahead of print) doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1160-3
  • Sarkar S (2018) Neurofibrillary tangles mediated human neuronal tauopathies: insights from fly models. J Genet. 97:783-793.
  • Yadav R., Nisha., Sarkar S (2018) Drosophila globin1 is required for maintenance of the integrity of F-actin based cytoskeleton during development. Exp. Cell Res. 366:16-23.
  • Chanu S. I., Sarkar S (2017) Targeted downregulation of dMyc restricts neurofibrillary tangles mediated pathogenesis of human neuronal tauopathies in Drosophila. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1863:2111-2119.
  • Raj K. and Sarkar S (2017) Transactivation domain of human c-myc is essential to alleviate poly(Q) mediated neurotoxicity in Drosophila disease models. J. Mol Neurosci. 62:55-66.
  • Chanu SI, Sarkar S. (2017) Targeted Downregulation of dMyc Suppresses Pathogenesis of Human Neuronal Tauopathies in Drosophila by Limiting Heterochromatin Relaxation and Tau Hyperphosphorylation. Mol Neurobiol. 54:2706-2719.
  • Yadav R. Sarkar S (2016) Drosophila glob1 is required for the maintenance of cytoskeletal integrity during oogenesis. Dev Dyn. 245:1048-1065.
  • Yadav R., Chanu SI., Raj K. Nisha., Sarkar S (2016) Drosophila melanogaster: A prime experimental model system for aging studies. In: Topics in Biomedical Gerontology; Eds. P.C. Rath, R. Sharma, S. Prasad. Springer Publication. (Book Chapter)
  • Singh MD, Chanu SI, Sarkar S. (2016) Deciphering the Enigma of Human Poly(Q) Disorders: Contribution of Drosophila melanogaster. Int J Neu Res 2: 216-223.
  • Yadav R, Kundu S, Sarkar S (2015) Drosophila glob1 expresses dynamically and is required for development and oxidative stress response. Genesis 53:719-737. (Cover Page Article)
  • Chanu S.I, Singh, M.D., Nisha., Sarkar S (2014) Transcriptional up-regulation and its impact on poly(Q) disorders. Ther Targets Neurol Dis 2014; 1: e312. doi: 10.14800/ttnd.312.
  • Gupta R., Sarkar S. and Srivastava S (2014) In vivo Toxicity Assessment of Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs LR14) Derived from Lactobacillus plantarum Strain LR/14 in Drosophila melanogaster. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 6:59-67. DOI 10.1007/s12602-013-9154.
  • Singh M.D., Raj K., Sarkar S. (2014) Drosophila Myc, a novel modifier suppresses the poly(Q) toxicity by modulating the level of CREB binding protein and histone acetylation. Neurobiol. Dis. 63:48-61
  • Chanu SI, Singh MD, Yadav R, Raj K. Sarkar S (2013) Neurodegeneration and Ageing: A Fatal Encounter. Cell Dev Biol S1:002. doi: 10.4172/2168-9296.S1-002.
  • Sarkar. S., Singh M.D. Yadav R and Pittman G. W. (2011) Heat shock proteins: Molecules with assorted functions. Front. in Bio. 6: 312–327.
  • Sarkar S., Lakhotia S. C. (2008) Hsp60C is required in follicle as well as germline cells during oogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Dev Dyn 237:1334-1347. (Cover Page Article)
  • Sarkar S. and Lakhotia S. C. (2005). The Hsp60C gene in the 25F cytogenetic region in Drosophila melanogaster is essential for tracheal development fertility. J. Genet, 84: 265-281.Sarkar S, Arya R, Lakhotia S. C. (2006). Chaperonins: in life and death. In: Sreedhar AS, Srinivas UK, editors. Stress Responses: A Molecular Biology Approach. Research Signpost Publication. (Book Chapter)

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