Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
Devanjan Sinha is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University. He completed his PhD from Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His major areas of interest include mitochondria and stress biology, and molecular chaperones– in the context of their role in health and diseases. He has been awarded the INSA Young Scientist Medal 2017, NASI-Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award 2017. He is a DST-INSPIRE Faculty fellow (2014). Devanjan Sinha was selected Associate in 2017.
SESSION 1B: Inaugural Lectures by Fellows/Associates
E D Jemmis
Molecular chaperones as gateways to mitochondrial health
Mitochondrial dysfunction has lately been appreciated as a major causal factor in a myriad of diseases. For its function, a typical mitochondrion requires around 1500–2000 proteins. However, the mitochondrial genome is highly gene-deficient and most of the mitochondrial proteome is nuclear encoded. Therefore, the system has developed a robust transport mechanism, which involves coordinated recycling of Hsp70 (heat shock protein 70) machinery at the transport channel. In lower organisms, these transporters are limited to their primary import role. But in higher organisms, the speaker found that the transport machinery is highly specialized with dedicated machines present for constitutive and regulated functions. Particularly the J-proteins, which are major drivers of Hsp70 functions have evolved multifunctionality and influence, other than protein transport, other cellular processes such as cell proliferation, redox maintenance, responses to xenobiotic drugs etc. Indeed, these J-proteins have been found to be overexpressed or mutated in different pathophysiological conditions such as cancer and cardiomyopathies. Their initial findings provide some hints on how these J-proteins might be hard-wired into the cellular systems, thereby furthering our understanding of these multifunctional entities.