Shantanu Chowdhury is from the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi. His research interests include Caner Genomics and large scale data analytics particularly with respect to understanding drug resistance. Following his PhD in chemistry from the IICT, Hyderabad, he trained as a molecular biologist in USA and the Max Planck Institute, Marburg, Germany. In 2002 he moved to his current position where he established his own laboratory. In 2012 he was awarded India’s most prestigious science prize the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Biological Sciences. He is senior research fellow of the Wellcome Trust – DBT India Alliance and serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Biological Chemistry and Human Genomics.
The Emerging Story of DNA Quadruplexes in Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation
We asked whether and how gene transcription could be regulated by alternative DNA secondary structures. In order to understand this poorly appreciated theme we used the well-formed guanine quartet (quadruplex) DNA structure as a case study and sought to analyse its relationship with higher order biological processes that influence transcription. Analysis of human, chimpanzee, mouse, and rat genomes (>90,000 promoters) indicated significant G4 DNA enrichment within proximal promoters. Whole genome expression using microarrays in human cell lines along with real time PCR results support our hypothesis. At a molecular level, expression of the cancer gene c-myc was taken as a case study and our results including chromatin immunoprecipitation show the tandem role of G4 motif and a transcription factor in regulation of the oncogene c-myc. Together findings support role of local DNA motifs in gene regulation and DNA methylation.