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Kausiki Datta

Kausiki Datta, PhD

Kausiki Datta, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Center for NeuroGenetics

Phone: 352-273-7889

University of Florida
Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2033 Mowry Rd.
Gainesville, FL. 32610

Research Interests

My research interest has been focused on understanding the molecular basis of function and regulation of replication and transcription with studies focused primarily on understanding the detailed mechanisms and general principles of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein interactions that are central to gene expression. As a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Prof. Peter von Hippel, we developed a novel spectroscopic assay that enabled us to determine the local conformations of nucleoside bases within functional macromolecular machines of replication and transcription. By using this assay we studied the steps that are central to elongation and intrinsic termination of transcription. We further used this approach to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms and the molecular basis of fidelity control in DNA polymerase. As a Scientist in Roche Pharmaceuticals, I studied the transcription and replication mechanisms of influenza virus as targets for developing novel therapeutic interventions. We demonstrated for the first time that the influenza endonuclease exhibited guanine specific cleavage of the host pre-mRNA during ‘cap-snatching’ transcription. We established an RNA hybridization based branched DNA (bDNA) assay to carry out high-throughput screening for anti-influenza compounds which guided the structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies.

In collaboration with the investigators in the Center for NeuroGenetics at the University of Florida, in Berglund lab we are interested in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of the microsatellite repeat expansions in neuromuscular diseases, including, Myotonic Dystrophy (DM) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). My goal is to pursue collaborative research to investigate the underlying disease-causing pathways using various biophysical approaches and developing high-throughput screening assays for identifying novel small molecule compounds and elucidating the mode of action (MOA) of these compounds which knowledge I then hope to help extend to the clinical level in an effort to find cures for the diseases.

Selected Publications

Roch FF, Hinterkörner G, Menke J, Tang GQ, Cusack S, Butzendobler B, Buschmann H, Datta K, Wolkerstorfer A. (2015) An RNA Hybridization Assay for Screening Influenza A Virus Polymerase Inhibitors Using the Entire Ribonucleoprotein Complex. Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2015 Oct;13(8):488-506. doi: 10.1089/adt.2015.668.

Datta K, Wolkerstorfer A., Szolar O., Cusack, S and Klumpp, K. (2013) Characterization of PA-N terminal domain of Influenza A polymerase reveals sequence specific RNA cleavage. Nucleic Acids Res. 41(17):8289-8299. Epub Juy 11, 2013. (Article featured in World Biomedical Frontiers, 2014)

Datta K, Johnson N.P., Villani G., Marcus A.H., von Hippel P.H. (2012) Characterization of the 6-methyl isoxanthopterin (6-MI) base analog dimer, a spectroscopic probe for monitoring guanine base conformations at specific sites in nucleic acids. Nucleic Acids Res. 40(3):1191-202. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Datta, K., Johnson, N.P. and von Hippel, P.H. (2010) DNA conformational changes at the primer-template junction regulate the fidelity of replication by DNA polymerase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Scis. USA. 107(42): 17980-5. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Datta, K and von Hippel PH. (2008) Direct spectroscopic study of reconstituted transcription complexes reveals that intrinsic termination is driven primarily by thermodynamic destabilization of the nucleic acid framework. J. Biol. Chem. 283(6), 3537-49. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Datta, K and LiCata, VJ. (2003) Thermodynamics of the binding of Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase to primed-template DNA. Nucleic Acids Research. Vol. 31, 5590-97.

Link to full list of publications: