Anjali Anoop Karande

Department of Biochemistry
Research Areas: 
immunology, human immune defenses, transplants, toxins, antiviral peptides
Research Highlights: 

Dr Anjali Karande is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, where her research unit studies various aspects of how our immune system works and on developing antibody-based therapeutic agents. Her current research projects include: (1) Construction of vaccines to neutralize Abrin toxicity - The toxin Abrin, isolated from the Abrus precatorius plant, is a type II ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) that has a catalytic efficiency higher than any other toxin belonging to this class of proteins. Unique monoclonal antibodies have been established to abrin that exhibit neutralization of the toxin activity in vitro and importantly, in vivo. The epitopes corresponding to the antibodies are being studied to enable design of small molecules/peptides as inhibitors of toxin activity. (2) Designing immunotoxins using Abrin - Studies in the laboratory are also focused on delineating the signaling pathways triggered by abrin to kill cells by apoptosis (programmed cell death) and constructing immunotoxins for cell targeted immunotherapy of cancers. (3) Immunomodulation in Pregnancy - Glycodelin A is a glycoprotein synthesized by the endometrium and decidua under progesterone regulation and has been implicated in suppression of the maternal immune system against the fetal allo-graft. Data from our laboratory have demonstrated that glycodelin binds the CD7 molecule on activated T cells and induces their death. The CD7 receptor-associated apoptotic events are being studied presently. Currently the focus of the group is to determine the structure-function relationship of the glycans (sugars) on glycodelin (4) Identification and evaluation of virus neutralizing epitopes on hepatitis c type 3 virus - Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects almost 200 million people worldwide, of which approximately 70-80% of them develop chronic hepatitis with 20-30% of them developing liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment options for chronic HCV infection are limited, and a prophylactic vaccine is not available. An important consideration towards design of a vaccine for HCV infection would be identification of the B cell epitopes on the envelope protein of the virus that induce infection-neutralizing antibodies, thus can confer protective immunity. Mouse monoclonal antibodies against HCV-like particles have proved to be promising anti-virals. The epitope mapping of the neutralizing antibodies is being carried out to design peptides as candidate vaccines