D. Narasimha Rao

Department of Biochemistry
Research Areas: 
DNA-Protein Interactions-using Restriction-Modification enzymes, DNA Mismatch Repair proteins as model systems.
Research Highlights: 

The long term goal in Professor D. N. Rao's laboratory is to understand how DNA mismatch repair proteins and restriction -modification enzymes achieve their specificity. The research in the lab currently focusses on the following systems: (1) ATP Dependent Restriction Enzymes - Our work on these enzymes highlight the importance of functional cooperation in the modulation of enzyme activity. We are currently investigating the details of how these enzymes recognize, cleave and modify DNA from a biochemical as well as a structural standpoint. (2) DNA Methyltransferases - We are interested in finding out how this group of enzymes recognize different sequences and carry out entirely different kinds of methylation reactions. Using steady-state kinetics and isotope-partioning experiments, the kinetic mechanisms of these methylases will be determined. We propose a detailed study of these enzymes using a variety of biochemical, biophysical and genetic approaches. These studies are aimed at understanding the precise interactions of the protein with DNA and to unravel the features of enzyme action. (3) DNA Mismatch Repair in Haemophilus influenzae - Recent genetic studies have shown that the DNA mismatch repair genes of H. influenzae (a wide spread human pathogen) have a major role to play in its pathogenecity mediated through a phenomenon called phase variation. The present study is aimed at the biochemical characterization of several mismatch repair proteins and in understanding protein-protein interactions among the mismatch repair proteins of Haemophilus influenzae.

  1. Rao, D. N, and S. Bheemanaik. 2013. Dna Restriction And Modification: Type Iii Enzymes. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry, Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry, Elsevier {BV}, 136–141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-378630-2.00243-7.