Dr. Rahul Modak
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India, 2009
M.Sc. Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India, 2002


Email : rahul.modak@kiitbiotech.ac.in

Postdoctoral Experience

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India
  2. Institute of Molecular Biology, Mainz, Germany

Research Interest

  1. Biology of infectious diseases & Epigenetics:
    1. Epigenetic regulation of mammalian gene expression during pathogen infection
    2. Regulation of bacterial gene expression by post-translational modification during infection: identification of the role of host factors
  2. Identification of novel small molecule epigenetic modulators

Awards/Honours

  • Post-doctoral fellowship from Institute of Molecular Biology, Mainz, Germany (2013)
  • Post-doctoral fellowship from Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) under National Agricultural Innovation Project. (2009)
  • PhD fellowship from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), India.(2002)
  • National Merit Scholarship for 10th level State Board School Exam.(1995).

Selected Publications

Full List
  1. Modak, R., Das Mitra, S., Vasudevan, M., Krishnamoorthy, P., Kumar, M., Bhat, A.V., Bhuvana, M., Ghosh, S.K., Shome, B.R. and Kundu, T.K. (2014) Staphylococcus aureus infection during mastitis alters specific histone posttranslational modifications in mice. Clinical Epigenetics (in press)
  2. Modak, R., Basha, J., Bharathi N., Maity, K., Bhat, A.V., Mizar, P., Vasudevan, M., Rao, V.K., Kok, W.K., Nagashayana, N., Taneja, R. and Kundu T.K. (2013) Probing p300/CBP Associated Factor (PCAF)-Dependent Pathways with a Small Molecule Inhibitor. ACS Chem Biol, 8 (6), 1311–1323.
  3. Modak, R., Das Mitra, S., Krishnamoorthy, P., Bhat, A.V., Banerjee, A., Gowsica, B.R.,  Bhuvana, M., Dhanikachalam, V., Nateshan, K., Shome R, S, home, B.R. and Kundu, T.K. (2012) Histone H3K14 and H4K8 hyperacetylation is associated with Escherichia coli induced mastitis in mice. Epigenetics, 7 (5), 492- 501 (Cover page article)
  4. Modak, R., Sinha, S. and Surolia N. (2007) Isothermal unfolding studies on the apo and holo forms of Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. Role of the 4′-phosphopantetheine group in the stability of the holo form of Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. FEBS J. 274 (13), 3313-26.
  5. Karmodiya, K., Modak, R., Sahoo, N., Sajad, S. and Surolia, N. (2008) Deciphering the key residues in Plasmodium falciparum β-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein reductase responsible for interactions with Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. FEBS J. 275 (19), 4756-66.

Epigenetics of host-pathogen interactions: regulation of gene expression during pathogenic infection

Eukaryotic genome is a dynamic yet highly organized array of nucleo-protein structures, consisting DNA, histone and non-histone proteins and noncoding RNAs. The dynamic opening and closure of the chromatin through remodelling, histone post-translational modifications and histone exchange regulates the gene expression in a spatio-temporal manner during most of the physiological phenomena including inflammatory response to pathogenic infection in the host tissue. Histone post-translational modifications like acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation play key role in the regulation of gene expression during inflammatory response to infection.

We are exploring the epigenetic modifications during extracellular and intracellular pathogenic infection. We are studying the differential gene expression and epigenetic alteration in the gut epithelial cells associated with enteropathogenic infections both in vitro and in vivo. We will further study the genome-wide gene expression and their regulation. Comparative analysis of these data will illuminate the underlying molecular mechanisms of these infections. This study is expected to pave the way for new generation epigenetic therapy.

Traditionally bacteria are considered as clonal populations of genetically identical cells and the phenotype is the refection of their genetic constitution. This naïve notion resulted in overlooking an important aspect of prokaryotic gene regulation and hence there is only handful of studies to show the epigenetic regulation in bacteria. Bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) activity is mostly regulated by interactions with various transcription factors. Recent studies have shown that bacterial RNAP subunits are acetylated by protein lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) that in turn regulate the gene expression. Environmental conditions like availability of glucose, extreme temperature and pH etc. drastically alter the PTM profile of bacterial proteins including RNAP acetylation. Enteric pathogens encounter different environmental conditions inside the host that is associated with differential gene expression in the bacteria. We are exploring the posttranslational modification of pathogens’ RNA polymerase subunits and their role in the activity of RNAP.

Projects

  1. Deciphering the molecular and epigenetic regulation of host-pathogen interactions during Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahemolyticus infections (Applied)
  2. Epigenetic regulation of prokaryotic transcription: Unraveling the role of protein lysine acetylation in the regulation of RNA polymerase function (Applied)

 

Collaborators

  • Dr. Mrutyunjay Suar, KIIT University
  • Dr. Aparna Rao, LVPEI, Bhubaneswar
  • Pragyan Mishra
    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the host during Vibrio infection
    Email: pragyanmishra1990@gmail.com
  • Aiswarya Dash
    Post-translational regulation of RNA polymerase activity in bacteria.
    Email: aiswaryadash22@gmail.com

Books & Book Chapters

  1. Modak, R, Chatterjee, S. and Kundu T.K.  Chromatin and chromatin remodeling: Implications in cellular processes and diseases. (Book chapter in "Text Book of Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Allied & Molecular Medicine", 4th edition, Prentice Hall of India).
  2. Selvi, B.R., Chatterjee,S., Modak, R., Eswaramoorthy, M. and Kundu, T.K.. (2012) Histone Acetylation as a Therapeutic Target. Subcell Biochem. 61:567-96. (Book chapter in Epigenetics in Development and Disease).

Papers in refereed journals

  1. Modak, R., Das Mitra, S., Vasudevan, M., Krishnamoorthy, P., Kumar, M., Bhat, A.V., Bhuvana, M., Ghosh, S.K., Shome, B.R. and Kundu, T.K. (2014) Staphylococcus aureus infection during mastitis alters specific histone posttranslational modifications in mice. Clinical Epigenetics, 6 (1), 12.Impact Factor: 6.22
  2. Modak, R., Basha, J., Bharathi N., Maity, K., Bhat, A.V., Mizar, P., Vasudevan, M., Rao, V.K., Kok, W.K., Nagashayana, N., Taneja, R. and Kundu T.K. (2013) Probing p300/CBP Associated Factor (PCAF)-Dependent Pathways with a Small Molecule Inhibitor. ACS Chem Biol, 8 (6), 1311–1323.Impact Factor: 5.44
  3. Modak, R., Das Mitra, S., Krishnamoorthy, P., Bhat, A.V., Banerjee, A., Gowsica, B.R.,  Bhuvana, M., Dhanikachalam, V., Nateshan, K., Shome R, S, home, B.R. and Kundu, T.K. (2012) Histone H3K14 and H4K8 hyperacetylation is associated with Escherichia coli induced mastitis in mice. Epigenetics, 7 (5), 492- 501 (Cover page article)Impact Factor: 4.58
  4. Modak, R., Sinha, S. and Surolia N. (2007) Isothermal unfolding studies on the apo and holo forms of Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. Role of the 4′-phosphopantetheine group in the stability of the holo form of Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. FEBS J. 274 (13), 3313-26.Impact Factor: 4.25
  5. Suresh, V.M., Chatterjee, S., Modak, R., Tiwari, V., Patel, A.B., Kundu T.K. and Maji T.K. (2014) Oligo(p-phenyleneethynylene) Derived Porous Luminescent Nanoscale Coordination Polymer of GdIII: Bimodal Imaging and Nitroaromatic Sensing. J. Phys. Chem. C, 118 (23), 12241–12249.Impact Factor: 4.84
  6. Gupta, S., Modak, R., Surolia, N. and Surolia, A. (2009) Partial molar volumes of acyl carrier proteins are related to their states of acylation. Biochem Biophys Res Co. 380 (4), 763-8.Impact Factor: 2.41
  7. Karmodiya, K., Modak, R., Sahoo, N., Sajad, S. and Surolia, N. (2008) Deciphering the key residues in Plasmodium falciparum β-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein reductase responsible for interactions with Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein. FEBS J. 275 (19), 4756-66.Impact Factor: 4.25
  8. Sharma, S., Sharma, S.K., Modak, R., Karmodiya, K., Surolia, N. and Surolia, A. (2007) Mass spectrometry-based systems approach for identification of inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum fatty acid synthase. Antimicrob Agents Ch. 51 (7), 2552-2558.Impact Factor: 4.57
  9. Sharma, S.K., Modak, R., Sharma, S., Sharma, A.K., Sarma, S.P., Surolia, A. and Surolia, N. (2005) A novel approach for over-expression, characterization, and isotopic enrichment of a homogeneous species of acyl carrier protein from Plasmodium falciparum. Biochem Biophys Res Co. 330 (4), 1019-26.Impact Factor: 2.41
  10. Sharma, S.K., Kapoor, M., Ramya, T.N.C., Kumar, S., Kumar, G., Modak, R., Sharma, S., Surolia, N. and Surolia, A. (2003) Identification, Characterization, and Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum β-Hydroxyacyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ)*. J Biol Chem 278, 45661-45671.Impact Factor: 4.65