Baskaran "Baski" Thyagarajan
Role of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels and phosphatidyl inositol (4,5) bisphosphate (PIP2)-rich lipid microdomains in the regulation of synaptic functions and in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and metabolic diseases
Molecular mechanisms of neuronal exoendocytosis
Botulinum neurotoxins therapeutics
Magnetic nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery system
The long-term goal of our research is to understand the regulatory role of TRP channels and membrane bound PIP2-rich lipid microdomains in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and metabolic diseases.
Mammalian superfamily of TRP channels represent six related subfamilies – TRPC (canonical), TRPV (vanilloid), TRPM (melastatin) TRPP (polycystin), TRPML (mucolipin) and TRPA1 (ankyrin). All TRP channels are putative six-transmembrane polypeptide subunits that assemble as tetramers to form cation-permeable pores. TRP channel proteins are ubiquitously expressed and most have splice variants. Therefore, many cells have number of TRP channel proteins. TRP channels are involved in the regulation of several cellular functions including fertilization, development, thermosensation, nociception, taste, vision, mechanosensation, intra- and extracellular Ca2+ and Mg2+ homeostasis. Recent research indicates the involvement of TRP channels in pathophysiology degenerative diseases.
To investigate the complex mechanistic role of TRP channel proteins and PIP2-rich lipid microdomain in the regulation of synaptic functions and in the pathophysiology of degenerative diseases, we employ electrophysiology, intracellular Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, confocal microscopy, biochemical, cell and molecular biological techniques and in vivo animal models. This facilitates our long-term goal to uncover the potentials of TRP channels as therapeutic targets for the treatment of degenerative diseases.