Konark Mukherjee, PhD
Assistant Professor, VTC Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Science at Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, VTC School of Medicine
Research Program Summary
The role of MAGUK ( Membrane Associated Guanylate Kinase) proteins in neurodevelopment. Neurodevelopment proceeds through a series of events culminating into formation of productive neuronal network. One of the key final steps in neurodevelopment is refinement of transient connections i.e. strengthening and weakening/ elimination of transient synapses, which depends on their individual activity. These highly plastic changes in transient synapses require activity-dependent signaling. Proteins involved in synaptic plasticity are obvious effector molecules involved in synaptic pruning or refinement.
MAGUKs are a class of multi-domain scaffolding proteins present in both pre- and post synaptic compartment. They play crucial role in various forms of synaptic plasticity. Mutations in MAGUKs like CASK and SAP102 are often linked with neurodevelopmental disorder like X-linked mental retardation. The goal of Mukherjee laboratory is to investigate role of MAGUKs like CASK in neurodevelopment. Mukherjee laboratory uses both mouse and fly model of CASK knockout for this purpose. Besides animal work, the major thrust of the laboratory is to develop cell biological assays (biochemical, imaging and electrophysiological techniques) to identify the molecular function and signaling pathways of CASK and other MAGUKs.
Education and Training
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Stanford University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Brandeis University: Postdoctoral fellowship
- National Institute of Immunology: Ph.D.
- Indira Gandhi Medical College: M.B.B.S.
Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Brandeis University
- Mukherjee K*, Sharma M, Jahn R, Wahl MC and Sudhof TC. * Corresponding author. (2010). Evolution of CASK into a Mg2+-Sensitive Kinase. Science Signaling, 3(119):ra33.
- Mukherjee K ,Yang X, Gerber SH , Kwon HB , Ho A , Castillo P , Liu X , Südhof TC.. (2010). Piccolo and Bassoon maintain synaptic vesicle clustering without directly participating in vesicle exocytosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 107(14):6504-09.
- Mukherjee K*, Sharma M, Urlaub H , Bourenkov GP, Jahn R , Sudhof TC and Wahl MC.. (2008). CASK functions as a Mg2+-independent neurexin kinase. Cell, 133(2):328-39.
- Mukherjee K, Parashuraman S, Raje M, Mukhopadhyay A.. (2001). SopE acts as an Rab5-specific nucleotide exchange factor and recruits non-prenylated Rab5 on Salmonella-containing phagosomes to promote fusion with early endosomes. J Biol Chem., 276(26):23607-15.
- Mukherjee K, Siddiqi SA., Hashim S, Raje M, Basu SK. and Mukhopadhyay A.. (2000). Live Salmonella recruits N-Ethylmaleimide-sensitive Fusion Protein on phagosomal membrane and promotes fusion with early endosome. J Cell Biol., 148(4):41-53.