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Nagendran Ramalingam
Schleicher Lab
Schillerstr. 42, 80336 Muenchen

The molecules involved in the actin cytoskeleton remodelling are the focus of our group. The rate-limiting step in actin polymerization is the formation of the stable actin-nuclei. Actin-nulcei formation is accelerated by two major classes of actin-nuleators:

(1) Actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp 2/3) complex which binds the slow-growing or minus end of the actin filament and leads to dendritic, branched actin network formation. This dendritic network is often seen in lamellipodia. (2) Formins on the other hand, bind the fast-growing or barbed end and form linear actin filaments that constitute the actin structures such as contractile ring, stress fibers and filopodia.

Formins are large and multidomain actin-binding proteins that are characterized by the presence of highly conserved "Formin Homology" or FH domains. The proline-rich FH1 domain modulates the signals with proteins such as profilin and vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). It is the FH2 domain that confers actin nucleation feature to formins. Binding of Rho GTPase to the GTPase binding domain (GBD) triggers the activation of formin by disrupting the Dia-autoregulatory domain (DAD) - Dia-inhibitory Domain (DID) intramolecular interaction. Formins of this class are called as Diaphanous-related formins (DRFs).

My project involves understanding the regulation of Dictyostelium formins in vitro and in vivo. Among the 10 putative FH domain containing proteins in Dictyostelium genome 7 are DRFs. I chose dDia3 and ForA for the study. dDia3 and ForA are novel members of the DRF family that harbor protein kinase C conserved region 1 (C1) and 2 (C2) respectively, in addition to the classical domains that are present in DRFs. Presently the role of C1 and C2 regions in the regulation is investigated in detail.

  • 2014-present Associate Research Scientist in the Levy lab at Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 2009-2013 Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Gundersen lab at Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 2003-2009 Graduate student in the Schleicher lab at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  • 2000-2003 Junior Research Fellow (Project Assistant) in the Uday Kumar lab at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India
  • 1997-1999 M.Sc., Biochemistry at St. Joseph's college, Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India
  • 1994-1997 B.Sc., Botany at St. Joseph's college, Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India

  • Kif4 interacts with EB1 and stabilizes microtubules downstream of Rho-mDia in migrating fibroblasts. Morris EJ, Nader GP, Ramalingam N, Bartolini F and Gundersen GG. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 21;9(3):e91568.
  • Actin-capping protein promotes microtubule stability by antagonizing the actin activity of mDia1. Bartolini F, Ramalingam N and Gundersen GG. Mol.Biol.Cell. 2012 Oct;23(20):4032-40. 
  • Phospholipids regulate localization and activity of mDia1 formin. Ramalingam N, Zhao H, Breitsprecher D, Lappalainen P, Faix J, Schleicher M. Eur J Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;89(10):723-32.
  • The actinome of Dictyostelium discoideum in comparison to actins and actin-related proteins from other organisms. Joseph JM, Fey P, Ramalingam N, Liu XI, Rohlfs M, Noegel AA, Müller-Taubenberger A, Glöckner G, Schleicher M. PLoS One. 2008 Jul 9;3(7):e2654.
  • Characterization of the Ste20-like kinase Krs1 of Dictyostelium discoideum. Arasada R, Son H, Ramalingam N, Eichinger L, Schleicher M, Rohlfs M. Eur J Cell Biol. 2006 Sep;85(9-10):1059-68.
  • Tat protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype C strains is a defective chemokine. Ranga U, Shankarappa R, Siddappa NB, Ramakrishna L, Nagendran R, Mahalingam M, Mahadevan A, Jayasuryan N, Satishchandra P, Shankar SK, Prasad VR. J Virol. 2004 Mar;78(5):2586-90.

  • Organized 2005 winter retreat
  • Organized the 3rd ENB seminar
  • Organized the Vic Small seminar
  • Organized the Lappalainen seminar
  • Coorganized the Goode seminar

    • Americal Society for Cell Biology - since Dec 2006
    • Elite Network Bavaria - since Oct 2005
    • German Society for Cell Biology - since Jan 2005
    Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University, New York

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    Nagendran Ramalingam
    Cell Biology