Anirban Banerjee, Ph.D.
Unit on Structural and Chemical Biology of Membrane Proteins
Building 35A, Room 2F127
35A Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
The cell membrane is a uniquely complex and dynamic chemical environment. Even a simplistic binary description of an individual lipid molecule as hydrophobic tail and hydrophilic headgroup segments makes for a profoundly intricate environment considering the supramolecular ensemble of many such molecules that make up the membrane bilayer. Added to that are at least two facts that increase the chemical complexity of this environment - i) the cellular lipidome comprises of hundreds of lipid molecules whose spatiotemporal distribution is not static; ii) the membrane bilayer is juxtaposed adjacent to a rich aqueous phase with ions, small molecules and macromolecules ranging from small peptides to large proteins. Clearly, membrane proteins that have evolved to function in this milieu, have very different chemical properties and are governed by radically different constraints than soluble proteins. We as a lab are interested in the structural and chemical biology of membrane proteins. We are interested in obtaining detailed structural descriptions of membrane proteins and in understanding the connection between their structural chemistry and their biological function. Towards this end, we will combine x-ray crystallography, protein and peptide chemistry, and solution biochemical and biophysical techniques with detergent-solubilized proteins and reconstituted proteoliposomes. We are currently pursuing studies on interactions of K+ channels with components of animal venom; transporters that move small chemical entities across the membrane and membrane-embedded enzymes.
Dr. Anirban Banerjee received his B.Sc. (Honours) from Jadavpur University, India and his M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. This early training culminated in a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology in Greg Verdine's lab in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University. In his graduate thesis work, Dr. Banerjee worked on the mechanism of damaged base recognition and catalysis by DNA glycosylases, enzymes that initiate the process of base excision repair of DNA.
In his post doctoral research in Rod MacKinnon's laboratory at The Rockefeller University, Dr. Banerjee focused on several aspects of the mechanism of voltage-gating in voltage-gated potassium channels and their interaction with toxins from the venoms of poisonous animals. His work resulted in the first co-crystal structure of a potassium channel in complex with a pore-blocking toxin. Amongst other honors, Dr. Banerjee was the recipient of a Post Doctoral Fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and was awarded the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry by the American Chemical Society.
Banerjee A, Lee A, Campbell E, Mackinnon R. Structure of a pore-blocking toxin in complex with a eukaryotic voltage-dependent K(+) channel. Elife. 2013;2:e00594.
Lee SY, Banerjee A, MacKinnon R. Two separate interfaces between the voltage sensor and pore are required for the function of voltage-dependent K(+) channels. PLoS Biol. 2009;7(3):e47.
Qi Y, Spong MC, Nam K, Banerjee A, Jiralerspong S, Karplus M, Verdine GL. Encounter and extrusion of an intrahelical lesion by a DNA repair enzyme. Nature. 2009;462(7274):762-6.
Verardi R, Kim JS, Ghirlando R, Banerjee A. Structural Basis for Substrate Recognition by the Ankyrin Repeat Domain of Human DHHC17 Palmitoyltransferase. Structure. 2017.
Banerjee A, Santos WL, Verdine GL. Structure of a DNA glycosylase searching for lesions. Science. 2006;311(5764):1153-7.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
This page was last updated on July 12th, 2017