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Biraj Kayastha

My research is focused on the structural and functional characterization of EfhP, a Ca2+-binding protein in P. aeruginosa.  Intracellular Ca2+ sensors have been well studied in eukaryotes while their prokaryotic counterparts have not. EfhP has been predicted by bioinformatics approach to have two EF-hand motifs similar to the eukaryotic Ca2+sensor, calmodulin. Our earlier results have shown that EfhP regulates intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and mediates Ca2+ regulation of P. aeruginosa virulence. More recently, we have confirmed Ca2+ binding ability of EfhP and Ca2+-dependent increase in its hydrophobicity.  Currently, I am aiming to identify EfhP binding partners and study their role in Ca2+-regulated virulence of the pathogen. We are also working on the identification of the amino acids required for Ca2+ binding. In addition, we plan to characterize the host factors controlling the expression of EfhP gene. Overall, we are aiming to establish the function of EfhP as a Ca2+sensor and elucidate its role in the Ca2+ signaling pathways of P. aeruginosa.

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