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Dr. Altaf Bhat


Centre for Interdisciplinary Research & Innovations



PhD: Laval Cancer Research Center, Laval University, Canada. 

Post-Doctorate:Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, USA.


Research Interests


Genetic information within the eukaryotic cell nucleus is organized in a highly conserved structural polymer, the chromatin, which supports and controls crucial functions of the genome.The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which contains DNA that is complexed with small basic proteins called histones.The tight association of these proteins with DNA provides a level of transcription control and contributes to epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation. Our group is focused on understanding the role of epigenetic mechanisms in gene regulation, genome organisation, DNA repair and their involvement in cancer/NAFLD/Diabetes. Our interest is fueled by the fact that many of these epigenetic pathways are deregulated in cancer/NAFLD/Diabetes. We use a combination of approaches ranging from molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics, as well as proteomics and functional genomics to understand the precise molecular mechanisms involved in gene regulation, genome organisation and in context to cancer/NAFLD/Diabetes.


Selected Publications

 1.     Farooq Z, Abdullah E, Banday S, Ganai SA, Rashid R, Mushtaq M, Rashid S and Altaf M(2019). Vigilin protein Vgl1 is required for heterochromatin mediated gene silencing.Journal of Biological Chemistry,Sep 26.

2. Ganai SA, Abdullah E, Rashid R, Altaf M. Combinatorial In SilicoStrategy towards Identifying Potential Hotspots during Inhibition of Structurally Identical HDAC1 and HDAC2 Enzymes for Effective Chemotherapy against Neurological Disorders. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 2017 Nov 9;10:357

3. Nissar U Ashraf and Mohammad Altaf. Epigenetics: an emerging field in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Mutation Research ReviewsVolume 778, October–December 2018, Pages 1-12

4.  Banday S, Farooq Z, Rashid R and AltafM. Role of Inner Nuclear Membrane Protein Complex Lem2-Nur1 in Heterochromatic Gene Silencing.J Biol Chem.2016Sep 16;291(38):20021-9.      

5. Ganai SA, Banday SFarooq ZAltaf MModulating epigenetic HAT activity for reinstating acetylation homeostasis: A promising therapeutic strategy for neurological disorders. Pharmacology and  Therapeutics 2016Jul 10. pii: S0163-7258(16)30110-3.  

6. FarooqZ, Banday S, Pandita TK and AltafM. The many faces of histone H3K79 methylation. Mutation Research Reviews, 2016Apr-Jun;768:46-52.                                                           

7. Cheng X, Auger A, Altaf M, Drouin S, Paquet E, Utley R, Robert F and Jacques Cote. Eaf1 Links the NuA4 Histone Acetyltransferase Complex to Htz1 Incorporation and Regulation of Purine Biosynthesis. Eukaryotic Cell, 14, 535-44, 2015.

8. Wang F, Li G, Altaf M, Lu C, Curie MA, Johnson A and Moazed D. Heterochromatin protein Sir3 induces contacts between the amino terminus of histone H4 and nucleosomal DNA.Proc Natl Acad Sci U SA. May 21; 110(21): 8495-500,2013.                                                 

 9. Nnakwe CC, Altaf M, Côté J, Kron SJ. Dissection of Rad9 BRCT domain function in the mitotic checkpoint response to telomere uncapping. DNA Repair2009 Dec 3;8(12):1452-61.                                          

10. Altaf M,Auger A,Monnet-Saksouk JBrodeur J,Piquet S,Cramet M,Bouchard N,Lacoste N,Utley RT,Gaudreau L,Côté J.NuA4-dependent acetylation of nucleosomal histones H4 and H2A directly stimulates incorporation of H2A.Z by the SWR1 complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2010 May 21;285(21):15966-77                                  

11.  Auger A, Galarneau L , Altaf M, Nourani A, Doyon Y, Utley RT, Cronier D, Allard S and Côté J. Eaf1 is the platform for NuA4 molecular assembly that evolutionarily links chromatin acetylation to ATP-dependent exchange of histone H2A variants. Molecular and Cellular Biology2008 Apr;28(7):2257.

12. Altaf MUtley RT,Lacoste N,Tan S,Briggs SD,Côté J.  Interplay of chromatin modifiers on a short basic patch of histone H4 tail defines the boundary of telomeric heterochromatin. Molecular Cell.2007 Dec 28; 28(6):1002-14. 

13.  Ali Javaheri, Robert Wysocki, Olivier Jobin-Robitaille, Altaf M, Jacques Cote and Stephen J. Kron Yeast G1DNA damage checkpoint regulation by H2A phosphorylation is independent of chromatin remodeling.The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 2006Sep 12;103(37):13771.

14. Shravanti Rampalli, L. Pavithra, Altaf Bhatt, Tapas K. Kundu, and Samit Chattopadhyay.Tumorsuppressor SMAR1 mediates cyclin D1 repression by recruitment of the SIN3/histone deacetylase 1 complex. Molecular and Cellular Biology.2005 October; 25(19): 8415–8429. 

 15.Balasubramanyam KAltaf M, Varier RA, Swaminathan V, Siddappa NB, Ranga U, Kundu TK. Curcumin, a Novel p300/CREB-binding Protein-specific Inhibitor of acetyltransferase, represses the Acetylation of Histone/Nonhistone Proteins and Histone Acetyltransferase-dependent Chromatin TranscriptionJournal of Biological Chemistry.2004 Dec 3; 279(49): 51163-71.

 16. Balasubramanyam K, Altaf M,Varier RA, Swaminathan V, Ravindran A, Sadhale PP, Kundu TK. Polyisoprenylated benzophenone, garcinol, a natural histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, represses chromatin transcription and alters global gene expression.Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2004Aug 6; 279(32): 33716-26.