Skip to main content

Dr. Rajan Sankaranarayanan - Chiral checkpoints and their role in eukaryotic evolution


Dr. Rajan Sankaranarayanan

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, India

Chiral checkpoints and their role in eukaryotic evolution

A major focus of our laboratory is on translation quality control with a special reference to chirality-based checkpoints in the cell (1). We earlier elucidated the 'Chiral Proofreading' mechanism, completely conserved in all Bacteria and Eukaryotes, by which D-amino acids are prevented from infiltrating the translational machinery and its functional implications. We identified a distinct paralog of DTD1, named as ATD for Animalia-specific tRNA deacylase, that proofread a unique tRNA selection error in eukaryotes and could be identified from Choanoflagellates, the unicellular ancestor of all animals. Our recent work on elucidating the functional role and its implications for the evolution of multicellular animals will be discussed (2). DTD2 is another chiral checkpoint of archaeal origin which is completely absent in Ophisthokonts (fungi and animals) but present in plants, in addition to the canonical DTD1. We identified and characterized a unique biochemical activity through which DTD2 alleviates anaerobic stress induced acetaldehyde toxicity. I will summarize our recent results that led to the proposal that the recruitment of archaeal DTD is a key event in the emergence and evolution of land plants (3).

Selected references

  1. Kuncha, S. K. et al. (2019) Chiral checkpoints during protein biosynthesis J Biol Chem
  2. Kuncha, S. K. et al. (2020) Genomic innovation of ATD alleviates mistranslation associated with multicellularity in Animalia eLife
  3. Mazeed, M., Singh, R. et al. (2021) Recruitment of archaeal DTD is a key event toward the emergence of land plants Sci Adv

Contact: Lionel Mourey (

Link to attend the seminar:

29 Jun

11:00 - 12:00

Online seminar