Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


Krishanu Ray

Professor and Chairperson

Motor proteins: intracellular transports and cellular morphogenesis

Cell Biology

Molecular motors are important for every possible regulated movement inside a cell. We focus on understanding the logistics of this transport at the cellular and molecular level in appropriate biological contexts using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. We have identified the molecular basis of cargo-motor interactions involving the tail domains of a unique heterotrimeric motor protein called, Kinesin-2. Currently we are in the process of identifying the use of these interactions in establishing the synaptic connectivity in the larval ganglion. We are also engaged in studying the effects of sensory stimulation on intracellular transport carried by Kinesin-2. A part of the lab is also studies the molecular cell biology of transit amplification divisions in Drosophila testis. In a recent development, we have stumbled upon a new phenomenon of reactive F-actin dynamics involved in preventing mechanical penetration of an epithelial cells. For more details, please visit the lab webpage.

Selected Publications

Kulkarni A, Khan Y and Ray K*. (2016) Heterotrimeric Kinesin-2 together with Kinesin-1 contribute anterograde bias to the Acetylcholinesterase transport in axons. FASEB J (in press)

Dubey P, Shirolikar S and Ray K*. (2016) Localized, Reactive F-actin Dynamics Prevents Abnormal Somatic Cell Penetration by Mature Spermatids. Developmental Cell , 38, 507–521.

Dubey P, Joti P, and Ray K*. (2016) A conditional Orco requirement in the somatic cyst cells for maintaining spermatids in a tight bundle in Drosophila testis. Journal of Bioscience 41(2):1-11

Sadanada, A., and Ray, K*. (2012) Neurogenetics of slow axonal transport: from cells to animals. J Neurogenet. 26:291-7. (Review).

Sadananda, A., Hamid, R., Doodhi, H., Ghosal, D., Girotra, M., Jana, S. C., and Ray, K*. (2012) Interaction with a kinesin-2 tail propels choline acetyltransferase flow towards synapse. Traffic, 13:979-991. (cover article)

Joti, P., Ghosh-Roy, A., and Ray, K.* Dynein light chain 1 functions in somatic cyst cells regulate spermatogonial divisions in Drosophila. (2011) Scientific Reports 1, doi:10.1038/srep00173 (www.nature.com/srep).

Jana, S. C., Girotra, M., Ray, K.* Heterotrimeric kinesin-II is necessary and sufficient to promote different stepwise assembly of morphologically distinct bipartite cilia in Drosophila antenna. (2011) Mol Biol Cell. 22:769-81. (Highlighted Cover Article, recommended for ASCB award)

Desai, B. S., Shirolikar, S., and Ray K*. F-actin based extensions of the head cyst cell adhere to the maturing spermatids to maintain them in a tight bundle and prevent their premature release in Drosophila testis. (2009) BMC Biol., 7:19 (Highlighted Article, Most Accessed)

Doodhi, H., Ghosal, D., Krishnamurthy, M., Jana, S. C., Divya, S., Bhaduri, A., Sowdhamini, R., and Ray K*. KAP, the Accessory Subunit of Kinesin-2 binds the Predicted Coiled-Coil Stalk of the Motor Subunits. (2009) Biochemistry 48:2248-60. (Published online Jan 22, 2009) (cover article)


  • Room B-228
  • Tel: +91 22 2278 2730
  • krishanu @ tifr.res.in
  • Webpage