Letter from Bimal K. Bachhawat to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Bachhawat asks Nirenberg if he can provide an opportunity for P.K. Sarkar, of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, to
do some collaborative work in Nirenberg's lab as a visiting scientist.
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1984-09-18 (September 18, 1984)
Bachhawat, Bimal K.
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Courtesy of Marshall W. Nirenberg.
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It was indeed a pleasure to meet you during my last visit to USA. This letter is to request you, if possible, to provide
an opportunity to Dr P.K. Sarkar, one of the senior scientists of the Institute, to do some collaborative work in your laboratory
as a Visiting Scientist.
The main result of the work from Dr Sarkar's laboratory here established that in developing rats and chicks, thyroid hormones
promote brain maturation by eliciting an induction of tubulin. They now have probes (cDNAS for alpha- and beta-tubulin which
are being employed to test the effects of the hormone on transcription of tubulin mRNA. Dr Sarkar and his colleagues developed
a new procedure for the isolation of protoplasmic astrocytes and are currently using monoclonal antibodies to cell surface
proteins to fractionate various subclasses of neurons.
Based on the effect of thyroid hormones on fractionated neuronal and glial cells, they have shown in manuscript just communicated
that contrary to the expectation, the glial cells are the target cells for the hormone and the neurons are virtually insensitive
to induction of tubulin by thyroid hormones. Most interestingly, chase experiments show that under the influence of the hormone,
there is a translocation of tubulin from glial to neuronal cells at the time of brain maturation presumably to satisfy the
large need of this protein for neuronal differentiation and synaptogenesis.
Dr Sarkar, whose CV and list of publications are enclosed, desires to pursue further research on the hormone induced translocation
of tubulin using cultures and cocultures of neuronal and glial cells. He is also interested to work on mechanisms of regulation
In view of your interest in the area of brain maturation during development, I do believe that such collaboration would be
of great help to Dr Sarkar and his efforts to develop the Neurobiology unit here. Dr Sarkar wishes to spend about a year
at NIH beginning April, 1985. I would appreciate if you please let me know your opinion in the matter including the possibility
of financial support for Dr Sarkar.