Dinakar M. Salunke

Arturo Falaschi Emeritus Scientist (AFES), Former Director, ICGEB New Delhi
Structural Immunology
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
ICGEB Campus
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +91-11-26741358, ext. 253


Karnataka University, Dharwad, India, BSc (Physics, Mathematics and Statistics), 1976
Karnataka University, Dharwad, India, MSc (Physics), 1978
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India, PhD, 1983
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA Postdoc, 1988

Career History

Nov 2015-2022 Director, New Delhi Component,  International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, India
2010-2015, Executive Director, Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad, NCR, New Delih, India
1988-2010, Group Leader, Structural Biology Group, National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, India

Scientific Activity

Understanding the physiological processes of self-nonself discrimination in terms of physicochemical principles of molecular interactions has been a major focus of our research. Our work on the pluripotency of primary immune response led to discovering new ways of antibody degeneracy and has impacted the evolving paradigm shift in immune recognition and generation of antibody repertoire [Immunity (2006) 24:359]. We have analyzed how immune system reacts when encountered with the antigens that keep changing shape and showed that the restricted paratope conformational repertoire on binding of an antigen to multiple independent antibodies may be relevant for minimizing possibility of selfreactive antibodies. Molecular insights into the functional mimicry in the context of immune response were addressed using structural, immunological and thermodynamic approaches. We have demonstrated how paratope plasticity facilitates molecular mimicry of otherwise unrelated antigens. While our analyses of carbohydrate-peptide mimicry provided important conceptual leads towards design and development of new generation of vaccines, the analyses involving carbohydrate-porphyrin mimicry provided possible mechanistic understanding of the molecular pathology of porphyria. Structural issues pertaining to innate immunity and food allergies are also being addressed.

Teaching Activity

Advanced courses in structural biology and crystallography to graduate students, lectured in short-term workshops for teachers, researchers and undergraduate students during the past 30 years.

Selected publications

Kaur, H., Salunke, D.M. 2015. Antibody promiscuity: Understanding the paradigm shift in antigen recognition.IUBMB Life 67, 498

Khan, T., Salunke, D.M. 2014. Adjustable locks and flexible keys: plasticity of epitope-paratope interactions in germline antibodies. J Immunol 192, 5398

Tapryal, S., Gaur, V., Kaur, K.J., Salunke, D.M. 2013. Structural evaluation of a mimicry recognizing paratope: plasticity in antigen-antibody interactions manifests in molecular mimicry. J Immuol 191, 456-463

Bhowmick, A., Salunke, D.M. 2013. Limited conformational flexibility in the paratope may be responsible for degenerate specificity of HIV epitope recognition. IntImmunol 25, 77

Tomar, D., Khan, T., Singh, R.R., Mishra, S., Gupta, S., Surolia, A., Salunke, D.M. 2012. Crystallographic study of novel transthyretin ligands exhibiting negative-cooperativity between two thyroxine binding sites. Plos One 7, e43522

Lomash, S., Nagpal, S., Salunke, D.M. 2010. An antibody as surrogate receptor reveals determinants of activity of an innate immune peptide antibiotic. J BiolChem 285, 35750

Gaur, V., Qureshi, I.A., Singh, A., Chanana, V., Salunke, D.M. 2010. Crystal structure and functional insights of hemopexin fold protein from grass pea. Plant Physiol 152, 1842

Krishnan, L., Sahni, G., Kaur, K.J., Salunke, D.M. 2008. Role of antibody paratope conformational flexibility in the manifestation of molecular mimicry. Biophys J 94, 1367

Krishnan, L., Lomash, S., Raj, B.P.J., Kaur, K.J., Salunke,D.M. 2007. Paratope Plasticity in Diverse Modes Facilitates Molecular Mimicry in Antibody Response. J Immunol 178, 7923

Sethi, D.K., Agarwal, A., Manivel, V., Rao, K.V.S., Salunke, D.M. 2006. Differential epitope positioning within the germline antibody paratope enhances promiscuity in the primary immune response. Immunity 24, 429