Devam Purohit

The muscle spring: quantifying and manipulating the molecular elasticity of muscle in vitro and in vivo

Team: Frank Schnorrer (IBDM) - Felix Rico (LAI)

His background

October 2021 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2018 - 2021 | Project Fellow, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore

2017 - 2018 | MSc, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS),

2013 - 2016 | BSc, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Master of Cell and Molecular Biology

About his PhD project

Muscles produce mechanical forces that power animal movements. Different muscle types have vastly different functions, which is manifested in their mechanical properties: mammalian heart is very stiff, skeletal muscle is soft. The major molecular cause suggested to be responsible for this difference are different versions of the giant muscle spring protein called titin. Titin is the largest protein in our body, mechanically linking myosin motor filaments with actin filaments in the muscle sarcomere, which changes in length during the contraction cycle. Molecularly, the titin spring is elongated during muscle relaxation and shortened during muscle contraction and thus contributes significantly to the passive forces in muscle. This Centuri PhD project aims to manipulate the molecular elasticity of muscle using the genetic model Drosophila and quantify its impact on the mechanical and the contractile properties of the manipulated muscle in vivo and in vitro.