Arijit  Dutta


Biochemistry and Structural Biology

Mentor:  Dr. Patrick Sung


ORCID iD:  0000-0002-5675-0092

Arijit Dutta

I am a Cancer Biologist in the field of genome instability and DNA damge repair pathways. My postdoctoral research at Sung lab involves dissection of the genome-protective mechanisms of Breast Cancer susceptibility factor 1 (BRCA1)-Senataxin (SETX) axis and other RNA helicases, via resolution of R-loops (co-transcriptional RNA-DNA hybrids), DNA double strand break repair, and maintenance of replication forks. My studies are highly relevant towards understanding the etiology of cancers, as well as, neurological disorders such as ALS4, Alzheimer's and Fragile X syndrome, that are associated with R-loop induced genome instabilities.

In my doctoral research, I elucidated the molecular mechanisms of error-prone DNA repair by microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ) pathway via XRCC1-DNA Ligase 3 and MRN complex.  Using novel molecular biology assays to measure MMEJ activity in cancer cells, I demonstrated that MMEJ provides resistance to cancer cells, and could be targeted via small molecule inhibitors against MMEJ repair factors. 

My skillset encompasses purification of high molecular weight proteins and protein-complexes, biochemical reconstitution assays, cell-based assays, and confocal microscopy.


2016 Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
2009 M.Sc. in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology University of Calcutta/ Bose Institute, Kolkata, India
2007 B.Sc. in Microbiology University of Burdwan, Burdwan, India


Investigation of RNA-DNA helicases relevant to cancer and neurological diseases, R-loop biology.


2019 OPA/SALSI Postdoctoral Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio
2018 Jean B. Kempner Postdoctoral Fellowship, UTMB, Galveston
2017 Brown-Coxe Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University
2014, 2015 Shirley Patricia Parker Scholarships, UTMB
2014 Barbara Bowman Memorial Award for Research Excellence, UTMB
2015 Mason Guest Scholar Award, UTMB

Professional Memberships

2019 AACR
2019 Mays Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio


Research Articles:

  1. Dutta A, Eckelmann B, Adhikari S, Ahmed KM, Sengupta S, Pandey A, Hegde PM, Tsai MS, Tainer JA, Weinfeld M, Hegde ML, Mitra S, Microhomology-mediated end joining is activated in irradiated human cells due to phosphorylation-dependent formation of the XRCC1 repair complex. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Dec 19
  2. Hegde ML*, Dutta A*, Yang C*, Mantha AK, Hegde PM, Pandey A, Sengupta S, Yu Y, Calsou P, Chen D, Lees-Miller SP, and Mitra S, Nuclear Scaffold Attachment Factor (SAF-A/hnRNP-U) and Ku Temporally Regulate Repair of Radiation-induced Clustered Damage in the Human Genome. Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 9. (*equal contribution)
  3. Kont YS*, Dutta A*, Mallisetty A*, Mathew J, Minas T, Kraus C, Dhopeshwarkar P, Deb T, Li X, Kallakury B, Mitra S, Üren A, Adhikari S. Depletion of Tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterase 2 Activity Enhances Etoposide-Mediated Double-strand Break Formation and Cell Killing. DNA Repair (Amst). 2016 May 7;43:38-47. (*equal contribution)
  4. Hegde PM*, Dutta A*, Sengupta S*, Mitra J, Adhikari S, Tomkinson AE, Li GM, Mitra S and Hegde ML, The C-terminal Domain (CTD) of Human DNA Glycosylase NEIL1 Is Required for Forming BERosome Repair Complex with DNA Replication Proteins at the Replicating Genome: Dominant Negative Function of CTD. J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 21; 290(34):20919-33. (*equal contribution)
  5. Sengupta S, Yang C, Hegde ML, Hegde PM, Mitra J, Pandey A, Dutta A, Datarwala AT, Bhakat KK, Mitra S. Acetylation of oxidized base repair-initiating NEIL1 DNA glycosylase required for chromatin-bound repair complex formation in the human genome increases cellular resistance to oxidative stress. DNA Repair (Amst). 2018 Jun
  6. Hegde ML, Hegde PM, Dutta A, Boldogh I, and Mitra S, Human DNA glycosylase NEIL1's interaction with downstream repair proteins is critical for efficient repair of oxidized DNA base damage and enhanced cell survival. Biomolecules, 2012, 2, 564-578.
  7. Review article: Dutta A, Yang C, Sengupta S, Mitra S, and Hegde ML, New Paradigms in the Repair of Oxidative Damage in Human Genome: Mechanisms ensuring repair of mutagenic base lesions during replication and involvement of accessory proteins. Review Article, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2015 72:1679–1698.

Book Chapters:

  1. Dutta A, Hromas R, Sung P, Senataxin, a putative RNA-DNA helicase mutated in ALS4: emerging mechanisms of genome stability in motor neurons, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - Recent Advances and Therapeutic Challenges, Intechopen, Feb 2020.
  2. Dutta ABasic Principles of DNA Repair in Toxicology, Comprehensive Toxicology, 3rd edition, Dec 2017.