The National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune (NCCS) was established as a National Repository of Animal Cell Culture with a mandate of basic research, teaching & training, and as a national repository for cell lines/ hybridomas etc. It also conducts manpower development in animal tissue culture through training programmes/workshops and extends infrastructural facilities to researchers and institutions in biochemical sciences. The centre has transformed and expanded its scientific character to strengthen basic research in the areas of cancer biology, cell biology, immunology, genomics and proteomics.
Cell Repository : The activities of the National Animal Cell Repository at NCCS are to receive, identify, maintain, store, cultivate and supply animal and human cell lines, hybridomas and intracellular obligate parasites, to establish new cell lines, to conduct postgraduate training programs, seminars, and to serve as a National Reference Centre for tissue culture and tissue banking. This Facility is a source for hundreds of cell cultures and different cell lines for several research institutions in the country. At present, the total number of culture strains is 1127, of which about 300 are available for distribution to users on registration. Approximately 510 researchers from 275 institutes have registered with NCCS for the same. The repository has initiated programmes to develop, immortalise and characterize cell lines from different tissue/tumor types.
Research : The Institute at present focuses on research and development in the areas of stem cell biology, cancer biology, signal transduction, immunology, diabetes, insect and microbial diversity, parasitology, HIV biology and gene regulation. NCCS has been a pioneer in the area of stem cell research in the country. Institute has extended work on cryopreservation to murine models and reports a successful in vivo engraftment ability of cryopreserved mouse bone marrow. Ongoing research on bone marrow transplantation in mouse models has culminated in successful induction of islet neogenesis and reversal of experimental diabetes, opening a possibility of stem cell based therapy for diabetes. Osteopontin was found to induce NIK-dependent, JNK-dependent/independent AP-1-mediated, pro-MMP-9 activation and regulate the negative cross talk between NIK/ERK and MEKK1/JNK pathways which ultimately controls cell motility, invasiveness and tumor growth. This may be useful in designing novel therapeutic interventions that block the OPN-regulated pathways and consequently restricting the metastatic spread of melanoma. In breast tissue sections, it was found that Caveolin1 and ER expression seems to be mutually exclusive, an observation that may have significant implication in the management of breast cancer. Dlxin-1, a unique member of the necdin/melanoma associated antigen gene (MAGE) family, is a novel protein that binds Dlxin-5 and regulates its transcriptional function. It was found that Dlxin-1 overexpression causes accelerated neuronal differentiation. Along similar lines, scientists from NCCS have isolated a fraction from the perivitelline fluid of the Indian horseshoe crab that enhanced cardiac developmental activity in gastrulating chick embryo and also induced cardiomyogenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells. In the field of immunology, the MHC-II-peptide-T cell receptor (TCR) ternary complex provides the first signal and the engagement of the costimulatory molecules with their respective ligands provides the second signal to T cells for their activation. Institute is investigating three different aspects of HIV viz. viral pathogenesis, immune response and drug discovery.
The institute continues to create a scientific base and focusses its activities on pursuit of fundamental research and solutions derived for tangible public utility. Over the year, NCCS has made many publications in reputed peer-reviewed journals. Many patents applications have been filed. These achievements reflect a significant upswing in the scientific contribution of NCCS.
For further information, please contact Dr G.C. Mishra, Director, NCCS, NCCS Complex, Ganeshkhind, Pune-411007 E Mail: email@example.com
Website address : http://www.nccs.res.in