ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases

आई सी एम आर - राष्ट्रीय कॉलरा और आंत्र रोग संस्थान

Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
स्वास्थ्य अनुसंधान विभाग, स्वास्थ्य और परिवार कल्याण मंत्रालय, भारत सरकार
WHO Collaborating Centre For Research and Training On Diarrhoeal Diseases

NICED : Scientists

Dr. Amit Pal

Dr. Amit Pal

Dr. Amit Pal is a Scientist D at the Division of Pathophysiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata. He joined NICED in March 1999 as a Senior Research Officer. He did his Bachelors and Masters in Physiology from Kolkata University. He completed his doctoral thesis related to enteric toxins at Division of Microbiology, NICED in 1992. He did his postdoctoral research on molecular characterization of V. cholerae O1 strains under Dr Y Takeda at the Department of Microbiology, Kyoto University from 1992 to 1994. He was a Research Associate at the Department of Molecular Biology at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur, Kolkata from 1994 to 1995. He did his next postdoctoral research from 1995 to 1997 at the National Children's Hospital, Tokya, Japan under Dr T. Takeda working on molecular epidemiological studies on E. coli O157:H7 strains. He was a pool officer at the Department of Microbiology, NICED from 1997-1999. Since 1999 he has joined NICED working as a Senior Research Officer at the Division of Pathophysiology. He has been working on the enterotoxigenicity of cholera toxin gene negative V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strains. He has three Ph. D students working under him. At present he is working as a visiting researcher at the Department of Molecular Biology Umea University, Sweden. He is also the main partner in the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education along with Dr Sun Nyunt Wai, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Umea University. The STINT project is related to work on molecular pathogenesis of V. cholerae O1 strains.

General Information
Name Dr. Amit Pal
Designation Scientist G
Educational Qualification M.Sc., Ph.D.
Date of joining ICMR 5th March 1999
Date of joining present post 1st September, 2015
Discipline Pathophysiology
Email : pala.niced@gov.in
Academic qualification:  
Graduation B. Sc (Calcutta University) Physiology
Post-Graduation M. Sc (Calcutta University) Physiology
Doctorate Ph. D (Calcutta University) Physiology


Research Experience

We have been working in the field of microbial proteases and their role in pathogenesis. We were the first to purify and study the role in pathogenesis of two different forms of hemagglutinin protease (HAP) of V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain. We showed the hemorrhagic response of HAP in rabbit ileal loop (Infection and Immunity 2006). We were awarded a STINT grant along with Dr. Sun Nyunt Wai from Umea University, Sweden to study the molecular pathogenesis of V. cholerae and reported the presence of a novel serine protease VesC from V. cholerae O1 strain and showed that it could trigger significant fluid accumulation and extensive tissue damage in rabbit ileal loop (PloS ONE 2010). Subsequently we also reported a novel mechanism for the transport of these proteases through outer membrane vesicles in V. cholerae (Infection and Immunity, 2016). We also showed that HAP could regress breast cancer tumor in animal model (Apoptotis 2015). We also showed that HAP induces apoptosis of cancer cells through PAR1 (Apoptosis, 2016). Recently we have designed a pro-apoptotic peptide and showed its ability to kill cancer cells (Apoptosis 2018).
Another major part of our studies are on secreted proteases and their role in pathogenesis in neonatal septicemic Escherichia coli (NSEC). We were the first to show the prevalence of serine protease autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae (SPATEs) in pathogenic NSEC strains compared to strains from healthy neonates (EJCMID 2014). We were also the first to identify the presence of SslE, formerly named as YghJ (surface associated and secreted lipoprotein with a metalloprotease domain) from a NSEC strain. SslE was identified, cloned and purified and showed role in inducing pro- inflammatory response in mouse macrophages (International J of Medical Microbiology, 2016). We also showed the role of SslE in inducing hemorrhagic response in mice ileal loop model (Microbial Pathogenesis, 2017). Recently we have also shown that SslE induces TLR2 dependent proinflammation in mouse macrophages with subsequent involvement of NFκB and MAP kinases and is also able to induce secretion of various other proinflammatory hallmarks to trigger activation and M1 polarization of macrophages (Infection and Immunity, 2018).

Research interest:

Our research interests are focused on studies on role in pathogenesis of microbial proteases from V. cholerae and E. coli. The major proteases from V. cholerae that we have studied are hemagglutinin protease (HAP), serine protease (VesC) and V. cholerae protease (PrtV). The major proteases from E. coli that we are studying are SPATE autotransporter proteases and YghJ. We are also working on use of microbial proteases in tumor regression..


  • Life member Indian Science Congress


Delivered the Platinum Jubilee Lecture in the Section of Medical Sciences (Including Physiology) at the 106th Indian Science Congress held at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar from 3-7th January, 2019.


Intramural Project: Induction of apoptosis in colon cancer cells by microbial proteases and its cellular signaling (2016-2019)
Extramural Project: Apoptosis and molecular targeting therapy in cancer by microbial proteases DST SERB (2017-2020)

Students presently working in the lab

JRF: Niraj Nag
Nanda Singh

SRF: Dwiprohi Kar
RA: Dr Tanmoy Kar
PDF: Dr Rima Tapader
DBT Women’s Scientist: Dr Tanusree Ray


  • Pool Officer (CSIR) at NICED, Kolkata from 1997-1999
  • Research Scientist at the International Medical Research Center of Japan, Tokyo from (July) 1996-(July) 1997
  • Science and Technology Associate (STA) at the National Children's Medical Research Center, Tokyo, Japan from (October) 1995-(April) 1996
  • Research Associate (CSIR) at the Molecular Biology Laboratory, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata 1994-1995
  • Monbusho fellowship at the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan from 1992-1994
  • Junior Research Fellow (CSIR) at the Department of Microbiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata from 1989-1992



  1. Ray T, D. Kar, A. Pal, S. Mukherjee, C Das, A. Pal. 2018. Molecular targeting of breast and colon cancer cells by PAR1 mediated apoptosis through a novel pro-apoptotic peptide. Apoptosis. 23(11-12):679-694. Pubmed
  2. Tapader R, D. Bose, P. Dutta, S. Das, A. Pal. 2018. SslE (YghJ), a Cell-Associated and Secreted Lipoprotein of Neonatal Septicemic Escherichia coli, Induces Toll-Like Receptor 2-Dependent Macrophage Activation and Proinflammation through NF-κB and MAP Kinase Signaling. Infect Immun. 86(9). pii: e00399-18. . Pubmed


  1. Ray T, M. K.Chakrabarti, A.Pal. 2016. Hemagglutinin protease secreted by V. cholerae induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells by ROS mediated intrinsic pathway and regresses tumor growth in mice model. Apoptosis 21:143-154 Pubmed
  2. Ray T, A. Pal. 2016. PAR-1 mediated apoptosis of breast cancercells by V. choleraehemagglutinin protease.Apoptosis21:609-620 Pubmed
  3. Mondal A, R. Tapader, N. S. Chatterjee, A. Ghosh, R. Sinha, H.Koley, D. R.Saha, M. K.Chakrabarti, S. N.Wai,A. Pal. 2016. Cytotoxic and inflammatory responses induced by outer membrane vesicles associated biologically active proteases fromVibrio cholerae. Infect Immun.84:1478-1490 Pubmed
  4. Syngkon, A., S. Elluri, H. Koley, P. K. Romikuntal, D. R. Saha, M. K. Chakrabarti, R. K. Bhadra, S. N. Wai and A. Pal. 2010. Studies on a novel serine protease of a del hapA del prtV Vibrio cholerae O1 strain and its role in hemorrhagic response in rabbit ileal loop model. PloS ONE, 5(9), pii: e13122 Pubmed


  1. Syngkon, A., S. Elluri, H. Koley, P. K. Romikuntal, D. R. Saha, M. K. Chakrabarti, R. K. Bhadra, S. N. Wai and A. Pal. 2010. Studies on a novel serine protease of a del hapA del prtV Vibrio cholerae O1 strain and its role in hemorrhagic response in rabbit ileal loop model. PloS ONE, 5(9), pii: e13122 Pubmed


  1. Saha, S., P. Chowdhury, A. Pal, P. Das, M. K. Chakrabarti. 2008. Role of Yersinia enterocolitica heat-stable enterotoxin (Y-ST) on differential regulation of nuclear and cytosolic calcium signaling in rat intestinal epithelial cells Cell Biol Toxicol. 25: 297-308 Pubmed
  2. Saha, S., P. Chowdhury, A. Pal, M. K. Chakrabarti 2008. Downregulation of human colon carcinoma cell (COLO-205) proliferation through PKG-MAP kinase mediated signaling cascade by E. coli heat-stable enterotoxin (STa), a potent anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic molecule. J.  Appl Toxicol. 28: 475-83. Pubmed


  1. Ghosh, A., D. R. Saha, K. M. Hoque, M. Asakuna, S. Yamasaki, H. Koley, S. S. Das, M. K. Chakrabarti and A. Pal. 2006. Enterotoxigenicy of Mature 45-kilodalton and Processed 35- kilodalton forms of Hemagglutinin Protease Purified from a cholera toxin gene negative Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain. Infect. Immun. 74: 2936-2946. Pubmed


  1. Hoque, K. M., A. Pal and M. K. Chakrabarti. 2003. Translocation of protein kinase C with IP3 mediated calcium mobilization by heat stable enterotoxin of Vibrio cholerae non-O1 in isolated rat enterocytes. Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 293: 1-8. Pubmed


  1. Khan, A., S. Yamasaki, T. Sato, T. Ramamurthy, A. Pal, S. Dutta, N. R. Chowdhury, S. C. Das, A. Sikdar, T. Tsukamoto, S. K. Bhattachrya, Y. Takeda and G. B. Nair. 2002. Prevalence and genetic profiling of virulence determinants of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from cattle, beef, and humans, Calcutta, India. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8: 54-62. Pubmed


  1. Hoque, K. M., A. Pal, G. B. Nair, S. Chattapadhyay and M. K. Chakrabarti. 2001. Evidence of calcium influx across the plasma membrane depends upon the initial rise of cytosolic calcium with activation of IP3 in rat enterocytes by heat-stable enterotoxin of Vibrio cholerae non-O1. FEMS. Microbiol. Lett. 196: 45- 50. Pubmed
  2. Pal, A., K. M. Hoque, S. K. Niyogi, T. Ramamurthy, G. B. Nair and M. K. Chakrabarti. 2001. Rise in intracellular free calcium in HeLa cells infected with aggregative Klebsiellia pneumoniae strains isolated from cases of diarrhoea. Ind. J. Med. Res. 113: 1-4. Pubmed


  1. Pal, A., P. K. Saha, G. B. Nair, S. Yamasaki, T. Takeda, Y. Takeda, S. K. Bhattacharya and T. Ramamurthy. 1999. Clonal analysis of non-toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 associated with an outbreak of cholera. Indian J. Med. Res. 109: 208-11. Pubmed
  2. Pal, A., S. Ghosh, T. Ramamurthy, S. Yamasaki, T. Tsukamoto, S. K. Bhattacharya, G. B. Nair and Y. Takeda. 1999. Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli from healthy cattle in a semi-urban community in Calcutta, India Indian J. Med. Res. 109: 208-11. Pubmed


  1. Takeda, T., K. Yoshino, T. Ramamurthy, H. Uchida, E. Matsuda and A. Pal. 1996. Molecular epidemiology of infections with enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157 in Japan. Japan J. Bacteriol. 51: 1037-1042. Pubmed
  2. Singh, D. C., A. Tikoo, A. Pal and S. C. Sanyal. 1996. Cholera toxin, zonula occludens and accessory cholera enterotoxin gene negative V. cholerae non-O1 strains produce new cholera toxin. Current Science. 70: 1041-1043.


  1. Kurazono, H., A. Pal, P. K. Bag, G. B. Nair, T. Karasawa, T. Mihara and Y. Takeda. 1995. Distribution of genes encoding cholera toxin, zonula occludens toxin, accessory cholera toxin and El Tor hemolysin in V.cholerae of diverse origins Microb. Pathog. 18: 231-235. Pubmed


  1. Nair, G. B., T. Shimada, H. Kurazono, J. Okuda, A. Pal, T. Karasawa, T. Mihara, Y. Uesaka, Y. Shirai, S. Garg, P. K. Saha, A. K. Mukhopadhyay, A. K. Ohashi, T. Tada, J. Nakayama, S. Fukushima, T. Takeda and Y. Takeda. 1994. Characterization of phenotypic, serological and toxigenic traits of V.cholerae O139 Bengal. J. Clin. Microbiol. 32: 2775-2779. Pubmed


  1. Ramamurthy, T., A. Pal, S. K. Bhattacharya, G. B. Nair, H. Kurazono, S. Yamasaki, T. Takeda and Y. Takeda. 1993. Detection of cholera toxin gene by the polymerase chain reaction in stool specimens: Comparison with the CT bead ELISA and with culture methods for laboratory diagnosis of cholera. J. Clin Microbiol. 31: 3068-70. Pubmed
  2. Ramamurthy, T., S. Garg, R. Sharma, S. K. Bhattacharya, G. B. Nair, T. Shimada, T. Takeda, T. Karasawa, H. Kurazono, A. Pal and Y. Takeda.1993. Emergence of novel strain of Vibrio cholerae with epidemic potential in Southern and Eastern India. Lancet 341: 703-704. Pubmed


  1. Bhattacharya, S. K., M. K. Bhattacharya, T. Ramamurthy, A. Pal, P. K. Bag, T. Takeda, T. Shimada and S. Chakraborti. 1992. Acute secretary diarrhoea caused by V. cholerae non-O1 which does not produce cholera like and heat-stable enterotoxins. J. Diarrhoeal. Dis. Res. 10: 161-163. Pubmed
  2. Pal, A., T. Ramamurthy, R. K. Bhadra, T. Takeda, T. Shimada, Y. Takeda, G. B. Nair, S. C. Pal and S. Chakraborti. 1992. Reassessment of the prevalence of heat-stable enterotoxin among environmental V.cholerae non-O1 isolates using a NAG-ST DNA probe. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 58: 2485-2489. Pubmed
  3. Ramamurthy, T., A. Pal, M. K. Bhattacharya, S. K. Bhattacharya, A. Chowdhury, Y. Takeda, T. Takeda, S. C. Pal and G. B. Nair. 1992. Serovar, biotype, phagetype, toxigenicity and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of V.cholerae isolated during two consecutive cholera seasons (1989-92) in Calcutta. Indian J. Med. Res. 95: 125-129. Pubmed
  4. Ramamurthy, T., A. Pal, S. C. Pal and G. B. Nair. 1992. Taxonomical implications of emergence of high frequency of occurrence of 2,4, diamino-6-7-diisopropylpteridine-resistant strains of V.cholerae from clinical cases of cholera in Calcutta, India. J. Clin. Microbiol. 30: 742-743. Pubmed
  5. Pal, A., T. Ramamurthy, A. R. Ghosh, S. C. Pal, Y. Takeda and G. B. Nair. 1992. Virulence traits of Aeromonas strains in relation to species and source of isolation. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologic Mikrobiologie and Hygiene. 276: 418-428. Pubmed


  1. Ramamurthy, T., A. Pal, G. B. Nair, S. C. Pal, T. Takeda and Y. Takeda. 1990. Experience with toxin Bead-ELISA in cholera outbreak. Lancet. 336: 375-376. Pubmed