Meera Pratap, Ph.D.

Meera Pratap, Ph.D.


(310) 206-5274

Department of Neurobiology 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Rm 63-234 CHS Los Angeles, CA 90095-1763 (Campus Mail Code 176318)


Dr. Pratap has worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Otis since March of 2002. In that time she has undertaken two major research projects. In particular, she has documented abnormal firing in cerebellar Purkinje neurons in a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) (Hansen, Meera, Otis and Pulst, 2013). More recently, she has extended this observation, showing that the pathophysiology of Purkinje neurons to show that the PN pathophysiology in this mouse model is accompanied by a hyperactivity of the mGluR signaling pathway. This project is nearly complete and work on the draft of a manuscript describing the results will begin soon. In addition to her work on Dr. Otis’s main research projects, she has participated extensively in collaborative efforts between the Otis lab and those of Dr. Ben Novitch at UCLA and Dr. Clive Svendsen at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The collaboration with the Svendsen lab has resulted in a high-profile publication in Science Translational Medicine (Sareen et al., 2013), on which she is an author. In addition to her research activities, she serves as the lab manager for Dr. Otis’s group; in that capacity she oversees lab operations, safety compliance, and the logistics in supplies for six other fellows in the Otis laboratory. She has also contributed significant service to the Department, overseeing core research facilities used by dozens of Departmental staff.


1. Meera, P., Rao, P.R., Shanker, R. and Tripathi, O. (1992). Immunomodulation by -HCH in mice. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 14(1): 261-282.

2. Prakash, P., Meera, P. and Tripathi,O. (1992) 45Ca efflux in embryonic chick heart and its modification by caffeine and ryanodine. J. Develop.Physiol. 18(6): 285-293.

3. Meera, P., Tripathi, O. Kamboj, K. and Rao, P.R. (1993). Role of calcium in biphasic immunodulation by -HCH (lindane) in mice. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology. 15 (1): 113-129.

4. Wallner, M., Weigl, L., Meera, P. and Lotan I. (1993). Modulation of the skeletal muscle sodium channel -subunit by the 1- subunit. FEBS Lett. 36(3): 535-539.

5. Meera, P., Anwer, K., Monga, M., Oberti, C., Stefani, E.,Toro, L. and Sanborn, B.M., (1995). Relaxin stimulates myometrial calcium-activated potassium channel activity via protein kinase A. American Journal of Physiology. 269: C312-C317.

6. Wallner, M., Meera, P., Ottolia, M., Kaczorowski, G., Latorre, R., Garcia, M. Stefani, E. and Toro, L. (1995). Characterization of and modulation by a β-subunit of a human Maxi KCa channel cloned from myometrium. Receptors & Channels 3: 185-199.

7. Anand, M., Meera, P., Kumar, R., Gupta, G. S., Tripathi, O. and Srimal, R.C. (1995). Possible role of calcium in the cardiovascular effects of prolonged administration of γ- HCH (lindane) in rats. Journal of Applied Toxicology 15(4): 245-248.

8. Meera, P., Wallner, M., Jiang, Z. and Toro. L. (1996). A Calcium switch for the functional coupling between α (hslo) and β subunits (Kv,Caβ) of maxi K channels. FEBS Lett. 382: 84-88.

9. Wallner, M., Meera, P. (co-first author) and Toro. L. (1996). Determinants for β-subunit regulation in high-conductance voltage-activated and Ca2+ sensitive K+ channels: An additional transmembrane region at the N terminus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:14922-14927.

10. Prakash, P., Meera, P. and Tripathi, O. (1996). Developmental changes in Ca2+-uptake, Na+, Ca2+-exchange and Ca2+-ATPase in Freshly isolated embryonic, newborn and adult chicken heart. Reprod. Fertil. Dev. 8(1): 71-78.

11 Prakash, P., Meera, P. and Tripathi, O. (1996). Effects of calcium channel blockers on spontaneous electrical activity of freshly isolated three-day-old embryonic chick ventricle. Reprod. Fertil. Dev., 8(5): 921-929.

12. Tanaka.Y., Meera, P., Song, M. and Toro. L. (1997). Molecular constituents of MaxiKCa channels in human coronary smooth muscle: predominant α+β subunit complexes. J. Physiol. 502(3): 545-557. Received a commentary by Daut J., J.Physiol.502(3), 469.

13. Meera, P., Wallner, (co-first author), M., Song, M. and Toro, L. (1997). Large conductance voltage and Ca2+ dependent K+ channel, a distinct member of voltage dependent ion channels with seven N-terminal transmembrane segments (S0-S6), an extracellular N-terminus and an intracellular (S9-S10) C-terminus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 14066-14071. Received a commentary by Jan, L.Y. and Jan, Y.N., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94, 13383-13385.

14. Alioua, A., Tanaka, Y., Wallner, M., Hofmann, F., Ruth, P., Meera, P. and Toro, L. (1998). The Large conductance, Voltage-dependent, and Calcium-sensitive K+ channel, Hslo, Is a Target of cGMP-dependent Protein Kinase Phosphorylation in Vivo. J. Biol. Chem. 273: 32950- 32956.

15. Diaz, L., Meera, P., Amigo, E., Stefani, O., Toro, L. and Latorre, R. (1998). Role of S4 segment in a voltage-dependent calcium-sensitive potassium (hSlo) channel. J. Biol. Chem. 273 (49): 32430-32436.

16. Jiang, Z., Wallner, M., Meera, P. and Toro, L (1999). Human and Rodent maxiK channel β subunit genes: Cloning and characterization. Genomics 55: 57-67.

17. Wallner, M., Meera, P. (co-first author) and Toro, L (1999). Molecular basis of fast inactivation in voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ channels: a novel  subunit. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 96, 4137-4142.

18. Meera, P., Wallner M, (co-first author) and Toro, L (2000). A neuronal  subunit (KCNMB4) makes the large conductance, voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ channel resistant to charybdotoxin and iberiotoxin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 97, 5562-5567.

19. Bravo-Zehnder, M., Orio, P., Norambuena, A., Wallner, M., Meera, P., Toro, L., Latorre, R. and Gonzalez, A. (2000). Apical sorting of a voltage- and Ca2+- activated K+ channel -subunit in Mardin-Darby canine kidney cells is independent of N-glycosylation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 97, 131114-13119.

20. Otis, T., Brasnjo, G., Dzubay, J.A., and Meera, P. (2004) Interactions between glutamate transporters and metabotropic glutamate receptors at excitatory synapses in the cerebellar cortex. Neurochem Int. 45(4):537-44.

21 Otis, T., Brasnjo, G., Dzubay, J.A., and Meera, P. (2004) Interactions between glutamate transporters and metabotropic glutamate receptors at excitatory synapses in the cerebellar cortex. Neurochem Int. 45(4):537-44.

22. Meera, P., Dodson P.D., Karakossian M.H., Otis, T. (2005) Expression of GFP-tagged neuronal glutamate transporters in cerebellar Purkinje neurons. Neuropharmacology, 49 (6): 883-889.

23. Difranco, M., Neco, P., Capote, Meera, P. Vergara, J.L. (2006) Quantitative evaluation of mammalian skeletal muscle as a heterologous expression system Protein Expr Purif , 47 (1): 281-288.

24. Hanchar, H.J., Chutsrinopkun, P., Meera, P., Supavilai, P., Sieghart, W., Wallner, M and Olsen R.W. (2006) Ethanol potently and competitively inhibits binding of the alcohol antagonist Ro15-4513 to α4/6β3δ GABAA receptors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103 (22) 8546-8551. Received a commentary by Paul, S. Alcohol-sensitive GABA receptors and alcohol antagonists. (2006) Proc.Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103, 8307-8308.

25. Meera, P., Olsen, R.W., Otis, T.S., Wallner M (2009) Etomidate, propofol and the neurosteroid THDOC increase the GABA efficacy of recombinant 43 and 43 GABAA receptors expressed in HEK cells Neuropharmacology 56, 155-160.

26. Meera, P., Olsen R.W., Otis, T.S., Wallner, M. (2010) Alcohol- and alcohol antagonist-sensitive human GABAA receptors: tracking δ subunit incorporation into functional receptors. Mol. Pharmacol., 78, 918-924.

27. Meera, P., Wallner M, Otis TS. (2011) Molecular basis for the high THIP/gaboxadol sensitivity of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors J. Neurophysiol. 106. 2057-2064.

28. Gehman, L.T., Meera, P., Stoilov, P., Shiue, L., O’Brien J.E., Meisler, M.H., Ares, M. Jr, Otis, T.S., Black, D.L. (2012) The Splicing regulator Rbfox2 is required for both cerebellar development and mature motor function. Genes Dev. 26(5):445-60.

29. Hansen, S.T., Meera, P. (co-first author), Otis, T.S., and Pulst, S.M. (2013) Changes in Purkinje cell firing and gene expression precede behavioral pathology in a mouse model of SCA2. Human Molecular Genetics 22 (2): 271-83.

30. Santhakumar V., Meera, P., Karakossian, M.H., Otis TS. (2013) A Reinforcing Circuit Action of Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptor Modulators on Cerebellar Granule Cell Inhibition. Plos One 8(8):e72976.

31. Targeting RNA foci shows a therapeutic effect in iPSC-derived motor neurons from C9ORF72 repeat patients. (2013) Sareen, D., O’Rourke J. G., Meera, P., Muham- -mad, A.K.M.G., Grant, S., Simpkinson, M., Bell, S., Carmona, S., Ornelas, L., Sahabian, A., Gendron, T., Petrucelli, L., Baughn, M., Ravits, J., Harms M. B., Rigo, F., Bennett, C. F., Otis, T.S., Svendsen, C.V., Baloh, R.H.. Science Translational Medicine 5(208):208ra149