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  1. Chow KS, Ghazali AK, Hoh CC, Mohd-Zainuddin Z
    BMC Res Notes, 2014;7:69.
    PMID: 24484543 DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-69
    One of the concerns of assembling de novo transcriptomes is determining the amount of read sequences required to ensure a comprehensive coverage of genes expressed in a particular sample. In this report, we describe the use of Illumina paired-end RNA-Seq (PE RNA-Seq) reads from Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) bark to devise a transcript mapping approach for the estimation of the read amount needed for deep transcriptome coverage.
  2. Yeang HY, Chow KS, Yusof F, Arif SA, Chew NP, Loke YH
    J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol, 2000 Jul-Aug;10(4):215-22.
    PMID: 11039838
    Six Hevea brasiliensis latex protein allergens, Hevb 1, Hev b 2, Hev b 3, Hev b 4, and two variants of Hev b 7 (7b and 7c), were purified from Hevea latex, while a seventh protein, Hev b 5, was prepared in recombinant form. The presence of these proteins in glove extracts was indicated by their respective antibodies in the serum of rabbits immunized against the extracts. The relative propensities of IgE binding to the individual latex allergens were compared using sera from latex-allergic patients. IgE recognition of Hev b 4, Hev b 7b, Hev b 5 and Hev b 2 was most frequently encountered, with 75, 61, 31 and 28%, respectively, of the patient sera reacting. Sensitivity to multiple latex proteins was common, and out of the 31 seropositive patients, 23 (74%/ ) had IgE against at least two latex allergens, while 12 (39%) had IgE specific for at least three allergens. Statistical analysis of the data suggested that many patients might have acquired sensitivity to Hev b 2, Hev b 4 and Hev b 7b from a common source. (e.g., from latex products). On the other hand, sensitivity to Hev b 5 and to Hev b 7c were interrelated. It is plausible that sensitivity to these two proteins might have been acquired from sources other than latex products (e.g., from certain foods).
  3. Chow KS, Wan KL, Isa MN, Bahari A, Tan SH, Harikrishna K, et al.
    J Exp Bot, 2007;58(10):2429-40.
    PMID: 17545224
    Hevea brasiliensis is the most widely cultivated species for commercial production of natural rubber (cis-polyisoprene). In this study, 10,040 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from the latex of the rubber tree, which represents the cytoplasmic content of a single cell type, in order to analyse the latex transcription profile with emphasis on rubber biosynthesis-related genes. A total of 3,441 unique transcripts (UTs) were obtained after quality editing and assembly of EST sequences. Functional classification of UTs according to the Gene Ontology convention showed that 73.8% were related to genes of unknown function. Among highly expressed ESTs, a significant proportion encoded proteins related to rubber biosynthesis and stress or defence responses. Sequences encoding rubber particle membrane proteins (RPMPs) belonging to three protein families accounted for 12% of the ESTs. Characterization of these ESTs revealed nine RPMP variants (7.9-27 kDa) including the 14 kDa REF (rubber elongation factor) and 22 kDa SRPP (small rubber particle protein). The expression of multiple RPMP isoforms in latex was shown using antibodies against REF and SRPP. Both EST and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (QRT-PCR) analyses demonstrated REF and SRPP to be the most abundant transcripts in latex. Besides rubber biosynthesis, comparative sequence analysis showed that the RPMPs are highly similar to sequences in the plant kingdom having stress-related functions. Implications of the RPMP function in cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis in the context of transcript abundance and differential gene expression are discussed.
  4. Yeang HY, Hamilton RG, Bernstein DI, Arif SA, Chow KS, Loke YH, et al.
    Clin Exp Allergy, 2006 Aug;36(8):1078-86.
    PMID: 16911364 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02531.x
    BACKGROUND:
    Hevea brasiliensis latex serum is commonly used as the in vivo and in vitro reference antigen for latex allergy diagnosis as it contains the full complement of latex allergens.

    OBJECTIVE:
    This study quantifies the concentrations of the significant allergens in latex serum and examines its suitability as an antigen source in latex allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy.

    METHODS:
    The serum phase was extracted from centrifuged latex that was repeatedly freeze-thawed or glycerinated. Quantitation of latex allergens was performed by two-site immunoenzymetric assays. The abundance of RNA transcripts of the latex allergens was estimated from the number of their clones in an Expressed Sequence Tags library.

    RESULTS:
    The latex allergens, Hev b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 13, were detected in freeze-thawed and glycerinated latex serum at levels ranging from 75 (Hev b 6) to 0.06 nmol/mg total proteins (Hev b 4). Hev b 6 content in the latex was up to a thousand times higher than the other seven latex allergens, depending on source and/or preparation procedure. Allergen concentration was reflected in the abundance of mRNA transcripts. When used as the antigen, latex serum may bias the outcome of latex allergy diagnostic tests towards sensitization to Hev b 6. Tests that make use of latex serum may fail to detect latex-specific IgE reactivity in subjects who are sensitized only to allergens that are present at low concentrations.

    CONCLUSION:
    Latex allergy diagnostics and immunotherapy that use whole latex serum as the antigen source may not be optimal because of the marked imbalance of its constituent allergens.
  5. Chow KS, Mat-Isa MN, Bahari A, Ghazali AK, Alias H, Mohd-Zainuddin Z, et al.
    J Exp Bot, 2012 Mar;63(5):1863-71.
    PMID: 22162870 DOI: 10.1093/jxb/err363
    The cytosolic mevalonate (MVA) pathway in Hevea brasiliensis latex is the conventionally accepted pathway which provides isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) for cis-polyisoprene (rubber) biosynthesis. However, the plastidic 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway may be an alternative source of IPP since its more recent discovery in plants. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) expression profiles of genes from both pathways in latex showed that subcellular compartmentalization of IPP for cis-polyisoprene synthesis is related to the degree of plastidic carotenoid synthesis. From this, the occurrence of two schemes of IPP partitioning and utilization within one species is proposed whereby the supply of IPP for cis-polyisoprene from the MEP pathway is related to carotenoid production in latex. Subsequently, a set of latex unique gene transcripts was sequenced and assembled and they were then mapped to IPP-requiring pathways. Up to eight such pathways, including cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis, were identified. Our findings on pre- and post-IPP metabolic routes form an important aspect of a pathway knowledge-driven approach to enhancing cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis in transgenic rubber trees.
  6. Lee XW, Mat-Isa MN, Mohd-Elias NA, Aizat-Juhari MA, Goh HH, Dear PH, et al.
    PLoS One, 2016;11(12):e0167958.
    PMID: 27977777 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167958
    Rafflesia is a biologically enigmatic species that is very rare in occurrence and possesses an extraordinary morphology. This parasitic plant produces a gigantic flower up to one metre in diameter with no leaves, stem or roots. However, little is known about the floral biology of this species especially at the molecular level. In an effort to address this issue, we have generated and characterised the transcriptome of the Rafflesia cantleyi flower, and performed a comparison with the transcriptome of its floral bud to predict genes that are expressed and regulated during flower development. Approximately 40 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled de novo into 18,053 transcripts with an average length of 641 bp. Of these, more than 79% of the transcripts had significant matches to annotated sequences in the public protein database. A total of 11,756 and 7,891 transcripts were assigned to Gene Ontology categories and clusters of orthologous groups respectively. In addition, 6,019 transcripts could be mapped to 129 pathways in Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database. Digital abundance analysis identified 52 transcripts with very high expression in the flower transcriptome of R. cantleyi. Subsequently, analysis of differential expression between developing flower and the floral bud revealed a set of 105 transcripts with potential role in flower development. Our work presents a deep transcriptome resource analysis for the developing flower of R. cantleyi. Genes potentially involved in the growth and development of the R. cantleyi flower were identified and provide insights into biological processes that occur during flower development.
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