Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 30 in total

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  1. Nadzirin N, Firdaus-Raih M
    Int J Mol Sci, 2012;13(10):12761-72.
    PMID: 23202924 DOI: 10.3390/ijms131012761
    Proteins of uncharacterized functions form a large part of many of the currently available biological databases and this situation exists even in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Our analysis of recent PDB data revealed that only 42.53% of PDB entries (1084 coordinate files) that were categorized under "unknown function" are true examples of proteins of unknown function at this point in time. The remainder 1465 entries also annotated as such appear to be able to have their annotations re-assessed, based on the availability of direct functional characterization experiments for the protein itself, or for homologous sequences or structures thus enabling computational function inference.
  2. Mat-Sharani S, Firdaus-Raih M
    BMC Bioinformatics, 2019 Feb 04;19(Suppl 13):551.
    PMID: 30717662 DOI: 10.1186/s12859-018-2550-2
    BACKGROUND: Small open reading frames (smORF/sORFs) that encode short protein sequences are often overlooked during the standard gene prediction process thus leading to many sORFs being left undiscovered and/or misannotated. For many genomes, a second round of sORF targeted gene prediction can complement the existing annotation. In this study, we specifically targeted the identification of ORFs encoding for 80 amino acid residues or less from 31 fungal genomes. We then compared the predicted sORFs and analysed those that are highly conserved among the genomes.

    RESULTS: A first set of sORFs was identified from existing annotations that fitted the maximum of 80 residues criterion. A second set was predicted using parameters that specifically searched for ORF candidates of 80 codons or less in the exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences of the subject genomes. A total of 1986 conserved sORFs were predicted and characterized.

    CONCLUSIONS: It is evident that numerous open reading frames that could potentially encode for polypeptides consisting of 80 amino acid residues or less are overlooked during standard gene prediction and annotation. From our results, additional targeted reannotation of genomes is clearly able to complement standard genome annotation to identify sORFs. Due to the lack of, and limitations with experimental validation, we propose that a simple conservation analysis can provide an acceptable means of ensuring that the predicted sORFs are sufficiently clear of gene prediction artefacts.

  3. Appasamy SD, Ramlan EI, Firdaus-Raih M
    PLoS One, 2013;8(9):e73984.
    PMID: 24040136 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073984
    The tertiary motifs in complex RNA molecules play vital roles to either stabilize the formation of RNA 3D structure or to provide important biological functionality to the molecule. In order to better understand the roles of these tertiary motifs in riboswitches, we examined 11 representative riboswitch PDB structures for potential agreement of both motif occurrences and conservations. A total of 61 unique tertiary interactions were found in the reference structures. In addition to the expected common A-minor motifs and base-triples mainly involved in linking distant regions the riboswitch structures three highly conserved variants of A-minor interactions called G-minors were found in the SAM-I and FMN riboswitches where they appear to be involved in the recognition of the respective ligand's functional groups. From our structural survey as well as corresponding structure and sequence alignments, the agreement between motif occurrences and conservations are very prominent across the representative riboswitches. Our analysis provide evidence that some of these tertiary interactions are essential components to form the structure where their sequence positions are conserved despite a high degree of diversity in other parts of the respective riboswitches sequences. This is indicative of a vital role for these tertiary interactions in determining the specific biological function of riboswitch.
  4. Ong HS, Mohamed R, Firdaus-Raih M
    Comp. Funct. Genomics, 2012;2012:752867.
    PMID: 22991502
    Members of the Burkholderia family occupy diverse ecological niches. In pathogenic family members, glycan-associated proteins are often linked to functions that include virulence, protein conformation maintenance, surface recognition, cell adhesion, and immune system evasion. Comparative analysis of available Burkholderia genomes has revealed a core set of 178 glycan-associated proteins shared by all Burkholderia of which 68 are homologous to known essential genes. The genome sequence comparisons revealed insights into species-specific gene acquisitions through gene transfers, identified an S-layer protein, and proposed that significantly reactive surface proteins are associated to sugar moieties as a potential means to circumvent host defense mechanisms. The comparative analysis using a curated database of search queries enabled us to gain insights into the extent of conservation and diversity, as well as the possible virulence-associated roles of glycan-associated proteins in members of the Burkholderia spp. The curated list of glycan-associated proteins used can also be directed to screen other genomes for glycan-associated homologs.
  5. Lim MP, Firdaus-Raih M, Nathan S
    Front Microbiol, 2016;7:1436.
    PMID: 27672387 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01436
    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is among a growing number of bacterial pathogens that are increasingly antibiotic resistant. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been investigated as an alternative approach to treat microbial infections, as generally, there is a lower likelihood that a pathogen will develop resistance to AMPs. In this study, 36 candidate Caenorhabditis elegans genes that encode secreted peptides of <150 amino acids and previously shown to be overexpressed during infection by B. pseudomallei were identified from the expression profile of infected nematodes. RNA interference (RNAi)-based knockdown of 12/34 peptide-encoding genes resulted in enhanced nematode susceptibility to B. pseudomallei without affecting worm fitness. A microdilution test demonstrated that two peptides, NLP-31 and Y43C5A.3, exhibited anti-B. pseudomallei activity in a dose dependent manner on different pathogens. Time kill analysis proposed that these peptides were bacteriostatic against B. pseudomallei at concentrations up to 8× MIC90. The SYTOX green assay demonstrated that NLP-31 and Y43C5A.3 did not disrupt the B. pseudomallei membrane. Instead, gel retardation assays revealed that both peptides were able to bind to DNA and interfere with bacterial viability. In parallel, microscopic examination showed induction of cellular filamentation, a hallmark of DNA synthesis inhibition, of NLP-31 and Y43C5A.3 treated cells. In addition, the peptides also regulated the expression of inflammatory cytokines in B. pseudomallei infected macrophage cells. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the potential of NLP-31 and Y43C5A.3 as anti-B. pseudomallei peptides based on their function as immune modulators.
  6. Emrizal R, Hamdani HY, Firdaus-Raih M
    Int J Mol Sci, 2021 Aug 09;22(16).
    PMID: 34445259 DOI: 10.3390/ijms22168553
    The increasing number and complexity of structures containing RNA chains in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) have led to the need for automated structure annotation methods to replace or complement expert visual curation. This is especially true when searching for tertiary base motifs and substructures. Such base arrangements and motifs have diverse roles that range from contributions to structural stability to more direct involvement in the molecule's functions, such as the sites for ligand binding and catalytic activity. We review the utility of computational approaches in annotating RNA tertiary base motifs in a dataset of PDB structures, particularly the use of graph theoretical algorithms that can search for such base motifs and annotate them or find and annotate clusters of hydrogen-bond-connected bases. We also demonstrate how such graph theoretical algorithms can be integrated into a workflow that allows for functional analysis and comparisons of base arrangements and sub-structures, such as those involved in ligand binding. The capacity to carry out such automatic curations has led to the discovery of novel motifs and can give new context to known motifs as well as enable the rapid compilation of RNA 3D motifs into a database.
  7. Nadzirin N, Willett P, Artymiuk PJ, Firdaus-Raih M
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2013 Jul;41(Web Server issue):W432-40.
    PMID: 23716645 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkt431
    We describe a server that allows the interrogation of the Protein Data Bank for hypothetical 3D side chain patterns that are not limited to known patterns from existing 3D structures. A minimal side chain description allows a variety of side chain orientations to exist within the pattern, and generic side chain types such as acid, base and hydroxyl-containing can be additionally deployed in the search query. Moreover, only a subset of distances between the side chains need be specified. We illustrate these capabilities in case studies involving arginine stacks, serine-acid group arrangements and multiple catalytic triad-like configurations. The IMAAAGINE server can be accessed at http://mfrlab.org/grafss/imaaagine/.
  8. Appasamy SD, Hamdani HY, Ramlan EI, Firdaus-Raih M
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2016 Jan 4;44(D1):D266-71.
    PMID: 26553798 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv1186
    A major component of RNA structure stabilization are the hydrogen bonded interactions between the base residues. The importance and biological relevance for large clusters of base interactions can be much more easily investigated when their occurrences have been systematically detected, catalogued and compared. In this paper, we describe the database InterRNA (INTERactions in RNA structures database-http://mfrlab.org/interrna/) that contains records of known RNA 3D motifs as well as records for clusters of bases that are interconnected by hydrogen bonds. The contents of the database were compiled from RNA structural annotations carried out by the NASSAM (http://mfrlab.org/grafss/nassam) and COGNAC (http://mfrlab.org/grafss/cognac) computer programs. An analysis of the database content and comparisons with the existing corpus of knowledge regarding RNA 3D motifs clearly show that InterRNA is able to provide an extension of the annotations for known motifs as well as able to provide novel interactions for further investigations.
  9. Mohamed Salleh FH, Arif SM, Zainudin S, Firdaus-Raih M
    Comput Biol Chem, 2015 Dec;59 Pt B:3-14.
    PMID: 26278974 DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2015.04.012
    A gene regulatory network (GRN) is a large and complex network consisting of interacting elements that, over time, affect each other's state. The dynamics of complex gene regulatory processes are difficult to understand using intuitive approaches alone. To overcome this problem, we propose an algorithm for inferring the regulatory interactions from knock-out data using a Gaussian model combines with Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC). There are several problems relating to GRN construction that have been outlined in this paper. We demonstrated the ability of our proposed method to (1) predict the presence of regulatory interactions between genes, (2) their directionality and (3) their states (activation or suppression). The algorithm was applied to network sizes of 10 and 50 genes from DREAM3 datasets and network sizes of 10 from DREAM4 datasets. The predicted networks were evaluated based on AUROC and AUPR. We discovered that high false positive values were generated by our GRN prediction methods because the indirect regulations have been wrongly predicted as true relationships. We achieved satisfactory results as the majority of sub-networks achieved AUROC values above 0.5.
  10. Ong HS, Rahim MS, Firdaus-Raih M, Ramlan EI
    PLoS One, 2015;10(8):e0134520.
    PMID: 26258940 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134520
    The unique programmability of nucleic acids offers alternative in constructing excitable and functional nanostructures. This work introduces an autonomous protocol to construct DNA Tetris shapes (L-Shape, B-Shape, T-Shape and I-Shape) using modular DNA blocks. The protocol exploits the rich number of sequence combinations available from the nucleic acid alphabets, thus allowing for diversity to be applied in designing various DNA nanostructures. Instead of a deterministic set of sequences corresponding to a particular design, the protocol promotes a large pool of DNA shapes that can assemble to conform to any desired structures. By utilising evolutionary programming in the design stage, DNA blocks are subjected to processes such as sequence insertion, deletion and base shifting in order to enrich the diversity of the resulting shapes based on a set of cascading filters. The optimisation algorithm allows mutation to be exerted indefinitely on the candidate sequences until these sequences complied with all the four fitness criteria. Generated candidates from the protocol are in agreement with the filter cascades and thermodynamic simulation. Further validation using gel electrophoresis indicated the formation of the designed shapes. Thus, supporting the plausibility of constructing DNA nanostructures in a more hierarchical, modular, and interchangeable manner.
  11. Lee Y, Roslan R, Azizan S, Firdaus-Raih M, Ramlan EI
    BMC Bioinformatics, 2016 Oct 28;17(1):438.
    PMID: 27793081
    BACKGROUND: Biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) are capable of processing physical or chemical inputs to generate outputs that parallel conventional Boolean logical operators. However, the design of functional modules that will enable these macromolecules to operate as synthetic molecular computing devices is challenging.

    RESULTS: Using three simple heuristics, we designed RNA sensors that can mimic the function of a seven-segment display (SSD). Ten independent and orthogonal sensors representing the numerals 0 to 9 are designed and constructed. Each sensor has its own unique oligonucleotide binding site region that is activated uniquely by a specific input. Each operator was subjected to a stringent in silico filtering. Random sensors were selected and functionally validated via ribozyme self cleavage assays that were visualized via electrophoresis.

    CONCLUSIONS: By utilising simple permutation and randomisation in the sequence design phase, we have developed functional RNA sensors thus demonstrating that even the simplest of computational methods can greatly aid the design phase for constructing functional molecular devices.

  12. Ab Ghani NS, Ramlan EI, Firdaus-Raih M
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2019 07 02;47(W1):W350-W356.
    PMID: 31106379 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz391
    A common drug repositioning strategy is the re-application of an existing drug to address alternative targets. A crucial aspect to enable such repurposing is that the drug's binding site on the original target is similar to that on the alternative target. Based on the assumption that proteins with similar binding sites may bind to similar drugs, the 3D substructure similarity data can be used to identify similar sites in other proteins that are not known targets. The Drug ReposER (DRug REPOSitioning Exploration Resource) web server is designed to identify potential targets for drug repurposing based on sub-structural similarity to the binding interfaces of known drug binding sites. The application has pre-computed amino acid arrangements from protein structures in the Protein Data Bank that are similar to the 3D arrangements of known drug binding sites thus allowing users to explore them as alternative targets. Users can annotate new structures for sites that are similarly arranged to the residues found in known drug binding interfaces. The search results are presented as mappings of matched sidechain superpositions. The results of the searches can be visualized using an integrated NGL viewer. The Drug ReposER server has no access restrictions and is available at http://mfrlab.org/drugreposer/.
  13. Ab Ghani NS, Emrizal R, Makmur H, Firdaus-Raih M
    Comput Struct Biotechnol J, 2020;18:2931-2944.
    PMID: 33101604 DOI: 10.1016/j.csbj.2020.10.013
    Structures of protein-drug-complexes provide an atomic level profile of drug-target interactions. In this work, the three-dimensional arrangements of amino acid side chains in known drug binding sites (substructures) were used to search for similarly arranged sites in SARS-CoV-2 protein structures in the Protein Data Bank for the potential repositioning of approved compounds. We were able to identify 22 target sites for the repositioning of 16 approved drug compounds as potential therapeutics for COVID-19. Using the same approach, we were also able to investigate the potentially promiscuous binding of the 16 compounds to off-target sites that could be implicated in toxicity and side effects that had not been provided by any previous studies. The investigations of binding properties in disease-related proteins derived from the comparison of amino acid substructure arrangements allows for effective mechanism driven decision making to rank and select only the compounds with the highest potential for success and safety to be prioritized for clinical trials or treatments. The intention of this work is not to explicitly identify candidate compounds but to present how an integrated drug repositioning and potential toxicity pipeline using side chain similarity searching algorithms are of great utility in epidemic scenarios involving novel pathogens. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we demonstrate that the pipeline can identify candidate compounds quickly and sustainably in combination with associated risk factors derived from the analysis of potential off-target site binding by the compounds to be repurposed.
  14. Shaibullah S, Mohd-Sharif N, Ho KL, Firdaus-Raih M, Nathan S, Mohamed R, et al.
    Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun, 2014 Dec 1;70(Pt 12):1697-700.
    PMID: 25484229 DOI: 10.1107/S2053230X14025278
    Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by the pathogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that the B. pseudomallei genome includes 5855 coding DNA sequences (CDSs), of which ∼25% encode hypothetical proteins. A pathogen-associated hypothetical protein, BPSL1038, was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized using vapour-diffusion methods. A BPSL1038 protein crystal that grew using sodium formate as precipitant diffracted to 1.55 Å resolution. It belonged to space group C2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 85.36, b = 115.63, c = 46.73 Å. The calculated Matthews coefficient (VM) suggests that there are two molecules per asymmetric unit, with a solvent content of 48.8%.
  15. Firdaus-Raih M, Hamdani HY, Nadzirin N, Ramlan EI, Willett P, Artymiuk PJ
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2014 Jul;42(Web Server issue):W382-8.
    PMID: 24831543 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gku438
    Hydrogen bonds are crucial factors that stabilize a complex ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecule's three-dimensional (3D) structure. Minute conformational changes can result in variations in the hydrogen bond interactions in a particular structure. Furthermore, networks of hydrogen bonds, especially those found in tight clusters, may be important elements in structure stabilization or function and can therefore be regarded as potential tertiary motifs. In this paper, we describe a graph theoretical algorithm implemented as a web server that is able to search for unbroken networks of hydrogen-bonded base interactions and thus provide an accounting of such interactions in RNA 3D structures. This server, COGNAC (COnnection tables Graphs for Nucleic ACids), is also able to compare the hydrogen bond networks between two structures and from such annotations enable the mapping of atomic level differences that may have resulted from conformational changes due to mutations or binding events. The COGNAC server can be accessed at http://mfrlab.org/grafss/cognac.
  16. Hamdani HY, Appasamy SD, Willett P, Artymiuk PJ, Firdaus-Raih M
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2012 Jul;40(Web Server issue):W35-41.
    PMID: 22661578 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks513
    Similarities in the 3D patterns of RNA base interactions or arrangements can provide insights into their functions and roles in stabilization of the RNA 3D structure. Nucleic Acids Search for Substructures and Motifs (NASSAM) is a graph theoretical program that can search for 3D patterns of base arrangements by representing the bases as pseudo-atoms. The geometric relationship of the pseudo-atoms to each other as a pattern can be represented as a labeled graph where the pseudo-atoms are the graph's nodes while the edges are the inter-pseudo-atomic distances. The input files for NASSAM are PDB formatted 3D coordinates. This web server can be used to identify matches of base arrangement patterns in a query structure to annotated patterns that have been reported in the literature or that have possible functional and structural stabilization implications. The NASSAM program is freely accessible without any login requirement at http://mfrlab.org/grafss/nassam/.
  17. Nadzirin N, Gardiner EJ, Willett P, Artymiuk PJ, Firdaus-Raih M
    Nucleic Acids Res, 2012 Jul;40(Web Server issue):W380-6.
    PMID: 22573174 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks401
    Similarities in the 3D patterns of amino acid side chains can provide insights into their function despite the absence of any detectable sequence or fold similarities. Search for protein sites (SPRITE) and amino acid pattern search for substructures and motifs (ASSAM) are graph theoretical programs that can search for 3D amino side chain matches in protein structures, by representing the amino acid side chains as pseudo-atoms. The geometric relationship of the pseudo-atoms to each other as a pattern can be represented as a labeled graph where the pseudo-atoms are the graph's nodes while the edges are the inter-pseudo-atomic distances. Both programs require the input file to be in the PDB format. The objective of using SPRITE is to identify matches of side chains in a query structure to patterns with characterized function. In contrast, a 3D pattern of interest can be searched for existing occurrences in available PDB structures using ASSAM. Both programs are freely accessible without any login requirement. SPRITE is available at http://mfrlab.org/grafss/sprite/ while ASSAM can be accessed at http://mfrlab.org/grafss/assam/.
  18. Khoo JS, Chai SF, Mohamed R, Nathan S, Firdaus-Raih M
    BMC Genomics, 2012;13 Suppl 7:S13.
    PMID: 23282220 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-S7-S13
    The sRNAs of bacterial pathogens are known to be involved in various cellular roles including environmental adaptation as well as regulation of virulence and pathogenicity. It is expected that sRNAs may also have similar functions for Burkholderia pseudomallei, a soil bacterium that can adapt to diverse environmental conditions, which causes the disease melioidosis and is also able to infect a wide variety of hosts.
  19. Firdaus Raih M, Ahmad HA, Sharum MY, Azizi N, Mohamed R
    Appl. Bioinformatics, 2005;4(2):147-50.
    PMID: 16128617
    Bacterial proteases are an important group of enzymes that have very diverse biochemical and cellular functions. Proteases from prokaryotic sources also have a wide range of uses, either in medicine as pathogenic factors or in industry and therapeutics. ProLysED (Prokaryotic Lysis Enzymes Database), our meta-server integrated database of bacterial proteases, is a useful, albeit very niche, resource. The features include protease classification browsing and searching, organism-specific protease browsing, molecular information and visualisation of protease structures from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) as well as predicted protease structures.
  20. Chan KL, Rosli R, Tatarinova TV, Hogan M, Firdaus-Raih M, Low EL
    BMC Bioinformatics, 2017 Jan 27;18(Suppl 1):1426.
    PMID: 28466793 DOI: 10.1186/s12859-016-1426-6
    BACKGROUND: Gene prediction is one of the most important steps in the genome annotation process. A large number of software tools and pipelines developed by various computing techniques are available for gene prediction. However, these systems have yet to accurately predict all or even most of the protein-coding regions. Furthermore, none of the currently available gene-finders has a universal Hidden Markov Model (HMM) that can perform gene prediction for all organisms equally well in an automatic fashion.

    RESULTS: We present an automated gene prediction pipeline, Seqping that uses self-training HMM models and transcriptomic data. The pipeline processes the genome and transcriptome sequences of the target species using GlimmerHMM, SNAP, and AUGUSTUS pipelines, followed by MAKER2 program to combine predictions from the three tools in association with the transcriptomic evidence. Seqping generates species-specific HMMs that are able to offer unbiased gene predictions. The pipeline was evaluated using the Oryza sativa and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes. Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) analysis showed that the pipeline was able to identify at least 95% of BUSCO's plantae dataset. Our evaluation shows that Seqping was able to generate better gene predictions compared to three HMM-based programs (MAKER2, GlimmerHMM and AUGUSTUS) using their respective available HMMs. Seqping had the highest accuracy in rice (0.5648 for CDS, 0.4468 for exon, and 0.6695 nucleotide structure) and A. thaliana (0.5808 for CDS, 0.5955 for exon, and 0.8839 nucleotide structure).

    CONCLUSIONS: Seqping provides researchers a seamless pipeline to train species-specific HMMs and predict genes in newly sequenced or less-studied genomes. We conclude that the Seqping pipeline predictions are more accurate than gene predictions using the other three approaches with the default or available HMMs.

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