Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1387 in total

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  1. Al-Nahari A, Mohamad MM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156670.
    PMID: 27258013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156670
    Decreasing the route rediscovery time process in reactive routing protocols is challenging in mobile ad hoc networks. Links between nodes are continuously established and broken because of the characteristics of the network. Finding multiple routes to increase the reliability is also important but requires a fast update, especially in high traffic load and high mobility where paths can be broken as well. The sender node keeps re-establishing path discovery to find new paths, which makes for long time delay. In this paper we propose an improved multipath routing protocol, called Receiver-based ad hoc on demand multipath routing protocol (RB-AOMDV), which takes advantage of the reliability of the state of the art ad hoc on demand multipath distance vector (AOMDV) protocol with less re-established discovery time. The receiver node assumes the role of discovering paths when finding data packets that have not been received after a period of time. Simulation results show the delay and delivery ratio performances are improved compared with AOMDV.
  2. Rusi, Majid SR
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154566.
    PMID: 27182595 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154566
    Nanostructured network-like MnO2-NiO composite electrodes were electrodeposited onto stainless steel substrates via different electrodeposition modes, such as chronopotentiometry, chronoamperometry, and cyclic voltammetry, and then subjected to heat treatment at 300°C for metal oxide conversion. X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the crystalline natures and morphologies of the deposited films. The electrochemical properties were investigated using cyclic voltammetry and charge/discharge tests. The results revealed that the electrochemical performance of the as-obtained composite electrodes depended on the electrodeposition mode. The electrochemical properties of MnO2-NiO composite electrodes prepared using cyclic voltammetry exhibited the highest capacitance values and were most influenced by the deposition cycle number. The optimum specific capacitance was 3509 Fg-1 with energy and power densities of 1322 Wh kg-1 and 110.5 kW kg-1, respectively, at a current density of 20 Ag-1 in a mixed KOH/K3Fe(CN)6 electrolyte.
  3. Nordin N, Fadaeinasab M, Mohan S, Mohd Hashim N, Othman R, Karimian H, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154023.
    PMID: 27136097 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154023
    Drug resistance presents a challenge in chemotherapy and has attracted research interest worldwide and particular attention has been given to natural compounds to overcome this difficulty. Pulchrin A, a new compound isolated from natural products has demonstrated novel potential for development as a drug. The identification of pulchrin A was conducted using several spectroscopic techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance, liquid chromatography mass spectrometer, infrared and ultraviolet spectrometry. The cytotoxicity effects on CAOV-3 cells indicates that pulchrin A is more active than cisplatin, which has an IC50 of 22.3 μM. Significant changes in cell morphology were present, such as cell membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies. The involvement of phosphatidylserine (PS) in apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin V-FITC after a 24 h treatment. Apoptosis was activated through the intrinsic pathway by activation of procaspases 3 and 9 as well as cleaved caspases 3 and 9 and ended at the executioner pathway, with the occurrence of DNA laddering. Apoptosis was further confirmed via gene and protein expression levels, in which Bcl-2 protein was down-regulated and Bax protein was up-regulated. Furthermore, the CAOV-3 cell cycle was disrupted at the G0/G1 phase, leading to apoptosis. Molecular modeling of Bcl-2 proteins demonstrated a high- binding affinity, which inhibited the function of Bcl-2 proteins and led to cell death. Results of the current study can shed light on the development of new therapeutic agents, particularly, human ovarian cancer treatments.
  4. Zheng W, Tan TK, Paterson IC, Mutha NV, Siow CC, Tan SY, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0151908.
    PMID: 27138013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151908
    The oral streptococci are spherical Gram-positive bacteria categorized under the phylum Firmicutes which are among the most common causative agents of bacterial infective endocarditis (IE) and are also important agents in septicaemia in neutropenic patients. The Streptococcus mitis group is comprised of 13 species including some of the most common human oral colonizers such as S. mitis, S. oralis, S. sanguinis and S. gordonii as well as species such as S. tigurinus, S. oligofermentans and S. australis that have only recently been classified and are poorly understood at present. We present StreptoBase, which provides a specialized free resource focusing on the genomic analyses of oral species from the mitis group. It currently hosts 104 S. mitis group genomes including 27 novel mitis group strains that we sequenced using the high throughput Illumina HiSeq technology platform, and provides a comprehensive set of genome sequences for analyses, particularly comparative analyses and visualization of both cross-species and cross-strain characteristics of S. mitis group bacteria. StreptoBase incorporates sophisticated in-house designed bioinformatics web tools such as Pairwise Genome Comparison (PGC) tool and Pathogenomic Profiling Tool (PathoProT), which facilitate comparative pathogenomics analysis of Streptococcus strains. Examples are provided to demonstrate how StreptoBase can be employed to compare genome structure of different S. mitis group bacteria and putative virulence genes profile across multiple streptococcal strains. In conclusion, StreptoBase offers access to a range of streptococci genomic resources as well as analysis tools and will be an invaluable platform to accelerate research in streptococci. Database URL: http://streptococcus.um.edu.my.
  5. Adeyemi KD, Shittu RM, Sabow AB, Ebrahimi M, Sazili AQ
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154603.
    PMID: 27138001 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154603
    This study appraised the effects of dietary blend of 80% canola oil and 20% palm oil and postmortem ageing on oxidative stability, fatty acids and quality attributes of gluteus medius (GM) muscle in goats. Twenty-four Boer bucks were randomly allotted to diet supplemented with 0, 4 and 8% oil blend, fed for 100 days and slaughtered, and the GM muscle was subjected to a 7 d chill storage (4±1°C). Diet had no effect (P> 0.05) on the colour, drip loss, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) value, free thiol, carbonyl, myoglobin and metmyoglobin contents, metmyoglobin reducing activity (MRA), antioxidant enzyme activities and abundance of myosin heavy chain (MHC) and actin in the GM muscle in goats. The meat from goats fed 4 and 8% oil blend had higher (P< 0.05) concentration of α and γ-tocopherol and abundance of troponin T compared with that from the control goats. The GM muscle from the oil-supplemented goats had lower (P< 0.05) concentration of C16:0 and greater (P< 0.05) concentration of C18:1n-9, C18:3n-3 and C20:5n-3 compared with that from the control goats. Nonetheless, diet did not affect (P< 0.05) the total fatty acid in the GM muscle in goats. Regardless of the diet, the free thiol and myoglobin contents, concentration of tocopherol and total carotenoids, MHC and MRA in the GM muscle decreased (P< 0.05) while carbonyl content, TBARS, drip loss and metmyoglobin content increased over storage. Dietary blend of 80% canola oil and 20% palm oil beneficially altered tissue lipids without hampering the oxidative stability of chevon.
  6. Ng KK, Motoda Y, Watanabe S, Sofiman Othman A, Kigawa T, Kodama Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154081.
    PMID: 27100681 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154081
    In current plant biotechnology, the introduction of exogenous DNA encoding desired traits is the most common approach used to modify plants. However, general plant transformation methods can cause random integration of exogenous DNA into the plant genome. To avoid these events, alternative methods, such as a direct protein delivery system, are needed to modify the plant. Although there have been reports of the delivery of proteins into cultured plant cells, there are currently no methods for the direct delivery of proteins into intact plants, owing to their hierarchical structures. Here, we demonstrate the efficient fusion-peptide-based delivery of proteins into intact Arabidopsis thaliana. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, 66 kDa) was selected as a model protein to optimize conditions for delivery into the cytosol. The general applicability of our method to large protein cargo was also demonstrated by the delivery of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, 150 kDa) into the cytosol. The compatibility of the fusion peptide system with the delivery of proteins to specific cellular organelles was also demonstrated using the fluorescent protein Citrine (27 kDa) conjugated to either a nuclear localization signal (NLS) or a peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS). In conclusion, our designed fusion peptide system can deliver proteins with a wide range of molecular weights (27 to 150 kDa) into the cells of intact A. thaliana without interfering with the organelle-targeting peptide conjugated to the protein. We expect that this efficient protein delivery system will be a powerful tool in plant biotechnology.
  7. Ghadiry M, Gholami M, Lai CK, Ahmad H, Chong WY
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153949.
    PMID: 27101247 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153949
    Generally, in a waveguide-based humidity sensors, increasing the relative humidity (RH) causes the cladding refractive index (RI) to increase due to cladding water absorption. However, if graphene oxide (GO) is used, a reverse phenomenon is seen due to a gap increase in graphene layers. In this paper, this interesting property is applied in order to fabricate differential humidity sensor using the difference between RI of reduced GO (rGO) and nano-anatase TiO2 in a chip. First, a new approach is proposed to prepare high quality nano-anatase TiO2 in solution form making the fabrication process simple and straightforward. Then, the resulted solutions (TiO2 and GO) are effortlessly drop casted and reduced on SU8 two channels waveguide and extensively examined against several humid conditions. Investigating the sensitivity and performance (response time) of the device, reveals a great linearity in a wide range of RH (35% to 98%) and a variation of more than 30 dB in transmitted optical power with a response time of only ~0.7 sec. The effect of coating concentration and UV treatment are studied on the performance and repeatability of the sensor and the attributed mechanisms explained. In addition, we report that using the current approach, devices with high sensitivity and very low response time of only 0.3 sec can be fabricated. Also, the proposed device was comprehensively compared with other state of the art proposed sensors in the literature and the results were promising. Since high sensitivity ~0.47dB/%RH and high dynamic performances were demonstrated, this sensor is a proper choice for biomedical applications.
  8. Suwarnalata G, Tan AH, Isa H, Gudimella R, Anwar A, Loke MF, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153725.
    PMID: 27100827 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153725
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Its etiology remains elusive and at present only symptomatic treatments exists. Helicobacter pylori chronically colonizes the gastric mucosa of more than half of the global human population. Interestingly, H. pylori positivity has been found to be associated with greater of PD motor severity. In order to investigate the underlying cause of this association, the Sengenics Immunome protein array, which enables simultaneous screening for autoantibodies against 1636 human proteins, was used to screen the serum of 30 H. pylori-seropositive PD patients (case) and 30 age- and gender-matched H. pylori-seronegative PD patients (control) in this study. In total, 13 significant autoantibodies were identified and ranked, with 8 up-regulated and 5 down-regulated in the case group. Among autoantibodies found to be elevated in H. pylori-seropositive PD were included antibodies that recognize Nuclear factor I subtype A (NFIA), Platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB) and Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A3 (eIFA3). The presence of elevated autoantibodies against proteins essential for normal neurological functions suggest that immunomodulatory properties of H. pylori may explain the association between H. pylori positivity and greater PD motor severity.
  9. Noroozi M, Zakaria A, Radiman S, Abdul Wahab Z
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0152699.
    PMID: 27064575 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152699
    In this paper, we report how few layers graphene that can be produced in large quantity with low defect ratio from exfoliation of graphite by using a high intensity probe sonication in water containing liquid hand soap and PVP. It was founded that the graphene powder obtained by this simple exfoliation method after the heat treatment had an excellent exfoliation into a single or layered graphene sheets. The UV-visible spectroscopy, FESEM, TEM, X-ray powder diffraction and Raman spectroscopy was used to analyse the graphene product. The thermal diffusivity of the samples was analysed using a highly accurate thermal-wave cavity photothermal technique. The data obtained showed excellent enhancement in the thermal diffusivity of the graphene dispersion. This well-dispersed graphene was then used to fabricate an electrically conductive polymer-graphene film composite. The results demonstrated that this low cost and environmental friendly technique allowed to the production of high quality layered graphene sheets, improved the thermal and electrical properties. This may find use in the wide range of applications based on graphene.
  10. Rambli A, Abuzaid AH, Mohamed IB, Hussin AG
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153074.
    PMID: 27064566 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153074
    A number of circular regression models have been proposed in the literature. In recent years, there is a strong interest shown on the subject of outlier detection in circular regression. An outlier detection procedure can be developed by defining a new statistic in terms of the circular residuals. In this paper, we propose a new measure which transforms the circular residuals into linear measures using a trigonometric function. We then employ the row deletion approach to identify observations that affect the measure the most, a candidate of outlier. The corresponding cut-off points and the performance of the detection procedure when applied on Down and Mardia's model are studied via simulations. For illustration, we apply the procedure on circadian data.
  11. Rahman MA, Ramli F, Karimian H, Dehghan F, Nordin N, Mohd Ali H, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151466.
    PMID: 27019365 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151466
    Artonin E is a prenylated flavonoid isolated from the stem bark of Artocarpus elasticus Reinw.(Moraceae). This study aimed to investigate the apoptotic mechanisms induced by artonin E in a metastatic human ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3 in vitro. MTT assay, clonogenic assay, acridine orange and propidium iodide double staining, cell cycle and annexin V analyses were performed to explore the mode of artonin E-induced cell death at different time points. DNA laddering, activation of caspases-3, -8, and -9, multi-parametric cytotoxicity-3analysis by high-content screening, measurement of reactive oxygen species generation, and Western blot were employed to study the pathways involved in the apoptosis. MTT results showed that artonin E inhibited the growth of SKOV-3 cells, with IC50 values of 6.5±0.5μg/mL after 72 h treatment, and showed less toxicity toward a normal human ovarian cell lineT1074, with IC50 value of 32.5±0.5μg/mL. Results showed that artonin E induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the S phase. This compound also promoted the activation of caspases-3, -8, and -9. Further investigation into the depletion of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c revealed that artonin E treatment induced apoptosis via regulation of the expression of pro-survival and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members. The expression levels of survivin and HSP70 proteins were also down regulated in SKOV-3 cells treated with artonin E. We propose that artonin E induced an antiproliferative effect that led to S phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through dysregulation of mitochondrial pathways, particularly the pro- and anti-apoptosis signaling pathways.
  12. Atif M, Javaid S, Farooqui M, Sarwar MR
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151321.
    PMID: 26998830 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151321
    BACKGROUND: Implementation of the Charter to protect patients' rights is an important criterion to achieve patient-centered approach and receive financial support from the Global Fund. Our study aims to explore the knowledge of tuberculosis (TB) patients about their rights and responsibilities at the Chest Disease Unit of the Bahawal Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
    METHODS: This was a qualitative study. The data from purposefully selected TB patients was collected by in-depth interviews. Eligibility criteria included confirmed diagnosis of TB and enrollment in the TB program. A pilot tested interview protocol was based upon the objectives of the study, and was used uniformly in each interview to maintain the consistency. The sample size was limited by applying the saturation criteria. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic content analysis was applied to analyze the data and draw conclusions.
    RESULTS: Out of the total 16 patients, four were female, and seven were illiterate. Eight patients were known cases of multi-drug resistant TB. Analysis of the data yielded seven themes; tuberculosis care services, moral support and stigmatization, dignity and privacy, complaints, fear of losing job, information sharing and compliance to the treatment plan, and contribution to eradicate TB. First five represented the rights section while latter two were related to the responsibilities section of the Charter.
    CONCLUSION: Discriminatory access to TB care services and the right to privacy were two major concerns identified in this study. However, the respondents recognized their responsibilities as a TB patient. To ensure uninterrupted investment from the Global Fund, there is a need to implement fair TB care policies which support human rights-based approach.
  13. Dawood F, Loo CK
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0152003.
    PMID: 26998923 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152003
    Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.
  14. Idris K, Mohamed Shaffril HA, Md Yassin S, Abu Samah A, Hamzah A, Abu Samah B
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150741.
    PMID: 26974837 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150741
    The main aim of this study is to identify the quality of life (QoL) among communities residing near the Tembeling, Pahang and Muar Rivers in Malaysia. This quantitative study used a constructed questionnaire as main tool to collect data on the QoL of river communities. A total of 240 villagers were selected as respondents. The results indicated that the dimensions of settlement, safety, involvement and social relationships, as well as education scored highest, while dimensions of physical environment, financial and job security yielded moderate scores. Dimensions of infrastructure facilities yielded a low mean score. Recommendations are provided, in the hope that our results may be useful for strategies that could enhance QoL of these river communities.
  15. Grigg MJ, Barber BE, Marfurt J, Imwong M, William T, Bird E, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0149519.
    PMID: 26930493 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149519
    BACKGROUND: Malaria caused by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi is an emerging threat in Eastern Malaysia. Despite demonstrated vector competency, it is unknown whether human-to-human (H-H) transmission is occurring naturally. We sought evidence of drug selection pressure from the antimalarial sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) as a potential marker of H-H transmission.

    METHODS: The P. knowlesi dihdyrofolate-reductase (pkdhfr) gene was sequenced from 449 P. knowlesi malaria cases from Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) and genotypes evaluated for association with clinical and epidemiological factors. Homology modelling using the pvdhfr template was used to assess the effect of pkdhfr mutations on the pyrimethamine binding pocket.

    RESULTS: Fourteen non-synonymous mutations were detected, with the most common being at codon T91P (10.2%) and R34L (10.0%), resulting in 21 different genotypes, including the wild-type, 14 single mutants, and six double mutants. One third of the P. knowlesi infections were with pkdhfr mutants; 145 (32%) patients had single mutants and 14 (3%) had double-mutants. In contrast, among the 47 P. falciparum isolates sequenced, three pfdhfr genotypes were found, with the double mutant 108N+59R being fixed and the triple mutants 108N+59R+51I and 108N+59R+164L occurring with frequencies of 4% and 8%, respectively. Two non-random spatio-temporal clusters were identified with pkdhfr genotypes. There was no association between pkdhfr mutations and hyperparasitaemia or malaria severity, both hypothesized to be indicators of H-H transmission. The orthologous loci associated with resistance in P. falciparum were not mutated in pkdhfr. Subsequent homology modelling of pkdhfr revealed gene loci 13, 53, 120, and 173 as being critical for pyrimethamine binding, however, there were no mutations at these sites among the 449 P. knowlesi isolates.

    CONCLUSION: Although moderate diversity was observed in pkdhfr in Sabah, there was no evidence this reflected selective antifolate drug pressure in humans.

  16. Boon-Peng H, Mat Jusoh JA, Marshall CR, Majid F, Danuri N, Basir F, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0148755.
    PMID: 26930585 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148755
    Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and a powerful predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes in the hypertensive patients. It has complex multifactorial and polygenic basis for its pathogenesis. We hypothesized that rare copy number variants (CNVs) contribute to the LVH pathogenesis in hypertensive patients. Copy number variants (CNV) were identified in 258 hypertensive patients, 95 of whom had LVH, after genotyping with a high resolution SNP array. Following stringent filtering criteria, we identified 208 rare, or private CNVs that were only present in our patients with hypertension related LVH. Preliminary findings from Gene Ontology and pathway analysis of this study confirmed the involvement of the genes known to be functionally involved in cardiac development and phenotypes, in line with previously reported transcriptomic studies. Network enrichment analyses suggested that the gene-set was, directly or indirectly, involved in the transcription factors regulating the "foetal cardiac gene programme" which triggered the hypertrophic cascade, confirming previous reports. These findings suggest that multiple, individually rare copy number variants altering genes may contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension-related LVH. In summary, we have provided further supporting evidence that rare CNV could potentially impact this common and complex disease susceptibility with lower heritability.
  17. Tham ML, Chow CO, Xu YH, Ramli N
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148625.
    PMID: 26906398 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148625
    This paper presents a two-level scheduling scheme for video transmission over downlink orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) networks. It aims to maximize the aggregate quality of the video users subject to the playback delay and resource constraints, by exploiting the multiuser diversity and the video characteristics. The upper level schedules the transmission of video packets among multiple users based on an overall target bit-error-rate (BER), the importance level of packet and resource consumption efficiency factor. Instead, the lower level renders unequal error protection (UEP) in terms of target BER among the scheduled packets by solving a weighted sum distortion minimization problem, where each user weight reflects the total importance level of the packets that has been scheduled for that user. Frequency-selective power is then water-filled over all the assigned subcarriers in order to leverage the potential channel coding gain. Realistic simulation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art scheduling scheme by up to 6.8 dB in terms of peak-signal-to-noise-ratio (PSNR). Further test evaluates the suitability of equal power allocation which is the common assumption in the literature.
  18. Ayatollahitafti V, Ngadi MA, Mohamad Sharif JB, Abdullahi M
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0146464.
    PMID: 26771586 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146464
    Body Area Networks (BANs) consist of various sensors which gather patient's vital signs and deliver them to doctors. One of the most significant challenges faced, is the design of an energy-efficient next hop selection algorithm to satisfy Quality of Service (QoS) requirements for different healthcare applications. In this paper, a novel efficient next hop selection algorithm is proposed in multi-hop BANs. This algorithm uses the minimum hop count and a link cost function jointly in each node to choose the best next hop node. The link cost function includes the residual energy, free buffer size, and the link reliability of the neighboring nodes, which is used to balance the energy consumption and to satisfy QoS requirements in terms of end to end delay and reliability. Extensive simulation experiments were performed to evaluate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm using the NS-2 simulator. Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm provides significant improvement in terms of energy consumption, number of packets forwarded, end to end delay and packet delivery ratio compared to the existing routing protocol.
  19. Ali SA, Teow SY, Omar TC, Khoo AS, Choon TS, Yusoff NM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0145986.
    PMID: 26741963 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145986
    There remains a need for newer therapeutic approaches to combat HIV/AIDS. Viral capsid protein p24 plays important roles in HIV pathogenesis. Peptides and small molecule inhibitors targeting p24 have shown to inhibit virus replication in treated cell. High specificity and biological stability of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) make them an attractive contender for in vivo treatments. However, mAbs do not enter into cells, thus are restricted to target surface molecules. This also makes targeting intracellular HIV-1 p24 a challenge. A mAb specific to p24 that can internalize into the HIV-infected cells is hypothesized to inhibit the virus replication. We selected a mAb that has previously shown to inhibit p24 polymerization in an in vitro assay and chemically conjugated it with cell penetrating peptides (CPP) to generate cell internalizing anti-p24 mAbs. Out of 8 CPPs tested, κFGF-MTS -conjugated mAbs internalized T cells most efficiently. At nontoxic concentration, the κFGF-MTS-anti-p24-mAbs reduced the HIV-1 replication up to 73 and 49% in T-lymphocyte and PBMCs respectively. Marked inhibition of HIV-1 replication in relevant cells by κFGF-MTS-anti-p24-mAbs represents a viable strategy to target HIV proteins present inside the cells.
  20. Khor WC, Puah SM, Tan JA, Puthucheary SD, Chua KH
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(12):e0145933.
    PMID: 26710336 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145933
    Gram-negative bacilli of the genus Aeromonas are primarily inhabitants of the aquatic environment. Humans acquire this organism from a wide range of food and water sources as well as during aquatic recreational activities. In the present study, the diversity and distribution of Aeromonas species from freshwater lakes in Malaysia was investigated using glycerophospholipid-cholesterol acyltransferase (GCAT) and RNA polymerase sigma-factor (rpoD) genes for speciation. A total of 122 possible Aeromonas strains were isolated and confirmed to genus level using the API20E system. The clonality of the isolates was investigated using ERIC-PCR and 20 duplicate isolates were excluded from the study. The specific GCAT-PCR identified all isolates as belonging to the genus Aeromonas, in agreement with the biochemical identification. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using the rpoD gene sequence and all 102 isolates were identified as: A. veronii 43%, A. jandaei 37%, A. hydrophila 6%, A. caviae 4%, A. salmonicida 2%, A. media 2%, A. allosaccharophila 1%, A. dhakensis 1% and Aeromonas spp. 4%. Twelve virulence genes were present in the following proportions--exu 96%, ser 93%, aer 87%, fla 83%, enolase 70%, ela 62%, act 54%, aexT 33%, lip 16%, dam 16%, alt 8% and ast 4%, and at least 2 of these genes were present in all 102 strains. The ascV, aexU and hlyA genes were not detected among the isolates. A. hydrophila was the main species containing virulence genes alt and ast either present alone or in combination. It is possible that different mechanisms may be used by each genospecies to demonstrate virulence. In summary, with the use of GCAT and rpoD genes, unambiguous identification of Aeromonas species is possible and provides valuable data on the phylogenetic diversity of the organism.
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