In this paper, we report the cloning and characterization of three Paenibacillus azotofixans DNA regions containing genes involved in nitrogen fixation. Sequencing analysis revealed the presence of nifB1H1D1K1 gene organization in the 4,607-bp SacI DNA fragment. This is the first report of linkage of a nifB open reading frame upstream of the structural nif genes. The second (nifB2H2) and third (nifH3) nif homologues are confined within the 6,350-bp HindIII and 2,840-bp EcoRI DNA fragments, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that NifH1 and NifH2 form a monophyletic group among cyanobacterial NifH proteins. NifH3, on the other hand, clusters among NifH proteins of the highly divergent methanogenic archaea.
Two members of 6-cysteine (6-cys) protein family, P48/45 and P230, are important for gamete fertility in rodent and human malaria parasites and are leading transmission blocking vaccine antigens. Rodent and human parasites encode a paralog of P230, called P230p. While P230 is expressed in male and female parasites, P230p is expressed only in male gametocytes and gametes. In rodent malaria parasites this protein is dispensable throughout the complete life-cycle; however, its function in P. falciparum is unknown. Using CRISPR/Cas9 methodology we disrupted the gene encoding Pfp230p resulting in P. falciparum mutants (PfΔp230p) lacking P230p expression. The PfΔp230p mutants produced normal numbers of male and female gametocytes, which retained expression of P48/45 and P230. Upon activation male PfΔp230p gametocytes undergo exflagellation and form male gametes. However, male gametes are unable to attach to red blood cells resulting in the absence of characteristic exflagellation centres in vitro. In the absence of P230p, zygote formation as well as oocyst and sporozoite development were strongly reduced (>98%) in mosquitoes. These observations demonstrate that P230p, like P230 and P48/45, has a vital role in P. falciparum male fertility and zygote formation and warrants further investigation as a potential transmission blocking vaccine candidate.
Galactose-binding and mannose-binding lectins from the champedak fruit, which is native to South-east Asia, exhibit useful potential clinical applications. The specificity of the two lectins for their respective ligands allows the detection of potential cancer biomarkers and monitoring of the glycosylated state of proteins in human serum and/or urine. To fully understand and expand the use of these natural proteins, their complete sequences and crystal structures are presented here, together with details of sugar binding.
Remote protein homology detection and fold recognition refer to detection of structural homology in proteins where there are small or no similarities in the sequence. To detect protein structural classes from protein primary sequence information, homology-based methods have been developed, which can be divided to three types: discriminative classifiers, generative models for protein families and pairwise sequence comparisons. Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Neural Networks (NN) are two popular discriminative methods. Recent studies have shown that SVM has fast speed during training, more accurate and efficient compared to NN. We present a comprehensive method based on two-layer classifiers. The 1st layer is used to detect up to superfamily and family in SCOP hierarchy using optimized binary SVM classification rules. It used the kernel function known as the Bio-kernel, which incorporates the biological information in the classification process. The 2nd layer uses discriminative SVM algorithm with string kernel that will detect up to protein fold level in SCOP hierarchy. The results obtained were evaluated using mean ROC and mean MRFP and the significance of the result produced with pairwise t-test was tested. Experimental results show that our approaches significantly improve the performance of remote protein homology detection and fold recognition for all three different version SCOP datasets (1.53, 1.67 and 1.73). We achieved 4.19% improvements in term of mean ROC in SCOP 1.53, 4.75% in SCOP 1.67 and 4.03% in SCOP 1.73 datasets when compared to the result produced by well-known methods. The combination of first layer and second layer of BioSVM-2L performs well in remote homology detection and fold recognition even in three different versions of datasets.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) with enhanced physicochemical properties will be ideal for a wide range of practical applications. The incorporation of 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) into the polymer backbone is known to improve the overall properties of the resulting polymer. However, the most suitable micro-organism and PHA synthase that can synthesize this monomer efficiently still remain unknown at present. Therefore, we evaluated the abilities of a locally isolated Chromobacterium sp. USM2 to produce PHA containing 3H4MV.
β2-Microglobulin (β(2)M) is the light chain of major histocompatibility class I (MHC I) that binds non-covalently with the α heavy chain. Both proteins attach to the antigen peptide, presenting a complex to the T cell to be destroyed via the immune mechanism.
A thermoalkaliphilic T1 lipase gene of Geobacillus sp. strain T1 was overexpressed in pGEX vector in the prokaryotic system. Removal of the signal peptide improved protein solubility and promoted the binding of GST moiety to the glutathione-Sepharose column. High-yield purification of T1 lipase was achieved through two-step affinity chromatography with a final specific activity and yield of 958.2 U/mg and 51.5%, respectively. The molecular mass of T1 lipase was determined to be approximately 43 kDa by gel filtration chromatography. T1 lipase had an optimum temperature and pH of 70 degrees C and pH 9, respectively. It was stable up to 65 degrees C with a half-life of 5 h 15 min at pH 9. It was stable in the presence of 1 mM metal ions Na(+), Ca(2+), Mn(2+), K(+) and Mg(2+ ), but inhibited by Cu(2+), Fe(3+) and Zn(2+). Tween 80 significantly enhanced T1 lipase activity. T1 lipase was active towards medium to long chain triacylglycerols (C10-C14) and various natural oils with a marked preference for trilaurin (C12) (triacylglycerol) and sunflower oil (natural oil). Serine and aspartate residues were involved in catalysis, as its activity was strongly inhibited by 5 mM PMSF and 1 mM Pepstatin. The T(m) for T1 lipase was around 72.2 degrees C, as revealed by denatured protein analysis of CD spectra.
beta-Galactosidase (EC. 18.104.22.168) from ripe carambola (Averrhoa carambola L. cv. B10) fruit was fractionated through a combination of ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography into four isoforms, viz. beta-galactosidase I, II, III and IV. This beta-galactosidases had apparent native molecular masses of 84, 77, 58 and 130 kDa, respectively. beta-Galactosidase I, the predominant isoform, was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity; analysis of the protein by SDS-PAGE revealed two subunits with molecular masses of 48 and 36 kDa. N-terminal amino acid sequence of the respective polypeptides shared high similarities albeit at different domains, with the deduced amino acid sequence of certain plant beta-galactosidases, thus, explaining the observed low similarity between the two subunits. beta-Galactosidase I was probably a heterodimer that have glycoprotein properties and a pI value of 7.2, with one of the potential glycosylation sites appeared to reside within the 48-kDa-polypeptide. The purified beta-galactosidase I was substantially active in hydrolyzing (1-->4)beta-linked spruce and a mixture of (1-->3)beta- and (1-->6)beta-linked gum arabic galactans. This isoform also had the capability to solubilize and depolymerize structurally intact pectins as well as to modify alkaline-soluble hemicelluloses, reflecting in part changes that occur during ripening.
Tuberculosis (TB), an epidemic disease, affects the world with death rate of two million people every year. The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis was found to be a more potent and disease-prolonged bacterium among the world due to multi-drug resistance. Emergence of new drug targets is needed to overcome the bacterial resistance that leads to control epidemic tuberculosis. The pathway thiamine biosynthesis was targeting M. tuberculosis due to its role in intracellular growth of the bacterium. The screening of enzymes involved in thiamin biosynthesis showed novel target thiazole synthase (ThiG) involved in catalysis of rearrangement of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate (DXP) to produce the thiazole phosphate moiety of thiamine. We carried out homology modeling for ThiG to understand the structure-function relationship, and the model was refined with MD simulations. The results showed that the model predicted with (α + β)8-fold of synthase family proteins. Molecular docking of ThiG model with substrate DXP showed binding mode and key residues ARG46, ASN69, THR41, and LYS96 involved in the catalysis. First-line anti-tuberculosis drugs were docked with ThiG to identify the inhibition. The report showed the anti-tuberculosis drugs interact well with ThiG which may lead to block thiamin biosynthesis pathway.
A tymoyirus isolated from Malaysian crops of Calopogonium mucunoides has been shown to have virions that are serologically indistinguishable from those of clitoria yellow vein tymovirus. We have sequenced the virion protein (VP) gene of the virus and have found that although it is a member of the cluster that includes CYVV, it is the most distinct member of that cluster (< 62% sequence identity with all the others), and is clearly a separate species, which we propose should be named calopogonium yellow vein virus. Most of the serological specificity of the virions of tymoviruses seems to reside in the C-terminal hexapeptide of the virion protein.
Over the past year, many reports have been published on a variety of clinical manifestations related to antiphospholipid antibodies. The low prevalence of anticardiolipin antibodies with the rare occurrence of thrombosis and a low rate of fetal loss in studies in Malaysia and China showed a potential role for local factors. A study of cross-reactive idiotype of the anticardiolipin antibody suggested that anticardiolipin antibodies are derived from a set of natural autoreactive clones. Regarding the pathogenic role of the antiphospholipid antibody, evidence has been presented that the epitopes formed between cardiolipin and beta 2 glycoprotein I are the targets of the antiphospholipid antibody. Complement activation, abnormalities of natural anticoagulants such as protein S deficiency, and genetic association with DR4, DR7, and DRw53 have also been studied.
Polygonum minus (syn. Persicaria minor) is a herbal plant that is well known for producing sesquiterpenes, which contribute to its flavour and fragrance. This study describes the cloning and functional characterisation of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2, two sesquiterpene synthase genes that were identified from P. minus transcriptome data mining. The full-length sequences of the PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 genes were expressed in the E. coli pQE-2 expression vector. The sizes of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 were 1098 bp and 1967 bp, respectively, with open reading frames (ORF) of 1047 and 1695 bp and encoding polypeptides of 348 and 564 amino acids, respectively. The proteins consist of three conserved motifs, namely, Asp-rich substrate binding (DDxxD), metal binding residues (NSE/DTE), and cytoplasmic ER retention (RxR), as well as the terpene synthase family N-terminal domain and C-terminal metal-binding domain. From the in vitro enzyme assays, using the farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) substrate, the PmSTPS1 enzyme produced multiple acyclic sesquiterpenes of β-farnesene, α-farnesene, and farnesol, while the PmSTPS2 enzyme produced an additional nerolidol as a final product. The results confirmed the roles of PmSTPS1 and PmSTPS2 in the biosynthesis pathway of P. minus, to produce aromatic sesquiterpenes.
Presynaptic neurotoxins are one of the major components in Bungarus venom. Unlike other Bungarus species that have been studied, β-bungarotoxin has never been isolated from Bungarus fasciatus venom. It was hypothesized that the absence of β-bungarotoxin in this species was due to divergence during evolution prior to evolution of β-bungarotoxin. In this study, we have isolated a β-bungarotoxin isoform we named P-elapitoxin-Bf1a by using gel filtration, cation-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography from Malaysian B. fasciatus venom. The toxin consists of two heterogeneous subunits, subunit A and subunit B. LCMS/MS data showed that subunit A was homologous to acidic phospholipase A2 subunit A3 from Bungarus candidus and B. multicinctus venoms, whereas subunit B was homologous with subunit B1 from B. fasciatus venom that was previously detected by cDNA cloning. The toxin showed concentration- and time-dependent reduction of indirect-twitches without affecting contractile responses to ACh, CCh or KCl at the end of experiment in the chick biventer preparation. Toxin modification with 4-BPB inhibited the neurotoxic effect suggesting the importance of His-48. Tissue pre-incubation with monovalent B. fasciatus (BFAV) or neuro-polyvalent antivenom (NPV), at the recommended titer, was unable to inhibit the twitch reduction induced by the toxin. This study indicates that Malaysian B. fasciatus venom has a unique β-bungarotoxin isoform which was not neutralized by antivenoms. This suggests that there might be other presynaptic neurotoxins present in the venom and there is a variation in the enzymatic neurotoxin composition in venoms from different localities.
In this study, we reported a complete molecular characterization including bioinformatics features, gene expression, peptide synthesis and its antimicrobial activities of an anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) factor (ALF) cDNA identified from the established cDNA library of freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii (named as MrALF). The mature protein has an estimated molecular weight of 11.240 kDa with an isoelectric point of 9.46. The bioinformatics analysis showed that the MrALF contains an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) region between T54 and P77 with two conserved cysteine residues (Cys55 and Cys76) which have an anti-parallel β-sheet confirmation. The β-sheet is predicted as cationic with hydrophobic nature containing a net charge of +5. The depicted AMP region is determined to be amphipathic with a predicted hydrophobic face 'FPVFI'. A highest MrALF gene expression was observed in hemocytes and is up-regulated with virus [white spot syndrome baculovirus (WSBV)], bacteria (Aeromonas hydrophila) and Escherichia coli LPS at various time points. The LPS binding region of MrALF peptide was synthesized to study the antimicrobial property, bactericidal efficiency and hemolytic capacity. The peptide showed antimicrobial activity against both the Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The bactericidal assay showed that the peptide recognized the LPS of bacterial cell walls and binding on its substrate and thereby efficiently distinguishing the pathogens. The hemolytic activity of MrALF peptide is functioning in a concentration dependant manner. In summary, the comprehensive analysis of MrALF showed it to be an effective antimicrobial peptide and thus it plays a crucial role in the defense mechanism of M. rosenbergii.
Bacteriophage EC1-UPM is an N4-like bacteriophage which specifically infects Escherichia coli O78:K80, an avian pathogenic strain that causes colibacillosis in poultry. The complete genome sequence of bacteriophage EC1-UPM was analysed and compared with other closely related N4-like phage groups to assess their genetic similarities and differences.
The psychrophilic yeast Glaciozyma antarctica demonstrated high antifreeze activity in its culture filtrate. The culture filtrate exhibited both thermal hysteresis (TH) and ice recrystallization inhibition (RI) properties. The TH of 0.1 °C was comparable to that previously reported for bacteria and fungi. A genome sequence survey of the G. antarctica genome identified a novel antifreeze protein gene. The cDNA encoded a 177 amino acid protein with 30 % similarity to a fungal antifreeze protein from Typhula ishikariensis. The expression levels of AFP1 were quantified via real time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and the highest expression levels were detected within 6 h of growth at -12 °C. The cDNA of the antifreeze protein was cloned into an Escherichia coli expression system. Expression of recombinant Afp1 in E. coli resulted in the formation of inclusion bodies that were subsequently denatured by treatment with urea and allowed to refold in vitro. Activity assays of the recombinant Afp1 confirmed the antifreeze protein properties with a high TH value of 0.08 °C.
Arginine kinase-1 (MrAK-1) was sequenced from the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii using Illumina Solexa Genome Analyzer Technique. MrAK-1 consisted of 1068 bp nucleotide encoded 355 polypeptide with an estimated molecular mass of 40 kDa. MrAK-1 sequence contains a potential ATP:guanido phosphotransferases active domain site. The deduced amino acid sequence of MrAK-1 was compared with other 7 homologous arginine kinase (AK) and showed the highest identity (96%) with AK-1 from cherry shrimp Neocaridina denticulate. The qRT-PCR analysis revealed a broad expression of MrAK-1 with the highest expression in the muscle and the lowest in the eyestalk. The expression of MrAK-1 after challenge with the infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV) was tested in muscle. In addition, MrAK-1 was expressed in Escherichia coli by prokaryotic expression plasmid pMAL-c2x. The optimum temperature (30 °C) and pH (8.5) was determined for the enzyme activity assay. MrAK-1 showed significant (P < 0.05) activity towards 10-50 mM ATP concentration. The enzyme activity was inhibited by α-ketoglutarate, glucose and ATP at the concentration of 10, 50 and 100 mM respectively. Conclusively, the findings of this study indicated that MrAK-1 might play an important role in the coupling of energy production and utilization and the immune response in shrimps.
There is very little information on the capacity of freshwater carnivorous fish to biosynthesize highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). The striped snakehead fish (Channa striata) is a carnivorous species cultured inland of several Southeast Asian countries due to its pharmaceutical properties in wound healing enhancement. We described here the full-length cDNA cloning of a striped snakehead fatty acid desaturase (fads), which is responsible for desaturation of unsaturated fatty acids in the HUFA biosynthesis. Bioinformatics analysis reveals a protein coding region with length of 445 amino acids containing all characteristic features of desaturase enzyme, including a cytochrome b5-domain with the heme-binding motif, two transmembrane domains and three histidine-rich regions. The striped snakehead fads amino acid sequence shares high similarity with known fads of other teleosts. The mRNA expression of striped snakehead fads also showed an ontogenic-related increase in expression in 0-20 days after hatch larva. Using ISH, we localized the presence of fads in larva brain, liver and intestinal tissues.
Laccases are industrially attractive enzymes and their applications have expanded to the field of bioremediation. The challenge of today's biotechnology in enzymatic studies is to design enzymes that not only have a higher activity but are also more stable and could fit well with the condition requirements. Laccases are known to oxidize non-natural substrates like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We suppose by increasing the hydrophobicity of laccase, it would increase the chance of the enzyme to meet the hydrophobic substrates in a contamination site, therefore increasing the bioremediation efficacy of PAHs from environment. In this attempt, the applications of evolutionary trace (ET), molecular surface accessibility and hydrophobicity analysis on laccase sequences and laccase's crystal structure (1KYA) are described for optimal design of an enzyme with higher hydrophobicity. Our analysis revealed that Q23A, Q45I, N141A, Q237V, N262L, N301V, N331A, Q360L and Q482A could be promising exchanges to be tested in mutagenesis experiments.
DNA mismatch repair proteins play an essential role in maintaining genomic integrity during replication and genetic recombination. We successfully isolated a full length MSH2 and partial MSH7 cDNAs from tomato, based on sequence similarity between MutS and plant MSH homologues. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR reveals higher levels of mRNA expression of both genes in young leaves and floral buds. Genetic mapping placed MSH2 and MSH7 on chromosomes 6 and 7, respectively, and indicates that these genes exist as single copies in the tomato genome. Analysis of protein sequences and phylogeny of the plant MSH gene family show that these proteins are evolutionarily conserved, and follow the classical model of asymmetric protein evolution. Genetic manipulation of the expression of these MSH genes in tomato will provide a potentially useful tool for modifying genetic recombination and hybrid fertility between wide crosses.