We report the 4.25-Mbp first draft sequence of Gammaproteobacteria strain MFB021, a moderate halophile isolated from petroleum-contaminated soil in Cochin, India. The genome of the strain MFB021 was sequenced to understand the mechanism of hydrocarbon degradation and the halophilicity of the bacterium.
Mangrovibacter sp. MFB070, a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, nitrogen-fixing bacterium, was isolated from an aquaculture farm in Cochin, India. Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of a member of the genus Mangrovibacter, which may help us to elucidate the evolutionary status of this genus. The draft genome sequence of the Mangrovibacter sp. consists of 5,361,682 bp, encoding 4,971 predicted coding sequences in 57 contigs.
The Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator protein (CFTR) is a member of the ABC transporter superfamily. CFTR is distinguished from all other members of this superfamily by its status as an ion channel as well as the presence of its unique regulatory (R) domain. We investigated the origin and subsequent evolution of the R domain along the CFTR evolutionary lineage. The R domain protein coding sequence originated via the loss of a splice donor site at the 3′ end of exon 14, leading to the subsequent read-through and capture of formerly intronic sequence as novel coding sequence. Inclusion of the remaining part of the R domain coding sequence in the CFTR transcript involved a lineage-specific gain of exonic sequence with no homology to protein coding sequences outside of CFTR and loss of two exons conserved among ABC family members. These events occurred at the base of the Gnathostome evolutionary lineage ~550–650 million years ago. The apparent origination of the R domain de novo from previously non-coding sequence is consistent with its lack of sequence similarity to other domains as well as its intrinsically disordered structure, which has important implications for its function. In particular, this lack of structure may provide for a dynamic and inducible regulatory activity based on transient physical interactions with more structured domains of the protein. Since its acquisition along the CFTR evolutionary lineage, the R domain has evolved more rapidly than any other CFTR domain; however, there is no evidence for positive (adaptive) selection in the evolution of the domain. The R domain does show a distinct pattern of relative evolutionary rates compared to other CFTR domains, which sheds additional light on the connection between its function and evolution. The regulatory function of the R domain is dependent upon a fairly small number of sites that are subject to phosphorylation, and these sites were fixed very early in R domain evolution and have remained largely invariant since that time. In contrast, the rest of the R domain has been free to drift in sequence space leading to a more star-like phylogeny than seen for the other CFTR domains. The case of the R domain suggests that domain acquisition via the de novo creation of coding sequence, and the novel functional utility that such an event would seemingly entail, can be one route by which neo-functionalization is favored to occur.
Cystic fibrosis; R domain; Molecular evolution; Coding sequence; Neo-functionalization
Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is an essential chromatin-modifying enzyme that implements gene silencing. PRC2 methylates histone H3 on lysine-27 and is conserved from plants to flies to humans. In Drosophila melanogaster, PRC2 contains four core subunits: E(Z), SU(Z)12, ESC, and NURF55. E(Z) bears a SET domain that houses the enzyme active site. However, PRC2 activity depends upon critical inputs from SU(Z)12 and ESC. The stimulatory mechanisms are not understood. We present here functional dissection of the SU(Z)12 subunit. SU(Z)12 contains two highly conserved domains: an ∼140-amino-acid VEFS domain and a Cys2-His2 zinc finger (ZnF). Analysis of recombinant PRC2 bearing VEFS domain alterations, including some modeled after leukemia mutations, identifies distinct elements needed for SU(Z)12 assembly with E(Z) and stimulation of histone methyltransferase. The results define an extensive VEFS subdomain that organizes the SU(Z)12-E(Z) interface. Although the SU(Z)12 ZnF is not needed for methyltransferase in vitro, genetic rescue assays show that the ZnF is required in vivo. Chromatin immunoprecipitations reveal that this ZnF facilitates PRC2 binding to a genomic target. This study defines functionally critical SU(Z)12 elements, including key determinants of SU(Z)12-E(Z) communication. Together with recent findings, this illuminates PRC2 modulation by conserved inputs from its noncatalytic subunits.
Microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) positive neuropathology is the characteristic feature of majority of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) cases, which is due to the mutations or haplotypic variations in the gene encoding MAPT (MAPT). The present study was aimed at determining the frequency of genetic variations in MAPT in a south Indian FTD cohort. The frequency of mutations were determined in 116 FTD, 8 progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and 3 corticobasal syndrome (CBS) patients and haplotype diversity were analyzed in a study cohort comprising 116 FTD, 8 PSP, 3 CBS, 194 other dementia groups, 78 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 130 cognitively normal individuals and report no pathogenic mutations in FTD/PSP/CBS or haplotypic association with disease risk in FTD or other dementia patients. These findings suggest that there may be other genetic or epigenetic factors contributing to the pathogenesis of FTD in the south Indian population.
Frontotemporal dementia; Microtubule-associated protein tau; Haplotypes; Mutation analysis; Association analysis
Currently, the discovery of effective chemotherapeutic agents poses a major challenge to the field of cancer biology. The present study focuses on enhancing the therapeutic and anti cancer properties of atorvastatin calcium loaded BSA (ATV-BSA) nanoparticles in vitro.
BSA-ATV nanoparticles were prepared using desolvation technique. The process parameters were optimized based on the amount of desolvating agent, stabilization conditions as well as the concentration of the cross linker. The anti cancer properties of the protein coated ATV nanoparticles were tested on MiaPaCa-2 cell lines. In vitro release behavior of the drug from the carrier suggests that about 85% of the drug gets released after 72 hrs. Our studies show that ATV-BSA nanoparticles showed specific targeting and enhanced cytotoxicity to MiaPaCa-2 cells when compared to the bare ATV.
We hereby propose that the possible mechanism of cellular uptake of albumin bound ATV could be through caveolin mediated endocytosis. Hence our studies open up new facet for an existing cholesterol drug as a potent anti-cancer agent.
The efficient targeting and therapeutic efficacy of a combination of drugs (curcumin and 5-Fluorouracil [5FU]) and magnetic nanoparticles encapsulated poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles, functionalized with two cancer-specific ligands are discussed in our work. This multifunctional, highly specific nanoconjugate resulted in the superior uptake of nanoparticles by cancer cells. Upon magnetic hyperthermia, we could harness the advantages of incorporating magnetic nanoparticles that synergistically acted with the drugs to destroy cancer cells within a very short period of time. The remarkable multimodal efficacy attained by this therapeutic nanoformulation offers the potential for targeting, imaging, and treatment of cancer within a short period of time (120 minutes) by initiating early and late apoptosis.
nanotechnology; curcumin; 5FU; folate; transferrin; PLGA nanoparticle; magnetic hyperthermia
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally. In South Asians mortality in women with diabetes stands second highest. There is a marked gender discrimination which is faced by women across South Asia esp in access to services and support for diabetes, resulting in high rates of morbidity and mortality in women with diabetes. The most important risk factor identified for the diabetes epidemic is obesity along with genetic susceptibility. Lack of health care, social and cultural disparity, discrimination at work, disparity in marriage, restricted medical facilities are prevalent. Diabetes and depression are common in women. Increasing age, low level of education, low socioeconomic conditions, difficulties posed in finding partners, frequent divorce and family history of psychiatric illness are significant risk factors for diabetes and depression. Such patients usually have poor metabolic control, higher complication rates, increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, lower quality of life as well as increased risk of death. Preconception counseling should be incorporated in the routine diabetes clinic visit for all women of childbearing potential. Women with diabetes should have information and access to contraception. Proper family planning counseling and psychological support can help stop practices such as female foeticide and multiple pregnancies. Psychological support to patients and their families are needed to break the barrier. There is emerging evidence that women with diabetes are more prone to untoward outcomes as compared to men. Central obesity, metabolic syndrome and the polycystic ovary syndrome show ethnic specific differences in South Asian women. Optimal sexuality is an integral part of holistic health. Shortage of trained female health care professionals, lack of privacy in over-crowded health care facilities, a social taboo attached to such matters, and lack of confidence in patients contribute to the neglect of sexual issues in women attending diabetes clinics across South Asia. Guidelines for counselling in female sexual dysfunction, written in culturally appropriate manner for South Asia, are needed. Diabetes affects women more severely because of their unique biological, cultural and socioeconomic circumstances. Women have limited access to health care facilities because of illiteracy, ignorance and negative social customs. Transcending the gender hierarchy and inequality is a formidable challenge. Sensitising men, empowering women on self care and providing peer support maybe the answer to this challenge. It is essential for health care providers to use appropriate coping mechanism such as building psychological contact with the patient, including family and friends as part of social support and empower patient with complete process of managing diabetes. Increasing awareness through the media, seminars, posters, group discussions and education, regular monitoring and consulting the doctor, support group for women and facilities for aerobic exercises are recommended. The health care systems should consider custom-designed prevention and control programs tailored for women based on local and regional attitudes on health care, cultural beliefs, and available social support systems. Policies that empower adolescent girls and young women to take control of their metabolic management must be encouraged. Provision of gender specific diabetes education with a holistic life-cycle approach is recommended.
South Asian region; Women with diabetes; gender disparity; health care access; social & cultural factors; Women empowerment
Though pericardial disease is common in patients with renal disease, purulent pericarditis is very rare. We report a fatal case of purulent pericarditis and sepsis due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a 78-year-old male with systemic hypertension and renal disease along with the molecular characterization of its resistant mechanism.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; multi-drug resistant; purulent pericarditis
In the face of chronic and emerging resistance of parasites to currently available drugs and constant need for new anti-malarials, natural plant products have been the bastion of anti-malarials for thousands of years. Moreover natural plant products and their derivatives have traditionally been a common source of drugs, and represent more than 30% of the current pharmaceutical market. The present study shows evaluation of anti-malarial effects of compound conessine isolated from plant Holarrhena antidysenterica frequently used against malaria in the Garhwal region of north-west Himalaya.
In vitro anti-plasmodial activity of compound was assessed using schizont maturation and parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) assay. Cytotoxic activities of the examined compound were determined on L-6 cells of rat skeletal muscle myoblast. The four-day test for anti-malarial activity against a chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium berghei NK65 strain in BALB/c mice was used for monitoring in vivo activity of compound. In liver and kidney function test, the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was examined by p-NPP method, bilirubin by Jendrassik and Grof method. The urea percentage was determined by modified Berthelot method and creatinine by alkaline picrate method in serum of mice using ENZOPAK/CHEMPAK reagent kits.
Compound conessine showed in vitro anti-plasmodial activity with its IC50 value 1.9 μg/ml and 1.3 μg/ml using schizont maturation and pLDH assay respectively. The compound showed cytotoxity IC50= 14 μg/ml against L6 cells of rat skeletal muscle myoblast. The isolated compound from plant H. antidysenterica significantly reduced parasitaemia (at 10 mg/kg exhibited 88.95% parasite inhibition) in P. berghei-infected mice. Due to slightly toxic nature (cytotoxicity = 14), biochemical analysis (liver and kidney function test) of the serum from mice after administration of conessine were also observed.
The present investigation demonstrates that the compound conessine exhibited substantial anti-malarial property. The isolated compound could be chemically modified to obtain a more potent chemical entity with improved characteristics against malaria.
Endophytes, by residing within the specific chemical environment of host plants, form unique group of microorganisms. Microbially unexplored medicinal plants can have diverse and potential microbial association. The rhizome of ginger is very remarkable because of its metabolite richness, but the physiological processes in these tissues and the functional role of associated microorganisms remain totally unexplored. Through the current study, the presence of four different endophytic bacterial strains were identified from ginger rhizome. Among the various isolates, ZoB2 which is identified as Pseudomonas sp. was found to have the ability to produce IAA, ACC deaminase and siderophore. By considering these plant growth promoting properties, ZoB5 can expect to have considerable effect on the growth of ginger.
Endophytic bacteria; Indole 3 acetic acid; HPLC; Pseudomonas sp.; 16S rDNA sequencing
Comparison of the expression of 13 genes involved in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis was performed in a wild type tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv 76R) and its reduced mycorrhizal colonization mutant rmc in response to colonization with Glomus fasiculatum. Four defense-related genes were induced to a similar extent in the mutant and wild type AM colonized plants, indicating a systemic response to AM colonization. Genes related to nutrient exchange between the symbiont partners showed higher expression in the AM roots of wild type plants than the mutant plants, which correlated with their arbuscular frequency. A symbiosis receptor kinase that is involved in both nodulation and AM symbiosis was not expressed in the rmc mutant. The fact that some colonization was observed in rmc was suggestive of the existence of an alternate colonization signaling pathway for AM symbiosis in this mutant.
AM colonization; defense genes; nutrient exchange genes; reduced mycorrhizal colonization (rmc) tomato mutant; SYMRK
Although several evidence-based guidelines for managing diabetes are available, few, if any, focus on the psychosocial aspects of this challenging condition. It is increasingly evident that psychosocial treatment is integral to a holistic approach of managing diabetes; it forms the key to realizing appropriate biomedical outcomes. Dearth of attention is as much due to lack of awareness as due to lack of guidelines. This lacuna results in diversity among the standards of clinical practice, which, in India, is also due to the size and complexity of psychosocial care itself. This article aims to highlight evidence- and experience-based Indian guidelines for the psychosocial management of diabetes. A systemic literature was conducted for peer-reviewed studies and publications covering psychosocial aspects in diabetes. Recommendations are classified into three domains: General, psychological and social, and graded by the weight they should have in clinical practice and by the degree of support from the literature. Ninety-four recommendations of varying strength are made to help professionals identify the psychosocial interventions needed to support patients and their families and explore their role in devising support strategies. They also aid in developing core skills needed for effective diabetes management. These recommendations provide practical guidelines to fulfill unmet needs in diabetes management, and help achieve a qualitative improvement in the way physicians manage patients. The guidelines, while maintaining an India-specific character, have global relevance, which is bound to grow as the diabetes pandemic throws up new challenges.
Diabetes; India; management; psychosocial; recommendations
The prevalence of Diabetes is projected to increase to 80 million by 2030, placing an immense burden on the health care resources of our country. Thus, diabetes poses a challenge to health systems and the individual. Hence, it is necessary to look at adjuncts to effective management of Diabetes; adjuncts which are not resource intensive and are nearer to the community that people live in. Yoga holds promise as a therapeutic intervention and health promotion measure. This brief communication explores the studies done to date on the beneficial effects of Yoga on Diabetes.
Diabetes; adjuncts; Yoga
Segmental necrotizing granulomatous neuritis (SNGN) is a rare condition affecting the nerves of Hansen disease patients. This is usually seen as a complication in association with the skin lesions of Hansen disease. Though very rare, it can also be the first presenting symptom of pure neuritic leprosy. We hereby report 2 cases of SNGN—one case of pure neuritic leprosy with initial presentation as SNGN and another, a treated case of borderline tuberculoid leprosy which relapsed with skin lesions and associated SNGN in the peripheral nerve.
The spectrum of vascular lesions developing in breast or chest wall skin following lumpectomy or mastectomy and radiation is wide and ranges from atypical vascular lesions with a benign clinical behaviour to frankly malignant, angiosarcoma ranging histologically from well to poorly differentiated variety. Postmastectomy-postirradiation atypical vascular lesions (AVLs) are rare and develop in the skin adjacent to the mastectomy scar. About hundred cases have been reported in the literature so far. AVLs have also been reported in patients after breast conservation surgery within the breast parenchyma or in the skin around the scar. The incidence appears to be rising. The exact reason for this is not known. The newer modalities of radiation therapy may be contributory to the pathogenesis. More studies have to be done in this area to prove the causal relationship. We are reporting the cases of 2 patients with carcinoma of breast who developed postmastectomy-postirradiation atypical vascular lesions. The cases were received in our department within a 6-month period.
Background & objectives:
Cervical cancer has a major impact on woman's lives worldwide and one in every five women suffering from cervical cancer belongs to India. Hence the objectives of this study were to find the knowledge of women regarding cervical cancer, to determine screening practices and determinants, and to identify factors for non screening.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Vypin Block of Ernakulam District, Kerala, India where four of the seven Panchayats were randomly chosen. Households were selected by systematic random sampling taking every second house in the tenth ward of the Panchayat till at least 200 women were interviewed. Thus, 809 women were interviewed from four Panchayats.
Mean age of the study population was 34.5 + 9.23 yr. Three fourths of the population (74.2%) knew that cervical cancer could be detected early by a screening test. Majority of respondents (89.2%) did not know any risk factor for cervical cancer. Of the 809 women studied, only 6.9 per cent had undergone screening. One third of the population were desirous of undergoing screening test but had not done it due to various factors. These factors related to knowledge (51.4%) such as no symptoms, not being aware of Pap test, not necessary, etc. This was followed by resource factors (15.1%) like no time, no money, etc. and psychosocial factors (10.2%) included lack of interest, fear of procedure, etc. Independent predictors for doing Pap test included age >35, having knowledge of screening for cervical cancer and Pap test (P<0.05).
Interpretation & conclusions:
Specific knowledge on cervical cancer screening is a critical element in determining whether a woman will undergo Pap test in addition to making cancer screening facilities available in the primary health centre.
Cervical cancer; knowledge; practice; screening
Coryneform bacteria belonging to the genus Brevibacterium have emerged as opportunistic pathogens. Of the nine known species of Brevibacterium isolated from human clinical samples, Brevibacterium casei is the most frequently reported species from clinical specimens. We report the first case of B. casei brain abscess in an immunocompetent patient successfully treated by surgery and antimicrobial therapy.
We report the first whole-genome sequences for five strains, two carried and three pathogenic, of the emerging pathogen Haemophilus haemolyticus. Preliminary analyses indicate that these genome sequences encode markers that distinguish H. haemolyticus from its closest Haemophilus relatives and provide clues to the identity of its virulence factors.
A lot of research has been directed on wellbeing and disability in many non-communicable disease conditions. In this context, health-related aspects of life and quality of life (QOL) are receiving a lot of focus. Many Quality of Health measures are available, of which World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) is one of the most popular. Translating and adapting this tool is useful in view of research happening in a multicultural arena. Though translations into Hindi and other Indian languages including Tamil and Kannada have been done, a Malayalam version is not available. This paper discusses the steps adopted in this exercise and the challenges in translating WHOQOL-BREF to Malayalam from the original English version.
Malayalam; quality of life; World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF
The Polycomb group (PcG) protein, enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2), has an essential role in promoting histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) and epigenetic gene silencing1–4. This function of EZH2 is important for cell proliferation and inhibition of cell differentiation, and is implicated in cancer progression5–10. Here, we demonstrate that under physiological conditions, cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) phosphorylate EZH2 at Thr 350 in an evolutionarily conserved motif. Phosphorylation of Thr 350 is important for recruitment of EZH2 and maintenance of H3K27me3 levels at EZH2-target loci. Blockage of Thr 350 phosphorylation not only diminishes the global effect of EZH2 on gene silencing, it also mitigates EZH2-mediated cell proliferation and migration. These results demonstrate that CDK-mediated phosphorylation is a key mechanism governing EZH2 function and that there is a link between the cell-cycle machinery and epigenetic gene silencing.
Design of blood compatible surfaces is required to minimize platelet surface interactions and increase the thromboresistance of foreign surfaces when they are used as biomaterials especially for artificial blood prostheses. In this study, single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and Zein fibrous nanocomposite scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning and evaluated its antithrombogenicity and hydrophilicity. The uniform and highly smooth nanofibers of Zein composited with different SWCNTs content (ranging from 0.2 wt% to 1 wt%) were successfully prepared by electrospinning method without the occurrence of bead defects. The resulting fiber diameters were in the range of 100–300 nm without any beads. Composite nanofibers with and without SWCNT were characterized through a variety of methods including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and tensile mechanical testing. The water uptake and retention ability of composite scaffolds decreased whereas thermal stability increased with an addition of SWCNTs. Hemolytic property and platelet adhesion ability of the nanocomposite (Zein-SWCNTs) were explored. These observations suggest that the novel Zein-SWCNTs composite scaffolds may possibly hold great promises as useful antithrombotic material and promising biomaterials for tissue engineering application.