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1.  Computational analysis of p63+ nuclei distribution pattern by graph theoretic approach in an oral pre-cancer (sub-mucous fibrosis) 
Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a pre-cancerous condition with features of chronic, inflammatory and progressive sub-epithelial fibrotic disorder of the buccal mucosa. In this study, malignant potentiality of OSF has been assessed by quantification of immunohistochemical expression of epithelial prime regulator-p63 molecule in correlation to its malignant (oral squamous cell carcinoma [OSCC] and normal counterpart [normal oral mucosa [NOM]). Attributes of spatial extent and distribution of p63+ expression in the epithelium have been investigated. Further, a correlated assessment of histopathological attributes inferred from H&E staining and their mathematical counterparts (molecular pathology of p63) have been proposed. The suggested analytical framework envisaged standardization of the immunohistochemistry evaluation procedure for the molecular marker, using computer-aided image analysis, toward enhancing its prognostic value.
Subjects and Methods:
In histopathologically confirmed OSF, OSCC and NOM tissue sections, p63+ nuclei were localized and segmented by identifying regional maxima in plateau-like intensity spatial profiles of nuclei. The clustered nuclei were localized and segmented by identifying concave points in the morphometry and by marker-controlled watersheds. Voronoi tessellations were constructed around nuclei centroids and mean values of spatial-relation metrics such as tessellation area, tessellation perimeter, roundness factor and disorder of the area were extracted. Morphology and extent of expression are characterized by area, diameter, perimeter, compactness, eccentricity and density, fraction of p63+ expression and expression distance of p63+ nuclei.
Correlative framework between histopathological features characterizing malignant potentiality and their quantitative p63 counterparts was developed. Statistical analyses of mathematical trends were evaluated between different biologically relevant combinations: (i) NOM to oral submucous fibrosis without dysplasia (OSFWT) (ii) NOM to oral submucous fibrosis with dysplasia (OSFWD) (iii) OSFWT-OSFWD (iv) OSFWD-OSCC. Significant histopathogical correlates and their corroborative mathematical features, inferred from p63 staining, were also investigated into.
Quantitative assessment and correlative analysis identified mathematical features related to hyperplasia, cellular stratification, differentiation and maturation, shape and size, nuclear crowding and nucleocytoplasmic ratio. It is envisaged that this approach for analyzing the p63 expression and its distribution pattern may help to establish it as a quantitative bio-marker to predict the malignant potentiality and progression. The proposed work would be a value addition to the gold standard by incorporating an observer-independent framework for the associated molecular pathology.
PMCID: PMC3908487  PMID: 24524001
Dysplasia; graph theory; oral squamous cell carcinoma; oral submucous fibrosis; p63; quantitative immunohistochemistry
2.  Gene-Gene Interaction and Functional Impact of Polymorphisms on Innate Immune Genes in Controlling Plasmodium falciparum Blood Infection Level 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46441.
Genetic variations in toll-like receptors and cytokine genes of the innate immune pathways have been implicated in controlling parasite growth and the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum mediated malaria. We previously published genetic association of TLR4 non-synonymous and TNF-α promoter polymorphisms with P.falciparum blood infection level and here we extend the study considerably by (i) investigating genetic dependence of parasite-load on interleukin-12B polymorphisms, (ii) reconstructing gene-gene interactions among candidate TLRs and cytokine loci, (iii) exploring genetic and functional impact of epistatic models and (iv) providing mechanistic insights into functionality of disease-associated regulatory polymorphisms. Our data revealed that carriage of AA (P = 0.0001) and AC (P = 0.01) genotypes of IL12B 3′UTR polymorphism was associated with a significant increase of mean log-parasitemia relative to rare homozygous genotype CC. Presence of IL12B+1188 polymorphism in five of six multifactor models reinforced its strong genetic impact on malaria phenotype. Elevation of genetic risk in two-component models compared to the corresponding single locus and reduction of IL12B (2.2 fold) and lymphotoxin-α (1.7 fold) expressions in patients'peripheral-blood-mononuclear-cells under TLR4Thr399Ile risk genotype background substantiated the role of Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction derived models. Marked reduction of promoter activity of TNF-α risk haplotype (C-C-G-G) compared to wild-type haplotype (T-C-G-G) with (84%) and without (78%) LPS stimulation and the loss of binding of transcription factors detected in-silico supported a causal role of TNF-1031. Significantly lower expression of IL12B+1188 AA (5 fold) and AC (9 fold) genotypes compared to CC and under-representation (P = 0.0048) of allele A in transcripts of patients' PBMCs suggested an Allele-Expression-Imbalance. Allele (A+1188C) dependent differential stability (2 fold) of IL12B-transcripts upon actinomycin-D treatment and observed structural modulation (P = 0.013) of RNA-ensemble were the plausible explanations for AEI. In conclusion, our data provides functional support to the hypothesis that de-regulated receptor-cytokine axis of innate immune pathway influences blood infection level in P. falciparum malaria.
PMCID: PMC3470565  PMID: 23071570
4.  Separating the post-Glacial coancestry of European and Asian Y chromosomes within haplogroup R1a 
Human Y-chromosome haplogroup structure is largely circumscribed by continental boundaries. One notable exception to this general pattern is the young haplogroup R1a that exhibits post-Glacial coalescent times and relates the paternal ancestry of more than 10% of men in a wide geographic area extending from South Asia to Central East Europe and South Siberia. Its origin and dispersal patterns are poorly understood as no marker has yet been described that would distinguish European R1a chromosomes from Asian. Here we present frequency and haplotype diversity estimates for more than 2000 R1a chromosomes assessed for several newly discovered SNP markers that introduce the onset of informative R1a subdivisions by geography. Marker M434 has a low frequency and a late origin in West Asia bearing witness to recent gene flow over the Arabian Sea. Conversely, marker M458 has a significant frequency in Europe, exceeding 30% in its core area in Eastern Europe and comprising up to 70% of all M17 chromosomes present there. The diversity and frequency profiles of M458 suggest its origin during the early Holocene and a subsequent expansion likely related to a number of prehistoric cultural developments in the region. Its primary frequency and diversity distribution correlates well with some of the major Central and East European river basins where settled farming was established before its spread further eastward. Importantly, the virtual absence of M458 chromosomes outside Europe speaks against substantial patrilineal gene flow from East Europe to Asia, including to India, at least since the mid-Holocene.
PMCID: PMC2987245  PMID: 19888303
Y chromosome; haplogroup R1a; human evolution; population genetics
5.  Gilbert’s syndrome: High frequency of the (TA)7 TAA allele in India and its interaction with a novel CAT insertion in promoter of the gene for bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1 gene 
AIM: To identify the variants in UDP-glucuronosyltransfe-rase 1 (UGT1A1) gene in Gilbert’s syndrome (GS) and to estimate the association between homozygosity for TA insertion and GS in India, as well as the frequency of TA insertion and its impact among normal controls in India.
METHODS: Ninety-five GS cases and 95 normal controls were selected. Liver function and other tests were done. The promoter and all 5 exons of UGT1A1 gene were resequenced. Functional assessment of a novel trinucleotide insertion was done by in silico analysis and by estimating UGT1A1 promoter activity carried out by luciferase reporter assay of appropriate constructs in Hep G2 cell line.
RESULTS: Among the GS patients, 80% were homozygous for the TA insertion, which was several-fold higher than reports from other ethnic groups. The mean UCB level was elevated among individuals with only one copy of this insertion, which was not significantly different from those with two copies. Many new DNA variants in UGT1A1 gene were discovered, including a trinucleotide (CAT) insertion in the promoter found in a subset (10%) of GS patients, but not among normal controls. In-silico analysis showed marked changes in the DNA-folding of the promoter and functional analysis showed a 20-fold reduction in transcription efficiency of UGT1A1 gene resulting from this insertion, thereby significantly elevating the UCB level.
CONCLUSION: The genetic epidemiology of GS is variable across ethnic groups and the epistatic interactions among UGT1A1 promoter variants modulate bilirubin glucuronidation.
PMCID: PMC4087660  PMID: 16610035
Unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia; UGT1A1 gene; DNA resequencing; Luciferase reporter assay

Results 1-5 (5)