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1.  Wolbachia Transcription Elongation Factor “Wol GreA” Interacts with α2ββ′σ Subunits of RNA Polymerase through Its Dimeric C-Terminal Domain 
Objectives
Wolbachia, an endosymbiont of filarial nematode, is considered a promising target for therapy against lymphatic filariasis. Transcription elongation factor GreA is an essential factor that mediates transcriptional transition from abortive initiation to productive elongation by stimulating the escape of RNA polymerase (RNAP) from native prokaryotic promoters. Upon screening of 6257 essential bacterial genes, 57 were suggested as potential future drug targets, and GreA is among these. The current study emphasized the characterization of Wol GreA with its domains.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Biophysical characterization of Wol GreA with its N-terminal domain (NTD) and C-terminal domain (CTD) was performed with fluorimetry, size exclusion chromatography, and chemical cross-linking. Filter trap and far western blotting were used to determine the domain responsible for the interaction with α2ββ′σ subunits of RNAP. Protein-protein docking studies were done to explore residual interaction of RNAP with Wol GreA. The factor and its domains were found to be biochemically active. Size exclusion and chemical cross-linking studies revealed that Wol GreA and CTD exist in a dimeric conformation while NTD subsists in monomeric conformation. Asp120, Val121, Ser122, Lys123, and Ser134 are the residues of CTD through which monomers of Wol GreA interact and shape into a dimeric conformation. Filter trap, far western blotting, and protein-protein docking studies revealed that dimeric CTD of Wol GreA through Lys82, Ser98, Asp104, Ser105, Glu106, Tyr109, Glu116, Asp120, Val121, Ser122, Ser127, Ser129, Lys140, Glu143, Val147, Ser151, Glu153, and Phe163 residues exclusively participates in binding with α2ββ′σ subunits of polymerase.
Conclusions/Significance
To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first documentation of the residual mode of action in wolbachial mutualist. Therefore, findings may be crucial to understanding the transcription mechanism of this α-proteobacteria and in deciphering the role of Wol GreA in filarial development.
Author Summary
Diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin, the conventional antifilarial drugs, exert poor activity on adult filarial worms. Brugia malayi, a causative agent of human lymphatic filariasis, harbors an obligate alpha-proteobacterium, Wolbachia. Because the endosymbiont is required for the development, viability, and fertility of the parasite, wolbachial proteins seem to be a potential target for antifilarial drugs. Transcription elongation factor is one of the bacterial factors that plays an essential role in efficient transcription by facilitating the movement of RNA polymerase on DNA template. The factor is also necessary for bacterial viability because deletion of greA leads to hypersensitivity to environmental assaults such as ionic detergents, elevated temperature or osmotic shock. Functional characterization of Wol GreA with its domains was undertaken to ascertain the molecular trappings underlying Wolbachia maintenance within the filarial parasite and gain further insight into the mutualism between the bacteria and the nematode host. In the present study, GreA of Wolbachia revealed phylogenetic divergence from other bacteria. Wol GreA, a member of the Gre family, authenticates its essentiality by the presence of evolutionarily conserved N and C terminal domains, where dimeric CTD exhibited chemical cross-linking and direct binding to α2ββ′σ subunits of Wol RNAP.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002930
PMCID: PMC4063747  PMID: 24945631
2.  Molecular Characterization of NAD+-Dependent DNA Ligase from Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Lymphatic Filarial Parasite Brugia malayi 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41113.
The lymphatic filarial parasite, Brugia malayi contains Wolbachia endobacteria that are essential for development, viability and fertility of the parasite. Therefore, wolbachial proteins have been currently seen as the potential antifilarial drug targets. NAD+-dependent DNA ligase is characterized as a promising drug target in several organisms due to its crucial, indispensable role in DNA replication, recombination and DNA repair. We report here the cloning, expression and purification of NAD+-dependent DNA ligase of Wolbachia endosymbiont of B. malayi (wBm-LigA) for its molecular characterization. wBm-LigA has all the domains that are present in nearly all the eubacterial NAD+-dependent DNA ligases such as N-terminal adenylation domain, OB fold, helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) and BRCT domain except zinc-binding tetracysteine domain. The purified recombinant protein (683-amino acid) was found to be biochemically active and was present in its native form as revealed by the circular dichroism and fluorescence spectra. The purified recombinant enzyme was able to catalyze intramolecular strand joining on a nicked DNA as well as intermolecular joining of the cohesive ends of BstEII restricted lamda DNA in an in vitro assay. The enzyme was localized in the various life-stages of B. malayi parasites by immunoblotting and high enzyme expression was observed in Wolbachia within B. malayi microfilariae and female adult parasites along the hypodermal chords and in the gravid portion as evident by the confocal microscopy. Ours is the first report on this enzyme of Wolbachia and these findings would assist in validating the antifilarial drug target potential of wBm-LigA in future studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041113
PMCID: PMC3397958  PMID: 22815933
3.  Insights into the Internalization and Retrograde Trafficking of Dengue 2 Virus in BHK-21 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25229.
Background
Dengue virus (DENV) enters cells via endocytosis, traffics to perinuclear (PN) region, the site of morphogenesis and exits by exocytosis. This study aims to understand the role of dynamin II, endosomes, microtubules (MT) and dynein in the early events of DENV replication.
Findings
Using double immunoflourescence labelling of DENV-2 infected BHK-21 cells it was observed that the surface envelope (E) protein of the virion associated with dynamin II from 0–30 min post infection (p.i.). The sphincter like array of dynamin II supported its pinchase-like activity. The association with endosomes was observed from 0 min at cell periphery to 30 min in the perinuclear (PN) region, suggesting that internalization continued for 30 min. Association of E protein with alpha-tubulin was observed from 8 h indicating that it was the newly translated protein that trafficked on the MT. Dynein was found to associate with the E protein from 4 h in the cytoplasm to 48 h in the PN region and dissociate at 72 h. Association of E protein with dynein was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Overexpression of dynamitin, which disrupts the dynein complex, resulted in loss of trafficking of viral E and core proteins. The findings corroborated with the growth kinetics assessed by quantitation of viral RNA in infected BHK-21 cells. The detection of E protein at 4 h–8 h correlated with detectable increase in viral RNA from 8 h. The detection of high concentrations of E protein in the PN region at 24–48 h coincided with release of virus into the supernatant starting from 36 h p.i. The dissociation of dynein from E protein by 72 h was coincident with maximum release of virus, hinting at a possible negative feedback for viral protein translation.
Conclusion
The study shows for the first time the association of dynamin II with DENV-2 during entry and dynein dependent retrograde trafficking of DENV proteins on microtubules.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025229
PMCID: PMC3186794  PMID: 21991304
4.  Maternal Footprints of Southeast Asians in North India 
Human heredity  2008;66(1):1-9.
We have analyzed 7137 samples from 125 different caste, tribal and religious groups of India and 99 samples from three populations of Nepal for the length variation in the COII/tRNALys region of mtDNA. Samples showing length variation were subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis based on HVS-I and informative coding region sequence variation. The overall frequencies of the 9-bp deletion and insertion variants in South Asia were 1.8% and 0.5%, respectively. We have also defined a novel deep-rooting haplogroup M43 and identified the rare haplogroup H14 in Indian populations carrying the 9bp-deletion by complete mtDNA sequencing. Moreover, we redefined haplogroup M6 and dissected it into two well-defined subclades. The presence of haplogroups F1 and B5a in Uttar Pradesh suggests minor maternal contribution from Southeast Asia to Northern India. The occurrence of haplogroup F1 in the Nepalese sample implies that Nepal might have served as a bridge for the flow of eastern lineages to India. The presence of R6 in the Nepalese, on the other hand, suggests that the gene flow between India and Nepal has been reciprocal.
doi:10.1159/000114160
PMCID: PMC2588665  PMID: 18223312
South Asia; 9bp indel; mtDNA; Haplogroup
5.  Maternal Footprints of Southeast Asians in North India 
Human Heredity  2008;66(1):1-9.
We have analyzed 7,137 samples from 125 different caste, tribal and religious groups of India and 99 samples from three populations of Nepal for the length variation in the COII/tRNALys region of mtDNA. Samples showing length variation were subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis based on HVS-I and informative coding region sequence variation. The overall frequencies of the 9-bp deletion and insertion variants in South Asia were 1.9 and 0.6%, respectively. We have also defined a novel deep-rooting haplogroup M43 and identified the rare haplogroup H14 in Indian populations carrying the 9-bp deletion by complete mtDNA sequencing. Moreover, we redefined haplogroup M6 and dissected it into two well-defined subclades. The presence of haplogroups F1 and B5a in Uttar Pradesh suggests minor maternal contribution from Southeast Asia to Northern India. The occurrence of haplogroup F1 in the Nepalese sample implies that Nepal might have served as a bridge for the flow of eastern lineages to India. The presence of R6 in the Nepalese, on the other hand, suggests that the gene flow between India and Nepal has been reciprocal.
doi:10.1159/000114160
PMCID: PMC2588665  PMID: 18223312
South Asia; 9bp indel; mtDNA; Haplogroup

Results 1-5 (5)