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1.  The Influence of Natural Barriers in Shaping the Genetic Structure of Maharashtra Populations 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15283.
The geographical position of Maharashtra state makes it rather essential to study the dispersal of modern humans in South Asia. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the cultural, linguistic and geographical affinity of the populations living in Maharashtra state with other South Asian populations. The genetic origin of populations living in this state is poorly understood and hitherto been described at low molecular resolution level.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To address this issue, we have analyzed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 185 individuals and NRY (non-recombining region of Y chromosome) of 98 individuals belonging to two major tribal populations of Maharashtra, and compared their molecular variations with that of 54 South Asian contemporary populations of adjacent states. Inter and intra population comparisons reveal that the maternal gene pool of Maharashtra state populations is composed of mainly South Asian haplogroups with traces of east and west Eurasian haplogroups, while the paternal haplogroups comprise the South Asian as well as signature of near eastern specific haplogroup J2a.
Our analysis suggests that Indian populations, including Maharashtra state, are largely derived from Paleolithic ancient settlers; however, a more recent (∼10 Ky older) detectable paternal gene flow from west Asia is well reflected in the present study. These findings reveal movement of populations to Maharashtra through the western coast rather than mainland where Western Ghats-Vindhya Mountains and Narmada-Tapti rivers might have acted as a natural barrier. Comparing the Maharastrian populations with other South Asian populations reveals that they have a closer affinity with the South Indian than with the Central Indian populations.
PMCID: PMC3004917  PMID: 21187967
2.  Bioenergetics and permeability transition pore opening in heart subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar mitochondria: effects of aging and lifelong calorie restriction 
Loss of cardiac mitochondrial function with age may cause increased cardiomyocyte death through mitochondria-mediated release of apoptogenic factors. We investigated ventricular subsarcolemmal (SSM) and interfibrillar (IFM) mitochondrial bioenergetics and susceptibility towards Ca2+-induced permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening with aging and lifelong calorie restriction (CR). Cardiac mitochondria were isolated from 8, 18, 29 and 37-month-old male Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats fed either ad libitum (AL) or 40% calorie restricted diets. With age, H2O2 generation did not increase and oxygen consumption did not significantly decrease in either SSM or IFM. Strikingly, IFM displayed an increased susceptibility towards mPTP opening during senescence. In contrast, Ca2+ retention capacity of SSM was not affected by age, but SSM tolerated much less Ca2+ than IFM. Only modest age-dependent increases in cytosolic caspase activities and cytochrome c levels were observed and were not affected by CR. Levels of putative mPTP-modulating components: cyclophilin-D, the adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT), and the voltage-dependent ion channel (VDAC) were not affected by aging or CR. In summary, the age-related reduction of Ca2+ retention capacity in IFM may explain the increased susceptibility to stress-induced cell death in the aged myocardium.
PMCID: PMC2680750  PMID: 19428447
heart disease; ischemia-reperfusion; senescence; hypertrophy

Results 1-2 (2)