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1.  A Consanguinity Related Autosomal Translocation which Leads to Premature Ovarian Failure 
The premature ovarian failures with underlying chromosomal abnormalities are normally X-linked, although their associations with the autosomal and the Robertsonian translocations are also possible. Here, we are reporting a case of premature ovarian failure which was associated with a translocation between the long arm of chromosome 7 at q11.23 and the short arm of chromosome 5 at p15.3. The proband was a 26-year-old Malay woman who presented with premature ovarian failure, who was referred for cytogenetic testing due to the suspicion of a chromosomal anomaly. Her physical examination revealed that she had no abdominal or pelvic masses and that she had normal secondary sexual characteristics. Her medical history as well, revealed no points for concern. However, a consanguineous relationship existed, as the patient’s paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were biological cousins. Our present case indicated that region p15.3 of chromosome 5 and region q11.23 of chromosome 7 possibly carried essential genes for the ovarian function and that they postulated a link between the consanguinity and the chromosomal abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC3592311  PMID: 23543039
Premature ovarian failure; Chromosomal abnormality; Consanguinity; Translocation; Cytogenetic test
2.  The effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as supplementation on quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Malaysian women. Both the disease and its treatment can disrupt the lives of the woman and adversely affect all aspects of life and thus can alter a woman’s quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the quality of life (QOL) of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
This was a prospective study of breast cancer patients admitted into the Oncology Unit of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. The sample consisted of 60 patients with stage III and IV breast cancer allocated to either an intervention group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30) using a simple random table. QOL was evaluated from the first cycle of chemotherapy to the sixth cycle, and data were collected using a validated Bahasa Malaysia version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Breast Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast-specific module (QLQ-BR 23).
The mean age of breast cancer patients was 50.2 (SD = 13.5) years. There were significant mean score differences for functioning and global QOL between groups (α < 0.01). The intervention group also had better scores for symptoms including fatigue, dyspnea, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group. Although there are deteriorations for sexual enjoyment, the intervention group exhibited improvement in breast functioning and symptom scores for body image, sexual function, future perspective, breast symptoms, and systemic therapy side effects.
VCO consumption during chemotherapy helped improve the functional status and global QOL of breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4176590  PMID: 25163649
Virgin coconut oil (VCO); Quality of life (QOL); Breast cancer patient; Chemotherapy
3.  Anti-Tumor Activity of Eurycoma longifolia Root Extracts against K-562 Cell Line: In Vitro and In Vivo Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83818.
Eurycoma longifolia Jack has been widely used in traditional medicine for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and anti-pyretic activities. Its anticancer activity has also been recently reported on different solid tumors, however no anti-leukemic activity of this plant has been reported. Thus the present study assesses the in vitro and in vivo anti-proliferative and apoptotic potentials of E. longifolia on K-562 leukemic cell line. The K-562 cells (purchased from ATCC) were isolated from patients with chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) were treated with the various fractions (TAF273, F3 and F4) of E. longifolia root methanolic extract at various concentrations and time intervals and the anti-proliferative activity assessed by MTS assay. Flow cytometry was used to assess the apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Nude mice injected subcutaneously with 107 K-562 cells were used to study the anti-leukemic activity of TAF273 in vivo. TAF273, F3 and F4 showed various degrees of growth inhibition with IC50 values of 19, 55 and 62 µg/ml, respectively. TAF273 induced apoptosis in a dose and time dependent manner. TAF273 arrested cell cycle at G1and S phases. Intraperitoneal administration of TAF273 (50 mg/kg) resulted in a significant growth inhibition of subcutaneous tumor in TAF273-treated mice compared with the control mice (P = 0.024). TAF273 shows potent anti-proliferative activity in vitro and in vivo models of CML and therefore, justifies further efforts to define more clearly the potential benefits of using TAF273 as a novel therapeutic strategy for CML management.
PMCID: PMC3883656  PMID: 24409284
4.  Production and purification of polymerization-competent HIV-1 capsid protein p24 (CA) in NiCo21(DE3) Escherichia coli 
BMC Biotechnology  2013;13:107.
HIV genome is packaged and organized in a conical capsid, which is made up of ~1,500 copies of the viral capsid protein p24 (CA). Being a primary structural component and due to its critical roles in both late and early stages of the HIV replication cycle, CA has attracted increased interest as a drug discovery target in recent years. Drug discovery studies require large amounts of highly pure and biologically active protein. It is therefore desirable to establish a simple and reproducible process for efficient production of HIV-1 CA.
In this work, 6-His-tagged wild type CA from HIV-1 (NL4.3) was expressed in rare tRNA-supplemented NiCo21(DE3) Escherichia coli, and its production was studied in shake flask culture condition of expression. Influences of various key cultivation parameters were examined to identify optimal conditions for HIV-1 CA production. It was found that a culture temperature of 22°C and induction with 0.05 mM IPTG at the early stage of growth were ideal, leading to a maximum biomass yield when grown in Super broth supplemented with 1% glucose. With optimized culture conditions, a final biomass concentration of ~27.7 g L-1 (based on optical density) was obtained in 12 hours post-induction, leading to a yield of about ~170 mg L-1 HIV-1 CA. A two-step purification strategy (chitin beads + IMAC) was employed, which efficiently removed metal affinity resin-binding bacterial proteins that contaminate recombinant His-tagged protein preparation, and resulted in highly pure HIV-1 CA. The purified protein was capable of polymerization when tested in an in vitro polymerization assay.
By using this optimized expression and purification procedure, milligram amounts of highly pure and polymerization-competent recombinant HIV-1 CA can be produced at the lab-scale and thus used for further biochemical studies.
PMCID: PMC4235032  PMID: 24304876
6.  Chromosomal 16p microdeletion in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome detected by oligonucleotide-based array comparative genomic hybridization: a case report 
Chromosomal aberrations of chromosome 16 are uncommon and submicroscopic deletions have rarely been reported. At present, a cytogenetic or molecular abnormality can only be detected in 55% of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome patients, leaving the diagnosis in 45% of patients to rest on clinical features only. Interestingly, this microdeletion of 16 p13.3 was found in a young child with an unexplained syndromic condition due to an indistinct etiological diagnosis. To the best of our knowledge, no evidence of a microdeletion of 16 p13.3 with contiguous gene deletion, comprising cyclic adenosine monophosphate-response element-binding protein and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 genes, has been described in typical Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome.
Case presentation
We present the case of a three-year-old Malaysian Chinese girl with a de novo microdeletion on the short arm of chromosome 16, identified by oligonucleotide array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Our patient showed mild to moderate global developmental delay, facial dysmorphism, bilateral broad thumbs and great toes, a moderate size atrial septal defect, hypotonia and feeding difficulties. A routine chromosome analysis on 20 metaphase cells showed a normal 46, XX karyotype. Further investigation by high resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization revealed a 120 kb microdeletion on chromosomal band 16 p13.3.
A mutation or abnormality in the cyclic adenosine monophosphate-response element-binding protein has previously been determined as a cause of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome. However, microdeletion of 16 p13.3 comprising cyclic adenosine monophosphate-response element-binding protein and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 genes is a rare scenario in the pathogenesis of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome. Additionally, due to insufficient coverage of the human genome by conventional techniques, clinically significant genomic imbalances may be undetected in unexplained syndromic conditions of young children. This case report demonstrates the ability of array-based comparative genomic hybridization to offer a genome-wide analysis at high resolution and provide information directly linked to the physical and genetic maps of the human genome. This will contribute to more accurate genetic counseling and provide further insight into the syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3295639  PMID: 22269667
7.  Quality indicators for discarding blood in the National Blood Center, Kuala Lumpur 
Background and Objective:
The implementation of quality system and continuous evaluation of all activities of the Blood Transfusion Services (BTS) can help to achieve the maximum quantity and quality of safe blood. Optimizing blood collection and processing would reduce the rate of discard and improve the efficiency of the BTS. The objective of this study is to determine the rate of discard of blood and blood component and identify its reasons at the National Blood Centre (NBC), Kuala Lumpur, during the year of 2007 in order to introduce appropriate intervention.
Study Designs and Methods:
Data on the number of discarded whole blood units and its components, reasons for discard, and the number of blood components processed as well as the number of collected blood units were obtained from the Blood Bank Information System - NBC database. These were analyzed.
The total number of blood units collected in 2007 was 171169 from which 390636 units of components were prepared. The total number of discarded whole blood units and its components was 8968 (2.3%). Platelet concentrate recorded the highest of discard at 6% (3909) followed by whole blood at 3.7% (647), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) at 2.5% (2839), and cryoprecipitate at 2% (620). The rate of discarded packed red blood cells RBCs, plasma aphaeresis, and PLT aphaeresis was less than 1% at 0.6% (902), 0.6% (37), and 0.29% (14), respectively. RBC contamination of PLT and plasma were the major cause of discard at 40% (3558). Other causes include leakage (26% - 2306), lipemia (25% - 2208), and underweight (4% - 353).
Good donor selection, training and evaluation of the staff, as well as implementation of automation will help to improve processes and output of BTS. This would reduce discard of blood components and wastage caused by non conformance.
PMCID: PMC3353623  PMID: 22623837
Discard blood; National Blood Centre Kuala Lumpur; quality indicators
8.  Association of ABO blood groups with diabetes mellitus 
The Libyan Journal of Medicine  2010;5:10.3402/ljm.v5i0.4847.
So far no studies have been performed in Malaysia to look at association of diabetes mellitus (DM) with blood groups. We studied the association of ABO blood groups with DM type 2.
Patients and methodology
It was a case control study conducted at Kepala Batas Hospital Batas, Penang, Malaysia in the year 2009, involving 70 patients with DM type 2 and 140 healthy controls. Ethical approval was obtained from Universiti Sains Malaysia. Blood samples were collected from the patients after consent. Samples were tested for ABO blood groups using ID-Card gel method.
Chi-square test results showed that there was an association between the ABO blood groups and DM type 2. It was found that A and O blood groups were negatively associated with DM type 2 (P<0.05) with higher percentage of A and O groups individuals were non-diabetic. No significant association was noted between DM type 2 and blood groups B (P=0.423) and AB (P=0.095). It was also noted that B blood group was distributed with highest percentage among patients with DM type 2 (53.71%) compared to controls (22.52%), but no statistical significance achieved.
The results obtained suggest that there was a negative association between ABO blood groups A and O with DM type 2, with A and O group having less chances of diabetes. Large studies in other ethnic groups are needed to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC3071167  PMID: 21483592
blood group A; blood group O; diabetes mellitus
9.  Hereditary Spherocytosis in a Malay Patient with Chronic Haemolysis 
This case report describes a 35-year-old lady who presented with generalized weakness and lethargy of two weeks duration and jaundice of more than 20 years duration. Her initial workup was suggestive of haemolysis and blood film showed a leucoerythoblastic picture with moderate microspherocytes. She was finally diagnosed as a case of hereditary spherocytosis after ruling out other possible causes of chronic haemolysis and supported by an abnormal osmotic fragility test, although family members refused for screening. Hereditory spherocytosis is uncommon in Malay population and presentation with jaundice of 20 years duration with leucoerythroblastic picture on blood film were interesting features in this case. Patient is being followed closely for need of splenectomy in near future as per severity of haemolysis and currently being managed with folic acid supplement.
PMCID: PMC3442627  PMID: 22993492
Hereditary spherocytosis; Jaundice; Chronic haemolysis; Leucoerythroblastic picture; Microspherocytes

Results 1-9 (9)