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1.  The RAS subfamily Evolution – tracing evolution for its utmost exploitation 
Bioinformation  2014;10(5):293-298.
In the development of multicellularity, signaling proteins has played a very important role. Among them, RAS family is one of the most widely studied protein family. However, evolutionary analysis has been carried out mainly on super family level leaving sub family information in scanty. Thus, a subfamily evolutionary study on RAS evolutionary expansion is imperative as it will aid in better drug designing against dreadful diseases like Cancer and other developmental diseases. The present study was aimed to understand RAS evolution on both holistic as well as reductive level. All human RAS family genes and protein were subjected to BLAST tools to find orthologs and paralogs with different parameters followed by phylogenetic tree generation. Our results clearly showed that H-RAS is the most primitive RAS in higher eukaryotes and then diverged into other RAS family members due to different gene modification events. Furthermore, a site specific selection pressure analysis was carried out using SELECTON server which showed that H-RAS, M-RAS and N-RAS are evolving faster than K-RAS and R-RAS. Thus, the results ascertain a new ground to cancer biologists to exploit negatively selected K-RAS and R-RAS as potent drug targets in cancer therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4070039  PMID: 24966537
RAS; evolution; cancer; evolutionary tree; selection pressure
2.  Impact of rtI233V mutation in hepatitis B virus polymerase protein and adefovir efficacy: Homology modeling and molecular docking studies 
Bioinformation  2013;9(3):121-125.
Adefovir is an adenosine analogue approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Mutations occurring in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) reverse transcriptase (rt) domains are shown to confer resistance to antiviral drugs. The role of the rtI233V mutation and adefovir resistance remains contradictory. In this study, it was attempted to evaluate the impact of putative rtI233V substitution on adefovir action by homology modeling and docking studies. The HBVrt nucleotide sequence containing rtI233V mutation was obtained from the treatment-naive chronic hepatitis B subject. The three dimensional model of HBV polymerase/rt was constructed using the HIV-1rt template (PDB code: 1RTD A) and the model was evaluated by the Ramachandran plot. Autodock was employed to dock the HBV polymerase/rt and adefovir. The modelled structure showed the amino acid rtI233 to be located away from the drug interactory site. The substitution of isoleucine to valine did not appear to affect the catalytic sites of the protein. In addition, it does not alter the conformation of bent structure formed by residues 235 to 240 that stabilizes the binding of dNTPs. Therefore, it was predicted that rtI233V substitution may not independently affect the antiviral action of adefovir and incoming dNTP binding.
PMCID: PMC3569598  PMID: 23423477
Hepatitis B virus; Adefovir; Mutation; Homology model; Docking; Drug resistance
3.  Isolation and characterization of ethanol tolerant yeast strains 
Bioinformation  2013;9(8):421-425.
Yeast strains are commonly associated with sugar rich environments. Various fruit samples were selected as source for isolating yeast cells. The isolated cultures were identified at Genus level by colony morphology, biochemical characteristics and cell morphological characters. An attempt has been made to check the viability of yeast cells under different concentrations of ethanol. Ethanol tolerance of each strain was studied by allowing the yeast to grow in liquid YEPD (Yeast Extract Peptone Dextrose) medium having different concentrations of ethanol. A total of fifteen yeast strains isolated from different samples were used for the study. Seven strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae obtained from different fruit sources were screened for ethanol tolerance. The results obtained in this study show a range of tolerance levels between 7%-12% in all the stains. Further, the cluster analysis based on 22 RAPD (Random Amplified polymorphic DNA) bands revealed polymorphisms in these seven Saccharomyces strains.
PMCID: PMC3670125  PMID: 23750092
Yeast; Ethanol; RAPD; Polymorphism
4.  RKN Lethal DB: A database for the identification of Root Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) candidate lethal genes 
Bioinformation  2012;8(19):950-952.
Root Knot nematode (RKN; Meloidogyne spp.) is one of the most devastating parasites that infect the roots of hundreds of plant species. RKN cannot live independently from their hosts and are the biggest contributors to the loss of the world's primary foods. RNAi gene silencing studies have demonstrated that there are fewer galls and galls are smaller when RNAi constructs targeted to silence certain RKN genes are expressed in plant roots. We conducted a comparative genomics analysis, comparing RKN genes of six species: Meloidogyne Arenaria, Meloidogyne Chitwoodi, Meloidogyne Hapla, Meloidogyne Incognita, Meloidogyne Javanica, and Meloidogyne Paranaensis to that of the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, to identify candidate genes that will be lethal to RKN when silenced or mutated. Our analysis yielded a number of such candidate lethal genes in RKN, some of which have been tested and proven to be effective in soybean roots. A web based database was built to house and allow scientists to search the data. This database will be useful to scientists seeking to identify candidate genes as targets for gene silencing to confer resistance in plants to RKN.
The database can be accessed from
PMCID: PMC3488838  PMID: 23144556
RKN; Meloidogyne; web based database; RNAi; C. elegans
5.  Structure­based drug design and AutoDock study of potential protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors. 
Bioinformation  2011;5(9):368-374.
Different classes of compounds were investigated for their binding affinities into different protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) employing a novel flexible ligand docking approach by using AutoDock 3.05 and 4. These compounds include many flavin analogs, which were developed in our group with varying degrees of cytotoxic activity (comparable or moderately superior to cisplatin and ara-c), and database selected analogs. They were docked onto twelve different families of PTKs retrieved from the Protein Data Bank. These proteins are representatives of plausible models of interactions with chemotherapeutic agents. A comparative study of the intact co-crystallized ligands of various types of PTKs was carried out. Results revealed that the new class of 5-deazapteridine and steroid hybrid compounds VIa,b, and d, and the vertical-type bispyridodipyrimidine with n-hexyl chain junction between its N-10 and N-10 atoms Xa, exhibited non-selective PTK binding capacities, with the lowest (Gb). On the other hand, 2-amino benzoic acid analog IIa, phenoxypyrido [3, 4-d]pyrimidine derivative IVc, tyrosine containing tripeptide Vd, and the one from Sumisho data base 831 are proposed to have selective PTK binding affinities to certain classes of tyrosine kinases, namely, HGFR (c-met), ZAP-70, insulin receptor kinase, EGFR, respectively. All These compounds of highest affinities were docked within the binding sites of PTKs with reasonable RMSD and 1-5 hydrogen bonds.
PMCID: PMC3044423  PMID: 21383902
6.  Molecular docking studies of 1-(substituted phenyl)-3-(naphtha [1, 2-d] thiazol-2-yl) urea/thiourea derivatives with human adenosine A2A receptor 
Bioinformation  2011;6(9):330-334.
Computational assessment of the binding interactions of drugs is an important component of computer-aided drug design paradigms. In this perspective, a set of 30 1-(substituted phenyl)-3-(naphtha[1, 2-d] thiazol-2-yl) urea/thiourea derivatives showing antiparkinsonian activity were docked into inhibitor binding cavity of human adenosine A2A receptor (AA2AR) to understand their mode of binding interactions in silico. Lamarckian genetic algorithm methodology was employed for docking simulations using AutoDock 4.2 program. The results signify that the molecular docking approach is reliable and produces a good correlation coefficient (r2 = 0.483) between docking score and antiparkinsonian activity (in terms of % reduction in catalepsy score). Potent antiparkinsonian agents carried methoxy group in the phenyl ring, exhibited both hydrophilic and lipophilic interactions with lower energy of binding at the AA2AR. These molecular docking analyses should, in our view, contribute for further development of selective AA2AR antagonists for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC3143394  PMID: 21814389
Adenosine A2A receptor antagonist; Parkinson's disease; naphtha [1, 2-d] thiazol-2-amine; Urea derivatives
7.  Optimization of Benzoisothiazole dioxide inhibitory activity of the NS5B polymerase of HCV genotype 4 using ligand-steered homological modeling, reaction-driven scaffold-hopping and Enovo workflow 
Bioinformation  2011;7(7):328-333.
Infection caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant world health problem for which novel therapies are in urgent demand. The virus is highly prevalent in the Middle East and Africa particularly Egypt with more than 90% of infections due to genotype 4. Nonstructural (NS5B) viral proteins have emerged as an attractive target for HCV antivirals discovery. A potent class of inhibitors having benzisothiazole dioxide scaffold has been identified on this target, however they were mainly active on genotype 1 while exhibiting much lowered activity on other genotypes due to the high degree of mutation of its binding site. Based on this fact, we employed a novel strategy to optimize this class on genotype 4. This strategy depends on using a refined ligand-steered homological model of this genotype to study the mutation binding energies of the binding site amino acid residues, the essential features for interaction and provide a structure-based pharmacophore model that can aid optimization. This model was applied on a focused library which was generated using a reaction-driven scaffold-hopping strategy. The hits retrieved were subjected to Enovo pipeline pilot optimization workflow that employs R-group enumeration, core-constrained protein docking using modified CDOCKER and finally ranking of poses using an accurate molecular mechanics generalized Born with surface area method.
PMCID: PMC3280486  PMID: 22355232
8.  Visualization of microarray gene expression data 
Bioinformation  2006;1(4):141-145.
Microarray gene expression data is used in various biological and medical investigations. Processing of gene expression data requires algorithms in data mining, process automation and knowledge discovery. Available data mining algorithms exploits various visualization techniques. Here, we describe the merits and demerits of various visualization parameters used in gene expression analysis.
PMCID: PMC1891671  PMID: 17597876
Bioinformatics; visualization; microarray gene expression data; data mining
9.  GEDAS ‐ Gene Expression Data Analysis Suite 
Bioinformation  2006;1(3):83-85.
Currently available micro-array gene expression data analysis tools lack standardization at various levels. We developed GEDAS (gene expression data analysis suite) to bring various tools and techniques in one system. It also provides a number of other features such as a large collection of distance measures and pre-processing techniques. The software is an extension of Cluster 3.0 (developed based on Eisen Lab's Cluster and Tree View software). GEDAS allows the usage of different datasets with algorithms such as k-means, HC, SVD/PCA and SVM, in addition to Kohonen's SOM and LVQ.
PMCID: PMC1891661  PMID: 17597861
gene expression; standardization; GEDAS; cluster; software

Results 1-9 (9)