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New Delhi, India

Alam A.,Malaria Research Group | Bhatnagar R.K.,Insect Resistance Group | Chauhan V.S.,Malaria Research Group
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology

PfSUB3 is the third subtilisin-like protease annotated in Plasmodium genome database "PlasmoDB". The other two members, PfSUB1 and PfSUB2 have been implicated in merozoite egress and invasion in asexual blood stages. In this study, we recombinantly expressed a region of PfSUB3 spanning from Asn 334 to Glu 769 (PfSUB3c) which encompassed the predicted catalytic domain with all the active site residues and predicted mature region spanning from Thr 516 to Glu 769 (PfSUB3m) in E. coli. PfSUB3m showed PMSF-sensitive proteolytic activity in in vitro assays. Replacement of active site serine with alanine in PfSUB3m resulted in inactive protein. We found that PfSUB3c and PfSUB3m undergo truncation to produce a 25-kDa species which was sufficient for proteolytic activity. Quantitative real-time PCR, immnufluorescence assay and Western blot analyses revealed that PfSUB3 is expressed at late asexual blood stages. Serine protease activity of PfSUB3 and its expression in the late stages of erythrocytic schizogony are indicative of some possible role of the protease in merozoite egress and/or invasion processes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Alam A.,Malaria Research Group | Bhatnagar R.K.,Insect Resistance Group | Relan U.,Malaria Research Group | Mukherjee P.,Malaria Research Group | Chauhan V.S.,Malaria Research Group
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology

Subtilisin-like proteases of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSUB1, 2 and 3) are expressed at late asexual blood stages. PfSUB1 and 2 are considered important drug targets due to their essentiality for parasite blood stages and role in merozoite egress and invasion of erythrocytes. We have earlier shown the in vitro serine protease activity of PfSUB3 and its localization at asexual blood stages. In this study, we attempted to identify the biological substrate(s) of PfSUB3 and found parasite profilin (PfPRF) as a substrate of the protease. Eukaryotic profilins are multifunctional proteins with primary role in regulation of actin filament assembly. PfPRF possesses biochemical features of eukaryotic profilins and its rodent ortholog is essential in blood stages. Profilin from related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (TgPRF) is known to be involved in parasite motility, host cell invasion, active egress from host cell, immune evasion and virulence in mice. In this study, mature PfSUB3 proteolysed recombinant PfPRF in a dose-dependent manner in in vitro assays. Recombinant PfPRF was assessed for its proinflammatory activity and found to induce high level of TNF-α and low but significant level of IL-12 from mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Proteolysis of PfPRF by PfSUB3 is suggestive of the probable role of the protease in the processes of motility, virulence and immune evasion. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Adlakha N.,Synthetic Biology and Biofuel Group | Rajagopa R.,Insect Resistance Group | Rajagopa R.,University of Delhi | Kumar S.,Plant Transformation Group | And 2 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Insects living on wood and plants harbor a large variety of bacterial flora in their guts for degrading biomass. We isolated a Paenibacillus strain, designated ICGEB2008, from the gut of a cotton bollworm on the basis of its ability to secrete a variety of plant-hydrolyzing enzymes. In this study, we cloned, expressed, and characterized two enzymes, β-1,4-endoglucanase (Endo5A) and β-1,4-endoxylanase (Xyl11D), from the ICGEB2008 strain and synthesized recombinant bifunctional enzymes based on Endo5A and Xyl11D. The gene encoding Endo5A was obtained from the genome of the ICGEB2008 strain by shotgun cloning. The gene encoding Xyl11D was obtained using primers for conserved xylanase sequences, which were identified by aligning xylanase sequences in other species of Paenibacillus. Endo5A and Xyl11D were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and their optimal activities were characterized. Both Endo5A and Xyl11D exhibited maximum specific activity at 50°C and pH 6 to 7. To take advantage of this feature, we constructed four bifunctional chimeric models of Endo5A and Xyl11D by fusing the encoding genes either end to end or through a glycine-serine (GS) linker. We predicted three-dimensional structures of the four models using the I-TASSER server and analyzed their secondary structures using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The chimeric model Endo5A-GS-Xyl11D, in which a linker separated the two enzymes, yielded the highest C-score on the I-TASSER server, exhibited secondary structure properties closest to the native enzymes, and demonstrated 1.6-fold and 2.3-fold higher enzyme activity than Endo5A and Xyl11D, respectively. This bifunctional enzyme could be effective for hydrolyzing plant biomass owing to its broad substrate range. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Ghosh S.,Insect Resistance Group | Kakumani P.K.,Insect Resistance Group | Kumar A.,Md University | Malhotra P.,Malaria Group | And 2 more authors.
BMC Genomics

Background: RNA interference (RNAi) leads to sequence specific knock-down of gene expression and has emerged as an important tool to analyse gene functions, pathway analysis and gene therapy. Although RNAi is a conserved cellular process involving common elements and factors, species-specific differences have been observed among different eukaryotes. Identification of components for RNAi pathway is pursued intensively and successful genome-wide screens have been performed for components of RNAi pathways in various organisms. Functional comparative genomics analysis offers evolutionary insight that forms basis of discoveries of novel RNAi-factors within related organisms. Keeping in view the academic and commercial utility of insect derived cell-line from Spodoptera frugiperda, we pursued the identification and functional analysis of components of RNAi-machinery of Sf21 cell-line using genome-wide application. Results: The genome and transcriptome of Sf21 was assembled and annotated. In silico application of comparative genome analysis among insects allowed us to identify several RNAi factors in Sf21 line. The candidate RNAi factors from assembled genome were validated by knockdown analysis of candidate factors using the siRNA screens on the Sf21-gfp reporter cell-line. Forty two (42) potential factors were identified using the cell based assay. These include core RNAi elements including Dicer-2, Argonaute-1, Drosha, Aubergine and auxiliary modules like chromatin factors, RNA helicases, RNA processing module, signalling allied proteins and others. Phylogenetic analyses and domain architecture revealed that Spodoptera frugiperda homologs retained identity with Lepidoptera (Bombyx mori) or Coleoptera (Tribolium castaneum) sustaining an evolutionary conserved scaffold in post-transcriptional gene silencing paradigm within insects.Conclusion: The database of RNAi-factors generated by whole genome association survey offers comprehensive outlook about conservation as well as specific differences of the proteins of RNAi machinery. Understanding the interior involved in different phases of gene silencing also offers impending tool for RNAi-based applications. © 2014 Ghosh et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Sharma A.,Insect Resistance Group | Dhayal D.,National Institute of Malaria Research | Singh O.P.,National Institute of Malaria Research | Adak T.,National Institute of Malaria Research | Bhatnagar R.K.,Insect Resistance Group
Acta Tropica

The midgut of parasite transmitting vector, Anopheles stephensi is a physiologically dynamic ecological niche of resident microbes. The gut resident microbes of anisomorphic and physiologically variable male and female A. stephensi mosquitoes were different (. Rani et al., 2009). To understand the possible interaction of gut microbes and mosquito host, we examined the contribution of the microbe community on the fitness of the adult mosquitoes and their ability to permit development of the malaria parasite. A. stephensi mosquitoes were fed with antibiotic to sterilize their gut to study longevity, blood meal digestion, egg laying and maturation capacity, and consequently ability to support malaria parasite development. The sterilization of gut imparted reduction in longevity by a median of 5 days in male and 2 days in female mosquitoes. Similarly, the sterilization also diminished the reproductive potential probably due to increased rate of the resorption of follicles in ovaries coupled with abated blood meal digestion in gut-sterilized females. Additionally, gut sterilization also led to increased susceptibility to oocyst development upon feeding on malaria infected blood. The susceptibility to malaria parasite introduced upon gut sterilization of A. stephensi was restored completely upon re-colonization of gut by native microbes. The information provided in the study provides insights into the role of the gut-resident microbial community in various life events of the mosquito that may be used to develop alternate malaria control strategies, such as paratransgenesis. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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