Bangi, Malaysia
Bangi, Malaysia

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Chow K.-S.,Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia | Mat-Isa M.-N.,Malaysia Genome Institute | Bahari A.,Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia | Ghazali A.-K.,Science Vision SB | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2012

The cytosolic mevalonate (MVA) pathway in Hevea brasiliensis latex is the conventionally accepted pathway which provides isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) for cis-polyisoprene (rubber) biosynthesis. However, the plastidic 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway may be an alternative source of IPP since its more recent discovery in plants. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) expression profiles of genes from both pathways in latex showed that subcellular compartmentalization of IPP for cis-polyisoprene synthesis is related to the degree of plastidic carotenoid synthesis. From this, the occurrence of two schemes of IPP partitioning and utilization within one species is proposed whereby the supply of IPP for cis-polyisoprene from the MEP pathway is related to carotenoid production in latex. Subsequently, a set of latex unique gene transcripts was sequenced and assembled and they were then mapped to IPP-requiring pathways. Up to eight such pathways, including cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis, were identified. Our findings on pre-and post-IPP metabolic routes form an important aspect of a pathway knowledge-driven approach to enhancing cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis in transgenic rubber trees. © 2011 The Author(s).


Hara Y.,Malaysia Genome Institute | Chin C.-Y.,National University of Malaysia | Chin C.-Y.,Emory University | Mohamed R.,National University of Malaysia | And 2 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is endemic to Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Clinical manifestations of disease are diverse, ranging from chronic infection to acute septicaemia. The current gold standard of diagnosis involves bacterial culture and identification which is time consuming and often too late for early medical intervention. Hence, rapid diagnosis of melioidosis is crucial for the successful management of melioidosis.Methods: The study evaluated 4 purified B. pseudomallei recombinant proteins (TssD-5, Omp3, smBpF4 and Omp85) as potential diagnostic agents for melioidosis. A total of 68 sera samples from Malaysian melioidosis patients were screened for the presence of specific antibodies towards these proteins using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sera from patients with various bacterial and viral infections but negative for B. pseudomallei, as well as sera from healthy individuals, were also included as non-melioidosis controls. The Mann Whitney test was performed to compare the statistical differences between melioidosis patients and the non-melioidosis controls.Results: TssD-5 demonstrated the highest sensitivity of 71% followed by Omp3 (59%), smBpF4 (41%) and Omp85 (19%). All 4 antigens showed equally high specificity (89-96%). A cocktail of all 4 antigens resulted in slightly reduced sensitivity of 65% but improved specificity (99%). Multiple-antigen ELISA provided improved sensitivity of 88.2% whilst retaining good specificity (96%). There was minimal reactivity with sera from healthy individuals proposing the utility of these antigens to demarcate diseased from non-symptomatic individuals in an endemic country.Conclusions: TssD-5 demonstrated high detection sensitivity and specificity and the results were obtained within a few hours compared to time consuming culture and IFAT methods commonly used in a clinical setting. The use of multiple-antigens resulted in improved sensitivity (88.2%) whilst maintaining superior specificity. These data highlight the use of TssD-5 and other recombinant antigens tested in this study as potential serodiagnostic agents for melioidosis. © 2013 Hara et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Blake D.P.,Institute for Animal Health | Blake D.P.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Billington K.J.,Institute for Animal Health | Copestake S.L.,Institute for Animal Health | And 7 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2011

Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for a myriad of diseases in humans and livestock; yet despite intensive effort, development of effective sub-unit vaccines remains a long-term goal. Antigenic complexity and our inability to identify protective antigens from the pool that induce response are serious challenges in the development of new vaccines. Using a combination of parasite genetics and selective barriers with population-based genetic fingerprinting, we have identified that immunity against the most important apicomplexan parasite of livestock (Eimeria spp.) was targeted against a few discrete regions of the genome. Herein we report the identification of six genomic regions and, within two of those loci, the identification of true protective antigens that confer immunity as sub-unit vaccines. The first of these is an Eimeria maxima homologue of apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) and the second is a previously uncharacterised gene that we have termed 'immune mapped protein-1' (IMP-1). Significantly, homologues of the AMA-1 antigen are protective with a range of apicomplexan parasites including Plasmodium spp., which suggest that there may be some characteristic(s) of protective antigens shared across this diverse group of parasites. Interestingly, homologues of the IMP-1 antigen, which is protective against E. maxima infection, can be identified in Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Overall, this study documents the discovery of novel protective antigens using a population-based genetic mapping approach allied with a protection-based screen of candidate genes. The identification of AMA-1 and IMP-1 represents a substantial step towards development of an effective anti-eimerian sub-unit vaccine and raises the possibility of identification of novel antigens for other apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, validation of the parasite genetics approach to identify effective antigens supports its adoption in other parasite systems where legitimate protective antigen identification is difficult. © 2011 Blake et al.


Chin C.-Y.,National University of Malaysia | Monack D.M.,Stanford University | Nathan S.,National University of Malaysia | Nathan S.,Malaysia Genome Institute
Immunology | Year: 2012

Diabetes mellitus is a predisposing factor of melioidosis, contributing to higher mortality rates in diabetics infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei. To investigate how diabetes alters the inflammatory response, we established a streptozotocin (STZ) -induced diabetic murine acute-phase melioidosis model. Viable B. pseudomallei cells were consistently detected in the blood, liver and spleen during the 42-hr course of infection but the hyperglycaemic environment did not increase the bacterial burden. However, after 24hr, granulocyte counts increased in response to infection, whereas blood glucose concentrations decreased over the course of infection. A genome-wide expression analysis of the STZ-diabetic murine acute melioidosis liver identified ∼1000 genes whose expression was altered in the STZ-diabetic mice. The STZ-diabetic host transcriptional response was compared with the normoglycaemic host transcriptional response recently reported by our group. The microarray data suggest that the presence of elevated glucose levels impairs the host innate immune system by delaying the identification and recognition of B. pseudomallei surface structures. Consequently, the host is unable to activate the appropriate innate immune response over time, which may explain the increased susceptibility to melioidosis in the STZ-diabetic host. Nevertheless, a general 'alarm signal' of infection as well as defence programmes are still triggered by the STZ-diabetic host, although only 24hr after infection. In summary, this study demonstrates that in the face of a B. pseudomallei acute infection, poor glycaemic control impaired innate responses during the early stages of B. pseudomallei infection, contributing to the increased susceptibility of STZ-induced diabetics to this fatal disease. © 2011 The Authors. Immunology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Alkotaini B.,National University of Malaysia | Anuar N.,National University of Malaysia | Kadhum A.A.H.,National University of Malaysia | Sani A.A.A.,Malaysia Genome Institute
Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

An antimicrobial substance produced by the Paenibacillus alvei strain AN5 was detected in fermentation broth. Subsequently, cell-free culture supernatant (CFCS) was obtained by medium centrifugation and filtration, and its antimicrobial activity was tested. This showed a broad inhibitory spectrum against both Gram-positive and -negative bacterial strains. The CFCS was then purified and subjected to SDS-PAGE and infrared spectroscopy, which indicated the proteinaceous nature of the antimicrobial compound. Some de novo sequencing using an automatic Q-TOF premier system determined the amino acid sequence of the purified antimicrobial peptide as Y-S-K-S-L-P-L-S-V-L-N-P (1,316 Da). The novel peptide was designated as peptide AN5-1. Its mode of action was bactericidal, inducing cell lysis in E. coli ATCC 29522 and S. aureus, and non-cell lysis in both S. marcescens and B. cereus ATCC 14579. Peptide AN5-1 displayed stability at a wide range of pH values (2-12) and remained active after exposure to high temperatures (100 C). It also maintained its antimicrobial activity after incubation with chemicals such as SDS, urea and EDTA. © 2013 The Author(s).


Chin C.,National University of Malaysia | Monack D.M.,Stanford University | Nathan S.,National University of Malaysia | Nathan S.,Malaysia Genome Institute
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: At present, very little is known about how Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei) interacts with its host to elicit melioidosis symptoms. We established a murine acute-phase melioidosis model and used DNA microarray technology to investigate the global host/pathogen interaction. We compared the transcriptome of infected liver and spleen with uninfected tissues over an infection period of 42 hr to identify genes whose expression is altered in response to an acute infection.Results: Viable B. pseudomallei cells were consistently detected in the blood, liver and spleen during the 42 hr course of infection. Microarray analysis of the liver and spleen over this time course demonstrated that genes involved in immune response, stress response, cell cycle regulation, proteasomal degradation, cellular metabolism and signal transduction pathways were differentially regulated. Up regulation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) gene expression suggested that a TLR2-mediated signalling pathway is responsible for recognition and initiation of an inflammatory response to the acute B. pseudomallei infection. Most of the highly elevated inflammatory genes are a cohort of "core host immune response" genes commonly seen in general inflammation infections. Concomitant to this initial inflammatory response, we observed an increase in transcripts associated with cell-death, caspase activation and peptidoglysis that ultimately promote tissue injury in the host. The complement system responsible for restoring host cellular homeostasis and eliminating intracellular bacteria was activated only after 24 hr post-infection. However, at this time point, diverse host nutrient metabolic and cellular pathways including glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle were repressed.Conclusions: This detailed picture of the host transcriptional response during acute melioidosis highlights a broad range of innate immune mechanisms that are activated in the host within 24 hrs, including the core immune response commonly seen in general inflammatory infections. Nevertheless, this activation is suppressed at 42 hr post-infection and in addition, suboptimal activation and function of the downstream complement system promotes uncontrolled spread of the bacteria. © 2010 Chin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lee S.-H.,National University of Malaysia | Ooi S.-K.,National University of Malaysia | Mahadi N.M.,Malaysia Genome Institute | Tan M.-W.,Stanford University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, a disease of significant morbidity and mortality in both human and animals in endemic areas. Much remains to be known about the contributions of genotypic variations within the bacteria and the host, and environmental factors that lead to the manifestation of the clinical symptoms of melioidosis. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we showed that different isolates of B. pseudomallei have divergent ability to kill the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The rate of nematode killing was also dependent on growth media: B. pseudomallei grown on peptone-glucose media killed C. elegans more rapidly than bacteria grown on the nematode growth media. Filter and bacteria cell-free culture filtrate assays demonstrated that the extent of killing observed is significantly less than that observed in the direct killing assay. Additionally, we showed that B. pseudomallei does not persistently accumulate within the C. elegans gut as brief exposure to B. pseudomallei is not sufficient for C. elegans infection. Conclusions/Significance: A combination of genetic and environmental factors affects virulence. In addition, we have also demonstrated that a Burkholderia-specific mechanism mediating the pathogenic effect in C. elegans requires proliferating B. pseudomallei to continuously produce toxins to mediate complete killing.


Rahman M.Z.A.,University Putra Malaysia | Salleh A.B.,University Putra Malaysia | Rahman R.N.Z.R.A.,University Putra Malaysia | Rahman M.B.A.,University Putra Malaysia | And 3 more authors.
Protein Science | Year: 2012

The activation of lipases has been postulated to proceed by interfacial activation, temperature switch activation, or aqueous activation. Recently, based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulation experiments, the T1 lipase activation mechanism was proposed to involve aqueous activation in addition to a double-flap mechanism. Because the open conformation structure is still unavailable, it is difficult to validate the proposed theory unambiguously to understand the behavior of the enzyme. In this study, we try to validate the previous reports and uncover the mystery behind the activation process using structural analysis and MD simulations. To investigate the effects of temperature and environmental conditions on the activation process, MD simulations in different solvent environments (water and water-octane interface) and temperatures (20, 50, 70, 80, and 100°C) were performed. Based on the structural analysis of the lipases in the same family of T1 lipase (I.5 lipase family), we proposed that the lid domain comprises α6 and α7 helices connected by a loop, thus forming a helix-loop-helix motif involved in interfacial activation. Throughout the MD simulations experiments, lid displacements were only observed in the water-octane interface, not in the aqueous environment with respect to the temperature effect, suggesting that the activation process is governed by interfacial activation coupled with temperature switch activation. Examining the activation process in detail revealed that the large structural rearrangement of the lid domain was caused by the interaction between the hydrophobic residues of the lid with octane, a nonpolar solvent, and this conformation was found to be thermodynamically favorable. © 2012 The Protein Society.


Bong M.C.F.,University Putra Malaysia | King P.J.H.,University Putra Malaysia | Ong K.H.,University Putra Malaysia | Mahadi N.M.,Malaysia Genome Institute
Journal of Entomology | Year: 2012

Termite is a vital component in a healthy forest or agriculture ecosystem. The diversity of termite species reflects the overall ecosystem production and health. This study aimed to evaluate the diversity of termite in Sarawak agriculture peat zone and to identify the key morphometric characters in species identification. Belt transects sampling was carried out in two studies sites. Individual termites were carefully observed, measured and 15 morphometric characters were identified as important in species identification. At the present stage, this study had found six genera which can be further categorized into thirteen termite species. The wood feeder termite has been identified to be the most dominant species and Rhinotermitidae are the most species-rich family. This is in contrast with the conserved forest where soil-feeding termites are the most diverse group of termites. Among the species identified in the studied sites were the Coptotermes curvignathus, C. sepangensis, C. gestroi, Parrhinotermes aequalis, Schedorhinotermes brevialatus, S. javanicus, S. sarawakensis, Pericapritermes dolichocephalus, P. latignathus, Nasutitermes havilandi, N. longinasoides, N. matangensiformis and Havilanditermes atripennis. The study showed that agricultural practice has some extend of repercussion on termite assemblage structure. © 2012 Academic Journals Inc.


Low K.O.,University of Technology Malaysia | Mahadi N.M.,Malaysia Genome Institute | Illias R.Md.,University of Technology Malaysia
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Escherichia coli - the powerhouse for recombinant protein production - is rapidly gaining status as a reliable and efficient host for secretory expression. An improved understanding of protein translocation processes and its mechanisms has inspired and accelerated the development of new tools and applications in this field and, in particular, a more efficient secretion signal. Several important characteristics and requirements are summarised for the design of a more efficient signal peptide for the production of recombinant proteins in E. coli. General approaches and strategies to optimise the signal peptide, including the selection and modification of the signal peptide components, are included. Several challenges in the secretory production of recombinant proteins are discussed, and research approaches designed to meet these challenges are proposed. © Springer-Verlag 2013.

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