Advances in Molecular Biology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Identification and Characterization of Ectomycorrhizal Cortinarius Species (Agaricales, Basidiomycetes) from Temperate Kashmir Himalaya, India, by ITS Barcoding Mon, 05 Jan 2015 09:53:58 +0000 The coniferous forests of Kashmir Himalayas provide a sustainable habitat for wide varieties of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The identification and characterization of many of these fungi however largely involves morphological descriptions of sporocarps alone, thus sometimes raising questions about the authenticity of these studies. The present study was carried out to identify and characterize ectomycorrhizal fungi from the coniferous forests of Kashmir Himalaya using both morphological and molecular methods. Herein we report on the identification and characterization of three potential ectomycorrhizal Cortinarius fungal species, namely, Cortinarius flexipes (Pers. Ex Fr.), Cortinarius fulvoconicus M. M. Moser, and Cortinarius infractus (Pers.) Fr., from Kashmir Himalaya, India, on the basis of their morphological and molecular characterization. Morphological characteristics of all species were measured and compared with standard taxonomic literature. ITS-rDNA (the fungal molecular marker) was used for molecular analysis. The target region of rDNA (ITS1 5.8s ITS2) of these species was amplified using universal fungal primers (ITS1 and ITS4). The sequencing of amplified products and their subsequent blast analysis confirmed the identification of species by comparing the sequences of these species with respective species sequences present in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis also confirmed the identification of species. Zahoor Ahmad Itoo, Zafar A. Reshi, Qussin Basharat, Sheikh Tahir Majeed, and Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi Copyright © 2015 Zahoor Ahmad Itoo et al. All rights reserved. Beta2-Adrenergic Receptor Gene Polymorphisms in Egyptian Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:42:30 +0000 Background. Beta2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) gene polymorphisms, Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the association of these two polymorphisms with the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in the Egyptian population. Methods. Blood samples were collected from 68 MI patients and 75 healthy controls. They were assessed for the presence of cardiovascular risk factors and genotyped for the Arg16Gly (rs1042713) and Gln27Glu (rs1042714) polymorphisms using allelic-discrimination polymerase chain reaction. Results. There is no significant difference in genotype and allele frequencies at codon 16 between MI patients and controls (). However, at codon 27, MI risk was higher in Gln27 homozygous participants than in Glu27 carriers (). The haplotype frequency distribution showed significant difference among cases and controls (); homozygotes for Gly16/Gln27 haplotype were more susceptible to MI than Gly16/Glu27 carriers. Patients with Arg16/Gln27 haplotype had higher serum total cholesterol levels () and lower frequency of diabetes in MI patients (). However, both Glu27 genotypes and haplotype showed lower frequency of hypertension (). Conclusions. Our findings suggested that the ADRB2 gene polymorphisms may play an important role in susceptibility of MI among Egyptian population. Eman Toraih, Mohammad H. Hussein, and Dahlia I. Badran Copyright © 2014 Eman Toraih et al. All rights reserved. Metabolic and Physiological Roles of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:45:15 +0000 Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) have unique properties with diverse physiological and metabolic roles. They have functions other than simple nutrition. Different diseases including metabolic disease lead to protein loss, especially muscle protein. Supplementation of BCAAs promotes protein synthesis and reduces break down, as well as improving disease conditions. They are important regulators of mTOR signaling pathway and regulate protein synthesis as well as protein turnover. BCAAs facilitate glucose uptake by liver and SK muscle and also enhance glycogen synthesis. Oxidation of BCAAs seems to be beneficial for metabolic health as their catabolism increases fatty acid oxidation and reduces risk of obesity. BCAAs are also important in immunity, brain function, and other physiological aspects of well-being. All three BCAAs are absolutely required for lymphocyte growth and proliferation. They are also important for proper immune cell function. BCAAs may influence brain protein synthesis, and production of energy and may influence synthesis of different neurotransmitters. BCAAs can be used therapeutically and future studies may be directed to investigating the diverse effects of BCAAs in different tissues and their signaling pathways. Md. Monirujjaman and Afroza Ferdouse Copyright © 2014 Md. Monirujjaman and Afroza Ferdouse. All rights reserved.