Advances in Biology http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Phytotoxic and Genotoxic Potential of Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Using Vigna radiata and Allium cepa Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:16:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/8065736/ Pulp and paper mill effluent induced phytotoxicity and genotoxicity in mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) and root tip cells of onion (Allium cepa L.) were investigated. Physicochemical characteristics such as electrical conductivity (EC), biological oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and total phenols of the pulp and paper mill effluent were beyond the permissible limit specified for the discharge of effluent in inland water bodies. Compared to control plants, seedling exposed to 100% effluent concentration showed a reduction in root and shoot length and biomass by 65%, 67%, and 84%, respectively, after 5 days of treatment. A. cepa root tip cells exposed to effluent concentrations ranging from 25 to 100% v/v showed a significant decrease in mitotic index (MI) from 32 to 11% with respect to control root tip cells (69%) indicating effluent induced cytotoxicity. Further, the effluent induced DNA damage as evidenced by the presence of various chromosomal aberrations like stickiness, chromosome loss, anaphase bridge, c-mitosis, tripolar anaphase, vagrant chromosome, and telophase bridge and micronucleated and binucleated cell in A. cepa. Findings of the present study indicate that pulp and paper mill effluents may act as genotoxic and phytotoxic agents in plant model system. Izharul Haq, Vineeta Kumari, Sharad Kumar, Abhay Raj, Mohtashim Lohani, and Ram Naresh Bhargava Copyright © 2016 Izharul Haq et al. All rights reserved. Amino Acid Starvation Enhances Programmed Ribosomal Frameshift in Metavirus Ty3 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:52:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/1840782/ Ty3 is a retroviral-like element and propagates with a retroviral-like mechanism within the yeast cells. Ty3 mRNA contains two coding regions, which are GAG3 and POL3. The coding region POL3 is translated as a GAG3-POL3 fusion protein by a +1 programmed frameshift. In this study, it was shown that the Ty3 frameshift frequency is significantly increased by amino acid starvation in a Gcn2p complex dependent manner. When the yeast cells were subjected to amino acid starvation, the frameshift frequency of Ty3 increased more than 2-fold in the wild-type yeast cells, mostly independent of Gcn4p. However, Ty3 frameshift frequency remained at basal level in the gcn1, gcn20, or gcn2 mutant yeast cells in amino acid starved yeasts. Gcn1p forms a complex with Gcn2p and Gcn20p and is involved in the sensing of uncharged tRNAs on the ribosomal A-site during translation. Increases in uncharged tRNA levels due to amino acid depletion lead to ribosomal pauses. These ribosomal pauses are significant actors in the regulation of Ty3 frameshift frequency. Results of this research revealed that frameshift frequency in Ty3 is regulated by the Gcn2p complex in response to amino acid starvation in yeast. Sezai Türkel Copyright © 2016 Sezai Türkel. All rights reserved. Bacteriological Contaminants of Some Fresh Vegetables Irrigated with Awetu River in Jimma Town, Southwestern Ethiopia Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:17:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/1526764/ The main purposes of this study were to determine the bacteriological load and safety of some fresh vegetables irrigated with Awetu River in Jimma town, southwestern Ethiopia. Water and vegetable samples were collected from three different irrigation sites and analyzed for their bacteriological contaminants following standard procedures. The maximum overall means of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, aerobic spore formers, staphylococci, and total and fecal coliform counts were 8.06, 7.10, 6.54, and 2.97 log CFU g−1 and 1036 and 716 MPN 100 mL−1, respectively. The microflora of vegetable samples was dominated by Bacillus species (32.7%) followed by Enterobacteriaceae (25%) and Micrococcus (16%). Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella spp. were detected in 24.0% and 20.7% of the samples, respectively. All the Staphylococcus aureus isolates were resistant to ampicillin, cefuroxime sodium, and penicillin G (100.0% each). All the Salmonella isolates were also resistant to tetracycline, erythromycin, cefuroxime sodium, and penicillin G (100.0% each). The findings reveal that the river water used for irrigation in this study is a possible preharvest source of contamination to fresh vegetables which potentially constitutes a health risk to consumers. Desta Weldezgina and Diriba Muleta Copyright © 2016 Desta Weldezgina and Diriba Muleta. All rights reserved. Carbofuran Modulating Functions of Acetylcholinesterase from Rat Brain In Vitro Wed, 18 May 2016 08:02:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/3760967/ Carbofuran, a potential environmental xenobiotic, has the ability to cross blood brain barrier and to adversely influence brain functions. In the present study, the impact of carbofuran on the biophysical and biochemical properties of rat brain AChE has been evaluated in vitro. This enzyme was membrane-bound which could be solubilised using Triton-X100 (0.2%, v/v), a nonionic detergent, in the extraction buffer (50 mM phosphate, pH 7.4). The enzyme was highly stable up to one month when stored at 20°C and exhibited optimum activity at pH 7.4 and 37°C. AChE displayed a direct relationship between activity and varying substrate concentrations (acetylthiocholine iodide (ATI)) by following Michaelis-Menten curve. The and values as computed from the Lineweaver-Burk double reciprocal plot of the data were found to be 0.07 mM and 0.066 µmole/mL/min, respectively. The enzyme exhibited IC50 value for carbofuran equal to 6.0 nM. The steady-state kinetic studies to determine mode of action of carbofuran on rat brain AChE displayed it to be noncompetitive in nature with value equal to 5 nm. These experiments suggested that rat brain AChE was very sensitive to carbofuran and this enzyme might serve as a significant biomarker of carbofuran induced neurotoxicity. Vivek Kumar Gupta, Ashutosh Pathak, Nikhat Jamal Siddiqi, and Bechan Sharma Copyright © 2016 Vivek Kumar Gupta et al. All rights reserved. Genotoxic Effects of Chlorpyrifos in Freshwater Fish Cirrhinus mrigala Using Micronucleus Assay Tue, 01 Mar 2016 09:45:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/9276963/ The genotoxicity of pesticides is an issue of worldwide concern and chlorpyrifos is one of the largest selling organophosphate agrochemicals that has been widely detected in surface waters of India. The studies on long term genotoxic biomarkers are limited; therefore, present study was carried out to analyze the incidence of nuclear anomalies in the blood cells of fresh water fish Cirrhinus mrigala using micronucleus (MN) assay as a potential tool for assessment of genotoxicity. Acute toxicity of chlorpyrifos was evaluated by exposing fingerlings to different doses of chlorpyrifos (1/20, 1/10, and 1/5 of LC50) and LC50 was calculated as 0.44 mg L−1 using probit analysis. Blood samples were taken on days 2, 4, 8, 12, 21, 28, and 35. In general, significant effects for both concentration and duration of exposure were observed in treated fish. It was found that MN induction was highest on day 14 at 0.08 mg L−1 concentration of chlorpyrifos. It was concluded that chlorpyrifos is genotoxic pesticide causing nuclear anomalies in Cirrhinus mrigala. Anita Bhatnagar, Abhay Singh Yadav, and Navneet Cheema Copyright © 2016 Anita Bhatnagar et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of EDTA and Phosphorous on Biomass Yield and Total Lipid Accumulation in Two Green Microalgae with Special Emphasis on Neutral Lipid Detection by Flow Cytometry Sun, 17 Jan 2016 16:20:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2016/8712470/ Chlorella ellipsoidea and Chlorococcum infusionum, promising microalgae for biodiesel feedstock production, were treated with ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) and phosphorous to induce stress which was then followed by flow cytometry to study the enhanced intracellular neutral lipid content. Treatment resulted in up to a threefold increase in total lipid content of Chlorella (% at 16 days of incubation period) and more than twofold increases in Chlorococcum (% at 18 days of incubation period) under phosphorous starvation in the culture. It was observed that maximum biomass yields in Chlorella and Chlorococcum were and  g/L at 1.5 g/L of phosphorous after 20 and 18 days of incubation periods, respectively. The qualitative analyses of neutral lipid bodies under stress conditions were performed by confocal microscopy and revealed bright golden-yellow lipid droplets in stress exposed cells. Significant increase of monounsaturated fatty acids under the nutrient limited conditions was suitable to produce biodiesel. The maximum biomass (g/L) and lipid content (% dry cell weight) at different stresses showed significant results () by single-factor Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT). Gour Gopal Satpati, Prakash Chandra Gorain, and Ruma Pal Copyright © 2016 Gour Gopal Satpati et al. All rights reserved. Direct Organogenesis from Rhizome Explants in Marsilea quadrifolia L.: A Threatened Fern Species Sun, 29 Nov 2015 11:31:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/639678/ An efficient micropropagation protocol has been developed for Marsilea quadrifolia L. through direct organogenesis. The mature rhizomes were used as explants and successfully sterilized using 0.1% HgCl2 for the establishment of cultures. The multiple shoots were differentiated from the explants on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium augmented with 6-benzylaminopurin (BAP). Full strength MS medium was reported to be effective for the induction of sporophytes from the rhizomes after four weeks of inoculation. Maximum response (96%) with average of 6.2 shoots (2.72 cm length) was achieved on full strength of MS medium augmented with 0.5 mg/L BAP in culture initiation experiments. The cultures were further proliferated in clusters ( shoots per explant) with stunted growth on half strength MS medium supplemented with 0.25 mg/L BAP after four weeks. These stunted shoots were elongated (5.30 cm long) on half MS medium devoid of growth hormones. Root induction and proliferation (3.0–4.0 cm long) were observed after 4th subculture of sporophytes on hormone-free half strength MS medium. The rooted plantlets were hardened in the fern house for 4-5 weeks and transferred to the field with 92% survival rate. There were no observable differences in between in vivo grown and in vitro propagated plantlets in the field. Mahipal S. Shekhawat and M. Manokari Copyright © 2015 Mahipal S. Shekhawat and M. Manokari. All rights reserved. Seasonal Changes in Ovarian Follicle Growth in Iran Viper (Vipera albicornuta) Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:30:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/953045/ The Vipera albicornuta is an economically important snake of Iran, its venom is used for antivenin production, and we need to breed the snake in the captivity. In order to know about the viper’s reproductive biology, seasonal alterations in ovarian weight, morphology, and the follicles developmental stages in Vipera albicornuta were studied using macroscopic parameters and histological examination of reproductive tissues during a year. Twenty-four female vipers were collected from mountainous zone of Bostanabad, East Azerbaijan, and Tarom in Zanjan through years 2011-2012. Evaluation of the reproductive parameters of this viper is performed for the first time in Iran. Our observation revealed that vitellogenesis cycle begins in autumn and continues till early summer; ovaries and follicles are in previtellogenesis stage in autumn and vitellogenesis in winter and during spring. Weight of ovary is heaviest in spring, ovulation occurs in late spring till early summer, and copulation is prior to ovulation. Nousha Afsharzadeh, Abdolhossein Shiravi, and Fatemeh Todehdehghan Copyright © 2015 Nousha Afsharzadeh et al. All rights reserved. Serological Evidence of Henipavirus among Horses and Pigs in Zaria and Environs in Kaduna State, Nigeria Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:07:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/632158/ Henipavirus is an emerging, zoonotic, and lethal RNA virus comprising Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), to which fruit bats are reservoir. Husbandry practices in Nigeria allow close contact between bat reservoir and animals susceptible to Henipavirus. This cross-sectional survey investigated antibodies reactive to Henipavirus sG antigen and associated risk factors in horses and pigs in Zaria, Nigeria. Using convenience sampling, 510 sera from horses () and pigs () were screened by an indirect Henipavirus enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (CSIRO, Australia). Structured questionnaires were employed with questions on the demographics and management of the animals. Data were analysed using SPSS-17. 5. Seroprevalence was higher for horses managed intensively (21.1%); used for sports (25.5%); watered with pipe borne water (17.9%); fed commercial feed (22.3%); and fed in the pen (17.6%). Seroprevalence was higher for pigs managed intensively (58.1%); imported (69.5%); watered with pipe-borne water (31.3%); fed commercial feed (57.4%); fed in the pen (23.4%), and fed with feed prestored in a feed house (49.5%). Horses <5 years and pigs <6 months had higher seroprevalences of 18.1% and 21.3%, while the female horses and pigs had seroprevalences of 19.8% and 22.8%, respectively. Exotic horses and pigs revealed 25.5% and 55% and horses in Igabi and pigs in Giwa revealed 24.7% and 70.2% seroprevalence, respectively (). There is a suggestive evidence of Henipavirus in horses and pigs in Zaria, Nigeria, with a huge public health implication. Local and exotic pigs and horses, pigs in Zaria and Sabon-Gari, and horses in Zaria, Sabon-Gari, and Kaduna North are associated with the seroprevalence of henipaviruses. Olaolu T. Olufemi, Jarlath U. Umoh, Asabe A. Dzikwi, and Yemisi O. Olufemi Copyright © 2015 Olaolu T. Olufemi et al. All rights reserved. Plant Beneficial Endophytic Bacteria from the Ethnomedicinal Mussaenda roxburghii (Akshap) of Eastern Himalayan Province, India Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:48:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/580510/ Mussaenda roxburghii are very important ethnomedicinal plant, used for its various applications from the ancient period. The role of their associated plant beneficial endophytic bacteria was evaluated, which were previously untapped. Among the isolates, PAK6 was identified as efficient phosphate solubilizer, quantified by the molybdenum blue method. Four isolates PAK1, PAK2, PAK3, and PAK8 were able to synthesize significant level of IAA in the presence and absence of tryptophan. Isolates PAK1 and PAK9 were able to produce siderophore on CAS agar media, PAK2 and PAK9 were able to produce HCN, and PAK7 and PAK8 were able to grow on N2-free medium. All the isolates were able to produce a moderate level of polysaccharide and tolerate up to 10% of NaCl. Isolates PAK3, PAK6, PAK7, and PAK8 were able to grow well at pH 5.0 and isolates PAK2, PAK7, and PAK8 were able to tolerate 600 μg mL−1 of Al+3, while all the isolates except PAK1 showed a tolerance to 600 μg mL−1 of Mn+2 tested. Endophytic bacterial isolates PAK6 and PAK9 were effective against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Sclerotium rolfsii. Pramod Kumar Pandey, Ramkrishna Samanta, and Raj Narain Singh Yadav Copyright © 2015 Pramod Kumar Pandey et al. All rights reserved. Histological and Biochemical Evaluation of the Kidney following Chronic Consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa Tue, 17 Nov 2015 07:24:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/486510/ Hibiscus sabdariffa L. has been used traditionally as herbal medicine and has been documented to have a broad range of therapeutic effects. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of chronic administration of aqueous extract of flowers of Hibiscus sabdariffa on the histology of the kidney and some biochemical indices of renal function in male Wistar rats. Twenty (20) Wistar rats were randomly divided into four (4) groups of five rats each. The extract was administered orally in doses 200, 500, and 800 mg/kg body weight for 21 days. The kidney was harvested and processed histologically and blood samples were taken for biochemical assays. The histological results showed dose dependent pathological states and the biochemical analysis revealed a dose dependant variation in renal indices. These results suggest that chronic administration of aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa may be toxic to the kidney. U. U. Ukoha, S. I. Mbagwu, G. U. Ndukwe, and C. Obiagboso Copyright © 2015 U. U. Ukoha et al. All rights reserved. Sodium Butyrate Plus EGF and PDGF-BB Aids Cutaneous Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice Wed, 28 Oct 2015 08:47:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/527231/ Topical application of growth factors is known to aid defective and/or delayed wound healing in diabetic patients. In this study, the effect of topical application of sodium butyrate (Na-Bu), EGF, and PDGF-BB was analysed on the acute cutaneous wound healing in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mouse model. Two cutaneous wounds were created, one on each of the dorsolateral sides of the diabetic mice. Na-Bu, EGF, and PDGF-BB were applied to the wound either individually or in various combinations. The wound healing was monitored visually and scored as percentage wound closure. The tissue samples were collected from the wound site at 1, 7, and 14 days after wounding from the treated and untreated diabetic wounds and analysed for the levels of EGF-R, β-PDGF-R, HDAC1, p21, and phosphorylated and hypophosphorylated pRb proteins. Our results indicate that application of EGF plus PDGF-BB at the initial stages followed by subsequent addition of Na-Bu along with these growth factors helps wound healing in diabetic mice. It appears that, in addition to cell proliferative agents, a cell differentiation agent, Na-Bu, is necessary for diabetic wound healing. Topical application of EGF plus PDGF-BB along with Na-Bu could be developed as therapeutic agents to treat and manage human diabetic wounds. Rohini Keshava and Rajalakshmi Gope Copyright © 2015 Rohini Keshava and Rajalakshmi Gope. All rights reserved. Role of Green Tea in Reducing Epidermal Thickness upon Ultraviolet Light-B Injury in BALB/c Mice Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:55:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2015/890632/ The main environmental source for skin damage is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Many adverse effects have been recognized as the result of prolonged cutaneous exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation, such as erythema, edema, apoptosis, hyperplastic responses, photo-aging, and skin cancer development. Green tea provides photo-protection against UV radiation through many mechanisms including anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of green tea in reducing epidermal thickness on mouse’s skin exposed to UVB irradiation. Thirty mice (Mus musculus species, BALB/c strain) underwent this study and were divided into 3 groups: control group ( mice), without UVB exposure and green tea administration; exposure group ( mice), which were exposed to UVB light only; and treatment group ( mice), which were exposed to UVB light and treated with 1 mL of green tea through oral gavage. Mice from both groups (exposure and treatment) were subjected to UVB irradiation 4 days/week (20 minutes/day, 4 weeks). It concluded that oral administration of green tea was provided photo-protection against UVB induced hyperplasia; therefore, it can be regarded as a natural alternative for photo-protection. Snur M. A. Hassan, Adel J. Hussein, and Azad K. Saeed Copyright © 2015 Snur M. A. Hassan et al. All rights reserved. Application of Molecular Approaches for Understanding Foodborne Salmonella Establishment in Poultry Production Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/813275/ Salmonellosis in the United States is one of the most costly foodborne diseases. Given that Salmonella can originate from a wide variety of environments, reduction of this organism at all stages of poultry production is critical. Salmonella species can encounter various environmental stress conditions which can dramatically influence their survival and colonization. Current knowledge of Salmonella species metabolism and physiology in relation to colonization is traditionally based on studies conducted primarily with tissue culture and animal infection models. Consequently, while there is some information about environmental signals that control Salmonella growth and colonization, much still remains unknown. Genetic tools for comprehensive functional genomic analysis of Salmonella offer new opportunities for not only achieving a better understanding of Salmonella pathogens but also designing more effective intervention strategies. Now the function(s) of each single gene in the Salmonella genome can be directly assessed and previously unknown genetic factors that are required for Salmonella growth and survival in the poultry production cycle can be elucidated. In particular, delineating the host-pathogen relationships involving Salmonella is becoming very helpful for identifying optimal targeted gene mutagenesis strategies to generate improved vaccine strains. This represents an opportunity for development of novel vaccine approaches for limiting Salmonella establishment in early phases of poultry production. In this review, an overview of Salmonella issues in poultry, a general description of functional genomic technologies, and their specific application to poultry vaccine developments are discussed. Steven C. Ricke Copyright © 2014 Steven C. Ricke. All rights reserved. Placental Evolution within the Supraordinal Clades of Eutheria with the Perspective of Alternative Animal Models for Human Placentation Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:50:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/639274/ Here a survey of placental evolution is conducted. Placentation is a key factor for the evolution of placental mammals that had evolved an astonishing diversity. As a temporary organ that does not allow easy access, it is still not well understood. The lack of data also is a restriction for better understanding of placental development, structure, and function in the human. Animal models are essential, because experimental access to the human placenta is naturally restricted. However, there is not a single ideal model that is entirely similar to humans. It is particularly important to establish other models than the mouse, which is characterised by a short gestation period and poorly developed neonates that may provide insights only for early human pregnancy. In conclusion, current evolutionary studies have contributed essentially to providing a pool of experimental models for recent and future approaches that may also meet the requirements of a long gestation period and advanced developmental status of the newborn in the human. Suitability and limitations of taxa as alternative animal models are discussed. However, further investigations especially in wildlife taxa should be conducted in order to learn more about the full evolutionary plasticity of the placenta system. Andrea Mess Copyright © 2014 Andrea Mess. All rights reserved. Sperm RNA as a Mediator of Genomic Plasticity Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:43:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/179701/ Sperm RNA has been linked recently to trans-generational, non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance. Originally dismissed as “residual” to spermatogenesis, some sperm RNA may have postfertilization functions including the transmission of acquired characteristics. Sperm RNA may help explain how trans-generational effects are transmitted and it may also have implications for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) where sperm are subjected to considerable, ex vivo manual handling. The presence of sperm RNA was originally a controversial topic because nuclear gene expression is switched off in the mature mammalian spermatozoon. With the recent application of next generation sequencing (NGS), an unexpectedly rich and complex repertoire of RNAs has been revealed in the sperm of several species that makes its residual presence counterintuitive. What follows is a personal survey of the science behind our understanding of sperm RNA and its functional significance based on experimental observations from my laboratory as well as many others who have contributed to the field over the years and are continuing to contribute today. The narrative begins with a historical perspective and ends with some educated speculation on where research into sperm RNA is likely to lead us in the next 10 years or so. David Miller Copyright © 2014 David Miller. All rights reserved. Codon Usage Bias in Two Hemipteran Insect Species: Bemisia tabaci and Homalodisca coagulata Mon, 13 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/145465/ Codon bias is the nonuniform use of synonymous codons which encode the same amino acid. Some codons are more frequently used than others in several organisms, particularly in the highly expressed genes. The spectacular diversity of insects makes them a suitable candidate for analyzing the codon usage bias. Recent expansion in genome sequencing of different insect species provides an opportunity for studying the codon usage bias. Several works on patterns of codon usage bias were done on Drosophila and other related species but only few works were found in Hemiptera order. We analyzed codon usage in two Hemipteran insect species namely Bemisia tabaci and Homalodisca coagulata. Most frequent codons end with A or C at the 3rd codon position. The ENC (a measure of codon bias) value ranges from 43 to 60 (52.80) in B. tabaci but from 49 to 60 (56.69) in H. coagulata. In both insect species, a significant positive correlation was observed between A and A3%, C and C3%, and GC and GC3%, respectively. Our findings suggest that codon usage bias in two Hemipteran insect species is not remarkable and that mutation pressure causes the codon usage pattern in two Hemipteran insect species. Jyotika Sharma, Supriyo Chakraborty, and Arif Uddin Copyright © 2014 Jyotika Sharma et al. All rights reserved. GPCRs: Lipid-Dependent Membrane Receptors That Act as Drug Targets Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:22:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/143023/ G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest class of molecules involved in signal transduction across cell membranes and represent major targets in the development of novel drug candidates in all clinical areas. Although there have been some recent leads, structural information on GPCRs is relatively rare due to the difficulty associated with crystallization. A specific reason for this is the intrinsic flexibility displayed by GPCRs, which is necessary for their functional diversity. Since GPCRs are integral membrane proteins, interaction of membrane lipids with them constitutes an important area of research in GPCR biology. In particular, membrane cholesterol has been reported to have a modulatory role in the function of a number of GPCRs. The role of membrane cholesterol in GPCR function is discussed with specific example of the receptor. Recent results show that GPCRs are characterized with structural motifs that preferentially associate with cholesterol. An emerging and important concept is oligomerization of GPCRs and its role in GPCR function and signaling. The role of membrane cholesterol in GPCR oligomerization is highlighted. Future research in GPCR biology would offer novel insight in basic biology and provide new avenues for drug discovery. Amitabha Chattopadhyay Copyright © 2014 Amitabha Chattopadhyay. All rights reserved. Health Implications of Electromagnetic Fields, Mechanisms of Action, and Research Needs Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:39:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/198609/ Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been implicated to influence a range of bodily functions. Given their ubiquitous nature, widespread applications, and capability to produce deleterious effects, conclusive investigations of the health risks are critical. Accordingly, this paper has been constructed to weigh the bioeffects, possible biointeraction mechanisms, and research areas in bioelectromagnetics seeking immediate attention. The several gaps in the existing knowledge do not permit one to reach a concrete conclusion but possibility for harmful effects cannot be underestimated in absence of consistent findings and causal mechanisms. Several studies with appropriate methodologies reflect the capacity of electromagnetic radiations to cause adverse health effects and there are several credible mechanisms that can account for the observed effects. Hence, need of the hour is to activate comprehensive well-coordinated blind scientific investigations, overcoming all limitations and demerits of previous investigations especially replication studies to concretize the earlier findings. Furthermore, appropriate exposure assessment is crucial for identification of dose-response relation if any, and the elucidation of biological interaction mechanism. For the time being, the public should follow the precautionary principle and limit their exposure as much as possible. Sarika Singh and Neeru Kapoor Copyright © 2014 Sarika Singh and Neeru Kapoor. All rights reserved. Function, Structure, and Evolution of the Major Facilitator Superfamily: The LacY Manifesto Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:57:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/523591/ The major facilitator superfamily (MFS) is a diverse group of secondary transporters with members found in all kingdoms of life. A paradigm for MFS is the lactose permease (LacY) of Escherichia coli, which couples the stoichiometric translocation of a galactopyranoside and an across the cytoplasmic membrane. LacY has been the test bed for the development of many methods applied for the analysis of transport proteins. X-ray structures of an inward-facing conformation and the most recent structure of an almost occluded conformation confirm many conclusions from previous studies. Although structure models are critical, they are insufficient to explain the catalysis of transport. The clues to understanding transport are based on the principles of enzyme kinetics. Secondary transport is a dynamic process—static snapshots of X-ray crystallography describe it only partially. However, without structural information, the underlying chemistry is virtually impossible to conclude. A large body of biochemical/biophysical data derived from systematic studies of site-directed mutants in LacY suggests residues critically involved in the catalysis, and a working model for the symport mechanism that involves alternating access of the binding site is presented. The general concepts derived from the bacterial LacY are examined for their relevance to other MFS transporters. M. Gregor Madej Copyright © 2014 M. Gregor Madej. All rights reserved. The Application of Genomic Technologies to Investigate the Inheritance of Economically Important Traits in Goats Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/904281/ Goat genomics has evolved at a low pace because of a lack of molecular tools and sufficient investment. Whilst thousands and hundreds of quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified in cattle and sheep, respectively, about nine genome scans have been performed in goats dealing with traits as conformation, growth, fiber quality, resistance to nematodes, and milk yield and composition. In contrast, a great effort has been devoted to the characterization of candidate genes and their association with milk, meat, and reproduction phenotypes. In this regard, causal mutations have been identified in the -casein gene that has a strong effect on milk composition and the PIS locus that is linked to intersexuality and polledness. In recent times, the development of massive parallel sequencing technologies has allowed to build a reference genome for goats as well as to monitor the expression of mRNAs and microRNAs in a broad array of tissues and experimental conditions. Besides, the recent design of a 52K SNP chip is expected to have a broad impact in the analysis of the genetic architecture of traits of economic interest as well as in the study of the population structure of goats at a worldwide scale. Marcel Amills Copyright © 2014 Marcel Amills. All rights reserved. Neutralization of Virus Infectivity by Antibodies: Old Problems in New Perspectives Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:29:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/157895/ Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) can be both sufficient and necessary for protection against viral infections, although they sometimes act in concert with cellular immunity. Successful vaccines against viruses induce NAbs but vaccine candidates against some major viral pathogens, including HIV-1, have failed to induce potent and effective such responses. Theories of how antibodies neutralize virus infectivity have been formulated and experimentally tested since the 1930s; and controversies about the mechanistic and quantitative bases for neutralization have continually arisen. Soluble versions of native oligomeric viral proteins that mimic the functional targets of neutralizing antibodies now allow the measurement of the relevant affinities of NAbs. Thereby the neutralizing occupancies on virions can be estimated and related to the potency of the NAbs. Furthermore, the kinetics and stoichiometry of NAb binding can be compared with neutralizing efficacy. Recently, the fundamental discovery that the intracellular factor TRIM21 determines the degree of neutralization of adenovirus has provided new mechanistic and quantitative insights. Since TRIM21 resides in the cytoplasm, it would not affect the neutralization of enveloped viruses, but its range of activity against naked viruses will be important to uncover. These developments bring together the old problems of virus neutralization—mechanism, stoichiometry, kinetics, and efficacy—from surprising new angles. P. J. Klasse Copyright © 2014 P. J. Klasse. All rights reserved. DNA Barcoding on Bacteria: A Review Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:36:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/541787/ Bacteria are omnipotent and they can be found everywhere. The study of bacterial pathogens has been happening from olden days to prevent epidemics, food spoilage, losses in agricultural production, and loss of lives. Modern techniques in DNA based species identification are considered. So, there is a need to acquire simple and quick identification technique. Hence, this review article covers the efficacy of DNA barcoding of bacteria. Routine DNA barcoding involves the production of PCR amplicons from particular regions to sequence them and these sequence data are used to identify or “barcode” that organism to make a distinction from other species. D. E. Lebonah, A. Dileep, K. Chandrasekhar, S. Sreevani, B. Sreedevi, and J. Pramoda Kumari Copyright © 2014 D.E. Lebonah et al. All rights reserved. Biological Treatment of Textile Effluent Using Candida zeylanoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Isolated from Soil Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:03:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/670394/ This study evaluates the efficacy of yeasts isolated from soil in the treatment of textile wastewater. Two yeast species were isolated from soil; they were identified as Candida zeylanoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeasts were inoculated into flask containing effluent and incubated for 15 days. Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed the most significant treatment capacity with a 66% reduction in BOD; this was followed closely by Candida zeylanoides with 57.3% reduction in BOD and a consortium of the two species showed the least remediation potential of 36.9%. The use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida zeylanoides in treatment of textile wastewater will help to limit the adverse environmental and health implications associated with disposal of untreated effluent into water bodies. O. P. Abioye, O. T. Mustapha, and S. A. Aransiola Copyright © 2014 O. P. Abioye et al. All rights reserved. In Silico Identification and Characterization of Potential Drug Targets in Bovine Herpes Virus 4, Causing Bovine Mastitis Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:53:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/369213/ The purpose of this study is to deal with aetiology causing bovine mastitis; bovine herpes virus is also responsible for causing bovine mastitis but studies on viruses have been neglected as historical mastitis research has concentrated only on bacterial pathogens. Therefore, present study aims to make an in silico identification and characterization of potential drug targets in bovine herpes virus 4 by computational methods using various bioinformatics tools. In the current investigation 5 proteins of BoHV 4 were found to be nonhomologous to the host Bos taurus; these nonhomology proteins were believed to be inevitable proteins of BoHV 4 as they were specific to the virus; however 378 proteins were homologous to the host protein. The in silico physicochemical characterization of 5 proteins of BoHV 4 indicated that all the proteins of the virus were having more or less similar characteristics. Perhaps the knowledge of the present study may help in drug discovery which have high affinity to target site. Possible drug discovery to manage bovine mastitis with a help of bioinformatics tool is more significant and, specific and, reduces time and complications involved in clinical trials. Mahantesh M. Kurjogi and Basappa B. Kaliwal Copyright © 2014 Mahantesh M. Kurjogi and Basappa B. Kaliwal. All rights reserved. Effects of the Hormone Kisspeptin on Reproductive Hormone Release in Humans Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/512650/ The kisspeptins are a family of neuropeptides which act as upstream stimulators of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. Kisspeptin signalling is prerequisite to establishing the normal human reproductive phenotype; loss of function mutations in the KISS1 or KISS1R gene produces normosmic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism in humans and mice, whilst increased activation of KISS1R causes precocious puberty. Administration of exogenous kisspeptin to human subjects stimulates an acute gonadotrophin rise. Serum kisspeptin levels also markedly increase during pregnancy. The identification of kisspeptin has been one of the biggest discoveries in the field of reproductive endocrinology, since the isolation and sequencing of GnRH in 1977, and has generated a novel research avenue which has received much attention over the past decade. This research has delineated many properties of the KISS1-KISS1R system, but there is still further work to do. Understanding kisspeptin’s role throughout our reproductive lifetime should help us better understand—and therefore treat—disorders of reproductive function. Promisingly, the current data supports the potential to develop kisspeptin based therapies. As an outlook article this paper focusses predominantly on our groups recent investigations into the effects of kisspeptin administration to humans and the potential therapeutic role of kisspeptin. Joanne L. Calley and Waljit S. Dhillo Copyright © 2014 Joanne L. Calley and Waljit S. Dhillo. All rights reserved. Identification and Expression of a Putative Facilitative Urea Transporter in Three Species of True Frogs (Ranidae): Implications for Terrestrial Adaptation Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:38:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/148276/ Urea transporters (UTs) help mediate the transmembrane movement of urea and therefore are likely important in amphibian osmoregulation. Although UTs contribute to urea reabsorption in anuran excretory organs, little is known about the protein’s distribution and functions in other tissues, and their importance in the evolutionary adaptation of amphibians to their environment remains unclear. To address these questions, we obtained a partial sequence of a putative UT and examined relative abundance of this protein in tissues of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), leopard frog (R. pipiens), and mink frog (R. septentrionalis), closely related species that are adapted to different habitats. Using immunoblotting techniques, we found the protein to be abundant in the osmoregulatory organs but also present in visceral organs, suggesting that UTs play both osmoregulatory and nonosmoregulatory roles in amphibians. UT abundance seems to relate to the species’ habitat preference, as levels of the protein were higher in the terrestrial R. sylvatica, intermediate in the semiaquatic R. pipiens, and quite low in the aquatic R. septentrionalis. These findings suggest that, in amphibians, UTs are involved in various physiological processes, including solute and water dynamics, and that they have played a role in adaptation to the osmotic challenges of terrestrial environments. Andrew J. Rosendale, Jon P. Costanzo, Andor J. Kiss, and Richard E. Lee Jr. Copyright © 2014 Andrew J. Rosendale et al. All rights reserved. Antiobesity and Hypolipidemic Activity of Moringa oleifera Leaves against High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Rats Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:43:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/162914/ In the present study, the methanolic extract of Moringa oleifera leaves (MEMOL) was evaluated for antiobesity activity in rats. The antiobesity potential of MEMOL was studied against high fat diet-induced obesity (HFD) in rats. In this study, chronic administration of HFD in rats produced hypercholesterolemia (116.2 ± 0.27 mg/dL), which led to an increase in the body weight (225 gr), total cholesterol, triglycerides (263.0 ± 4.69 mg/dL), and attenuation in the levels of HDL (34.51 ± 2.20 mg/dL) as well as changes in body temperature of animals. Treatment of obese rats with MEMOL for 49 days resulted in a significant () change in body weight, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL level along with a significant () increase in body temperature as compared to the HFD-induced obesity. MEMOL treated rats also showed a significant decrease in the level of liver biomarkers, organ weight, and blood glucose level. Further, rats treated with MEMOL (200 mg and 400 mg/kg) show reduced atherogenic index (1.7 ± 0.6 and 0.87 ± 0.76). The results indicate that the rats treated with Moringa oleifera (MO) have significantly attenuated the body weight without any change in the feed intake and also elicited significant thermogenic effect and to act as hypolipidemic and thermogenic property in obesity related disorders. Souravh Bais, Guru Sewak Singh, and Ramica Sharma Copyright © 2014 Souravh Bais et al. All rights reserved. The Basis of Muscle Regeneration Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:24:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/612471/ Muscle regeneration recapitulates many aspects of embryonic myogenesis and is an important homeostatic process of the adult skeletal muscle, which, after development, retains the capacity to regenerate in response to appropriate stimuli, activating the muscle compartment of stem cells, namely, satellite cells, as well as other precursor cells. Moreover, significant evidence suggests that while stem cells represent an important determinant for tissue regeneration, a “qualified” environment is necessary to guarantee and achieve functional results. It is therefore plausible that the loss of control over these cell fate decisions could lead to a pathological transdifferentiation, leading to pathologic defects in the regenerative process. This review provides an overview about the general aspects of muscle development and discusses the cellular and molecular aspects that characterize the five interrelated and time-dependent phases of muscle regeneration, namely, degeneration, inflammation, regeneration, remodeling, and maturation/functional repair. Antonio Musarò Copyright © 2014 Antonio Musarò. All rights reserved. Advances in Human Biology: Combining Genetics and Molecular Biophysics to Pave the Way for Personalized Diagnostics and Medicine Mon, 07 Jul 2014 08:52:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/471836/ Advances in several biology-oriented initiatives such as genome sequencing and structural genomics, along with the progress made through traditional biological and biochemical research, have opened up a unique opportunity to better understand the molecular effects of human diseases. Human DNA can vary significantly from person to person and determines an individual’s physical characteristics and their susceptibility to diseases. Armed with an individual’s DNA sequence, researchers and physicians can check for defects known to be associated with certain diseases by utilizing various databases. However, for unclassified DNA mutations or in order to reveal molecular mechanism behind the effects, the mutations have to be mapped onto the corresponding networks and macromolecular structures and then analyzed to reveal their effect on the wild type properties of biological processes involved. Predicting the effect of DNA mutations on individual’s health is typically referred to as personalized or companion diagnostics. Furthermore, once the molecular mechanism of the mutations is revealed, the patient should be given drugs which are the most appropriate for the individual genome, referred to as pharmacogenomics. Altogether, the shift in focus in medicine towards more genomic-oriented practices is the foundation of personalized medicine. The progress made in these rapidly developing fields is outlined. Emil Alexov Copyright © 2014 Emil Alexov. All rights reserved.