Article of the Year 2021
Structural Predictive Model of Presenilin-2 Protein and Analysis of Structural Effects of Familial Alzheimer’s Disease MutationsRead the full article
Biochemistry Research International publishes original research articles as well as review articles covering all areas of biological chemistry.
Chief Editor, Professor Andrei Surguchov, is based at the University of Kansas Medical Center, USA. His current research focuses on the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in neurodegeneration and ocular diseases.
Latest ArticlesMore articles
Screening of Aqueous Extract of Persea americana Seeds for Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors
Activity of α-glucosidase enzyme in the gastrointestinal tract has been implicated in postprandial hyperglycaemia. If not properly controlled, postprandial hyperglycaemia might progress to diabetes mellitus, a metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is associated with many complications such as retinopathy, heart attack, nephropathy, neuropathy, stroke, and lower limb amputation. Antidiabetic medications presently in use have little effect on postprandial glycaemic excursion and hence do not bring down the blood glucose level to baseline. This study extracted, fractionated, and screened the aqueous extract of Persea americana seeds for hypoglycaemic potential. Inhibitory effects of the fractions and subfractions of the extract on α-glucosidase activity were investigated. The most active subfraction was subjected to Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis to elucidate the active components. The active subfraction showed a significant inhibition () on α-glucosidase. The subfraction competitively inhibits α-glucosidase (with IC50 = 09.48 ± 0.58 μg/mL), though less potent than the standard drug, acarbose (IC50 = 06.45 ± 0.47 μg/mL). FTIR analysis of the subfraction showed the presence of carbonyl group, hydroxy group, carboxyl group, double bonds, methylene, and methyl groups. GC-MS analysis suggests the presence of cis-11,14-eicosadienoic acid, catechin, and chlorogenic acid as the active components. In conclusion, the components obtained from this study can be synthesised in the laboratory to further confirm their hypoglycaemic activity. The most active subfraction can be explored further to confirm its inhibitory activity against the enzyme and to determine its extent in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in vivo.
miR-21 Regulates Immune Balance Mediated by Th17/Treg in Peripheral Blood of Septic Rats during the Early Phase through Apoptosis Pathway
Objective. To study the mechanism by which miR-21 regulates the differentiation and function of Th17/Treg cells in sepsis. Methods. A rat model with sepsis was made by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Then, some of the septic rats were transfected with miR-21 mimic or inhibitor by liposome. At 48 hours, lymphocytes and plasma from septic rats were isolated for further experimental detection. The expression of miR-21 in lymphocytes was detected by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); the differentiation of Th17/Treg cells was counted by flow cytometry; lymphocyte apoptosis was observed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. The caspase-3/9 proteins were tested by Western blot; IL-10 and IL-17 were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. Compared with the sepsis group (SP group), the Th17 cells increased significantly, the Treg cells decreased significantly, the apoptosis rate of lymphocytes decreased significantly, the mRNA and proteins of caspase-3/9 decreased significantly, the IL-17 decreased, and the IL-10 increased in the sepsis group transfected with miR-21 (SP + miR-21 mimic group). After transfection of miR-21 inhibitor, the results were almost opposite to those of SP + miR-21 mimic group. Conclusions. The differentiation and function of Th17/Treg cells were regulated by miR-21 in sepsis through caspase pathway.
Updates on Prevalence and Trend Status of Visceral Leishmaniasis at Two Health Facilities in Amhara Regional State, Northwest Ethiopia: A Retrospective Study
Ethiopia is one of the countries accounted for over 90% of annual visceral leishmaniasis incidence. Despite this, yet there are no active and passive surveillance activities in the Amhara Region that will give up-to-date information about the disease status at the health facility levels. Therefore, this study aimed to report up-to-date information about visceral leishmaniasis and its trend status at two health facilities and the surrounding areas. A retrospective study from October 2017 to May 2021 was conducted by reviewing patient records at Metema and Addis Zemen Hospitals. Data on Sex, age, occupation, residence, month, year, and rK39 test results were collected using a questionnaire and were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. The chi-square test was used to see the association between variables. p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Of the 2,703 visceral leishmaniasis suspected cases diagnosed with the rK39 test, 877 (32.4%) were confirmed (positive) cases. Monthly and yearly trends depicted that the largest number of suspected cases was reported in October and 2018, respectively. Daily laborers were the most affected individuals in Metema areas.
Bioassay-Guided Fractionation, ESI-MS Scan, Phytochemical Screening, and Antiplasmodial Activity of Afzelia africana
Background. Afzelia africana is a plant species with reported numerous medicinal potentials and secondary metabolites. Various parts of the plant have been applied for the treatment of hernia, rheumatism, pain, lumbago, malaria, etc. The study seeks to evaluate the phytochemical constituents, antiplasmodial, and ESI-MS scan of bioassay-guided fractions from the methanol extract of the bark of the plant. Aims. The main aim of the study was to carry out bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude methanol extract of Afzelia africana in order to isolate fractions and to evaluate their antiplasmodial activities and ESI-MS fingerprints. Methods. The methods employed include column chromatographic fractionation, phytochemical screening, antiplasmodial activity (malaria SYBER green assay (MSF)), and ESI-MS profile (full ESI-MS scan). Results. The column chromatographic fractionation and phytochemical screening of the plant led to the separation of the following four fractions: 1 (flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids), 2 (alkaloids, anthraquinones, flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids), 3 (anthraquinones, flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids), and 4 (alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids). The antiplasmodial activities of the fractions were tested against the 3D7 strain of Plasmodium falciparum with reported stronger activities for 1 (IC50: 0.097 ± 0.034 μg/mL) and 3 (IC50: 1.43 ± 0.072 μg/mL), and weaker activities for 2 (IC50: >100 μg/mL) and 4 (IC50: 37.09 ± 6.14 μg/mL). The full ESI-MS fingerprint of fractions 1, 2, 3, and 4 revealed the presence of 14, 24, 34, and 37 major molecular ions or compounds in each fraction, respectively.
Bacterial Metabolomics: Sample Preparation Methods
Metabolomics is a comprehensive analysis of metabolites existing in biological systems. As one of the important “omics” tools, the approach has been widely employed in various fields in helping to better understand the complex cellular metabolic states and changes. Bacterial metabolomics has gained a significant interest as bacteria serve to provide a better subject or model at systems level. The approach in metabolomics is categorized into untargeted and targeted which serves different paradigms of interest. Nevertheless, the bottleneck in metabolomics has been the sample or metabolite preparation method. A custom-made method and design for a particular species or strain of bacteria might be necessary as most studies generally refer to other bacteria or even yeast and fungi that may lead to unreliable analysis. The paramount aspect of metabolomics design comprises sample harvesting, quenching, and metabolite extraction procedures. Depending on the type of samples and research objective, each step must be at optimal conditions which are significantly important in determining the final output. To date, there are no standardized nor single designated protocols that have been established for a specific bacteria strain for untargeted and targeted approaches. In this paper, the existing and current developments of sample preparation methods of bacterial metabolomics used in both approaches are reviewed. The review also highlights previous literature of optimized conditions used to propose the most ideal methods for metabolite preparation, particularly for bacterial cells. Advantages and limitations of methods are discussed for future improvement of bacterial metabolomics.
Annotating Spike Protein Polymorphic Amino Acids of Variants of SARS-CoV-2, Including Omicron
The prolonged global spread and community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to the emergence of variants and brought questions regarding disease severity and vaccine effectiveness. We conducted simple bioinformatics on the spike gene of a representative of each variant. The data show that a number of polymorphic amino acids are located mostly on the amino-terminal side of the S1/S2 cleavage site. The Omicron variant diverges from the others, with the highest number of amino acid substitutions, including the receptor-binding site (RBS), epitopes, S1/S2 cleavage site, fusion peptide, and heptad repeat 1. The current sharp global increase in the frequency of the Omicron genome constitutes evidence of its high community transmissibility. In conclusion, the proposed guideline could give an immediate insight of the probable biological nature of any variant of SARS-Cov-2. As the Omicron diverged the farthest from the original pandemic strain, Wuhan-Hu-1, we expect different epidemiological and clinical patterns of Omicron cases. On vaccine efficacy, slight changes in some epitopes while others are conserved should not lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of an approved vaccine.