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  • Vidilaseris, Keni; Kellosalo, Juho; Goldman, Adrian (2018)
    Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (mPPases) are homodimeric integral membrane proteins that hydrolyse pyrophosphate into orthophosphates coupled to the active transport of protons or sodium ions across membranes. They occur in bacteria, archaea, plants, and protist parasites. As they are essential in protist parasites and there are no homologous proteins in animals and humans, these enzymes represent an excellent drug target for treating protistal diseases. Experimental screening to find drug candidates is an important step to discover new hit compounds. For that, a cheap, simple, and robust assay is needed. Here we report the application of the molybdenum blue reaction method for a medium throughput microplate activity assay of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima mPPase and the possible application of the assay to screen inhibitors of membrane-bound pyrophosphatases.
  • Yang, Mei; Zhu, Lingping; Li, Ling; Li, Juanjuan; Xu, Liming; Feng, Ji; Liu, Yanling (2017)
    The predominant alkaloids in lotus leaves are aporphine alkaloids. These are the most important active components and have many pharmacological properties, but little is known about their biosynthesis. We used digital gene expression (DGE) technology to identify differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) between two lotus cultivars with different alkaloid contents at four leaf development stages. We also predicted potential genes involved in aporphine alkaloid biosynthesis by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). Approximately 335 billion nucleotides were generated; and 94% of which were aligned against the reference genome. Of 22 thousand expressed genes, 19,000 were differentially expressed between the two cultivars at the four stages. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that catalytic activity and oxidoreductase activity were enriched significantly in most pairwise comparisons. In Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis, dozens of DEGs were assigned to the categories of biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis, and flavonoid biosynthesis. The genes encoding norcoclaurine synthase (NCS), norcoclaurine 6-O-methyltransferase (6OMT), coclaurine N-methyltransferase (CNMT), N-methylcoclaurine 3'-hydroxylase (NMCH), and 3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4'-O-methyltransferase (4'OMT) in the common pathways of benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis and the ones encoding corytuberine synthase (CTS) in aporphine alkaloid biosynthetic pathway, which have been characterized in other plants, were identified in lotus. These genes had positive effects on alkaloid content, albeit with phenotypic lag. The WGCNA of DEGs revealed that one network module was associated with the dynamic change of alkaloid content. Eleven genes encoding proteins with methyltransferase, oxidoreductase and CYP450 activities were identified. These were surmised to be genes involved in aporphine alkaloid biosynthesis. This transcriptomic database provides new directions for future studies on clarifying the aporphine alkaloid pathway.
  • Hafeez, Muhammad Nadeem; Khan, Mohsin Ahmad; Sarwar, Bilal; Hassan, Sameera; Ali, Qurban; Husnain, Tayyab; Rashid, Bushra (2021)
    Gossypium arboreum is considered a rich source of stress-responsive genes and the EST database revealed that most of its genes are uncharacterized. The full-length Gossypium universal stress protein-2 (GUSP-2) gene (510 bp) was cloned in E. coli and Gossypium hirsutum, characterized and point mutated at three positions, 352-354, Lysine to proline (M1-usp-2) & 214-216, aspartic acid to serine (M2-usp-2) & 145-147, Lysine to Threonine (M3-usp-2) to study its role in abiotic stress tolerance. It was found that heterologous expression of one mutant (M1-usp-2) provided enhanced tolerance against salt and osmotic stresses, recombinant cells have higher growth up to 10-5dilution in spot assay as compared to cells expressing W-usp-2 (wild type GUSP-2), M2-usp-2 and M3-usp-2 genes. M1-usp-2 gene transcript profiling exhibited significant expression (8.7 fold) in CIM-496-Gossypium hirsutum transgenic plants and enhance drought tolerance. However, little tolerance against heat and cold stresses in bacterial cells was observed. The results from our study concluded that the activity of GUSP-2 was enhanced in M1-usp-2 but wipe out in M2-usp-2 and M3-usp-2 response remained almost parallel to W-usp-2. Further, it was predicted through in silico analysis that M1-usp-2, W-usp-2 and M3-usp-2 may be directly involved in stress tolerance or function as a signaling molecule to activate the stress adaptive mechanism. However, further investigation will be required to ascertain its role in the adaptive mechanism of stress tolerance.