• Volume 29, Issue 1

      March 2004,   pages  1-128

    • Clipboard: Serotonin1A receptor agonist acquires an antimalarial connection

      Amitabha Chattopadhyay Shanti Kalipatnapu

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    • Clipboard: A gene involved in nematode feeding behaviour

      Ritwick Sawarkar

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    • What impact, if any, has feminism had on science?

      Evelyn Fox Keller

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    • Involvement of Leishmania donovani major surface glycoprotein gp63 in promastigote multiplication

      Sanjeev Pandey Phuljhuri Chakraborti Rakhi Sharma Santu Bandyopadhyay Dwijen Sarkar Samit Adhya

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      The major surface glycoprotein gp63 of the kinetoplastid protozoal parasite Leishmania is implicated as a ligand mediating uptake of the parasite into, and survival within, the host macrophage. By expressing gp63 antisense RNA from an episomal vector in L. donovani promastigotes, gp63-deficient transfectants were obtained. Reduction of the gp63 level resulted in increased generation times, altered cell morphology, accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, and increased numbers of binucleate cells with one or two kinetoplasts. Growth was stimulated, and the number of binucleate cells reduced, by addition to the culture of a bacterially expressed fusion protein containing the fibronectin-like SRYD motif and the zinc-binding (metalloprotease) domain of gp63. These observations support an additional role of gp63 in promastigote multiplication; the fibronectin-like properties of gp63 may be important in this process.

    • Dibutyryl c-AMP as an inducer of sporidia formation: Biochemical and antigenic changes during morphological differentiation of Karnal bunt (Tilletia indica) pathogen in axenic culture

      Anil Kumar Kaushlendra Tripathi Manish Rana Shalini Purwar G K Garg

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      Effect of dibutyryl adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (dbc-AMP), an analogue of c-AMP, was investigated on growth and morphological differentiation of Tilletia indica. Exponential growth was observed up to 21 days in both presence and absence of dbc-AMP; however, increasing concentration of dbc-AMP was deleterious to mycelial growth in liquid culture. A slow increase of mycelial biomass up to 21 days and decline at 30 days in the presence of 2.5 mM dbc-AMP was observed, therefore, this concentration was chosen in subsequent investigations. The inhibitory influence of dbc-AMP was further substantiated by decrease in soluble protein. The fungus on exposure to dbc-AMP experienced morphological differentiation from vegetative mycelial phase to sporogenous mycelial phase, and was induced to produce filiform sporidia. Use of quantitative ELISA further suggested that sporidia formation took more than 21 days in the presence of dbc-AMP. Variations of proteins during different stages of T. indica grown in the presence and absence of dbc-AMP suggested the expression of stage-specific proteins or differential expression of proteins induced by dbc-AMP. The changes in expression of cell surface antigens as evidenced from decrease and increase binding of anti-mycelial and anti-sporidial anti-bodies in dbc-AMP treated culture by ELISA was further interpreted on the basis of morphological differentiation from mycelial to sporidial phase.

    • Identification of a hypothetical membrane protein interactor of ribosomal phosphoprotein P0

      K Aruna Tirtha Chakraborty Savithri Nambeesan Abdul Baru Mannan Alfica Sehgal Seema R Bhalchandra Shobhona Sharma

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      The ribosomal phosphoprotein P0 of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfP0) has been identified as a protective surface protein. In Drosophila, P0 protein functions in the nucleus. The ribosomal function of P0 is mediated at the stalk of the large ribosomal subunit at the GTPase centre, where the elongation factor eEF2 binds. The multiple roles of the P0 protein presumably occur through interactions with other proteins. To identify such interacting protein domains, a yeast two-hybrid screen was carried out. Out of a set of sixty clones isolated, twelve clones that interacted strongly with both PfP0 and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae P0 (ScP0) protein were analysed. These belonged to three broad classes: namely

      1. ribosomal proteins;
      2. proteins involved in nucleotide binding; and
      3. hypothetical integral membrane proteins.

      One of the strongest interactors (clone 67B) mapped to the gene YFL034W which codes for a hypothetical integral membrane protein, and is conserved amongst several eukaryotic organisms. The insert of clone 67B was expressed as a recombinant protein, and immunoprecipitaion (IP) reaction with anti-P0 antibodies pulled down this protein along with PfP0 as well as ScP0 protein. Using deletion constructions, the domain of ScP0, which interacted with clone 67B, was mapped to 60–148 amino acids. It is envisaged that the surface localization of P0 protein may be mediated through interactions with putative YFL034W-like proteins in P. falciparum.

    • Studies on middle silkgland proteins of cocoon colour sex-limited silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

      Yuan-Xiang Jin Yu-Yin Chen Meng-Kui Xu Yong-Huang Jiang

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      Qualitative and quantitative differences in proteins expressed in the middle silkglands of male and female silkworm larvae that differ in silk colour were investigated by high resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-D PAGE), followed by computer assisted image analysis. About 1000 protein spots were resolved in both the sexes and most proteins were shown to be distributed in the area from 15 kDa to 70 kDa and pH 4–8. It was found that some proteins displayed higher expression in yellow cocoon, while two proteins were only expressed in female silkworm silkgland tissue through the comparison and analysis by two-D software. These proteins especially existed in female silkworm middle silkgland tissue of yellow cocoon. Furthermore, these proteins might be involved in the expression of cocoon colour phenotype.

    • Up-regulation of 𝜇-opioid receptors in the spinal cord of morphine-tolerant rats

      Subrata Basu Ray Himanshu Gupta Yogendra Kumar Gupta

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      Though morphine remains the most powerful drug for treating pain, its effectiveness is limited by the development of tolerance and dependence. The mechanism underlying development of tolerance to morphine is still poorly understood. One of the factors could be an alteration in the number of m-receptors within specific parts of the nervous system. However, reports on changes in the 𝜇-opioid receptor density in the spinal cord after chronic morphine administration are conflicting. Most of the studies have used subcutaneously implanted morphine pellets to produce tolerance. However, it does not simulate clinical conditions, where it is more common to administer morphine at intervals, either by injections or orally. In the present study, rats were made tolerant to morphine by injecting increasing doses of morphine (10–50 mg/kg, subcutaneously) for five days. In vitro tissue autoradiography for localization of 𝜇-receptor in the spinal cord was done using [3H]-DAMGO. As compared to the spinal cord of control rats, the spinal cord of tolerant rats showed an 18.8% increase or up-regulation in the density of 𝜇-receptors in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn. This up-regulation of 𝜇-receptors after morphine tolerance suggests that a fraction of the receptors have been rendered desensitized, which in turn could lead to tolerance.

    • Analysis of human chorionic gonadotropin-monoclonal antibody interaction in BIAcore

      Banerjee Ashish Gundlupet Satyanarayana Murthy

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      Kinetic studies of macromolecular ligand-ligate interaction have generated ample interest since the advent of plasmon resonance based instruments like BIAcore. Most of the studies reported in literature assume a simple 1 : 1 Langmuir binding and complete reversibility of the system. However we observed that in a high affinity antigen-antibody system [human chorionic gonadotropin-monoclonal antibody (hCG-mAb)] dissociation is insignificant and the sensogram data cannot be used to measure the equilibrium and kinetic parameters. At low concentrations of mAb the complete sensogram could be fitted to a single exponential. Interestingly we found that at higher mAb concentrations, the binding data did not conform to a simple bimolecular model. Instead, the data fitted a two-step model, which may be because of surface heterogeneity of affinity sites. In this paper, we report on the global fit of the sensograms. We have developed a method by which a single two-minute sensogram can be used in high affinity systems to measure the association rate constant of the reaction and the functional capacity of the ligand (hCG) immobilized on the chip. We provide a rational explanation for the discrepancies generally observed in most of the BIAcore sensograms.

    • An optimized gossypol high-performance liquid chromatography assay and its application in evaluation of different gland genotypes of cotton

      Yingfan Cai Hong Zhang Yu Zeng Jianchuan Mo Jinku Bao Chen Miao Jie Bai Fang Yan Fang Chen

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      A comparative study on gossypol content of various genetic types of pigment glands of cotton varieties was conducted through an optimized high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on a C18 column (4.6 mm × 250 mm, 5 𝜇m particle) with methanol–0.5% acetic acid aqueous solution, 90 : 10 (v/v), as mobile phase, at a flow rate of 0.8 ml/min and UV detection at 254 nm. The method was shown to be highly reproducible, with precision [as relative standard deviation (RSD)] and accuracy [as relative mean error (RME)] < 10%, both intra-day and inter-day. Absolute recoveries were > 94%. The results revealed major differences among the different gland varieties or species of cotton, including the special and ordinary glandless and glanded Gossypium hirsutum, G. barbadense, and displayed the precious resources of different glands of extraordinary cotton.

    • Protective effects of sodium orthovanadate in diabetic reticulocytes and ageing red blood cells of Wistar rats

      Bihari L Gupta Anju Preet Najma Z Baquer

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      The reticulocytes and the ageing red blood cells (RBCs) namely young (Y), middle-aged (M) and old RBCs (O) of female Wistar rats from different groups such as control animals (C), controls treated with vanadate (C + V), alloxan-induced diabetic (D), diabetic-treated with insulin (D + I) and vanadate (D + V), were fractionated on a percoll/BSA gradient. The following enzymes were measured – hexokinase (HK), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (GSSG-R), glutathione-s-transferase (GST), alanine aminotransferase (AlaAT), aspartate aminotransferase (AsAT) and arginase in the hemolysates of all the RBCs fractions. Decreases in the activity of HK and AsAT by about 70%, arginase and GSH-Px by 30% in old RBCs were observed in comparison to reticulocytes of control animals. Increases in the activity of GSSG-R by 86%, AlaAT by more than 400% and GST by 70% were observed in old RBCs in comparison to reticulocytes of control animals.

      Alloxan diabetic animals showed a further decrease in the activities of HK in Y RBCs by 37%, M RBCs by 39% and O RBCs by 32%, GSH-Px activity in Y RBCs by 13%, M RBCs by 20% and O RBCs by 33% and GST activity in Y RBCs by 14%, M RBCs by 42% and O RBCs by 60% in comparison to their corresponding cells of control animals. An increase in the activity of all the enzymes studied was also observed in reticulocytes of diabetic animals in comparison to reticulocytes of controls. The GSSG-R activity was found to be increased in Y RBCs by 49%, M RBCs by 67% and O RBCs by 64% as compared to the corresponding age-matched cells of control animals. The activity of arginase also decreased in Y RBCs by about10%, M RBCs by 20% and O RBCs by 30% in comparison to the age-matched cells of control animals. A decrease in the activity of AsAT in Y and M RBCs by 30%, and O RBCs by 25% was observed in diabetic animals in comparison to the age-matched cells of control animals. The activity of AlaAT was found to be decreased by more than 10% in Y and M RBCs and 25% in O RBCs of diabetic animals in comparison to the age-matched cells of control animals.

      Insulin administration to diabetic animals reversed the altered enzyme activity to control values. Vanadate treatment also reversed the enzyme levels except for that of GST in old cells.

    • Effects of sodium-orthovanadate and Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds on hepatic and renal lipogenic enzymes and lipid profile during alloxan diabetes

      Umesh C S Yadav K Moorthy Najma Z Baquer

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      Sodium-orthovanadate (SOV) and seed powder of Trigonella foenum graecum Linn. (common name: fenugreek, family: Fabaceae) (TSP) besides being potential hypoglycemic agents have also been shown to ameliorate altered lipid metabolism during diabetes. This study evaluates the short-term effect of oral administration of SOV and TSP separately and in concert (for 21 days) on total lipid profile and lipogenic enzymes in tissues of alloxan diabetic rats. Diabetic rats showed 4-fold increase in blood glucose. The level of total lipids, triglycerides and total cholesterol in blood serum increased significantly during diabetes. During diabetes the level of total lipids increased significantly (𝑃 < 0.001) in liver and in kidney by 48% and 55%, respectively, compared to control. Triglycerides level increased by 32% (𝑃 < 0.01) in liver and by 51% (𝑃 < 0.005) in kidney, respectively, compared to control. Total cholesterol level also increased significantly in both liver and kidney (𝑃 < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). The activities of NADP-linked enzymes; namely glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), malic enzyme (ME), isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH), and the activities of lipogenic enzymes namely ATP-citrate lyase (ATP-CL) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) were decreased significantly in liver and increased in kidney during diabetes as compared to control. SOV and TSP administration to diabetic animals prevented the development of hyperglycemia and alteration in lipid profile in plasma and tissues and maintained it near normal. Maximum prevention was observed in the combined treatment with lower dose of SOV (0.2%) after 21 days. We are presenting for the first time effectiveness of combined treatment of SOV and TSP in amelioration of altered lipid metabolism during experimental type-I diabetes.

    • Golgi analysis of tangential neurons in the lobula plate of Drosophila melanogaster

      K P Rajashekhar V R Shamprasad

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      The lobula plate (LP), which is the third order optic neuropil of flies, houses wide-field neurons which are exquisitely sensitive to motion. Among Diptera, motion-sensitive neurons of larger flies have been studied at the anatomical and physiological levels. However, the neurons of Drosophila lobula plate are relatively less explored. As Drosophila permits a genetic analysis of neural functions, we have analysed the organization of lobula plate of Drosophila melanogaster.

      Neurons belonging to eight anatomical classes have been observed in the present study. Three neurons of the horizontal system (HS) have been visualized. The HS north (HSN) neuron, occupying the dorsal lobula plate is stunted in its geometry compared to that of larger flies. Associated with the HS neurons, thinner horizontal elements known as h-cells have also been visualized in the present study. Five of the six known neurons of the vertical system (VS) have been visualized. Three additional neurons in the proximal LP comparable in anatomy to VS system have been stained. We have termed them as additional VS (AVS)-like neurons. Three thinner tangential cells that are comparable to VS neurons, which are elements of twin vertical system (tvs); and two cells with wide dendritic fields comparable to CH neurons of Diptera have been also observed. Neurons comparable to VS cells but with ‘tufted’ dendrites have been stained. The HSN and VS1-VS2 neurons are dorsally stunted. This is possibly due to the shape of the compound eye of Drosophila which is reduced in the fronto-dorsal region as compared to larger flies.

    • Factors influencing offspring traits in the oviparous multi-clutched lizard, Calotes versicolor (Agamidae)

      Rajkumar S Radder Bhagyashri A Shanbhag

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      The determinants of offspring size and number in the tropical oviparous multi-clutched lizard, Calotes versicolor, were examined using both univariate and multivariate (path) analyses. In C. versicolor maternal snout-vent length (SVL) and body condition influence clutch mass and clutch size but have no significant influence on offspring size. The positive effect of maternal SVL and body condition on offspring number is counterbalanced by a negative effect of breeding time on egg mass. In fact, breeding time directly influences the offspring body mass and condition through variation in the egg mass. There is a trade-off between offspring mass and condition with offspring number, and breeding time influences both. Offspring hatched from the eggs of early (May–June) or mid (July–August) breeding periods invariably show lower mass and condition than those hatched from the eggs of late breeding season (September–October). Yet, there is no variation in offspring SVL among early, mid and late clutches. Thus, in C. versicolor offspring SVL is optimized while body mass and condition are not optimized.

    • Adaptive response and split-dose effect of radiation on the survival of mice

      Ashu Bhan Tiku R K Kale

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      Although the importance of radiation-induced adaptive response has been recognized in human health, risk assessment and clinical application, the phenomenon has not been understood well in terms of survival of animals. To examine this aspect Swiss albino mice were irradiated with different doses (2–10 Gy) at 0.015 Gy/s dose rate and observed on a regular basis for 30 days. Since almost 50% lethality was seen with 8 Gy, it was selected as the challenging dose for further studies. Irradiation of mice with conditioning doses (0.25 or 0.5 Gy) and subsequent exposure to 8 Gy caused significant increase in the survival of mice compared to irradiated control. The splitting of challenging dose did not influence the efficiency of conditioning doses (0.25 Gy and 0.5 Gy) to induce an adaptive response. However conditioning doses given in fractions (0.25 Gy + 0.25 Gy) or (0.5 Gy + 0.5 Gy) were able to modulate the response of challenging dose of 8 Gy. These results clearly showed the occurrence of adaptive response in terms of survival of animals. The conditioning dose given in small fractions seemed to be more effective. The findings have been discussed from a mechanistic point of view. The possible biological implications, potential medical benefits, uncertainties and controversies related to adaptive response have also been addressed.

    • On the dependence of speciation rates on species abundance and characteristic population size

      Anastassia M Makarieva Victor G Gorshkov

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      The question of the potential importance for speciation of large/small population sizes remains open. We compare speciation rates in twelve major taxonomic groups that differ by twenty orders of magnitude in characteristic species abundance (global population number). It is observed that the twenty orders of magnitude’s difference in species abundances scales to less than two orders of magnitude’s difference in speciation rates. As far as species abundance largely determines the rate of generation of intraspecific endogenous genetic variation, the result obtained suggests that the latter rate is not a limiting factor for speciation. Furthermore, the observed approximate constancy of speciation rates in different taxa cannot be accounted for by assuming a neutral or nearly neutral molecular clock in subdivided populations. Neutral fixation is only relevant in sufficiently small populations with 4𝑁𝑒 𝜈 < 1, which appears an unrealistic condition for many taxa of the smaller organisms. Further research is clearly needed to reveal the mechanisms that could equate the evolutionary pace in taxa with dramatically different population sizes.

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