• Volume 19, Issue 2

      June 1994,   pages  117-275

    • Nucleotide sequence of a cDNA coding for rathck tyrosine kinase and characterization of its gene product

      B S Vijaya Gouri V Rema S Kamatkar Ghansityam Swarup

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      Thehck gene is member ofsrc family of non-receptor type tyrosine kinases. Here we report the nucleotide sequence of the rathck eDNA of 1.94 kb. The nuclcotide sequence shows an open reading frame coding for a polypeptide of 503 amino acids. A vector expressing a fusion protein of glutathione-S-transferase with 82 amino acids of the N-terminal region ofhck (from amino acids 32 to 113) was constructed, Using this bacterially expressed fusion protein antibodies were prepared which recognize the cellularhck gene product. These antibodies identified, by immunoblotting, two polypeptides of 56 and 59 kDa in rat spleen wherehck transcripts are present at high level. Immunoprecipitatedhck polypeptides were enzymatically active and were autophosphorylated in the presence of ATP and Mg2+. 1mmunoprecipitatedhck could phosphorylate exogenous substrates. Treatment of immunoprecipitatedhck by a purified protein tyrosine phosphatase decreased its enzymatic acitivity. Our results suggest that the enzymatic activity ofhck tyrosine kinase is regulated by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation.

    • Mutagenic role of Watson-Crick protons in alkylated DNA bases: A theoretical study

      R H Duncan Lyngdoh

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      Loss of Watson-Crick protons following DNA base alkylation has been proposed as a key event which confers mutation-inducing properties on to alkylated DNA bases. In this theoretical study, the promutagenic O6-guanine and O4-thymine sites are clearly distinguished from the nonmutagenic N7-guanine site on the basis of calculated values of mechanistic indicators for Watson-Crick proton acidity following alkylation at these respective sites. The degree of acidity predicted for these protons for each type of alkylated base accords well with the presence or absence of mutagenicity observed experimentally in each case.

    • Expression of parasporal crystal protein (δ—endotoxin) gene(s) ofBacillus thuringiensis var.israelensis in sporogenic and asporogenic mutant strains ofBacillus cereus

      Pramatha R Bhattacharya

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      The expression of parasporal crystal protein (δ-endotoxin) coding gene(s) ofBacillus thuringlensis var.israelensis and its association, if any, with sporulation was studied in sporogenicBacillus cereus and its asporogenic mutant strains. Five asporogenous mutants ofBacillus cereus blocked at different stages of sporulation, were isolated from a streptomycin-resistant strain, The transconjugants isolated from the plasmid transfer experiments betweenBacillus thuringiensis var.israelensis and streptomycin resistantBacillus cereus and its asporogenous mutants, showed larvicidal activity. The crystal protein gene(s) are, therefore, expressed both in sporulating and in non-sporulating mutant strains ofBacillus cereus suggesting that the expression of crystal protein gene(s), is independent of sporulation specific functions inBacillus cereus.

    • Expression of proto-oncogenes and muscle specific genes during cardiac hypertrophy and development in rats and humans

      G Jegadeesh Babu N Selvamurugan C Kartha C Rajamanickam

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      A regulatory interdependence of expression of proto-oncogenes and muscle specific genes observed in smooth muscle was examined in cardiac muscle during normal development and hypertrophy both in rats and humans. During normal development in rats, myosin light chain 2 expression is very low at prenatal stages, while c-fos expression starts from the early stages of embryonic development. In aorta constricted rats c-fos induction occurs within 30 min whereas myosin light chain 2 expression is sufficiently high only after 3 or 4 days of post operative period. In the case of humans, the expression of myosin light chain 2 as well as c-fos occurs at high levels during embryonic development. Similar results were obtained with tissue samples obtained from patients with cardiac abnormalities. Induction of the c-fos gene in cultured myocytes by 12-O-tetradeeanoylphorbol 13-acetate has no influence on the expression of myosin light chain 2. These studies were extended with studies on c-myc and Β-myosin heavy chain gene expression which revealed a similar pattern of expression as that of c-fos and myosin light chain 2. These results have indicated that the expression of proto-oncogenes in cardiac muscle may be independently regulated from the expression of muscle specific genes.

    • Analysis of sequences of two different classes of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of aLeishmania spp.

      R Singh C Dutta H K Majumder

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      We have determined the nucleotide sequences of the minicircles representing a major (pLURkE3) and a minor (pLURkH13) class populations from the kinetoplast DNA ofLeishmania strain UR6. These minicircles have sequence organization similar to other kinetoplastid parasites, however, they have some unique structural features. These features include the following: (i) imperfect inverted repeat in the variable regions, similar to the conserved sequence elements of guide RNA genes in African trypanosomes, (ii) tandem and non-tandem direct repeats of 8 bp or longer scattered throughout the minicircles, (iii) non uniform strand distribution of bases throughout the minicircles and (iv) high TG content, more than half of the molecules being extremely (T + G) versus (A + C) strand biased.

      The heterogeneity of minicircle sequences in the variable regions may be exploited in developing recombinant DNA based diagnostic probes for detection and classification of Leishmania species.

    • Maturation of bacteriophage 9NA DNA is influenced by the fatty acid composition of the host cell membrane

      Ruby Goyal Grace Sasane Sabita Majumdar Maharani Chakravorty

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      The fatty acid composition of the membrane of the conditional auxotroph fabB2 can be altered by allowing the cells to grow at non-permissive temperature (37°C) in the presence of a cis-unsaturated fatty acid. The phage 9NA, a virulent phage ofSalmonella typhimurium, can not multiply in fabB2. Synthesis and maturation of the phage DNA are differentially affected by variation in the fatty acid composition of the cell membrane. The replicating DNA associates with the membrane complex, the site of DNA synthesis. The association is comparatively weak in oleic, claidic, palmitoleic, palmitelaidic and linolelaidic acid enriched cells. When the cells are grown in the presence of palmitoleic acid, a large pool of concatemeric phage DNA accumulates in the cytoplasm within 10 min of infection. The conversion of concatemeric DNA to monomeric one i.e., mature phage length DNA, is inhibited in such cells. The presence of concatemeric DNA can be visualized by electron microscope. Such a situation is not observed when the cells are grown in media supplemented with other types of unsaturated fatty acids. The mechanism by which the host cell membrane lipid controls phage development is yet to be worked out.

    • Microplate assay of elevated esterase activity in individual pyrethroid-resistant mosquitoes

      Arunima Sahgal Sarita Kumar M K K Pillai

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      Involvement of esterase-mediated hydrolysis as a mechanism of pyrethroidresistance in three species of mosquitoes,viz., Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus andAnopheles Stephensi was investigated by microplate assay of Β-esterases in individual larva and adult female and male mosquitoes. Assuming an absorbance value of 0.4 and above at 555 nm as the threshold level of elevated esterase activity which confers resistance, frequency distributions of such individual test mosquitoes were constructed in resistant and susceptible populations. The results indicate the involvement of ester hydrolysis of Pyrethroids as a predominant mechanism of pyrethroid-resistance in the larvae ofCulex quinquefasciatus but not inAedes aegypti. However, a marginal role of esterases is indicated in the larvae ofAnopheles stephensi.

    • Enhanced antibody response to a detergent-soluble antigen in human filariasis after treatment with diethylcarbamazine

      A K Praharaj Manoj K Das

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      An antigen fraction has been isolated from the water insoluble component of cattle filarial parasiteSetaria digitata by detergent NP-40 solubilization, precipitation with ammonium sulphate and fractionation on sephadex G-100. Immunoglobulin G response to the isolated antigenic fraction was selectively suppressed in asymptomatic microfilaraemic people in comparison to the amicrofilaraemic groups of endemic normals and chronic patients. However, treating microfilaraemic people with diethylcarbamazine enhanced the antibody levels by 10-fold. These results suggest that active infection suppresses the response induced by the isolated antigenic fraction which is elevated after clearance of microfilariae.

    • Mitogenic response of rat lung and tracheal epithelial cells in monolayer primary cultures—Modulation of TNF-α expression

      A Maya S Usha M L Nagalakshmi A Balakrishnan

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      Epithelial cells isolated from rat lung and trachea were grown on monolayers and their response to a number of hormones and growth factors were studied. Maximum proliferative response in serum containing media was observed when insulin, cholera toxin and cortisol were present together. However, these additives when present independently showed a marginal response. The synergism, due to these factors in promoting growth was seen very early in culture (day 4) as shown by thymidine labelling studies, On examining the indices of early mitogenesis, such as the expression ofc-myc, our data suggests that these factors stimulate the expression ofc-myc within 4 h. With respect to expression of TNF-α mRNA, this study suggests a possible modulation of TNF-α expression in response to these mitogens that stimulate proliferation maximally. Whether this expression of TNF-α by these epithelial cells is due to a maximal proliferative stimulus and/or is an early step in the cascade of intracellular signalling events is to be investigated in detail.

    • Social insects and social amoebae

      Raghavendra Gadagkar J Bonner

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      The evolution of social groupings in insects, especially wasps, is compared to that of social amoebae (cellular slime moulds). They both show a gamut of colony sizes, from solitary forms to complex colonies with a division of labour. The various ideas as to how there might have been an evolution of complexity within insect societies, such as the role of genetic relatedness, the role of mutualism, the origin of sterility, the manipulation and exploitation of some individuals by others within a colony, are discussed, and then applied to social amoebae. The result is both interesting and instructive: despite some differences, there are many striking parallels, which suggests that there are some common denominators in the formation and evolution of a social existence among organisms.

    • Behaviour of simple population models under ecological processes

      Somdatta Sinha S Parthasarathy

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      The two most popular and extensively-used discrete models of population growth display the generic bifurcation structure of a hierarchy of period-doubling sequence to chaos with increasing growth rates. In this paper we show that these two models, though they belong to a general class of one-dimensional maps, show very different dynamics when important ecological processes such as immigration and emigration/depletion, are considered. It is important that ecologists recognize the differences between these models before using them to describe their data—or develop optimization strategies—based on these models.

    • Periodicities in protein sequences

      Meeta Rani Chanchal K Mitra

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      The correlation between various amino acid residues (either same or different), along the polypeptide chain have been studied using a large data base. A table of preference values for pairs having strong correlations has been constructed, which can be used to study any sequence and by calculating the weight of these sequences based on these preference values, a rough distinction between a “natural” and a “random” sequence can be made, One can further comment on the evolutionary status of proteins based on these weights.

    • Abdominal pigmentation and growth temperature in Indian Drosophila melanogaster: Evidence for genotype-environment interaction

      Aparup Das Sujata Mohanty B Parida

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      Phenotypic variability for abdominal pigmentation in females of an Indian natural population ofDrosophila melanogaster was studied using isofemale lines and by rearing the larvae and pupae at 4 different temperatures ranging from 20–30°C. The dark pigmented area was found to increase in all the three segments when the growth temperature decreases. A significant positive correlation was detected for the occurrence of dark pigmentation in the 5th and 6th segments in each growth temperature but for other comparisons the correlation was not regular. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out both for individual segments over different growth temperatures and also for each temperature over the three abdominal segments and in all cases found to be statistically significant. The results are quite different from the earlier observation in FrenchDrosophila melanogaster and suggest that genes controlling pigmentation are temperature dependent; temperature could affect post-transitional events involved in pigmentation. The present findings also clearly indicate that significant genotype-environment interaction exists, responsible for the production of desired phenotype at the opportune moment during the life span of a species.

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