• Volume 20, Issue 3

      June 1995,   pages  289-460

    • Calcium, cyclic GMP and the control of myosin II during chemotactic signal transduction ofDictyostelium

      Peter C Newell

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      Evidence is presented for Ca2+ and cyclic GMP being involved in signal transduction between the cell surface cyclic AMP receptors and cytoskeletal myosin II involved in chemotactic cell movement. Ca2+ is shown to be required for chemotactic aggregation of amoebae. The evidence for uptake and/or eflux of this ion being regulated by the nucleotide cyclic GMP is discussed. The connection between Ca2+, cyclic GMP and chemotactic cell movement has been explored using “streamer F” mutants. The primary defect in these mutants is in the structural gene for the cyclic GMP-specific phosphodiesterase which results in the mutants producing an abnormally prolonged peak of accumulation of cyclic GMP in response to stimulation with the chernoattractant cyclic AMP. While events associated with production and relay of cyclic AMP signals are normal, certain events associated with movement are (like the cyclic GMP response) abnormally prolonged in the mutants. These events include Ca2+ uptake, myosin II association with the cytoskeleton and inhibition of myosin heavy and light chain phosphorylation. These changes can be correlated with the amoebae becoming elongated and transiently decreasing their locomotive speed after chemotactic stimulation. Other mutants studied in which the accumulation of cyclic GMP in response to cyclic AMP stimulation was absent produced no myosin II responses.

      Models are described in which cyclic GMP (directly or indirectly via Ca2+) regulates accumulation of myosin II on the cytoskeleton by inhibiting phosphorylation of the myosin heavy and light chain kinases.

    • Structure and function of the protein kinase C gene family

      Catherine Pears

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      Protein kinase C is a serine/threonine protein kinase which is activated in the cell in response to production of diacylglycerol. Gene cloning has revealed the presence of a highly related family of enzymes, which can be sub-divided into groups on the basis of sequence conservation. Differences are seen in both isoform distribution and associated biochemical activity, for example in substrate specificity and activator requirements. Comparison of the protein sequences andin vitro activities of the protein kinase C isoforms has identified regions important for particular aspects of kinase function. Some of these regions are also found associated with other proteins, allowing confirmation of the assigned activity. Site-directed mutagenesis has confirmed the presence of an autoinhibitory sequence involved in protein kinase C regulation and generated constitutively activated proteins which can be used to study differential isoform function. These same sequences have been shown to play a role in substrate selection, perhaps by competition for binding to the active site. Protein kinase C is known to be a phosphoprotein and the identification of regulatory sites phosphorylated by a ‘PKC-kinase’ suggest a possible alternative route for regulation of protein kinase C activity.

    • Mutations in tumour suppressor genes,l(2)gl andl(2)gd, alter the expression ofwingless inDrosophila

      Ashim Mukherjee J K Roy

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      To understand the roles of two well known tumour suppressor genes.l(2)gl andl(2)gd in normal imaginal disc development inDrosophila, we have initiated a study to examine effect of mulations of these genes on the expression of genes involved in the patterning of the imaginal discs. In this study we show that the expression ofwingless, theDrosophila orthologue of the mammalian oncogeneWnt, is affected in the imaginal discs ofl(2)gl4 andl(2)gd1 mutant individuals. In the tumourous wing imaginal discs froml(2)gl mutant larvae, the pattern ofwingless expression was progressively disrupted with an increase in the area of expression, Tumourous wing imaginal discs froml(2)gd homozygous individuals exhibited progressive broadening and extension of the wingless expressing domains. We suggest thatl(2)gl andl(2)gd might be involved in regulating post embryonic expression ofWingless.

    • Developmental study of thermotolerance and the heat shock response inLucilia cuprina (Weidemann)

      P K Tiwari D R K Mohan Archana Joshi

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      The ability to withstand thermal stress in a laboratory population of the blowflyLucilia cuprina (measured as per cent adult survival following varying periods of exposure to elevated temperature up to a maximum of 48°C) was in the order pupa > larva > adult. Pre-exposure to a mild heat shock (37°C) induced tolerance to temperatures which were otherwise lethal. An analysis of heat shock-induced protein synthesis during development at similar elevated temperatures presented patterns corresponding to the above observations on thermotolerance. The induced level of synthesis of major heat shock proteins (viz., 79, 69, 28, 20 and 19 kDa) were greater in larval tissues than in most of the adult tissues except gonads. The response varied between young (2 days) and old (30 days) adults in a tissue-specific manner. In general, heat shock protein 69 kDa was most abundant in all the tissues studied. Control as well as heat shocked Malpighian tubules of adults uniquely showed two major [35S]methionine labelled bands corresponding to approximately 62 and 64 kDa. Immunoblots showed the 62 kDa protein to cross react with an antibody againstHelioihis HSP60. Although the synthesis of the 62 kDa polypeptide was prominent only in Malpighian tubules of adult blowflies, nearly equal levels of this HSP60 family polypeptide were present in all tissues (control as well heat shocked) except the larval salivary glands.

    • A method for studying histochemical reactions in intact human dentine with a polarizing incident light microscope

      Eruch B Fanibunda

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      Localization and distribution of non-specific esterases has been studied in intact human dentine, by reflected light microscopy. The method of specimen preparation described here permits the visualization of optical sections in depth within the specimen at high optical resolution. Non-specific esterase was found deposited as discrete bands across the tubules. or as droplets, or as a diffuse microsomal variety in the dentinal tubules and in the interglobular spaces. It was possible to distinguish the droplet variety from the microsomal variety, of esterase within the same tubule, by means of a novel optical method using antiflex and differential interference contrast systems of reflected light microscopy. It was found that the coefficient of reflection of dentine diminished gradually from the enamel to the pre-dentine and was inversely related to the scattering of light in dentine. This scattering plays an important role in the formation of the image with reflected light microscopy. The reflected light microscope offers an economically attractive alternative or a supplementary mode of microscopy to the confocal scanning microscopes for studying intact dentine at varying depths.

    • Construction of shuttle vectors for cloning inVibrio cholerae andEscherichia coli

      Dibyendu K Panda Rajat Banerjee Jyotirmoy Das

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      Starting from a naturally occurring cryptic plasmid pVC540 ofVibrio cholerae non-OI. strain 1095, a number of plasmid vectors have been constructed for cloning genes inVibrio cholerae by introducing antibiotic resistance markers containing a set of unique cloning sites. The constructs pVC810 and pVE920 have the origins of bothVibrio cholerae andEscherichia coli replicons and are stable in both organisms in the absence of selective pressure. These plasmids can serve as shuttle vectors betweenEscherichia coli andVibrio cholerae. The plasmid vectors reported here along with the demonstration of transformation inVibrio cholerae by plasmid DNA will facilitate genetic analysis of this important human pathogen.

    • Anomer specificity of the 14 kDa galactose-binding lectin: A reappraisal

      P S Appukuttan M Geetha K I Annamma

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      A β-anomer preference among galactosides has been attributed to the S-type 14 kDa galactose binding lectin. Here the anomeric preference of this lectin from bovine brain (BBL) is reexamined using inhibition of lectin-mediated haemagglutination, binding of the lectin to dot-blotted glycoproteins and affinity electrophoresis of the lectin through polysaccharide-containing gels. 1.0-methyl α-D-galactoside was 8 times better inhibitor of BBL than the corresponding ß-anomer. The terminal galactose in bovine thyroglobulin (exclusively. α-linked) were also nearly 8 times more inhibitory than those in asialofetuin (exclusively ß-linked). The terminal α-galactose-containing endogenous glycoproteins of bovine brain were nearly 4 times better inhibitors of BBL than laminin. Removal of terminal α-galactose units by α-galactosidase fully abolished the BBL binding of thyroglobulin and endogenous glycoproteins. BBL was also sugar-specifically retarded by polyacrylamide gel containing guar galactommannan which bears only α-linked galactose. Data indicated that α-galactosides were sometimes better than their β-anomers in binding to BBL. The significance of this observation to the physiological role of galactose-binding lectins is discussed.

    • Fine structure of olfactory epithelium inSchizothoraichthys progastus McClelland andSchizothorax richardsonii Gray (Cyprinidae: Teleostei) from Garhwal Himalaya (India)

      N Singh K C Bhatt Mukesh K Bahuguna Dharmendra Kumar

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      The olfactory epithelium of two closely related species of snowtrout—Schizothoraichthys progastus McClelland andSchizothorax richardsonii Gray (Subfamily: Schizothoracinae. family-Cyprinidae, Teleostei), from a perennial glacier-fed river Mandakini of Garhwal hills was studied by employing transmission electron microscopic method The olfactory lamella comprises two epithelia—anterior and posterior, with a stroma sandwiched in between. Both are strartified. The anterior one is thicker than posterior. InSchizothoraichithys progastus, the sensory part of epithelium has two types of receptor cells—ciliated receptor cells and rod cells whilst inSchizothorax richardsonii, there arc three types of receptor cells—ciliated receptor cells, microvillous receptor cells and rod cells in addition to sustentacular cells, basal cells and mucous cells. While inhabiting similar hillstream habitat, the differential ecological niches, feeding habits etc., account for the presence of different receptor cell types in these species, It implies the possible diversification at cellular and physiological levels so as to minimize the competition by using varied olfactory cues.

    • The effect of emigration and immigration on the dynamics of a discrete-generation population

      G D Ruxton

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      The recent paper of Sinha and Parthasarathy investigated the effect of modifying the Ricker and logistic population models to simulate the effects of immigration to, and emigration from, the population. Immigration of a fixed number of individuals was shown to reduce the probability of observing chaos in the Ricker model but not the logistic one. Here, isocline analysis is used to investigate why these effects occur. The stabilization effect for the Ricker equation occurs over a wide range of values of the immigration parameter. There are no values of the parameter, however, which increase the stability of the logistic equation substantially. In contrast density-dependent immigration is found to destabilize both the Ricker and logistic models. Density-dependent emigration serves to reduce the propensity of both models to exhibit chaos.

    • Nest architecture of a bagworm species: Rhythmic pattern in the arrangement of sticks

      Arvind Agrawal Atanu Kumar Pati

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      Nest architecture of a bagworm species,Clania crameri was examined. Fortytwo bags (nests) were collected from the host plant,Clerodendron indicum and number of sticks used in each bag was counted. Furthermore, length of each stick in each nest was measured (in mm) clockwise one after another serially beginning with the longest stick. The data obtained were subjected to frequency analysis and power spectrum analysis. Results clearly reveal that the larvae of bagworms do not glue together sticks of different size randomly but with a definite pattern.

    • Changes in food intake, body weight, gonads and plasma concentrations of thyroxine, luteinizing hormone and testosterone in captive male buntings exposed to natural daylengths at 29° N

      N Jain V Kumar

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      We have investigated the seasonal changes in food intake, body weight, gonadal volume and plasma concentrations of thyroxine, luteinizing hormone and testosterone in male blackheaded bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) in captivity under natural daylengths at 29° N. The cycles in food intake, body weight and testis size in buntings appeared to be phase related. While the changes in body weight and testicular size were parallel to each other and correspond to the increasing daylengths of spring and early summer, cycle in food intake was almost antiphase to the cycles in body weight and testicular growth and development. Furthermore, buntings showed a distinct seasonal cycle in plasma concentrations of thyroxine, luteinizing hormone and testosterone. It is suggested that these seasonal cycles in buntings are endogenously programmed and their entrainment to the environmental photoperiod ensures the occurrence of different physiological functions at temporally fixed time of the year.

    • Space remote sensing for spatial vegetation characterization

      Shirish A Ravan P S Roy C M Sharma

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      The study area, Madhav National Park (MP) represents northern tropical dry deciduous forest. The national park, due to its unique location (nearest to township), is under tremendous biotic pressure. In order to understand vegetation structure and dynamics, vegetation mapping at community level was considered important. Prolonged leafless period and background reflection due to open canopy poses challenge in interpretation of satellite data. The vegetation of Madhav National Park was mapped using Landsat TM data. The ground data collected from sample points were subjected to TWINSPAN analysis to cluster sample point data into six communities. The vegetation classification obtained by interpretation (visual and digital) of remote sensing data and TWINSPAN were compared to validate the vegetation classification at community level. The phytosociological data collected from sample points were analysed to characterize communities. The results indicate that structural variations in the communities modulate spectral signatures of vegetation and form basis to describe community structure subjectively and at spatial level.

    • Thein vitro effect of theophylline on 17α, 20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one-induced germinal vesicle breakdown in the catfish,Clarias batrachus

      Shail K Chaube S Haider

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      The effects of theophylline (a phosphodiesterase inhibitor) and cAMP on 17α, 20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one-induced germinal vesicle breakdown was investigatedin vitro in catfish (Clarias batrachus) oocytes. Folliculated oocytes incubated with 17α, 20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one at the concentration of 1 μg/ml induced 93.2 ± 2.23% germinal vesicle breakdown. When the oocytes were prestimulated with 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one for 6 h and then treated with different concentrations of theophylline, there was a significant drop in the frequency of germinal vesicle breakdown at the concentrations 2.0, 1.5 and 1.0 mM. However, theophylline was found to be incapable of inhibiting germinal vesicle breakdown at its lowest concentration (0.5 inM). In the time course study, significant inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown was recorded when 1 mM theophylline was added up to 30 h of 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one Stimulation but the inhibitory effect of theophylline gradually (time dependent manner) declined if the stimulatory time of 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one was increased. A similar inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown was also recorded with various concentrations of cAMP. Except 0.5 mM, all the higher concentrations of cAMP significantly inhibited 17α,20ß-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one induced germinal vesicle breakdown.

    • Effect of photoperiod and temperature on ovarian cycle of the frogRana tigrina (Daud.)

      S K Saidapur B Hoque

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      The effect of varying photoperiod regimes (LD: 20,4; 4,20; 6,18; 18,6 and 12,12) on ovarian follicular development was analysed in the frogRana tigrina maintained at ambient and constant 30° ± l°C for 3 months. The experiments were conducted in early recrudescent and quiescent phases. The frogs were fed guppiesad libitum on alternate day. None of the photoperiod regimes had any effect on the ovaries or the fat bodies, whereas exposure to constant high temperature (regardless of photoperiod) during recrudescent phase induced production of greater number of eggs (∼ 18000 vs 13000 in controls) of ovulatory sizes (> 1400 μm) compared to the corresponding controls maintained at ambient temperature. Hence, ovarian mass also increased in these frogs. In the quiescent phase, high temperature merely enhanced growth of previtellogenic oocytes. In both the phases high temperature caused a reduction in the fat bodies over the respective controls, possibly due to increased metabolic activity.

      The above findings indicate that temperature plays a key role in the regulation of ovarian cycle ofRana tigrina and that the photoperiodic mechanisms may not govern the annual recrudescence of ovaries in the frog. The study also shows that the frog exhibits the phenomenon of “phenotypic plasticity” in its reproductive behaviour by producing significantly greater number of eggs in response to elevated temperature.

    • Naturally occurring plasmodium-specific IgA antibody in humans from a malaria endemic area

      Sukla Biswas Queen B Saxena Arati Roy Lalitha Kabilan

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      Blood samples collected from individuals belonging to an endemic area in Uttar Pradesh, were tested for plasmodial antigen specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) by enzyme immuno assay using soluble extract ofPlasmodium falciparum from culture. Among 773 (20.18%,P < 0.0001) samples 156 sera demonstrated a detectable seropositivity for antigen specific IgA. IgA levels were higher among individuals who experienced repeated attacks of malaria compared to acute infected patients. Among seropositive individuals the IgA titers were found increased with the age. Immunoglobulin isolated from sera having high level of IgA showed growth inhibitory effect inPlasmodium falciparum in vitro. A group of sera with high IgA antibody againstPlasmodium falciparum crude antigen showed seronegativity with specific peptides. Statistically, no positive or negative correlations were observed between antigen specific IgG and IgA. However, there was a tendency towards negative correlation between IgA and IgM. Mechanisms for the parasite specific IgA production remain to be established.

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