Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • COCHLEATA controls leaf size and secondary inflorescence architecture via negative regulation of UNIFOLIATA (LEAFY ortholog) gene in garden pea Pisum sativum

      Vishakha Sharma Swati Chaudhary Arvind Kumar Sushil Kumar

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      UNIFOLIATA [(UNI) or UNIFOLIATA-TENDRILLED ACACIA (UNI-TAC)] expression is known to be negatively regulated by COCHLEATA (COCH) in the differentiating stipules and flowers of Pisum sativum. In this study, additional roles of UNI and COCH in P. sativum were investigated. Comparative phenotyping revealed pleiotropic differences between COCH (UNI-TAC and uni-tac) and coch (UNI-TAC and uni-tac) genotypes of common genetic background. Secondary inflorescences were bracteole-less and bracteolated in COCH and coch genotypes, respectively. In comparison to the leaves and corresponding sub-organs and tissues produced on COCH plants, coch plants produced leaves of 1.5-fold higher biomass, 1.5-fold broader petioles and leaflets that were 1.8-fold larger in span and 1.2-fold dorso-ventrally thicker. coch leaflets possessed epidermal cells 1.3-fold larger in number and size, 1.4-fold larger spongy parenchyma cells and primary vascular bundles with 1.2-fold larger diameter . The transcript levels of UNI were at least 2-fold higher in coch leaves and secondary inflorescences than the corresponding COCH organs. It was concluded that COCH negatively regulated UNI in the differentiating leaves and secondary inflorescences and thereby controlled their sizes and/or structures. It was also surmised that COCH and UNI (LFY homolog) occur together widely in stipulate flowering plants.

    • In silico -- based combinatorial pharmacophore modelling and docking studies of GSK-3𝛽 and GK inhibitors of Hippophae

      Sushil Kumar Middha Arvind Kumar Goyal Syed Faizan Nethramurthy Sanghmitra Bharat Chandra Asistha Talambedu Usha

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      Type 2 diabetes is an inevitably progressive disease, with irreversible 𝛽 cell failure. Glycogen synthase kinase and Glukokinase, two important enzymes with diverse biological actions in carbohydrate metabolism, are promising targets for developing novel antidiabetic drugs. A combinatorial structure-based molecular docking and pharmacophore modelling study was performed with the compounds of Hippophae salicifolia and H. rhamnoides as inhibitors. Docking with Discovery Studio 3.5 revealed that two compounds from H. salicifolia, viz Lutein D and an analogue of Zeaxanthin, and two compounds from H. rhamnoides, viz Isorhamnetin-3-rhamnoside and Isorhamnetin-7-glucoside, bind significantly to the GSK-3 𝛽 receptor and play a role in its inhibition; whereas in the case of Glucokinase, only one compound from both the plants, i.e. vitamin C, had good binding characteristics capable of activation. The results help to understand the type of interactions that occur between the ligands and the receptors. Toxicity predictions revealed that none of the compounds had hepatotoxic effects and had good absorption as well as solubility characteristics. The compounds did not possess plasma protein-binding, crossing blood–brain barrier ability. Further, in vivo and in vitro studies need to be performed to prove that these compounds can be used effectively as antidiabetic drugs.

    • Sirtuin 1 and 7 mediate resveratrol-induced recovery from hyper-anxiety in high-fructose-fed prediabetic rats


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      Hyperglycaemia in diabetes is either caused by reduced availability of insulin (type 1 diabetes, T1D) or insulinresistance to the cells (type 2 diabetes, T2D). In recent years, the prevalence of T2D has increased to an alarmingproportion, encompassing 95% of the total diabetic burden, probably due to economy-driven changes in lifestyle.Recent epidemiological studies show comorbid depression, anxiety and related mental illness. To explore themolecular mechanisms underlying this comorbid conditions, we used Sprague–Dawley rats on high-fructose dietfor 8 weeks to induce prediabetic condition. Rats with this metabolic syndrome also showed hyper-anxiety when theywere subjected to anxiety-related behavioural assays. Rats were administered with resveratrol, an activator of sirtuins,and metformin, a standard antidiabetic drug, simultaneously with fructose. We observed that resveratrol was moreeffective in protecting from both the metabolic (prediabetic) and affective (anxiety) disorders than metformin.Molecular studies showed that recovery was associated with the upregulation of few nuclear sirtuins that actepigenetically – Sirt 1 and 7, which were significantly attenuated in the striatum of prediabetic rats. In conclusion,our study showed that hyper-anxiety associated with prediabetic condition is ameliorated by resveratrol throughmodulation of sirtuins, which is more or less similar to metformin.

    • VacPred: Sequence-based prediction of plant vacuole proteins using machine-learning techniques


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      Subcellular localization prediction of the proteome is one of major goals of large-scale genome or proteomesequencing projects to define the gene functions that could be possible with the help of computationalmodeling techniques. Previously, different methods have been developed for this purpose using multi-labelclassification system and achieved a high level of accuracy. However, during the validation of our blind datasetof plant vacuole proteins, we observed that they have poor performance with accuracy value range from

      ~1.3% to 48.5%. The results showed that the previously developed methods are not very accurate for the plantvacuole protein prediction and thus emphasize the need to develop a more accurate and reliable algorithm. Inthis study, we have developed various compositions as well as PSSM-based models and achieved a highaccuracy than previously developed methods. We have shown that our best model achieved ~63% accuracyon blind dataset, which is far better than currently available tools. Furthermore, we have implemented our bestmodels in the form of GUI-based free software called ‘VacPred’ which is compatible with both Linux andWindow platform. This software is freely available for download at www.deepaklab.com/vacpred.

    • Prenatal stress effects on offspring brain and behavior: Mediators, alterations and dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms


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      Prenatal environment significantly influences mammalian fetal development and adverse in utero conditionshave life-long consequences for the offspring health. Research has revealed that a wide variety of prenatalstress factors lead to increased risk of vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders in the individuals. Multiplemediators are involved in stress transfer from mother to the developing fetus, with stress hormone cortisolbeing a chief player. Further, the developmental programming effects of prenatal stress have been observed inthe form of alterations in the offspring brain at different levels. This review covers stress transfer mediatorssuch as cortisol, serotonin, maternal cytokines, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the maternal microbiota,and their role in fetal programming. Prenatal stress leads to alterations in the offspring brain at multiple levels,from molecular and cellular to structural. These alterations eventually result in lasting phenotypic alterationssuch as in the offspring behavior and cognition. Different brain alterations induced by prenatal stress such as inneural pruning processes, neural circuit formation, brain structural connectivity and epigenetic systems regulatingneural gene expression are under focus in the second part of the review. The latter constitutes a keymolecular mechanism involved in prenatal stress effects and has been discussed in more detail.

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