• Faizan Ahmad

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Comparative analysis of naturally occurring L-amino acid osmolytes and their D-isomers on protection ofEscherichia coli against environmental stresses

      Hanief Md Shahjee Kakoli Banerjee Faizan Ahmad

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      Adaptation to high salinity and low or high temperature is essential for bacteria to survive. Accumulation of exogenous osmolytes is one of the ways that helps bacteria to survive under such extracellular stress. We have analysed the capability of various L-amino acids and their D-isomers to act as osmolytes and thus enableEscherichia coli cells to survive under various stress conditions.E. coli cells were grown in the presence or absence of L-and D-proline, alanine, serine and lysine under salt, heat and cold stresses. Of the various amino acids tested, L-proline, closely followed by L-serine turned out to be highly protective against environmental stresses. L-proline provided excellent protection (95%) against salt stress, followed by cold (60%) and heat (40%) stresses. D-amino acids on the other hand, proved to be highly inhibitory under stress conditions. Thus L-amino acids were found to be growth protectants under stress while their D-isomers were inhibitory during stress as well as normal conditions.

    • Human seminal proteinase and prostate-specific antigen are the same protein

      Abdul Waheed Md Imtaiyaz Hassan Robert L Van Etten Faizan Ahmad

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      Human seminal proteinase and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were each isolated from human seminal fluid and compared. Both are glycoproteins of 32–34 kDa with protease activities. Based on some physicochemical, enzymatic and immunological properties, it is concluded that these proteins are in fact identical. The protein exhibits properties similar to kallikrein-like serine protease, trypsin, chymotrypsin and thiol acid protease. Tests of the activity of the enzyme against some potential natural and synthetic substrates showed that bovine serum albumin was more readily hydrolysed than casein. The results of this study should be useful in purifying and assaying this protein. Based on published studies and the present results, the broad proteolytic specificity of human seminal proteinase suggests a role for this protein in several physiological functions.

    • Living with urea stress

      Laishram R Singh Tanveer Ali Dar Faizan Ahmad

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      Intracellular organic osmolytes are present in certain organisms adapted to harsh environments. These osmolytes protect intracellular macromolecules against denaturing environmental stress. In contrast to the usually benign effects of most organic osmolytes, the waste product urea is a well-known perturbant of macromolecules. Although urea is a perturbing solute which inhibits enzyme activity and stability, it is employed by some species as a major osmolyte. The answer to this paradox was believed to be the discovery of protective osmolytes (methylamines). We review the current state of knowledge on the various ways of counteracting the harmful effects of urea in nature and the mechanisms for this. This review ends with the mechanistic idea that cellular salt (KCl/NaCl) plays a crucial role in counteracting the effects of urea, either by inducing required chaperones or methylamines, or by thermodynamic interactions with urea-destabilised proteins. We also propose future opportunities and challenges in the field.

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