• H S Savithri

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Evolutionary relationship of alfalfa mosaic virus with cucumber mosaic virus and brome mosaic virus

      H S Savithri M R N Murthy

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      The amino acid sequences of the non-structural protein (molecular weight 35,000; 3a protein) from three plant viruses — cucumber mosaic, brome mosaic and alfalfa mosaic have been systematically compared using the partial genomic sequences for these three viruses already available. The 3a protein of cucumber mosaic virus has an amino acid sequence homology of 33.7% with the corresponding protein of brome mosaic virus. A similar protein from alfalfa mosaic virus has a homology of 18.2% and 14.2% with the protein from brome mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus, respectively. These results suggest that the three plant viruses are evolutionarily related, although, the evolutionary distance between alfalfa mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus or brome mosaic virus is much larger than the corresponding distance between the latter two viruses.

    • Purification and kinetic mechanism of 5,10-metliyienetetrahydrofolate reductase from sheep liver

      K Varalakshmi H S Savithri N Appaji Rao

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      5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (EC was purified from the cytosolic fraction of sheep liver by (NH4)2 SO4 fractionation, acid precipitation, DEAE-Sephacel chromatography and Blue Sepharose affinity chromatography. The homogeneity of the enzyme was established by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ultracentrifugation and Ouchterlony immunodiffusion test. The enzyme was a dimer of molecular weight 1,66,000 ± 5,000 with a subunit molecular weight of 87,000 ±5,000. The enzyme showed hyperbolic saturation pattern with 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.K0.5 values for 5-methyltetrahydrofolate menadione and NADPH were determined to be 132 ΜM, 2.45 ΜM and 16 ΜM. The parallel set of lines in the Lineweaver-Burk plot, when either NADPH or menadione was varied at different fixed concentrations of the other substrate; non-competitive inhibition, when NADPH was varied at different fixed concentrations of NADP; competitive inhibition, when menadione was varied at different fixed concentrations of NADP and the absence of inhibition by NADP at saturating concentration of menadione, clearly established that the kinetic mechanism of the reaction catalyzed by this enzyme was ping-pong.

    • Similarities in the genomic sequence and coat protein structure of plant virsuses

      M R N Murthy H S Savithri

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      The genomic sequences of several RNA plant viruses including cucumber mosaic virus, brome mosaic virus, alfalfa mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus have become available recently. The former two viruses are icosahedral while the latter two are bullet and rod shaped, respectively in particle morphology. The non-structural 3a proteins of cucumber mosaic virus and brome mosaic virus have an amino acid sequence homology of 35% and hence are evolutionarily related. In contrast, the coat proteins exhibit little homology, although the circular dichroism spectrum of these viruses are similar. The non-coding regions of the genome also exhibit variable but extensive homology. Comparison of the brome mosaic virus and alfalfa mosaic virus sequences reveals that they are probably related although with a much larger evolutionary distance. The polypeptide folds of the coat protein of three biologically distinct isometric plant viruses, tomato Bushy stunt virus, southern bean mosaic virus and satellite tobacco necrosis virus have been shown to display a striking resemblance. All of them consist of a topologically similar 8-standard β-Barrel. The implications of these studies to the understanding of the evolution of plant viruses will be discussed.

    • Interaction of Cibacron Blue F3G-A and Procion Red HE-3B with sheep liver 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase

      K Varalakshmi H S Savithri N Appaji Rao

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      Cibacron Blue F3G-A, a probe used to monitor nucleotide binding domains in enzymes, inhibited sheep liver 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase competitively with respect to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and NADPH. TheKi values obtained by kinetic methods and theKd value for the binding of the dye to the enzyme estimated by protein fluorescence quenching were in the range 0.9–1.2 μM. Another triazine dye, Procion Red HE-3B interacted with the enzyme in an essentially similar manner to that observed with Cibacron Blue F3G-A. These results as well as the interaction of the dye with the enzyme monitored by difference spectroscopy and intrinsic protein fluorescence quenching methods indicated that the dye was probably interacting at the active site of the enzyme by binding at a hydrophobic region.

    • Interactions of 3′ terminal and 5′ terminal regions of physalis mottle virus genomic RNA with its replication complex

      V Srividhya H S Savithri

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      Physalis mottle virus (PhMV) belongs to the tymogroup of positive-strand RNA viruses with a genome size of 6 kb. Crude membrane preparations from PhMV-infectedNicotiana glutinosa plants catalyzed the synthesis of PhMV genomic RNA from endogenously bound template. Addition of exogenous gnomic RNA enhanced the synthesis which was specifically inhibited by the addition of sense and antisense transcripts corresponding to 3′ terminal 242 nucleotides as well as the 5′ terminal 458 nucleotides of PhMV genomic RNA while yeast tRNA or ribosomal RNA failed to inhibit the synthesis. This specific inhibition suggested that the 5′ and 3′ non-coding regions of PhMV RNA might play an important role in viral replication

    • Guanidine hydrochloride-induced reversible unfolding of sheep liver serine hydroxymethyltransferase

      B Venkatesha Jayant B Udgaonkar N Appaji Rao H S Savithri

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      Equilibrium unfolding studies of sheep liver tetrameric serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT, EC revealed that the enzyme assumed apparent random coil structure above 3 M guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl). In the presence of non-ionic detergent Brij-35 and polyethylene glycol, the 6 M GdnHCI unfolded enzyme could be completely (> 95%) refolded by a 40-fold dilution. The refolded enzyme was fully active and had kinetic constants similar to the native enzyme. The midpoint of inactivation (0.12 M GdnHCl) was well below the midpoint of unfolding (1.6±0.1 M GdnHCl) as monitored by far UV CD at 222 nm. In the presence of PLP, the midpoint of inactivation shifted to a higher concentration of GdnHCl (0.6 M) showing that PLP stabilizes the quaternary structure of the enzyme. However, 50% release of pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP) from the active site occurred at a concentration (0.6 M) higher than the midpoint of inactivation suggesting that GdnHCl may also act as a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme at low concentrations which was confirmed by activity measurements. PLP was not required for the initiation of refolding and inactive tetramers were the end products of refolding which could be converted to active tetramers upon the addition of PLP. Size exclusion chromatography of the apoenzyme showed that the tetramer unfolds via the intermediate formation of dimers. Low concentrations (0.3–0.6 M) of GdnHCl stabilized at least one intermediate which was in slow equilibrium with the dimer. The binding of ANS was maximum at 0.4–0.6 M GdnHCl suggesting that the unfolding intermediate that accumulates at this concentration is less compact than the native enzyme.

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    • Overexpression and characterization of dimeric and tetrameric forms of recombinant serine hydroxymethyltransferase fromBacillus stearothermophilus

      Venkatakrishna R Jala V Prakash N Appaji Rao H S Savithri

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      Serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzyme catalyzes the interconversion of L-Ser and Gly using tetrahydrofolate as a substrate. The gene encoding for SHMT was amplified by PCR from genomic DNA ofBacillus stearothermophilus and the PCR product was cloned and overexpressed inEscherichia coli. The purified recombinant enzyme was isolated as a mixture of dimer (90%) and tetramer (10%). This is the first report demonstrating the existence of SHMT as a dimer and tetramer in the same organism. The specific activities at 37°C of the dimeric and tetrameric forms were 6.7 U/mg and 4.1 U/mg, respectively. The purified dimer was extremely thermostable with aTm of 85°C in the presence of PLP and L-Ser. The temperature optimum of the dimer was 80°C with a specific activity of 32.4 U/mg at this temperature. The enzyme catalyzed tetrahydrofolate-independent reactions at a slower rate compared to the tetrahydrofolate-dependent retro-aldol cleavage of L-Ser. The interaction with substrates and their analogues indicated that the orientation of PLP ring ofB. stearothermophilus SHMT was probably different from sheep liver cytosolic recombinant SHMT (scSHMT).

    • Structure and function of enzymes involved in the anaerobic degradation of L-threonine to propionate

      Dhirendra K Simanshu Sagar Chittori H S Savithri M R N Murthy

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      In Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, L-threonine is cleaved non-oxidatively to propionate via 2-ketobutyrate by biodegradative threonine deaminase, 2-ketobutyrate formate-lyase (or pyruvate formate-lyase), phosphotransacetylase and propionate kinase. In the anaerobic condition, L-threonine is converted to the energy-rich keto acid and this is subsequently catabolised to produce ATP via substrate-level phosphorylation, providing a source of energy to the cells. Most of the enzymes involved in the degradation of L-threonine to propionate are encoded by the anaerobically regulated tdc operon. In the recent past, extensive structural and biochemical studies have been carried out on these enzymes by various groups. Besides detailed structural and functional insights, these studies have also shown the similarities and differences between the other related enzymes present in the metabolic network. In this paper, we review the structural and biochemical studies carried out on these enzymes.

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