• K Sekar

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Contributory presentations/posters

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    • Ion pairs in non-redundant protein structures

      B A Gowri Shankar R Sarani Daliah Michael P Mridula C Vasuki G Sowmiya B Vasundhar P Sudha J Jeyakanthan D Velmurugan K Sekar

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      Ion pairs contribute to several functions including the activity of catalytic triads, fusion of viral membranes, stability in thermophilic proteins and solvent–protein interactions. Furthermore, they have the ability to affect the stability of protein structures and are also a part of the forces that act to hold monomers together. This paper deals with the possible ion pair combinations and networks in 25% and 90% non-redundant protein chains. Different types of ion pairs present in various secondary structural elements are analysed. The ion pairs existing between different subunits of multisubunit protein structures are also computed and the results of various analyses are presented in detail. The protein structures used in the analysis are solved using X-ray crystallography, whose resolution is better than or equal to 1.5 Å and R-factor better than or equal to 20%. This study can, therefore, be useful for analyses of many protein functions. It also provides insights into the better understanding of the architecture of protein structure.

    • Evolutionary insights from suffix array-based genome sequence analysis

      Anindya Poddar Nagasuma Chandra Madhavi Ganapathiraju K Sekar Judith Klein-Seetharaman Raj Reddy N Balakrishnan

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      Gene and protein sequence analyses, central components of studies in modern biology are easily amenable to string matching and pattern recognition algorithms. The growing need of analysing whole genome sequences more efficiently and thoroughly, has led to the emergence of new computational methods. Suffix trees and suffix arrays are data structures, well known in many other areas and are highly suited for sequence analysis too. Here we report an improvement to the design of construction of suffix arrays. Enhancement in versatility and scalability, enabled by this approach, is demonstrated through the use of real-life examples.

      The scalability of the algorithm to whole genomes renders it suitable to address many biologically interesting problems. One example is the evolutionary insight gained by analysing unigrams, bi-grams and higher n-grams, indicating that the genetic code has a direct influence on the overall composition of the genome. Further, different proteomes have been analysed for the coverage of the possible peptide space, which indicate that as much as a quarter of the total space at the tetra-peptide level is left un-sampled in prokaryotic organisms, although almost all tri-peptides can be seen in one protein or another in a proteome. Besides, distinct patterns begin to emerge for the counts of particular tetra and higher peptides, indicative of a ‘meaning’ for tetra and higher n-grams.

      The toolkit has also been used to demonstrate the usefulness of identifying repeats in whole proteomes efficiently. As an example, 16 members of one COG, coded by the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv have been found to contain a repeating sequence of 300 amino acids.

    • Conserved water-mediated H-bonding dynamics of catalytic Asn 175 in plant thiol protease

      Tapas K Nandi Hridoy R Bairagya Bishnu P Mukhopadhyay K Sekar Dipankar Sukul Asim K Bera

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      The role of invariant water molecules in the activity of plant cysteine protease is ubiquitous in nature. On analysing the 11 different Protein DataBank (PDB) structures of plant thiol proteases, the two invariant water molecules W1 and W2 (W220 and W222 in the template 1PPN structure) were observed to form H-bonds with the Ob atom of Asn 175. Extensive energy minimization and molecular dynamics simulation studies up to 2 ns on all the PDB and solvated structures clearly revealed the involvement of the H-bonding association of the two water molecules in fixing the orientation of the asparagine residue of the catalytic triad. From this study, it is suggested that H-bonding of the water molecule at the W1 invariant site better stabilizes the Asn residue at the active site of the catalytic triad.

    • Large cryptic internal sequence repeats in protein structures from Homo sapiens

      R Sarani N A Udayaprakash R Subashini P Mridula T Yamane K Sekar

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      Amino acid sequences are known to constantly mutate and diverge unless there is a limiting condition that makes such a change deleterious. However, closer examination of the sequence and structure reveals that a few large, cryptic repeats are nevertheless sequentially conserved. This leads to the question of why only certain repeats are conserved at the sequence level. It would be interesting to find out if these sequences maintain their conservation at the three-dimensional structure level. They can play an active role in protein and nucleotide stability, thus not only ensuring proper functioning but also potentiating malfunction and disease. Therefore, insights into any aspect of the repeats – be it structure, function or evolution – would prove to be of some importance. This study aims to address the relationship between protein sequence and its three-dimensional structure, by examining if large cryptic sequence repeats have the same structure.

    • Water-mediated ionic interactions in protein structures

      R Sabarinathan K Aishwarya R Sarani M Kirti Vaishnavi K Sekar

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      It is well known that water molecules play an indispensable role in the structure and function of biological macromolecules. The water-mediated ionic interactions between the charged residues provide stability and plasticity and in turn address the function of the protein structures. Thus, this study specifically addresses the number of possible water-mediated ionic interactions, their occurrence, distribution and nature found in 90% non-redundant protein chains. Further, it provides a statistical report of different charged residue pairs that are mediated by surface or buried water molecules to form the interactions. Also, it discusses its contributions in stabilizing various secondary structural elements of the protein. Thus, the present study shows the ubiquitous nature of the interactions that imparts plasticity and flexibility to a protein molecule.

    • An algorithm to find all palindromic sequences in proteins

      N Prasanth M Kirti Vaishnavi K Sekar

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      A palindrome is a set of characters that reads the same forwards and backwards. Since the discovery of palindromic peptide sequences two decades ago, little effort has been made to understand its structural, functional and evolutionary significance. Therefore, in view of this, an algorithm has been developed to identify all perfect palindromes (excluding the palindromic subset and tandem repeats) in a single protein sequence. The proposed algorithm does not impose any restriction on the number of residues to be given in the input sequence. This avant-garde algorithm will aid in the identification of palindromic peptide sequences of varying lengths in a single protein sequence.

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