• M R N Murthy

      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.

    • 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.

    • Studies on simultaneous inhibition of trypsin and chymotrypsin by horsegram Bowman-Birk inhibitor

      Balaji Prakash M R N Murthy Y N Sreerama D Rajagopal Rao Lalitha R Gowda

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      Bowman-Birk inhibitors (BBI) isolated from plant seeds are small proteins active against trypsin and/or chymotrypsin. These inhibitors have been extensively studied in terms of their structure, interactions, function and evolution. Examination of the known three-dimensional structures of BBIs revealed similarities and subtle differences. The hydrophobic core, deduced from surface accessibility and hydrophobicity plots, corresponding to the two tandem structural domains of the double headed BBI are related by an almost exact two-fold, in contrast to the reactive site loops which depart appreciably from the two-fold symmetry. Also, the orientations of inhibitory loops in soybean and peanut inhibitors were different with respect to the rigid core. Based on the structure of Adzuki bean BBI-trypsin complex, models of trypsin and chymotryspin bound to the monomeric soybean BBI (SBI) were constructed. There were minor short contacts between the two enzymes bound to the inhibitor suggesting near independence of binding. Binding studies revealed that the inhibition of one enzyme in the presence of the other is associated with a minor negative cooperativity. In order to assess the functional significance of the reported oligomeric forms of BBI, binding of proteases to the crystallographic and non-crystallographic dimers as found in the crystal structure of peanut inhibitor were examined. It was found that all the active sites in these oligomers cannot simultaneously participate in inhibition.

    • Source and target enzyme signature in serine protease inhibitor active site sequences

      Balaji Prakash M R N Murthy

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      Amino acid sequences of proteinaceous proteinase inhibitors have been extensively analysed for deriving information regarding the molecular evolution and functional relationship of these proteins. These sequences have been grouped into several well defined families. It was found that the phylogeny constructed with the sequences corresponding to the exposed loop responsible for inhibition has several branches that resemble those obtained from comparisons using the entire sequence. The major branches of the unrooted tree corresponded to the families to which the inhibitors belonged. Further branching is related to the enzyme specificity of the inhibitor. Examination of the active site loop sequences of trypsin inhibitors revealed that here are strong preferences for specific amino acids at different positions of the loop. These preferences are inhibitor class specific. Inhibitors active against more than one enzyme occur within a class and confirm to class specific sequence in their loops. Hence, only a few positions in the loop seem to determine the specificity. The ability to inhibit the same enzyme by inhibitors that belong to different classes appears to be a result of convergent evolution.

    • Contributory presentations/posters

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    • 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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