Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Ultrafast dynamics-driven biomolecular recognition where fast activities dictate slow events


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      In general, biological macromolecules require significant dynamical freedom to carry out their different functions, includingsignal transduction, metabolism, catalysis and gene regulation. Effectors (ligands, DNA and external milieu, etc) areconsidered to function in a purely dynamical manner by selectively stabilizing a specific dynamical state, thereby regulatingbiological function. In particular, proteins in presence of these effectors can exist in several dynamical states with distinctbinding or enzymatic activity. Here, we have reviewed the efficacy of ultrafast fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor thedynamical flexibility of various proteins in presence of different effectors leading to their biological activity. Recent studiesdemonstrate the potency of a combined approach involving picosecond-resolved Fo¨ rster resonance energy transfer,polarisation-gated fluorescence and time-dependent stokes shift for the exploration of ultrafast dynamics in biomolecularrecognition of various protein molecules. The allosteric protein–protein recognition following differential protein–DNAinteraction is shown to be a consequence of some ultrafast segmental motions at the C-terminal of Gal repressor proteindimer with DNA operator sequences OE and OI. Differential ultrafast dynamics at the C-terminal of k-repressor protein withtwo different operator DNA sequences for the protein–protein interaction with different strengths is also reviewed. We havealso systemically briefed the study on the role of ultrafast dynamics of water molecules on the functionality of enzymeproteins a-chymotrypsin and deoxyribonuclease I. The studies on the essential ultrafast dynamics at the active site of theenzyme a-chymotrypsin by using an anthraniloyl fluorescent extrinsic probe covalently attached to the serine-195 residuefor the enzymatic activity at homeothermic condition has also been reviewed. Finally, we have highlighted the evidence thata photoinduced dynamical event dictates the molecular recognition of a photochromic ligand, dihydroindolizine with theserine protease a-chymotrypsin and with a liposome (L-a-phosphatidylcholine).

    • SARS-CoV-2 genomics: An Indian perspective on sequencing viral variants


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      Since its emergence as a pneumonia-like outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the novelcoronavirus disease COVID-19 has spread widely to become a global pandemic. The first case of COVID-19in India was reported on 30 January 2020 and since then it has affected more than ten million people andresulted in around 150,000 deaths in the country. Over time, the viral genome has accumulated mutations as itpasses through its human hosts, a common evolutionary mechanism found in all microorganisms. This hasimplications for disease surveillance and management, vaccines and therapeutics, and the emergence ofreinfections. Sequencing the viral genome can help monitor these changes and provides an extraordinaryopportunity to understand the genetic epidemiology and evolution of the virus as well as tracking its spread in apopulation. Here we review the past year in the context of the phylogenetic analysis of variants isolated overthe course of the pandemic in India and highlight the importance of continued sequencing-based surveillance inthe country.

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