• Samir K Brahmachari

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Left handed DNA in synthetic and topologically constrained form V DNA and its implications in protein recognition

      Y S Shouche P K Latha N Ramesh K Majumder V Mandyan Samir K Brahmachari

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      We have investigated structural transitions in Poly(dG-dC) and Poly(dG-Me5dC) in order to understand the exact role of cations in stabilizing left-handed helical structures in specific sequences andthe biological role, if any, of these structures. From a novel temperature dependent Z ⇌ B transition it has been shown that a minor fluctuation in Na+ concentration at ambient temperature can bring about B to Z transition. Forthe first time, wehave observed a novel Z⇌B⇌Zuble transition in poly(dG-Me5dC) as the Na+ concentration is gradually increased. This suggests that a minor fluctuation in Na+ concentration in conjunction with methylation may transform small stretches of CG sequences from one conformational state to another. These stretches could probably serve as sites for regulation. Supercoiled formV DNA reconstituted from pBR322 and pβG plasmids have been studied as model systems, in order to understand the nature and role of left-handed helical conformation in natural sequences. A large portion of DNA in form V, obtained by reannealing the two complementary singlestranded circles is forced to adopt left-handed double helical structure due to topological constraints (Lk = 0). Binding studies with Z-DNA specific antibody and spectroscopic studies confirm the presence of left-handed Z-structure in the pβG and pβR322 form V DNA. Cobalt hexamine chloride, which induces Z-form in Poly(dG-dC) stabilizes the Z-conformation in form V DNA even in the non-alternating purine-pyrimidine sequences. A reverse effect is observed with ethidium bromide. Interestingly, both topoisomerase I and II (from wheat germ) act effectively on form V DNA to give rise to a species having an electrophoretic mobility on agarose gel similar to that of open circular (form II) DNA. Whether this molecule is formed as a result of the left-handed helical segments of form V DNA undergoing a transition to the right-handed B-form during the topoisomerase action remains to be solved.

    • Genome analysis: A new approach for visualization of sequence organization in genomes

      Pradeep Kumar Burma Alok Raj Jayant K Deb Samir K Brahmachari

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      In this article we describe and demonstrate the versatility of a computer program, GENOME MAPPING, that uses interactive graphics and runs on an IRIS workstation. The program helps to visualize as well as analyse global and local patterns of genomic DNA sequences. It was developed keeping in mind the requirements of the human genome sequencing programme, which requires rapid analysis of the data. Using GENOME MAPPING one can discern signature patterns of different kinds of sequences and analyse such patterns for repetitive as well as rare sequence strings. Further, one can visualize the extent of global homology between different genomic sequences. An application of our method to the published yeast mitochondrial genome data shows similar sequence organizations in the entire sequence and in smaller subsequences

    • Analysis of CAG/CTG triplet repeats in the human genome: Implication in transcription factor gene regulation

      Rashna Bhandari Samir K Brahmachari

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      Instability and polymorphism at several CAG/CTG trinucleotide repeat loci have been associated with human genetic disorders. In an attempt to identify novel sites that may be possible loci for expansion of CAG/CTG repeats, we searched all human sequences in the EMBL nucleotide sequence database for (CAG)5 and (CTG)5 repeats. We have identified 121 human DNA sequences of known and unknown functions that contain stretches of five or more CAG or CTG repeats. Many repeat stretches were interrupted by variant triplets, a significant number of which differ from the repeat triplet only by a single base, suggesting that these evolved from the parent triplet by point mutations. A large number of human transcription factor genes were found to contain CAG repeats within their coding sequences. Analysis of the EMBL transcription factors database showed that many transcription factor genes of other eukaryotes, including genes involved inDrosophila embryo development, possess these repeats. Interestingly, CAG repeats are absent from prokaryotic transcription factors. Different sequence entries for the human TATA box binding protein showed a polymorphism in the length of the CAG repeat in this gene, suggesting that loci other than those already known to be associated with genetic diseases may be possible sites for repeat instability related disorders. On the basis of our findings in this database analysis, we propose a role for CAG repeats as cisacting regulatory elements involved in fine-tuning gene expression.

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    • Variations in angiotensin-converting enzyme gene insertion/deletion polymorphism in Indian populations of different ethnic origins

      M A Qadar Pasha Amjad P Khan Ratan Kumar Rekh B Ram Surinder K Grover Kaushal K Srivastava William Selvamurthy Samir K Brahmachari

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      The pattern of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism in the Indian population is poorly known. In order to determine the status of the polymorphism, young unrelated male army recruits were screened. The population had cultural and linguistic differences and lived in an environment that varied significantly from one region to another. Analysis of the genotype, showed higher frequency of the insertion allele in four of the five groups i.e. I allele frequency was significantly higher (P< 005) in Dogras, Assamese and Kumaonese. The deletion allele frequency was comparatively higher in the fifth group that belonged to Punjab. A correlation was observed between the genotype and enzyme activity. Involvement of a single D allele in the genotype enhanced the activity up to 37.56 ± 313%. The results suggested ethnic heterogeneity with a significant gene cline with higher insertion allele frequency. Such population-based data on various polymorphisms can ultimately be exploited in pharmacogenomics.

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