K. P. Mohanakumar, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, Cell Biology & Physiology Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata
Neuroprotective and neurodestructive effects of Ayurvedic drug constituents: Parkinson’s disease
The present study reports the good and the bad entities in an Indian traditional medicine used for treating Parkinson’s disease (PD). A prospective clinical trial on the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medication in a population of PD patients revealed significant benefits, which has been attributed to L-DOPA present in the herbs . Later studies revealed better benefits with one of the herbs alone, compared to pure L-DOPA in a clinical trial conducted in UK , and in several studies conducted on animal models of PD in independent laboratories world over [3-5]. We have adapted strategies to segregate molecules from the herb, and then carefully removed L-DOPA contained therein, and tested each of these sub-fractions for anti-PD activity in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, rotenone and 6-hydroxydopamine -induced parkinsonian animal models, and transgenic mitochondrial cybrids. We report here two classes of molecules contained in the herb, one of which possessed severe pro-parkinsonian (phenolic amine derivatives) and the other having excellent anti-parkinsonian potential (substituted tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives). The former has been shown to cause severe dopamine depletion in the striatum of rodents, when administered acutely or chronically. It also caused significant behavioral aberrations, leading to anxiety and depression . The latter class of molecules administered in PD animal model , caused reversal of behavioral dysfunctions and significant attenuation of striatal dopamine loss. These effects were comparable or better than the effects of the anti-PD drugs, selegiline or L-DOPA. The mechanism of action of the molecule has been found to be novel, at the postsynaptic receptor signaling level, as well as cellular α-synuclein oligomerization and specifically at mitochondria. The molecule helped in maintaining mitochondrial ETC complex activity and stabilized cellular respiration, and mitochondrial fusion-fission machinery with specific effect on the dynamin related protein 1. Although there existed significant medical benefits that could be derived to patients due to the synergistic actions of several molecules present in a traditional preparation, accumulated data in our hands suggest complicated mechanisms of actions of Ayurvedic medication. Our results also provide great hope for extracting, synthesizing and optimizing the activity of anti-parkinsonian molecules present in traditional Ayurvedic herbs, and for designing novel drugs with novel mechanisms of action.
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- Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.75, 1672-7, 2004.
- Manyam BV, Dhanasekaran M, Hare TA. Phytother Res. 18, 706-12, 2004.
- Kasture S, Pontis S, Pinna A, Schintu N, Spina L, Longoni R, Simola N, Ballero M, Morelli M. Neurotox Res. 15, 111-22, 2009.
- Lieu CA, Kunselman AR, Manyam BV, Venkiteswaran K, Subramanian T. Parkinsonism Relat Disord.16, 458-65, 2010.
- T Sengupta and KP Mohanakumar, Neurochem Int. 57, 637-46, 2010.
- T Sengupta, J Vinayagam, N Nagashayana, B Gowda, P Jaisankar and KP Mohanakumar, Neurochem Res 36, 177-86, 2011
Nader Pourmand, Ph.D.
Director, UCSC Genome Technology Center,University of California, Santa Cruz
Biosensor and Single Cell Manipulation using Nanopipettes
Approaching sub-cellular biological problems from an engineering perspective begs for the incorporation of electronic readouts. With their high sensitivity and low invasiveness, nanotechnology-based tools hold great promise for biochemical sensing and single-cell manipulation. During my talk I will discuss the incorporation of electrical measurements into nanopipette technology and present results showing the rapid and reversible response of these subcellular sensors to different analytes such as antigens, ions and carbohydrates. In addition, I will present the development of a single-cell manipulation platform that uses a nanopipette in a scanning ion-conductive microscopy technique. We use this newly developed technology to position the nanopipette with nanoscale precision, and to inject and/or aspirate a minute amount of material to and from individual cells or organelle without comprising cell viability. Furthermore, if time permits, I will show our strategy for a new, single-cell DNA/ RNA sequencing technology that will potentially use nanopipette technology to analyze the minute amount of aspirated cellular material.
Sudarslal S, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Biotechnology, Amrita University
Electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry for cyclic peptide characterization
There has been considerable interest in the isolation and structural characterization of bioactive peptides produced by bacteria and fungi. Most of the peptides are cyclic depsipeptides characterized by the presence of lactone linkages and β-hydroxy fatty acids. Occurrence of microheterogeneity is another remarkable property of these peptides. Even if tandem mass spectrometers are good analytical tools to structurally characterize peptides and proteins, sequence analysis of cyclic peptides is often ambiguous due to the random ring opening of the peptides and subsequent generation of a set of linear precursor ions with the same m/z. Here we report combined use of chemical derivatization and multistage fragmentation capability of ion trap mass spectrometers to determine primary sequences of a series of closely related cyclic peptides.
Ravindra Gudihal, Suresh Babu C V
Bioanalytical Characterization of Therapeutic Proteins
The characterization of therapeutic proteins such as monoclonal antibody (mAb) during different stages of manufacturing is crucial for timely and successful product release. Regulatory agencies require a variety of analytical technologies for comprehensive and efficient protein analysis. Electrophoresis-based techniques and liquid chromatography (LC) either standalone or coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) are at the forefront for the in-depth analysis of protein purity, isoforms, stability, aggregation, posttranslational modifications, PEGylation, etc. In this presentation, a combination of various chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques such as liquid-phase isoelectric focusing, microfluidic and capillary-based electrophoresis (CE), liquid chromatography (LC) and combinations of those with mass spectrometry techniques will be discussed. We present a workflow based approach to the analysis of therapeutic proteins. In successive steps critical parameters like purity, accurate mass, aggregation, peptide sequence, glycopeptide and glycan analysis are analyzed. In brief, the workflow involved proteolytic digestion of therapeutic protein for peptide mapping, N-Glycanase and chemical labeling reaction for glycan analysis, liquid-phase isoelectric focusing for enrichment of charge variants followed by a very detailed analysis using state of the art methods such as CE-MS and LC-MS. For the analysis of glycans, we use combinations of CE-MS and LC-MS to highlight the sweet spots of these techniques. CE-MS is found to be more useful in analysis of highly sialylated glycans (charged glycans) while nano LC-MS seems to be better adapted for analysis of neutral glycans. These two techniques can be used to get complementary data to profile all the glycans present in a given protein. In addition, microfluidic electrophoresis was used as a QC tool in initial screening for product purity, analysis of papain digestion fragments of mAb, protein PEGylation products, etc. The described workflow involves multiple platforms, provides an end to end solution for comprehensive protein characterization and aims at reducing the total product development time.