[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4(+) T cells respond to antigen immunization through a process of activation, clonal expansion to generate activated effector T cells followed by activation-induced clonal deletion of the responding T cells. While loss of responding T cells in post-activation death by apoptosis is a major factor regulating immune homeostasis, the precise pathways involved in downsizing of Plasmodium falciparum antigen-induced T cell expansions are not well characterized. We report in this study that splenic CD4(+) T cells from mice immunized with nonreplicating immunogens like OVA or recombinant blood stage P. falciparum antigens, PfMSP-3 and PfMSP-1(19) or crude parasite antigen (PfAg) undergo sequential T cell activation, proliferation followed by activation-induced cell death (AICD) in a dose- and time-dependent manner after Ag restimulation. While PfMSP-3 and OVA-induced AICD was mediated through a death receptor-dependent apoptotic program, PfMSP-1(19) and PfAg-induced AICD was via a mechanism dependent on the activation of mitochondria apoptosis signalling pathway through Bax activation. These results provide insights into the mechanism through which two blood stage merozoite antigens trigger different apoptotic programs of AICD in splenic CD4(+) T cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA-binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, a multitude of RNA-binding proteins with several RNA-binding domains/motifs have been described. Here, we show the existence of two Tudor domain containing proteins, a survival of motor neuron (SMN)-like protein and a Staphylococcus aureus nuclease homologue referred to as TSN, in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites. Activity analysis shows that Plasmodium falciparum TSN (PfTSN) possesses nuclease activity and Tudor domain is the RNA-binding domain. A specific inhibitor of micrococcal nucleases, 3',5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibits the nuclease as well as RNA-binding activities of the protein. PfTSN shows a predominant nuclear localization. Treatment of P. falciparum with pdTp, inhibited in vitro growth of both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum, while a four fold concentration of pdTp did not have any significant effect on the mammalian cell line, Huh-7D12. Altogether, these results suggest that PfTSN is an essential enzyme in the parasite's life cycle.
International Journal for Parasitology 05/2008; 38(5):513-26. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synthesis and conformational studies of a cecropin-melittin hybrid pentadecapeptide CA(1-7)MEL(2-9), and its three alpha, beta-dehydrophenylalanine (DeltaPhe) containing analogs in water-TFE mixtures are described. DeltaPhe is placed at strategic positions in order to preserve the amphipathicity of the molecule. The wild type CAMEL0 and its three analogs, containing one, two and three DeltaPhe residues namely CAMELDeltaPhe1, CAMELDeltaPhe2 and CAMELDeltaPhe3 respectively were synthesized in solid phase and their conformation determined by CD and NMR. CAMELDeltaPhe2 and CAMELDeltaPhe3 peptides exhibit the presence of 3(10)-helix and beta-turns in the former and only turns in the latter. CAMELDeltaPhe1 peptide was found to have a largely extended conformation. Antibacterial and hemolytic activities of the peptides were also evaluated. CAMELDeltaPhe2 peptide is maximally potent against both Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 259230 and Escherichia coli ATCC 11303. CAMELDeltaPhe1 with a single DeltaPhe at the center shows minimal hemolysis.
Journal of Peptide Science 04/2007; 13(4):253-62. · 2.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The blood stage of the malaria parasite's life cycle is responsible for all the clinical symptoms of malaria. The development of clinical disease is dependent on the interplay of the infecting parasite with the immune status and genetic background of the host. Following repeated exposure to malaria parasites, individuals residing in endemic areas develop immunity. Naturally acquired immunity provides protection against clinical disease, especially severe malaria and death from malaria, although sterilizing immunity is never achieved. Given the absence of antigen processing in erythrocytes, immunity to blood stage malaria parasites is primarily conferred by humoral immune responses. Cellular and innate immune responses play a role in controlling parasite growth but may also contribute to malaria pathology. Here, we analyze the natural humoral immune responses acquired by individuals residing in P. falciparum endemic areas and review their role in providing protection against malaria. In addition, we review the dual potential of cellular and innate immune responses to control parasite multiplication and promote pathology.
Current Molecular Medicine 04/2006; 6(2):187-203. · 4.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structures of two dehydropentapeptides, Boc-Pro-DeltaPhe-Val-DeltaPhe-Ala-OMe (I) and Boc-Pro-DeltaPhe-Gly-DeltaPhe-Ala-OMe (II) (Boc: t-butoxycarbonyl), have been determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), circular dichroism (CD), and X-ray crystallographic studies. The peptide I assumes a S-shaped flat beta-bend structure, characterized by two partially overlapping type II beta-bends and absence of a second 1 <-- 4 (N4--H . . . O1') intramolecular hydrogen bond. This is in contrast to the generally observed 3(10)-helical conformation in peptides with DeltaPhe at alternate positions. This report describes the novel conformation assumed by peptide I and compares it with that of the conserved tip of the V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 (sequence, G:P319 to F:P324, PDB code 1ACY). The tip of the V3 loop also assumes a S-shaped conformation with Arg:P322, making an intramolecular side-chain-backbone interaction with the carbonyl oxygen of Gly:P319. Interestingly, in peptide I, C(gamma)HVal(3) makes a similar side-chain-backbone C--H . . . O hydrogen bond with the carbonyl oxygen of the Boc group. The observed overall similarity indicates the possible use of the peptide as a viral antagonist or synthetic antigen. Peptide II adopts a unique turn followed by a 3(10)-helix. Both peptides I and II are classical examples of stabilization of unusual structures in oligopeptides.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 16 residues long, water soluble, monomeric beta-hairpin peptide 'trpzip', stabilized by tryptophan zipper has been linked via a tetraglycyl linker to a hydrophobic didehydrophenylalnine (DeltaF) containing helical octapeptide. Circular dichroism studies of this 28 residues long peptide, 'trpzipalpha' (Ac-GEWTWDDATKTWTWTE-GGGG-DeltaFALDeltaFALDeltaFA-NH(2)) in water have revealed the presence of both the beta-hairpin and the helical conformations. This is the first instance where a DeltaF containing peptide has been found to display a helical fold in water. The fluorescence emission wavelengths of tryptophan in Ac-G-W-G-NH(2), trpzip and trpzipalpha were 341.5, 332.8 and 332.6 nm, respectively. The fluorescence quantum yield of trpzip was 2.6-fold higher than trpzipalpha suggesting that proximal interactions between the beta-hairpin and the helix caused the quenching of tryptophan fluorescence in the former by the DeltaFs in the latter. The molar ellipticity of the far UV couplet characteristic of trpzip was reduced in trpzipalpha and the CD based thermal melting temperatures at 228 nm were 62 degrees C (trpzip) and 57 degrees C (trpzipalpha). A concentration-dependent variable temperature CD study in water showed that in trpzipalpha, increasing temperature is detrimental to the beta-hairpin, but it augments the helical motif, perhaps by intermolecular oligomerization. Our results show that in water, trpzipalpha exhibits long-range interactions between two different secondary structures. In contrast to trpzip, trpzipalpha has shown a greater tendency to oligomerize in water.
European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 06/2005; 65(5):475-84. · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The title compound (systematic name: 3-benzylidene-6-isobutylpiperazine-2,5-dione), C15H18N2O2, an alpha,beta-dehydrophenylalanine containing diketopiperazine, crystallizes in the space group P1 with two molecules in the asymmetric unit arranged antiparallel to one another. The alpha,beta-dehydrophenylalanine (DeltaPhe) residue in this cyclic peptide retains its planarity but deviates from the standard conformations observed in its linear analogues. Each type of molecule forms a linear chain with molecules of the same type via pairwise N-H...O hydrogen bonds, while weaker C-H...O interactions link the chains together to form a three-dimensional network.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 42- and 19-kDa C-terminal fragments of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1(42) and MSP-1(19), respectively) are both promising blood-stage vaccine candidate antigens. At present, it is not clear which of the two antigens will be more suitable for inclusion in a cocktail malaria vaccine. In the present study, we expressed the two C-terminal fragments of Plasmodium vivax MSP-1 (PvMSP-1) in an Escherichia coli expression system and purified them by using a rapid two-step protocol. Both of the products were recognized by monoclonal antibodies against PvMSP-1 as well as by immune sera from several individuals exposed to P. vivax. We analyzed and compared the immunological responses to recombinant PvMSP-1(19) and PvMSP-1(42) in mice by using six different adjuvant formulations. Moderate to high antibody responses were observed with both of the antigens in different adjuvant formulations. Surprisingly, alum, which is generally considered to be a poor adjuvant for recombinant malaria antigens, was found to be as good an adjuvant as Montanide ISA 720, ASO2A, and other adjuvant formulations. Most adjuvant formulations induced high levels of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), followed by IgG3 and IgG2. Lymphocytes from animals in the PvMSP-1(42)- and PvMSP-1(19)-immunized groups showed proliferative responses upon stimulation with the respective antigens, and high levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and gamma interferon were detected in the culture supernatants. Immunodepletion studies with sera from mice immunized with these two antigens showed that while immunization with PvMSP-1(42) does produce a PvMSP-1(19)-specific response, a substantial portion is also focused on structures in PvMSP-1(42) not represented by the epidermal growth factor-like domains of PvMSP-1(19). These findings may have implications for the design of MSP-1-based vaccine constructs.
Infection and Immunity 11/2004; 72(10):5775-82. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Incorporation of alpha,beta-dehydrophenylalanine (DeltaPhe) residue in peptides induces folded conformations: beta-turns in short peptides and 3(10)-helices in larger ones. A few exceptions-namely, alpha-helix or flat beta-bend ribbon structures-have also been reported in a few cases. The most favorable conformation of DeltaPhe residues are (phi,psi) approximately (-60 degrees, -30 degrees ), (-60 degrees, 150 degrees ), (80 degrees, 0 degrees ) or their enantiomers. DeltaPhe is an achiral and planar residue. These features have been exploited in designing DeltaPhe zippers and helix-turn-helix motifs. DeltaPhe can be incorporated in both right and left-handed helices. In fact, consecutive occurrence of three or more DeltaPhe amino acids induce left-handed screw sense in peptides containing L-amino acids. Weak interactions involving the DeltaPhe residue play an important role in molecular association. The C--H.O==C hydrogen bond between the DeltaPhe side-chain and backbone carboxyl moiety, pi-pi stacking interactions between DeltaPhe side chains belonging to enantiomeric helices have shown to stabilize folding. The unusual capability of a DeltaPhe ring to form the hub of multicentered interactions namely, a donor in aromatic C--H.pi and C--H.O==C and an acceptor in a CH(3).pi interaction suggests its exploitation in introducing long-range interactions in the folding of supersecondary structures.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peptide Boc-Val1-deltaPhe2-Leu3-Ala4-deltaPhe5-Ala6-OMe has been examined for the structural consequence of placing a two-residue segment between the deltaPhe residues. The peptide is stabilized by four consecutive beta-turns. The overall conformation of the molecule is a right-handed 3(10)-helix, with average (phi, psi) values (-67.7 degrees, -22.7 degrees), unwound at the C-terminus. The 1H NMR results also suggest that the peptide maintains its 3(10)-helical structure in solution as observed in the crystal state. The crystal structure is stabilized through head-to-tail hydrogen bonds and a repertoire of aromatic interactions laterally directed between adjacent helices, which are antiparallel to each other. The aromatic ring of deltaPhe5 forms the hub of multicentred interactions, namely as a donor in aromatic C-H...pi and aromatic C-H...O=C interactions and as an acceptor in a CH3...pi interaction. The present structure uniquely illustrates the unusual capability of a deltaPhe ring to host such concerted interactions and suggests its exploitation in introducing long-range interactions in the folding of supersecondary structures.
Journal of Peptide Science 02/2003; 9(1):54-63. · 2.07 Impact Factor