Articles Online (Volume 9, Issue 5)


Bacterial Phosphoproteomic Analysis Reveals the Correlation Between Protein Phosphorylation and Bacterial Pathogenicity

Ruiguang Ge , Weiran Shan

Increasing evidence shows that protein phosphorylation on serine, threonine and tyrosine residues is a major regulatory post-translational modification in the bacteria. This review focuses on the implications of bacterial phosphoproteome in bacterial pathogenicity and highlights recent development of methods in phosphoproteomics and the connectivity of the phosphorylation networks. Recent technical developments in the high accuracy mass spectrometry have dramatically transformed proteomics and made it possible the characterization of a few exhaustive site-specific bacterial phosphoproteomes. The high abundance of tyrosine phosphorylations in a few bacterial phosphoproteomes suggests their roles in the pathogenicity, especially in the case of pathogen-host interactions; the high abundance of multi-phosphorylation sites in bacterial phosphoprotein is a compensation of the relatively small phosphorylation size and an indicator of the delicate regulation of protein functions.

Page 119–127

Review Article

Computational Identification of Protein-Protein Interactions in Rice Based on the Predicted Rice Interactome Network

Pengcheng Zhu, Haibin Gu, Yinming Jiao, Donglin Huang, Ming Chen

Plant protein-protein interaction networks have not been identified by large-scale experiments. In order to better understand the protein interactions in rice, the Predicted Rice Interactome Network (PRIN; presented 76,585 predicted interactions involving 5,049 rice proteins. After mapping genomic features of rice (GO annotation, subcellular localization prediction, and gene expression), we found that a well-annotated and biologically significant network is rich enough to capture many significant functional linkages within higher-order biological systems, such as pathways and biological processes. Furthermore, we took MADS-box domain-containing proteins and circadian rhythm signaling pathways as examples to demonstrate that functional protein complexes and biological pathways could be effectively expanded in our predicted network. The expanded molecular network in PRIN has considerably improved the capability of these analyses to integrate existing knowledge and provide novel insights into the function and coordination of genes and gene networks.

Page 128–137

Review Article

Genome-Wide Comparative in silico Analysis of Calcium Transporters of Rice and Sorghum

Anshita Goel, Gohar Taj, Dinesh Pandey, Sanjay Gupta, Anil Kumar

The mechanism of calcium uptake, translocation and accumulation in Poaceae has not yet been fully understood. To address this issue, we conducted genome-wide comparative in silico analysis of the calcium (Ca2+) transporter gene family of two crop species, rice and sorghum. Gene annotation, identification of upstream cis-acting elements, phylogenetic tree construction and syntenic mapping of the gene family were performed using several bioinformatics tools. A total of 31 Ca2+ transporters, distributed on 9 out of 12 chromosomes, were predicted from rice genome, while 28 Ca2+ transporters predicted from sorghum are distributed on all the chromosomes except chromosome 10 (Chr 10). Interestingly, most of the genes on Chr 1 and Chr 3 show an inverse syntenic relationship between rice and sorghum. Multiple sequence alignment and motif analysis of these transporter proteins revealed high conservation between the two species. Phylogenetic tree could very well identify the subclasses of channels, ATPases and exchangers among the gene family. The in silico cis-regulatory element analysis suggested diverse functions associated with light, stress and hormone responsiveness as well as endosperm- and meristem-specific gene expression. Further experiments are warranted to validate the in silico analysis of the predicted transporter gene family and elucidate the functions of Ca2+ transporters in various biological processes.

Page 138–150

Review Article

Cloning, Expression, and Homology Modeling of GroEL Protein from Leptospira interrogans Serovar Autumnalis Strain N2

Kalimuthusamy Natarajaseenivasan, Santhanam Shanmughapriya, Sridhar Velineni, Sergey C. Artiushin, John F. Timoney

Leptospirosis is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Leptospira species. In this study, we cloned and sequenced the gene encoding the immunodominant protein GroEL from L. interrogans serovar Autumnalis strain N2, which was isolated from the urine of a patient during an outbreak of leptospirosis in Chennai, India. This groEL gene encodes a protein of 60 kDa with a high degree of homology (99% similarity) to those of other leptospiral serovars. Recombinant GroEL was overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Immunoblot analysis indicated that the sera from confirmed leptospirosis patients showed strong reactivity with the recombinant GroEL while no reactivity was observed with the sera from seronegative control patient. In addition, the 3D structure of GroEL was constructed using chaperonin complex cpn60 from Thermus thermophilus as template and validated. The results indicated a Z-score of −8.35, which is in good agreement with the expected value for a protein. The superposition of the Ca traces of cpn60 structure and predicted structure of leptospiral GroEL indicates good agreement of secondary structure elements with an RMSD value of 1.5 Å. Further study is necessary to evaluate GroEL for serological diagnosis of leptospirosis and for its potential as a vaccine component.

Page 151–157


An Approach for Searching Insertions in Bacterial Genes Leading to the Phase Shift of Triplet Periodicity

Maria A. Korotkova, Nikolay A. Kudryashov, Eugene V. Korotkov

The concept of the phase shift of triplet periodicity (TP) was used for searching potential DNA insertions in genes from 17 bacterial genomes. A mathematical algorithm for detection of these insertions has been developed. This approach can detect potential insertions and deletions with lengths that are not multiples of three bases, especially insertions of relatively large DNA fragments (>100 bases). New similarity measure between triplet matrixes was employed to improve the sensitivity for detecting the TP phase shift. Sequences of 17,220 bacterial genes with each consisting of more than 1,200 bases were analyzed, and the presence of a TP phase shift has been shown in ∼16% of analysed genes (2,809 genes), which is about 4 times more than that detected in our previous work. We propose that shifts of the TP phase may indicate the shifts of reading frame in genes after insertions of the DNA fragments with lengths that are not multiples of three bases. A relationship between the phase shifts of TP and the frame shifts in genes is discussed.

Page 158–170


Mining Genomic Patterns in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv Using a Web Server Tuber-Gene

Lavanya Rishishwar, Bhasker Pantb, Kumud Pant, Kamal R. Pardasani

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), causative agent of tuberculosis, is one of the most dreaded diseases of the century. It has long been studied by researchers throughout the world using various wet-lab and dry-lab techniques. In this study, we focus on mining useful patterns at genomic level that can be applied for in silico functional characterization of genes from the MTB complex. The model developed on the basis of the patterns found in this study can correctly identify 99.77% of the input genes from the genome of MTB strain H37Rv. The model was tested against four other MTB strains and the homologue M. bovis to further evaluate its generalization capability. The mean prediction accuracy was 85.76%. It was also observed that the GC content remained fairly constant throughout the genome, implicating the absence of any pathogenicity island transferred from other organisms. This study reveals that dinucleotide composition is an efficient functional class discriminator for MTB complex. To facilitate the application of this model, a web server Tuber-Gene has been developed, which can be freely accessed at

Page 171–178