Selected artcles May 2016
Bioinformatic screen for Ebola-vaccine candidates
B and T Cell Epitope-Based Peptides Predicted from Evolutionarily Conserved and Whole Protein Sequences of Ebola Virus as Vaccine Targets
T. Yasmin & A. H. M. Nurun Nabi
In a publication in the May issue of Scandinavian Journal of Immunology researcher from the University of Dhaka investigated potential candidates for designing a vaccine against Ebola virus. They performed sequence and structure based analyses and found a cluster of B cell and T cell specific epitopes as the best potential candidates for a vaccine.
Amongst the T cell epitopes, “LANETTQAL” and “FLYDRLAST” from glycoprotein were considered as the most potent candidates because of their interaction with the highest number of different HLA alleles, conservancy, percentage of population coverage and docking analysis. On the other hand, peptides “79VPSATKRWGFRSGVPP9455” from GP1 and “515LHYWTTQDEGAAIGLA53056 ” from GP2 of Ebola glycoprotein were predicted as linear B cell epitopes of which the later contains a region 519TTQDEG524 that fulfilled all the criteria of accessibility, hydrophilicity, flexibility and beta turn region for becoming an ideal B cell epitope.
– We believe that this suggested cluster of B and T cell epitopes will definitely reduce time, cost and labor during in vivo and in vitro studies to be carried out for developing a vaccine against Ebola virus, says Tahirah Yasmin, first author of the study
Tahirah Yasmin is a lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka and a member in the research group supervised by Dr. A H M Nurun Nabi.
– I enjoyed discussing the study plan with my supervisor and witnessing how the plan evolved through these discussions, she says. But perhaps the most fun part was correlating these dry lab data with previous wet lab experiments conducted in some other parts of the world. This only shows the vast potential of bioinformatics in the current world.
Gum arabic have a potential pro-inflammatory effect
Modulating Effects of Arabinogalactans from Plant Gum Exudates on Human Complement System
F. Bovo, R. M. Lenzi, F. T. Yamassaki, I. J. Messias-Reason, L. H. Campestrini, F. R. Stevan, S. F. Zawadzki-Baggio & J. B. B. Maurer*
In this study, researchers from Brazil demonstrate that gum arabic, considered to be an inert and widely used as an incipient in the pharmaceutical industry and as food additive, can induce activation of both alternative and classical pathway of complement system in vitro, and as such a potential pro-inflammatory effect.
This work was the result of a collaborative study of two research groups, in order to investigate of the effect of Gum arabic and cashew nut tree gum exudate polysaccharide (CNTG) on the classical and alternative pathway of the complement system.
Dr Bovo, the first author of the study is an employee of the Federal University of Parana (UFPR), and did her PhD and post-doctoral training in the research group supervised by Prof. Dr. Iara de Messias Reason (Laboratory of Molecular Immunopathology) and by Prof. Dr. Juliana Maurer (Parana Center for Research in Medicinal Plants- NUPPLAMED).
– Doing research in the area of immunology specifically on complement system has always made me very happy, she says.
Ever since her first year of college she was interested in immunology and thus enjoys doing this research. She points out the importance of a good supervisor.
– Working under a good supervisor that always shares her wisdom, knowledge and experience, having a good work team and achieving significant results is really fulfilling, Dr Bovo says.
However, there are some drawbacks to her days:
– Our tasks as researchers are quite difficult to fulfill most of the time in our country due to financial restrictions and a lack of official support, she concludes.