Current Issue

Advancements in Life Sciences, volume 4, issue 4

Published online: 25-August-2017
ISSN 2310-5380 


Commentaries and Correspondence

Glyphosate: cancerous or not? Perspectives from both ends of the debate

Syeda Aamna Hassan, Farwa Akhlaq, Muhammad Tayyab, Ali Raza Awan, Sehrish Firyal, Waqas Ahmad Khan, Rashid Saif, Muhammad Wasim, pages 108-112
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 Glyphosate is non-selective herbicide. Studies published in the last decade, point towards glyphosate toxicity. Shikimic acid pathway for the biosynthesis of folates and aromatic amino acids is inhibited by glyphosate. Glyphosate carcinogenicity is still considered to be a controversial issue. The World Health Organizations’ International Agency recently concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Some researchers believed that glyphosate is not linked with carcinogenicity. 

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Short Communications:

Anticancer screening of medicinal plant phytochemicals against Cyclin-Dependent Kinase-2 (CDK2): An in-silico approach

Wajahat Khan, Usman Ali Ashfaq, Sadia Aslam, Sidra Saif, Tehzeeb Aslam, Kishver Tusleem, Arooma Maryam, Muhammad Tahir ul Qamar, pages 113-119
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 Background: Cyclin-Dependent Kinase-2 (CDK2) is a member of serine/threonine protein kinases family and plays an important role in regulation of various eukaryotic cell division events. Over-expression of CDK2 during cell cycle may lead to several cellular functional aberrations including diverse types of cancers (lung cancer, primary colorectal carcinoma, ovarian cancer, melanoma and pancreatic carcinoma) in humans. Medicinal plants phytochemicals which have anticancer potential can be used as an alternative drug resource. Methods: This study was designed to find out anticancer phytochemicals from medicinal plants which could inhibit CDK2 with the help of molecular docking technique. Molecular Operating Environment (MOE v2009) software was used to dock 2300 phytochemicals in this study. Results: The outcome of this study shows that four phytochemicals Kushenol T, Remangiflavanone B, Neocalyxins A and Elenoside showed the lowest S-score (-17.83, -17.57, -17.26, -17.17 respectively) and binds strongly with all eight active residues Tyr15, Lys33, Ileu52, Lys56, Leu78, phe80, Asp145 and Phe146 of CDK2 binding site. These phytochemicals could successfully inhibit the CDK2. Conclusion: These phytochemicals can be considered as potential anticancer agents and used in drug development against CDK2. We anticipate that this study would pave way for phytochemical based novel small molecules as more efficacious and selective anti-cancer therapeutic compounds. 

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A comparative analysis of machine learning approaches for plant disease identification

Hidayat ur Rahman, Nadeem Jabbar Ch, SanaUllah Manzoor, Fahad Najeeb, Muhammad Yasir Siddique, Rafaqat Alam Khan, pages 120-126
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 Background: The problems to leaf in plants are very severe and they usually shorten the lifespan of plants. Leaf diseases are mainly caused due to three types of attacks including viral, bacterial or fungal. Diseased leaves reduce the crop production and affect the agricultural economy. Since agriculture plays a vital role in the economy, thus effective mechanism is required to detect the problem in early stages. Methods: Traditional approaches used for the identification of diseased plants are based on field visits which is time consuming and tedious. In this paper a comparative analysis of machine learning approaches has been presented for the identification of healthy and non-healthy plant leaves. For experimental purpose three different types of plant leaves have been selected namely, cabbage, citrus and sorghum. In order to classify healthy and non-healthy plant leaves color based features such as pixels, statistical features such as mean, standard deviation, min, max and descriptors such as Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) have been used. Results:  382 images of cabbage, 539 images of citrus and 262 images of sorghum were used as the primary dataset. The 40% data was utilized for testing and 60% were used for training which consisted of both healthy and damaged leaves. The results showed that random forest classifier is the best machine method for classification of healthy and diseased plant leaves. Conclusion:  From the extensive experimentation it is concluded that features such as color information, statistical distribution and histogram of gradients provides sufficient clue for the classification of healthy and non-healthy plants. 

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Review Article

Plant genome editing using engineered nucleases and success of CRISPR/Cas9 system

Moon Sajid, Zohaib Hassan, Ghulam Hussain Sehrai, Muhammad Adeel Rana, Holger Puchta, Abdul Qayyum Rao, pages 127-136

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 Development of new plant breeding techniques have facilitated easy manipulation of plants at genetic level. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein9 (Cas9) system is a valuable addition in programmable nucleases. The CRISPR/Cas9 system uses an RNA component to recognize a target DNA sequences and it has shown promising results with respect to simultaneous editing of multigenic plant traits. In this review, components of CRISPR/Cas9, their construction and its methods of delivery to plant cells are analyzed. Variation in nucleotide sequence of the protospacer adjacent motif, codon optimization and progress in web-based bioinformatic tools, will make CRISPR/Cas9 systems more efficient for plants. Development and optimization of protocols to efficiently target all plant species is still under development. Along with this, methods to inspect induced mutation and efficiency of the system have also been reviewed. Auxiliary improvements and understanding are still required to expand the CRISPR/Cas9 systems to target complex genome architectures and epigenetic elements. 

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Full Lenght Research Article

The effect of N-acetyl cysteine on H2O2 mediated oxidative stress in Whartonʼs jelly derived mesenchymal stem cells

Fatima Ali, Abdu Ur Rehman Qadir, Nishat Fatima, Nadia Wajid, pages 137-142

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 Background: Hypoxic stress is a crucial factor for retaining the cell survival in injured tissue. Overcoming this issue is the key for successful cellular regenerative therapy. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate whether the in-vitro pretreatment of Whartonʼs Jelly (WJ) derived Mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) with an antioxidant, namely N-acetylcysteine (NAC), can improve the efficacy of WJ-MSCs for transplantation purpose. Methods: WJ-MSCs were cultured with or without NAC at different concentrations (0.1mM, 1mM and 10mM). To simulate oxidative stress conditions, cultures were exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) 100 µM for 1 hour. Cytoprotective effect of NAC was evaluated by determining cell injury, viability, and proliferation. The oxidative stress is assessed by measuring the activity of glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and malodialdehyde (MDA). Results: Pretreatment of WJ-MSCs with NAC increased their viability and proliferation in concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, 10 mM NAC significantly reduced the H2Oinduced oxidative stress by enhancing the activity of GSH, SOD, and CAT and reduced the level of MDA. Conclusion: The study results indicate that NAC may abrogate H2O2 induced oxidative-stress of WJ-MSCs. This study provides basis to explore NAC effect on WJ-MSCs survival without cytotoxicity. 

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