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Current Issues in Molecular Biology is published by MDPI from Volume 43 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence, and they are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Caister Press.

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol., Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2007) – 4 articles

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609 KiB  
Review
The Hepatitis C Virus NS2/3 Protease
by Sarah Welbourn and Arnim Pause
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2007, 9(1), 63-70; https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.009.063 - 1 Feb 2007
Viewed by 539
Abstract
The hepatitis C virus NS2/3 protein is a highly hydrophobic protease responsible for the cleavage of the viral polypeptide between non-structural proteins NS2 and NS3. However, many aspects of the NS2/3 protease's role in the viral life cycle and mechanism of action remain [...] Read more.
The hepatitis C virus NS2/3 protein is a highly hydrophobic protease responsible for the cleavage of the viral polypeptide between non-structural proteins NS2 and NS3. However, many aspects of the NS2/3 protease's role in the viral life cycle and mechanism of action remain unknown. Based on the recently elucidated crystal structure of NS2, NS2/3 has been proposed to function as a cysteine protease despite its lack of sequence homology to proteases of known function. In addition, although shown to be required for HCV genome replication and persistent infection in a chimpanzee, the role of NS2/3 cleavage in the viral life cycle has not yet been fully investigated. However, several recent studies are beginning to clarify possible roles of the cleaved NS2 protein in modulation of host cell gene expression and apoptosis. Full article
2252 KiB  
Review
Biogenesis of Microbial Polyhydroxyalkanoate Granules: A Platform Technology for the Production of Tailor-Made Bioparticles
by Bernd H.A. Rehm
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2007, 9(1), 41-62; https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.009.041 - 1 Feb 2007
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
Biopolyester (PHAs = polyhydroxyalkanoates) composed of hydroxy fatty acids represent a rather complex class of storage polymers synthesized by various eubacteria and archaea and are deposited as water-insoluble cytoplasmic nano-sized inclusions. These spherical shell-core particles are composed of a polyester core surrounded by [...] Read more.
Biopolyester (PHAs = polyhydroxyalkanoates) composed of hydroxy fatty acids represent a rather complex class of storage polymers synthesized by various eubacteria and archaea and are deposited as water-insoluble cytoplasmic nano-sized inclusions. These spherical shell-core particles are composed of a polyester core surrounded by phospholipids and proteins. The key enzymes of polyester biosynthesis and polyester particle formation are the polyester synthases, which catalyze the enantio-selective polymerization of (R)-hydroxyacyl- CoA thioesters to polyesters. Various metabolic routes have been identified and established in bacteria to provide substrate for polyester synthases. The role of the polyester synthases in morphogenesis and presumably self-assembly of these natural polyester particles will be described. Although not essential for particle formation, non-covalently attached proteins, the so-called phasins, can be found at the particle surface and are considered as structural proteins. A multiple alignment of 88 polyester synthases indicated an identity varying from 8% to 96% with eight strictly conserved amino acid residues. Protein engineering of polyester synthases and phasins was used to functionalize the polyester particle surface. The current knowledge enables the microbial and biocatalytic production of particles with controlled size, polyester core composition and surface functionality, which suggested numerous potential applications of these biocompatible and biodegradable nanostructures particularly in the medical field. Full article
770 KiB  
Review
Molecular Diagnostics of Medically Important Bacterial Infections
by Beverley Cherie Millar, Jiru Xu and John Edmund Moore
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2007, 9(1), 21-40; https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.009.021 - 1 Feb 2007
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
Infectious diseases are common diseases all over the world. A recent World Health Organization report indicated that infectious diseases are now the world's biggest killer of children and young adults. Infectious diseases in non-industrialized countries caused 45% in all and 63% of death [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases are common diseases all over the world. A recent World Health Organization report indicated that infectious diseases are now the world's biggest killer of children and young adults. Infectious diseases in non-industrialized countries caused 45% in all and 63% of death in early childhood. is by. In developed countries, the emergence of new, rare or already-forgotten infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease and tuberculosis, has stimulated public interest and inspired commitments to surveillance and control. Recently, it is reported that infectious diseases are responsible for more than 17 million deaths worldwide each year, most of which are associated with bacterial infections. Hence, the control of infectious diseases control is still an important task in the world. The ability to control such bacterial infections is largely dependent on the ability to detect these aetiological agents in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Diagnostic medical bacteriology consists of two main components namely identification and typing. Molecular biology has the potential to revolutionise the way in which diagnostic tests are delivered in order to optimise care of the infected patient, whether they occur in hospital or in the community. Since the discovery of PCR in the late 1980s, there has been an enormous amount of research performed which has enabled the introduction of molecular tests to several areas of routine clinical microbiology. Molecular biology techniques continue to evolve rapidly, so it has been problematic for many laboratories to decide upon which test to introduce before that technology becomes outdated. However the vast majority of diagnostic clinical bacteriology laboratories do not currently employ any form of molecular diagnostics but the use such technology is becoming more widespread in both specialized regional laboratories as well as in national reference laboratories. Presently molecular biology offers a wide repertoire of techniques and permutations of these analytical tools, hence this article wishes to explore the application of these in the diagnostic laboratory setting. Full article
2309 KiB  
Review
The Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Protein: A Model RNA Helicase and Potential Drug Target
by David N. Frick
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2007, 9(1), 1-20; https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.009.001 - 1 Feb 2007
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 556
Abstract
The C-terminal portion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) forms a three domain polypeptide that possesses the ability to travel along RNA or single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in a 3' to 5' direction. Fueled by ATP hydrolysis, this movement allows the [...] Read more.
The C-terminal portion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) forms a three domain polypeptide that possesses the ability to travel along RNA or single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in a 3' to 5' direction. Fueled by ATP hydrolysis, this movement allows the protein to displace complementary strands of DNA or RNA and proteins bound to the nucleic acid. HCV helicase shares two domains common to other motor proteins, one of which appears to rotate upon ATP binding. Several models have been proposed to explain how this conformational change leads to protein movement and RNA unwinding, but no model presently explains all existing experimental data. Compounds recently reported to inhibit HCV helicase, which include numerous small molecules, RNA aptamers and antibodies, will be useful for elucidating the role of a helicase in positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus replication and might serve as templates for the design of novel antiviral drugs. Full article
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