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Professor B.A. Chopade
Fogarty Fellow Illinois University, Chicago, USAVice- Chancellor
Maharashtra State, India
Ph.No. : (office) (0240)-2403111 Fax No. (0240)-2403113/335
Balu A Chopade
Professor B.A. Chopade has been working as a Vice-Chancellor of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra from 04/06/2014. He has been working as Professor of Microbiology and Coordinator of University of Potential Excellence Programme (UPE Phase I & II) of UGC in Biotechnology at University of Pune. He was Director of Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (IBB), University of Pune from 2006 to 2012. He has established and developed IBB as a unique national institute and as a centre of excellence in research, innovation and teaching in biotechnology in India. He has successfully established an innovative benchmarking of publications in peer reviewed international journals of repute by undergraduate students at IBB. He was Head of the Department of Microbiology, University of Pune from 1994, 1996-2000 and 2003-2006. He has 35 years of experience in research, innovation, teaching and administration at the University of Pune.
Professor Chopade has several national and international academic honors and professional distinctions to his credits. He was the Government of India Scholar at the University of Nottingham, England and obtained a Ph.D. degree in microbiology and molecular genetics (1983-1986). He was also the recipient of the most prestigious Fogarty International NIH Research Fellowship Award from Govt. of USA for Post-Doctoral Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1994-1996) in genetic engineering. He is also recipient of International Award in Microbiology from International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) in 1986. He has had very distinguished academic career and has carved his career entirely on the basis of merit and academic excellence.He was also coordinator of ALIS link programme between British Council London and Department of Microbiology, University of Pune (1994-1997).
He has published more than 100 research papers in peer reviewed international and national journals with high impact factor. The total impact factor of his research is more than 260, with h-index 26 and i10-index 52. His work is cited more than 2002 times (www.scholar.google.com). He has obtained 2 USA and 8 Indian patents. His research work has been cited by Nobel Laureate Professor Arthur Kornberg from University of Stanford, California, USA. His pioneering work on e-DNA and Acinetobacter vesicles is also cited by “Nature” journal from England. His work also has been cited in 3 textbooks of microbiology published from USA and Europe. He has presented more than 150 papers in International and National Conferences and has given large number of plenary lectures. He has successfully supervised 27 Ph.D., 4 M.Phil. and 10 Post Doctoral scholars for their research. Currently 2 Post-Doctoral Fellows and 4 Ph.D. students are working with him. His 3 students had obtained Young Scientist Awards in 1993 at Stockholm, from International Congress of Chemotherapy (ICC), Europe. His research area includes microbial and molecular genetics, biotechnology and nanomedicine. He is on editorial board of Wealth of India Publication series, from CSIR New Delhi, as well as number of research journals. He has obtained research grants and funding of more than rupees 10 crores from national and international funding agencies. He has successfully completed 32 major research projects from various National and International funding agencies. He has developed a new herbal medicine “Infex” which is manufactured by Shrushti Herbal Pharma Ltd., Bangalore. He is a pioneer in the area of Industry-Academia interactions and entrepreneurship in biotechnology and microbiology at IBB, University of Pune.
He was a visiting scientist at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France and King’s College, University of London in 1990. He has received number of awards and most notable are: Pradnya Bhushan Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Award(2014) Aurangabad. Bronze Medal, International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA (2009), Pradnyavant Award (2011) by Undalkar Foundation, Karad. Maharashtra, Best teacher award by Pune Municipal Corporation (1993); Best research paper awards in microbial and molecular genetics (1988 & 2002) by Association of Microbiologist of India; He was recipient of Wadia Oration award (2008) by Institution of Engineers, India. Best research paper award in Bioinformatics (2009) by SBC, India. Summer Fellowship of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (2001). His biography is published by American Biographical Institute, USA (2000) and International Biographical Centre Cambridge (1991). He is member of American Society for Microbiology, USA and Society for General Microbiology, England since 1984. He is also a life member of number of national organizations like Association of Microbiologist of India (AMI) and Biotechnology Society of India (BSI), Society of Biological Chemists of India (SBC) Indian Science Congress (ISC). He is recipient of Marcus’s Who’s Who in Science and Engineering U.S.A. (2001), Marcus’s Who’s Who of the World, U.S.A. (2000), Marcus’s Who’s Who in Medicine, U.S.A. (2002), Marcus’s Who’s Who in Education, U.S.A. (2002).
He has been working on various authorities of University of Pune, as well as many State and Central Universities in India. Such as, Chairman, Board of Studies in Microbiology from 1997-2000 & 2005-2007. Member, BOS in Biotechnology (2005-2006, 2012-2017), Member of Academic Council (1997-2000 & 2000-2005) and Board of College and University Development (BCUD) of University of Pune from 1997-2000 & 2000-2005. Member, Faculty of Science, University of Pune (1997-2000, 2003-2005) and Member, Board of Teaching and Research (BUTR), (1997-2002). Member, Board of studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Central University Pondichery (2001-2003). Member, Board of Studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shivaji University Kolhapur (2009-2014). Member, Board of Studies in Life Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon (1994-1999). Member, Faculty of Science, Bharti Vidyapeeth Pune (2013-2018). Member, Faculty of Science, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon (1990-1999).
He was chairman of large number of committees of UGC, New Delhi such as 11th Plan Research Committee, Research Projects and Deemed University Status since 2008. Chairman, International Travel Grants, (2008-2013). He was Chairman of State Eligibility Test (SET) in Microbiology for Govt. of Maharashtra and Goa from (1997-2000). He has active an involvement in the national and international scientific organizations. He has been involved in University administration in the various capacities for more than 33 years, as a chairman and member of large number of development, finance, examination and administration committees of University of Pune.
He is member of research and recognition committees of numerous state and central universities in India. He also worked as a coordinator of DBT Potential Excellence Programme at the Department of Microbiology, University of Pune (1994-1998). He is nominee of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for Reliance Industries limited Mumbai, Biorefinery of Somaiya Group of Industries in Karnataka and Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) Pune.
His vision for Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), Aurangabad is to transform it as one of the best research and innovation Universities in India and subsequently develop as a world class University.
Salk scientists find that a plant used for centuries by healers of São Tomé e Príncipe holds lessons for modern medicine
August 01, 2014
LA JOLLA—For hundreds of years, healers in São Tomé e Príncipe—an island off the western coast of Africa—have prescribed cata-manginga leaves and bark to their patients. These pickings from the Voacanga africana tree are said to decrease inflammation and ease the symptoms of mental disorders.
Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that the power of the plant isn’t just folklore: a compound isolated from Voacanga africana protects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.
“What this provides us with is a source of potential new drug targets,” says senior author Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. The results were published this week in the…
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Asparagusic acid is the organosulfur with the formula S2(CH2)2CHCO2H. The molecule contains both carboxylic acid and disulfide functional groups. It is present in the vegetable asparagus and may be the metabolic precursor to other odorous thiol compounds.
Biosynthetic studies revealed that asparagusic acid is derived from isobutyric acid. This colorless solid has a melting point (m.p.) of 75.7–76.5 °C. The corresponding dithiol (m.p. 59.5–60.5 °C) is also known; it is called dihydroasparagusic acid or dimercaptoisobutyric acid.
Over the past forty years several papers have been published on the subject, and several studies undertaken, to try and determine the chemical compounds responsible, and though there is still no definitive verdict as to the manner in which these compounds are formed, it has been suggested that they all form from asparagusic acid.
Asparagusic acid is, unsurprisingly considering the name, a chemical found exclusively in asparagus, and absent in other related vegetables.
The asparagus-pee molecules that you smell come mostly from the breakdown of a molecule known as asparagusic acid, which is present naturally in asparagus. When your body breaks down asparagusic acid it forms a wide variety of chemicals, all of which contain sulfur!
This has made it an obvious candidate for being the origin of the peculiar effect that asparagus has on urine. It has been suggested by recent studies that it could be metabolised in the body to produce the volatile compounds found in the urine after consuming the vegetable.
Steamed asparagus prepared with roasted pine nuts
Many chemicals that contain sulfur atoms smell horrible in similar ways, and I have no idea why this is. This is one chemical/biological mystery that, much to my chagrin, remains unsolved in my head (internet people, if the reason is known, please help!).
Aside from sulfur, the thing that all these smelly asparagus-pee chemicals have in common is that they are “light” enough (a.k.a. they are “volatile”, which means they have a relatively low boiling point) that they can float up into the air and into your nose. That is partly why asparagus doesn’t smell like asparagus-pee, because asparagusic acid is not volatile (remember that word). In fact, asparagusic acid boils above 300 °C (>600 °F), so there is no way any of it gets into your nose!
Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus tossed off the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. A recipefor cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.
The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention. until al-Nafzawi‘s The Perfumed Garden. That piece of writing celebrates its (scientifically unconfirmed) aphrodisiacal power, a supposed virtue that the IndianAnanga Ranga attributes to “special phosphorus elements” that also counteract fatigue. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538, and in Germany until 1542.
The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips. The points d’amour (“love tips”) were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour. Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.
Some of the volatile organic compounds responsible for the smell are:
- dimethyl sulfide
- dimethyl disulfide
- dimethyl sulfoxide
- dimethyl sulfone
Subjectively, the first two are the most pungent, while the last two (sulfur-oxidized) give a sweet aroma. A mixture of these compounds form a “reconstituted asparagus urine” odor. This was first investigated in 1891 by Marceli Nencki, who attributed the smell to methanethiol. These compounds originate in the asparagus as asparagusic acid and its derivatives, as these are the only sulfur-containing compounds unique to asparagus. As these are more present in young asparagus, this accords with the observation that the smell is more pronounced after eating young asparagus. The biological mechanism for the production of these compounds is less clear.
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyse the ‘headspace’ of urine produced after consumption of asparagus. The headspace is the gas space immediately above the liquid surface, which is occupied by light, volatile compounds in the liquid, and analysis of this is useful in identifying odour-causing compounds. The analysis of the post-asparagus urine showed the presence of several compounds that were not present, or present in negligible amounts, in normal urine. The primary compounds present, in quantities a thousand times greater than in normal urine, were methanethiol and dimethyl sulfide. The compounds dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfone were also present and it was suggested that they modify the aroma to give it a ‘sweet’ edge.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||85 kJ (20 kcal)|
|– Sugars||1.88 g|
|– Dietary fibre||2.1 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||38 μg (5%)|
|– beta-carotene||449 μg (4%)|
|– lutein and zeaxanthin||710 μg|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.143 mg (12%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.141 mg (12%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.978 mg (7%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.274 mg (5%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.091 mg (7%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||52 μg (13%)|
|Choline||16 mg (3%)|
|Vitamin C||5.6 mg (7%)|
|Vitamin E||1.1 mg (7%)|
|Vitamin K||41.6 μg (40%)|
|Calcium||24 mg (2%)|
|Iron||2.14 mg (16%)|
|Magnesium||14 mg (4%)|
|Manganese||0.158 mg (8%)|
|Phosphorus||52 mg (7%)|
|Potassium||202 mg (4%)|
|Sodium||2 mg (0%)|
|Zinc||0.54 mg (6%)|
|Oldenlandia affinis was used by native women in the Zaire as an aid during childbirth. A tea was made of the leaves and imbibed during labour.|
Cyclotides are plant-derived peptides of approximately 30 amino acids. They have the characteristic structural features of a head-to-tail cyclized backbone and a cystine knot arrangement of their three conserved disulfide bonds. Their unique structural features lead to exceptional stability. This and their amenability to chemical synthesis have made it possible to use cyclotides as templates in protein engineering and drug design applications.
David J Craik, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, whose laboratory is working over 20 years in the field, summarizes the history of cyclotides
more info on cyclotides
This is how it was discovered: a physician working in the Democratic Republic of Congo noticed that laboring women were drinking tea made from Oleanda affinis to induce childbirth. Theactive ingredient was the first cyclotide to be discovered. Since then, cyclotides have been shown to be antibiotic, antiviral and insecticidal.
Cyclotides are small disulfide-rich proteins that have the unusual feature of a cyclic backbone (hence the name cyclo – peptides). They contain six conserved cystine residues that are arranged in a cystine knot topology in which two disulfide bonds and their connecting backbone segments form an embedded ring in the structure that is penetrated by a third disulfide bond, as shown below.
Cyclotides have a range of interesting biological activities including anti-HIV and neurotensin inhibition, anti-microbial activity and insecticidal activity. They are found in a variety of tropical plants from the Rubiaceae and Violaceae families.
|The structure of kalata B1 showing the distorted beta-sheet topology and the loop nomenclature enabled by the cyclic backbone.|
Cyclotides are small disulfide rich peptides isolated from plants.Typically containing 28-37 amino acids, they are characterized by their head-to-tail cyclised peptide backbone and the interlocking arrangement of their three disulfide bonds. These combined features have been termed the cyclic cystine knot (CCK) motif (Figure 1). To date, over 100 cyclotides have been isolated and characterized from species of the Rubiaceae, Violaceae, and Cucurbitaceae families. Cyclotides have also been identified in agriculturally important families such as the Fabaceae and Poaceae.,
Cyclotides have been reported to have a wide range of biological activities, including anti-HIV, insecticidal, anti-tumour, antifouling, anti-microbial, hemolytic, neurotensinantagonism, trypsin inhibition, and uterotonic activities. An ability to induceuterine contractions was what prompted the initial discovery of kalata B1.
The potent insecticidal activity of cyclotides kalata B1 and kalata B2 has prompted the belief that cyclotides act as plant host-defence agents (Figure 2). The observations that dozens or more cyclotides may be present in a single plant and the cyclotide architecture comprises a conserved core onto which a series of hypervariable loops is displayed suggest that, cyclotides may be able to target many pests/pathogens simultaneously.
The cyclotides have been recognised as a family of novel circular proteins only in the last few years but the discovery of the first member of this family may be traced back to reports of native medicine applications in the early 1970s.
Kalata B1, was discovered because it is an active ingredient in a herbal medicine used by African women to assist childbirth . While on a Red Cross relief effort in the Congo region in the 1960s a Norwegian doctor, Lorents Gran, noted that during labour African women often ingested a tea made from leaves of the plant Oldenlandia affinis because of its uterotonic effects. The active ingredient was determined to be a peptide that was named kalata B1, after the local name for the native medicine. Subsequent in vivo studies in rats confirmed uterotonic activity of the purified peptide but it was not characterised as a macrocyclic peptide until some 20 year later.
The mid-1990�s was a key period in the discovery of macrocyclic peptides, with several independent groups discovering such peptides while screening for various biological activities and our group determining the three dimensional structure of kalata B1 . In the first fortuitous discovery Sch�pke et al., examined Viola arvensis and V. tricolor in a study aimed at the discovery of new saponins. While assaying for the usual hemolytic activity of saponins they discovered a macrocyclic peptide, violapeptide I, with hemolytic activity. At around the same time bio-assay driven screens for anti-HIV and anti-neurotensin activity led to the discovery of the circulins and cyclopsychotride A respectively.
|Viola arvensis a cyclotide containing plant. Member of the violaceae family and found in temperate regions of Australia and Europe.|
With our report of the three dimensional structure of kalata B1 in 1995 and its sequence homology with the circulins and cyclopsychotride A, we became convinced that macrocyclic peptides might be more common than had earlier been thought and we began searching for other examples. Several other macrocyclic peptides were found in the late 1990s and it became clear that the peptides formed part of a family that we subsequently named the cyclotides.
Several novel cyclotide sequences have been discovered in the last few years , with the known sequences now exceeding 45 and many more currently being characterized in our laboratories. A large proportion of the new cyclotides have been discovered based on their structural properties rather than biological activities. The cyclotides are relatively hydrophobic and can be readily identified from crude plant extracts by their characteristically late elution on RP-HPLC.
The cyclotides described above, all come from plants in the Rubiaceae or Violaceae families but the prevalence of macrocyclic peptides has recently been expanded to include the Cucurbitaceae family. This is based on the discovery of the trypsin inhibitors MCoTI-I and MCoTI-II, 34 residue macrocyclic peptides, from Momordica cochinchinensis . They have no sequence homology to the previously characterized cyclotides, with the exception of the six cysteine residues, but are of a similar size and contain a cystine knot motif (Felizmenio-Quimio, 2001). The MCoTI peptides were originally isolated based on their trypsin inhibitory activity and are homologous to linear cystine knot peptides from the squash family of trypsin inhibitors such as EETI-II and CMTI.
Bokesch HR, Pannell LK, Cochran PK, Sowder RC, 2nd, McKee TC and Boyd MR: A novel anti-HIV macrocyclic peptide from Palicourea condensata. J. Nat. Prod. (2001) 64:249-250.
Broussalis AM, Goransson U, Coussio JD, Ferraro G, Martino V and Claeson P: First cyclotide from Hybanthus (Violaceae). Phytochemistry (2001) 58:47-51.
Claeson P, G�ransson U, Johansson S, Luijendijk T and Bohlin L: Fractionation protocol for the isolation of polypeptides from plant biomass. J. Nat. Prod. (1998) 61:77-81.
Craik DJ, Daly NL, Bond T and Waine C: Plant cyclotides: A unique family of cyclic and knotted proteins that defines the cyclic cystine knot structural motif. J. Mol. Biol. (1999) 294:1327-1336.
G�ransson U, Luijendijk T, Johansson S, Bohlin L and Claeson P: Seven novel macrocyclic polypeptides from Viola arvensis. J. Nat. Prod. (1999) 62:283-286.
Gran L: Isolation of oxytocic peptides from Oldenlandia affinis by solvent extraction of tetraphenylborate complexes and chromatography on sephadex LH-20. Lloydia (1973a) 36:207-208.
Gran L: On the effect of a polypeptide isolated from “Kalata-Kalata” (Oldenlandia affinis DC) on the oestrogen dominated uterus. Acta Pharmacol. Toxicol. (1973b) 33:400-408.
Gustafson KR, Sowder II RC, Henderson LE, Parsons IC, Kashman Y, Cardellina II JH, McMahon JB, Buckheit Jr. RW, Pannell LK and Boyd MR: Circulins A and B: Novel HIV-inhibitory macrocyclic peptides from the tropical tree Chassalia parvifolia. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (1994) 116:9337-9338.
Hallock YF, Sowder RCI, Pannell LK, Hughes CB, Johnson DG, Gulakowski R, Cardellina JHI and Boyd MR: Cycloviolins A-D, anti-HIV macrocyclic peptides from Leonia cymosa. J. Org. Chem.(2000) 65:124-128.
Hernandez JF, Gagnon J, Chiche L, Nguyen TM, Andrieu JP, Heitz A, Trinh Hong T, Pham TT and Le Nguyen D: Squash trypsin inhibitors from Momordica cochinchinensis exhibit an atypical macrocyclic structure. Biochemistry (2000) 39:5722-5730.
Saether O, Craik DJ, Campbell ID, Sletten K, Juul J and Norman DG: Elucidation of the primary and three-dimensional structure of the uterotonic polypeptide kalata B1. Biochemistry (1995) 34:4147-4158.
Sch�pke T, Hasan Agha MI, Kraft R, Otto A and Hiller K: H�molytisch aktive komponenten aus Viola tricolor L. und Viola arvensis Murray. Sci. Pharm. (1993) 61:145-153.
Witherup KM, Bogusky MJ, Anderson PS, Ramjit H, Ransom RW, Wood T and Sardana M: Cyclopsychotride A, A biologically active, 31-residue cyclic peptide isolated from Psychotria Longipes. J. Nat. Prod. (1994) 57:1619-1625.