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Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews

Armando Tejeda-Mansir, Aurora García-Rendón, Patricia Guerrero-Germán
Vaccination is the most effective and least expensive technique used for human diseases prevention and eradication. The need for more vaccine doses and the rapid establishment of facilities for the development of new vaccines are stimulating significate changes in the vaccine industry, which is gradually moving towards cell culture production. One approach is the third generation of vaccines, which are based on the use of plasmid DNA (pDNA) containing transgenes that encode an antigen capable of mimicking intracellular pathogenic infection and triggering both humoral and cellular immune responses...
December 26, 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Suleiman Yusuf Alhaji, Siew Ching Ngai, Syahril Abdullah
DNA methylation and histone modifications are vital in maintaining genomic stability and modulating cellular functions in mammalian cells. These two epigenetic modifications are the most common gene regulatory systems known to spatially control gene expression. Transgene silencing by these two mechanisms is a major challenge to achieving effective gene therapy for many genetic conditions. The implications of transgene silencing caused by epigenetic modifications have been extensively studied and reported in numerous gene delivery studies...
December 4, 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Andrew Octavian Sasmita
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and has affected millions of individuals worldwide. The hallmarks of AD include the amyloid beta plaque deposits, tau neurofibrillary tangles, altered neuronal signaling, alongside decline in memory and cognitive functions. Conventional drug therapies do exist, such as donepezil or aducanumab, but these drugs mostly focus on halting AD progression instead of causing a reversal within the disease. In an effort to ameliorate and ultimately cure AD, researchers have delved into viral-mediated gene therapy to fix this disease from its root molecular causes...
October 14, 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Jianguo Zhang, Nana Lan
Hirudin was discovered as an active anticoagulant in leech extracts almost 60 years ago. Since their initial discovery, hirudin and its variants have been produced with various anti-thrombotic, cancer cell inhibition, diabetic cataract treatment and anti-fatigue activities. Some hirudin variants have been approved for clinical use and released into the marketplace. Recent progress has seen made in relation to hirudin variants expressed in several well-established microbial hosts, including Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pichia pastoris and others, with high levels of activity and yield...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Aras Rafiee, Farhad Riazi-Rad, Mohammad Havaskary, Fatemeh Nuri
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein-coding RNA transcripts that exert a key role in many cellular processes and have potential toward addressing disease etiology. Here, we review existing noncoding RNA classes and then describe a variety of mechanisms and functions by which lncRNAs regulate gene expression such as chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, gene transcription and post-transcriptional processing. We also examine several lncRNAs that contribute significantly to pathogenesis, oncogenesis, tumor suppression and cell cycle arrest of diverse cancer types and also give a summary of the pathways that lncRNAs might be involved in...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Kullappan Malathi, Sudha Ramaiah
Prolonged antibiotic therapy for the bacterial infections has resulted in high levels of antibiotic resistance. Initially, bacteria are susceptible to the antibiotics, but can gradually develop resistance. Treating such drug-resistant bacteria remains difficult or even impossible. Hence, there is a need to develop effective drugs against bacterial pathogens. The drug discovery process is time-consuming, expensive and laborious. The traditionally available drug discovery process initiates with the identification of target as well as the most promising drug molecule, followed by the optimization of this, in-vitro, in-vivo and in pre-clinical studies to decide whether the compound has the potential to be developed as a drug molecule...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Muhammad Mohsin Javed, Muhammad Azhar Nisar, Muhammad Usman Ahmad, Nighat Yasmeen, Sana Zahoor
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is an emerging area for alternative renewable energy generation and it offers additional opportunities for environmental bioremediation. Recent scientific studies have focused on MFC reactor design as well as reactor operations to increase energy output. The advancement in alternative MFC models and their performance in recent years reflect the interests of scientific community to exploit this technology for wider practical applications and environmental benefit. This is reflected in the diversity of the substrates available for use in MFCs at an economically viable level...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Tamunonengiyeofori Lawson, Sean Mayes, Grantley W Lycett, Chiew Foan Chin
Fruit ripening is a complex developmental process that involves the synthesis and modification of the cell wall leading up to the formation of an edible fruit. During the period of fruit ripening, new cell wall polymers and enzymes are synthesized and trafficked to the apoplast. Vesicle trafficking has been shown to play a key role in facilitating the synthesis and modification of cell walls in fruits. Through reverse genetics and gene expression studies, the importance of Rab guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) as integral regulators of vesicle trafficking to the cell wall has been revealed...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Reagan Mudziwapasi, Abigarl Ndudzo, Rutendo Patricia Nyamusamba, Fortune Ntengwa Jomane, Tendai Trudor Mutengwa, Mcebisi Maphosa
Africa is burdened with food shortages and plant, animal and human diseases. Some of these can be ameliorated by adopting genome editing technologies such as CRISPR. This technology is considered better than its predecessors, Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), because it is cheaper, easy to use, has high gene modification efficiency and is less time consuming. CRISPR technology has wide applications in the African context ranging from crop and animal improvement to disease diagnosis and treatment as well as improving food shelf life, organoleptic properties and food safety...
October 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Francisco Vargas-Albores, Luis R Martínez-Córdova, Marcel Martínez-Porchas, Kadiya Calderón, Asunción Lago-Lestón
The increased global demand for food production has motivated agroindustries to increase their own levels of production. Scientific efforts have contributed to improving these production systems, aiding to solve problems and establishing novel conceptual views and sustainable alternatives to cope with the increasing demand. Although microorganisms are key players in biological systems and may drive certain desired responses toward food production, little is known about the microbial communities that constitute the microbiomes associated with agricultural and veterinary activities...
September 17, 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Guido van Marle, Trushar R Patel
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Christopher Isaac, Trushar R Patel, Athanasios Zovoilis
Advances in sequencing technologies and bioinformatic analysis techniques have greatly improved our understanding of various classes of RNAs and their functions. Despite not coding for proteins, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are emerging as essential biomolecules fundamental for cellular functions and cell survival. Interestingly, ncRNAs produced by viruses not only control the expression of viral genes, but also influence host cell regulation and circumvent host innate immune response. Correspondingly, ncRNAs produced by the host genome can play a key role in host-virus interactions...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Luc Roberts, Hans-Joachim Wieden
Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) are cis-acting RNA elements capable of recruiting ribosomes and initiating translation on an internal portion of an mRNA. This is divergent from canonical eukaryotic translation initiation, where the 5' cap is recognized by initiation factors (IFs) that recruit the ribosome to initiate translation of the encoded peptide. All known IRESs are capable of initiating translation in a cap-independent manner, and are therefore not constrained by the absence or presence of a 5' m7 G cap...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Shivali S Joshi, Carla S Coffin
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is predominantly a hepatotropic virus but also infects cells of the lymphatic system. HBV genomes (DNA, messenger (m)RNA, covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA) and proteins have been found in extrahepatic sites such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow and cerebrospinal fluid. HBV entry into hepatocytes occurs by binding of the HBV preS1 surface protein to its specific receptor, the bile acid transporter, sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP)...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Franz Zemp, Jahanara Rajwani, Douglas J Mahoney
The family Rhabdoviridae (RV) comprises a large, genetically diverse collection of single-stranded, negative sense RNA viruses from the order Mononegavirales. Several RV members are being developed as live-attenuated vaccine vectors for the prevention or treatment of infectious disease and cancer. These include the prototype recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (rVSV) and the more recently developed recombinant Maraba Virus, both species within the genus Vesiculoviridae. A relatively strong safety profile in humans, robust immunogenicity and genetic malleability are key features that make the RV family attractive vaccine platforms...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Guido van Marle, Deirdre L Church, Frank van der Meer, M John Gill
Impressive advances have been made in the treatment and management of HIV-1 infected individuals. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has turned HIV-1 infection from an almost invariable deadly infectious disease, to a lifelong manageable infectious disease. However, a cure or vaccine has not been forthcoming. A major problem in HIV-1 infection is the persistent and latently infected cellular and tissue reservoirs. One of these reservoirs is the Gut Associated Lymphoid tissue (GALT), which has been the research focus of our group...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Les P Nagata, Chad R Irwin, Wei-Gang Hu, David H Evans
The past few years have seen a rash of emerging viral diseases, including the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the pandemic spread of chikungunya, and the recent explosion of Zika in South America. Vaccination is the most reliable and cost-effective method of control of infectious diseases, however, there is often a long delay in production and approval in getting new vaccines to market. Vaccinia was the first vaccine developed for the successful eradication of smallpox and has properties that make it attractive as a universal vaccine vector...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Vanessa Meier-Stephenson, Tyler Mrozowich, Mimi Pham, Trushar R Patel
Viruses hijack the host cell machinery and recruit host proteins to aid their replication. Several host proteins also play vital roles in inhibiting viral replication. Emerging class of host proteins central to both of these processes are the DEAD-box helicases: a highly conserved family of ATP-dependent RNA helicases, bearing a common D-E-A-D (Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp) motif. They play key roles in numerous cellular processes, including transcription, splicing, miRNA biogenesis and translation. Though their sequences are highly conserved, these helicases have quite diverse roles in the cell...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Edis Dzananovic, Sean A McKenna, Trushar R Patel
The innate immune system offers a first line of defense by neutralizing foreign pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These pathogens express molecules (RNA and proteins) that have discrete structures, known as the pathogen-associated molecular patterns that are recognized by a highly specialized class of host proteins called pattern recognition receptors to facilitate the host's immune response against infection. The RNA-dependent Protein Kinase R (PKR) is one of the host's pattern recognition receptors that is a key component of an innate immune system...
April 2018: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
Niaz Muhammad, Qinwen Mao, Haibin Xia
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are redirected T-cells that can recognize cancer antigens in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-independent fashion. A typical CAR is comprised of two main functional domains: an extracellular antigen recognition domain, called a single-chain variable fragment (scFv), and an intracellular signaling domain. Based on the number of intracellular signaling molecules, CARs are categorized into four generations. CAR T-cell therapy has become a promising treatment for hematologic malignancies...
October 2017: Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Reviews
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