Day 2 :
Fuad Fares, University of Haifa, Israel
Keynote: Developing long acting agonists and antagonists of glycoprotein hormones using gene fusion and gene transfer: from bench to clinics
Time : 09:00
Fuad Fares has completed his DSc studies at the Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Postdoctoral studies at the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis Missouri. He is the Director of the Department of Molecular Genetics at Carmel Medical Center and Associate Professor at the Department of Human Biology, University of Haifa. He has published more than 75 papers in reputed journals and serving as a Member of the Israel Council for Higher Education. He is the inventor of designing long-acting recombinant proteins and the initiator of PROLOR Biotech Company.
Peptides are used clinically in the treatment of many diseases. One major issue regarding the clinical use of many peptides is their short life span in the body, due to the rapid clearance of those proteins from the circulation. The low stability of peptides has thus often posed a difficulty to researchers and hindered their adoption in potential medical applications. At the clinical level, there is a need for a regime of frequent injections of the peptides into the patients to overcome this low stability factor. The major strategies for overcoming this problem are based on chemical techniques and using specific peptidase inhibitors or cocktails. To overcome this problem, we used genetic engineering techniques that have been found successful for designing long acting hormones for the treatment of fertility and thyroid diseases. Ligation of a peptide containing 4 O-linked oligosaccharide chains to the carboxyl-end of Follitropin (hFSH), Thyrotropin (hTSH), Growth hormone (GH), Factor VII and to erythropoietin (EPO) resulted in increasing the biological activity and longevity in vivo. Moreover, ligation of the subunits into a single gene resulted in active and stable compounds. Designing long acting peptides will diminish the cost of these drugs and perhaps reduce the number of injections for the patients who need them. New analog of hFSH was approved during 2010 by the European Community for clinical use, GH is in clinical trials phase III and Factor VII is in clinical trials phase I. On the other hand, hTSH variants lack of N-linked oligosaccharide chains are less potent than hTSH wild-type on cAMP accumulation and T3 secretion from human cultured thyroid follicles. Moreover, deglycosylated variant compete with normal hTSH and human Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI) in a dose dependent manner. Thus, this variant, behave as potential antagonists, which may offer a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of Grave’s disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism.
Bangalore University, India
Keynote: Novel in vitro techniques for sustainable cultivation and efficient induction of genetic variability in Agave vera-cruz mill
Time : 09:40
D H Tejavathi is working as UGC BSR-Faculty Fellow in the Department of Botany, Bangalore University, India. She has published 80 research articles in various national and international journals and completed 8 research projects funded by DST, CSIR, BU-UGC and MoEF, India. She was conferred with an award ‘Merit of Excellence’ for outstanding contribution to the medicinal plant research during the 4th international conference on medicinal plants and herbal products held at John Hopkins University, USA, 2012.
Agave vera-cruz Mill is a member of Agavaceae, is one of the important fiber yielding, ornamental and medicinal plants. Gradual depletion of genetic resources of economically important plants is the result of indiscriminate collection of the source material and disappearance of natural habitats due to human intervention. At this juncture, plant genetic improvements programs are primarily dependent on the availability and efficient induction of genetic variability. Novel techniques like in vitro culture, in vitro mutagenesis and AM fungal association provide a scope for induction of much needed genetic variability in the base populations. Nearly 100 shoots were differentiated from callus raised from shoot tip cultures on transferred to ½ MS+BAP. Among the regenerated plants, a few plants raised through indirect organogenesis have shown a few phonotypic variations from the source plants. Shoot tips were exposed to EMS at various concentrations and α-irradiation for varying periods and doses. It was found that multiple shoot induction from these cultures was two-fold more than the control plants. Normal and tissue culture plants were treated with Glomus mosseae and G. fasiculatum; two AM fungal species to study their effect on the enhancement of the biomass and active principles. The increase in biomass was found to be threefold than the control plants. Effect of in vitro mutagenesis and AM fungal association on the synthesis of primary and secondary metabolites in control and treated plants were studied. Finally, genetic variability induced by these novel techniques in micro-propagated plants was analyzed by AFLP markers.