Publications by authors named "A Ahmad"

4,048 Publications

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Engineering broad-spectrum resistance to cotton leaf curl disease by CRISPR-Cas9 based multiplex editing in plants.

GM Crops Food 2021 Jun 14:1-12. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Multan, Pakistan.

Advances in genome editing technologies have tremendous potential to address the limitations of classical resistance breeding. CRISPR-Cas9 based gene editing has been applied successfully in plants to tolerate virus infections. In this study, we successfully tested CRISPR-Cas9 system to counteract cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) caused by whitefly transmitted cotton leaf curl viruses (CLCuVs). We also analyzed the ability of CLCuV to escape the Cas9 endonuclease activity. Targeting overlapping genes of most prevalent CLCuVs with three gRNAs resulted in virus interference, as validated by low virus titer. Furthermore, multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 construct simultaneously targeting six genes of CLCuV, was found more effective to interfere with virus proliferation compared to targeting single region individually. Additionally, transgenic plants expressing multiple gRNAs simultaneously showed enhanced tolerance against CLCuV infection when compared to wild-type plants. T7 Endonuclease-I (T7EI) assay, showing indels in the CLCuV genome, confirmed the occurrence of double strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA at target sequence induced by Cas9 endonuclease. We observed that targeting CLCuV genome at multiple sites simultaneously resulted in better interference, also with inefficient recovery of altered virus molecules. Next, we tested multiplex construct in cotton to interfere CLCuV infection. We found significant decrease in virus accumulation in cotton leaves co-infiltrated with multiplex cassette and virus compared to cotton leaves infiltrated with virus only. The results demonstrate future use of CRISPR-Cas9 system for engineering virus resistance in crops. Moreover, our results also advocate that resistance to mixed virus infections can be engineered using multiplex genome editing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645698.2021.1938488DOI Listing
June 2021

Effects of Methanolic Extract Based-Gel From Saudi Pomegranate Peels With Enhanced Healing Potential on Excision Wounds in Diabetic Rats.

Front Pharmacol 2021 28;12:704503. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Current study was designed to evaluate the wound healing activity of a Saudi pomegranate peel extract on excision wound healing in experimentally induced diabetes in rats. Animals were divided into three groups: diabetic excision wound with no treatment, diabetic excision wound with gel alone and diabetic excision wound with Saudi pomegranate peel extract in gel. Animals were monitored for clinical signs, weekly body weight, morbidity and mortality during entire study period. The efficacy parameters evaluated were percent wound contraction, Hydroxyproline content, estimation of Transforming Growth Factor ß1 (TGF-ß1), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) in wound lysates by ELISA, mRNA expression of TGF-ß1, VEGF, and EGF in wound lysates by qPCR, Estimation of nitric oxide (NO) and NO synthase (NOS) in Wound Lysates and histopathology of skin for reepithelization, neovascularization, and inflammation. The Saudi pomegranate peel extract in gel (5.0 g extract per 100 g gel) showed significant wound healing activity when compared to the vehicle control [ < 0.05] following 21 days of treatment. Animals in the control and treatment groups were apparently normal through the study with no significant differences in body weights between groups. Expression of mRNA of TGFβ1, EGF and VEGF in wounds was the highest on day 14 post treatment 4.3, 3.5 and 0.9 fold higher respectively in the treatment group when compared to vehicle control, and on day 21, the values were 0.12, 0.3 and 0.83, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed in TGF-ß1 levels in wounds on days 4, 7, 14 and 21 post treatment when compared to the vehicle control ( > 0.05). Significantly higher levels of VEGF were observed in treatment group on day 7 and 21 when compared to vehicle control ( < 0.05). Significantly higher levels of EGF were observed in treatment group on day 7 and 21 when compared to vehicle control ( < 0.05). Mean hydroxyproline levels were higher in treatment group on days 4 and 7 when compared to vehicle control. NO levels in treatment group were significantly lower on days 7, 14 and 21 when compared to vehicle control ( < 0.05). NOS activity in treatment group were significantly lower on days 4 and 7 when compared to vehicle control ( < 0.05). Histopathological changes in skin wound in the treatment group were consistent with wound healing when compared to the vehicle group. This study's findings suggest that topical application of SPPE gel effectively enhanced wound healing in experimentally induced diabetic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.704503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8194859PMC
May 2021

6-Shogaol attenuated ethylene glycol and aluminium chloride induced urolithiasis and renal injuries in rodents.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Jun 14;28(6):3418-3423. Epub 2021 Mar 14.

Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Jouf University, Aljouf 72341, Saudi Arabia.

The 6-shogaol, is a flavanone type flavonoid that is abundant in citrus fruit and has a wide range of pharmacological effects. The present study attempted to evaluate the antiurolithic effect of 6-shogaol on ethylene glycol (EG) and ammonium chloride (AC)-induced experimental urolithiasis in rats. The efficacy of 6-shogaol 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg was studied in EG 0.75% (V/V) and AC 1% (W/V) experimentally induced urolithiasis in rats for 21 days. The weight difference, urine volume, the levels of calcium, phosphate, magnesium, oxalate and uric acid in urine was observed. The blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid in serum and levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) were also measured. Histopathological analyses in kidneys were also performed. The rats weights were higher in the 6-shogaol groups than the urolithiasis group. EG caused a significant increase in serum creatinine (p < 0.05), BUN (P < 0.001), and uric acid (p < 0.01) while treatment with Cystone (750 mg/kg), and 6-shogaol (50 and 100 mg/kg) showed the significant reduction in increased serum levels of creatinine (p < 0.001), uric acid (p < 0.01) and BUN (p < 0.001). Administration of EG and AC showed statistically significant (p < 0.001) elevated levels of MDA and reduction in GSH levels. Treatment of Cystone (750 mg/kg), and 6-shogaol (50 and 100 mg/kg) significantly (p < 0.001) reduced MDA levels and an increase GSH levels as compared to EG and AC-treated group. The histological findings further attested antiurolithiatic properties of 6-shogaol. The present study attributed clinical shreds of evidence first time that claiming the significant antiurolithic effect of 6-shogaol and could be a cost-effective candidate for the prevention and treatment of urolithiasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8176042PMC
June 2021

Vaginal microbiome: normalcy vs dysbiosis.

Arch Microbiol 2021 Jun 13. Epub 2021 Jun 13.

Department of Biosciences, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

It has been long understood that the vaginal microflora is crucial in maintaining a normal physiological environment for the host and its involvement is deemed indispensable for reproductive success. A global concept of normalcy vs. dysbiosis of vaginal microbiome is debatable as women of different races have a unique vaginal microflora with regional variations. Vaginal microflora is a dynamic microenvironment affected by gestational status, menstrual cycle, sexual activity, age, and contraceptive use. Normal vaginal flora is dominated by lactobacilli especially in women of European descent vs. African American women. These microbes confer the host vagina protection from potentially pathogenic microbes that may lead to urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Changes in the vaginal microbiota including reduced lactobacilli abundance and increased facultative and anaerobic organism populations result in bacterial vaginosis, that predisposes the host to several conditions like low birth weight and increased risk of contracting bacterial infections. On the other hand, the vaginal microbiome is also reshaped during pregnancy, with less microbial diversity with a dominance of Lactobacillus species. However, an altered vaginal microbiota with low lactobacilli abundance especially during pregnancy may result in induction of excessive inflammation and pre-term labor. Since the vaginal microbiome plays an important role during embryo implantation, it is not surprising that bacterial vaginosis is more common in infertile women and associated with reduced rates of conception. Probiotic has great success in treating bacterial vaginosis and restoring the normal microbiome in recent. This report, reviewed the relationships between the vaginal microbiome and women's reproductive health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00203-021-02414-3DOI Listing
June 2021

New perspective towards therapeutic regimen against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

J Infect Public Health 2021 May 26;14(7):852-862. Epub 2021 May 26.

Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa; Infection Control, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa. Electronic address:

The ongoing enormous loss of human life owing to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has led to a global crisis ranging from the collapse of health - care systems to socio-economic instability. As SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus, very little information is available from researchers and therefore, a rigorous effort is required to decode its pathogenicity. There are no licenced treatment options available for treating SARS-CoV-2 infections and the development of a new antiviral drug targeting coronavirus cannot happen soon. Consequently, drug repurposing is a promising solution for combating the present pandemic. In this review, we have thoroughly discussed all the proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 genome; their importance in pathogenicity and their potential role in drug discovery. Also, the budding threat of co-infections by other pathogenic microbes has been highlighted. Furthermore, the advances made in the medicinal field for the treatment and prevention of this viral infection is explained. Altogether, this review will provide some insightful discussions about this infectious disease and will meet certain of the knowledge gaps which exist by presenting an exhaustive and extensive scientific report on the ongoing mission for COVID-19 drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2021.05.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8152204PMC
May 2021