Book of Abstracts: Albany 2003

category image Albany 2003
Conversation 13
Abstract Book
June 17-21 2003

Group I Intron as Therapeutic Target: A Preliminary Study on the Growth Inhibition of Candida Albicans by Bleomycin

The discovery of the self-splicing group I introns in Tetrahymena thermophila (1) and the milestone work on RNA by Sidney Altman (2), has elicited exciting response from around the world. The special attention is that group I intron molecules are found only in lower eukaryotes, many of which are pathogenic. Particularly the focus is now on antibiotic inhibition of sel-splicing with reports on inhibition of the ribozymes by aminoglycosides (3) and peptide antibiotics (4). Our interest has been to explore the interactions of Bleomycin, the anticancer peptide antibiotic, with RNA molecule, particularly the group I introns. In this direction we have made attempts to study the growth inhibition characteristics of bleomycin in the group I intron containing opportunistic pathogen C. albicans. Drug susceptibility testing by disc diffusion and brothmicrodilution showed significant growth inhibition of C. albicans at a concentration of 40μg of bleomycin. Total RNA isolation using phenol method from C. albicans showed significant effect of bleomycin on the RNA as viewed in a 1.5% agarose-formamide gel stained with ethidium bromide. The mechanism of self-splicing of the group I intron of T. thermophila was also studied in the presence of bleomycin the results of which will be discussed. The correlation between the presence of group I introns and drug susceptibility as the results show favors bleomycin as a therapeutic agent for group I introns as the target.

Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron rDNA gifted by Prof. Thomas Cech, University of Colorado. Research supported by Lady Tata Memorial Trust as Junior Scholarship to J. Prathiba.

J. Prathiba
R. Malathi*

Department of Genetics
University of Madras
Chennai-600113, India
*Fax: 044-4926709
E mail: r_malathi@hotmail.com

References and Footnotes:
  1. Cech, T. R., Ann. Rev. Biochem., 59, 543-568 (1990).
  2. Altman, S., Bom, L. F. and Talbot, S., The FASEB J. 7, 7-14 (1993).
  3. von Ahsen, U., Davies, J. and Schroeder, R., J. Mol. Biol., 226, 935-941 (1992).
  4. Wank, H., Rogers, J., Davies, J. and Schroeder, R., J. Mol. Biol., 236(4), 1001-1010 (1994).