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1.  Thioesterase Superfamily Member 2 (Them2) and Phosphatidylcholine Transfer Protein (PC-TP) Interact To Promote Fatty Acid Oxidation and Control Glucose Utilization 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(13):2396-2408.
Thioesterase superfamily member 2 (Them2) is a mitochondrion-associated long-chain fatty acyl coenzyme A (CoA) thioesterase that is highly expressed in the liver and oxidative tissues. Them2 activity in vitro is increased when it interacts with phosphatidylcholine transfer protein (PC-TP), a cytosolic lipid binding protein. Them2−/− and Pctp−/− mice exhibit enhanced hepatic insulin sensitivity and increased adaptive thermogenesis, and Them2−/− mice are also resistant to diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Although we showed previously that a Them2–PC-TP complex suppresses insulin signaling, the enzymatic activity of Them2 suggests additional direct involvement in regulating hepatic nutrient homeostasis. Here we used cultured primary hepatocytes to elucidate biochemical and cellular mechanisms by which Them2 and PC-TP regulate lipid and glucose metabolism. Under conditions simulating fasting, Them2−/− and Pctp−/− hepatocytes each exhibited decreased rates of fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis. In results indicative of Them2-dependent regulation by PC-TP, chemical inhibition of PC-TP failed to reproduce these changes in Them2−/− hepatocytes. In contrast, rates of glucose oxidation and lipogenesis in the presence of high glucose concentrations were decreased only in Them2−/− hepatocytes. These findings reveal a primary role for Them2 in promoting mitochondrial oxidation of fatty acids and glucose in the liver.
PMCID: PMC4054321  PMID: 24732803
2.  Metabolomics Evaluation of Serum Markers for Cachexia and Their Intra-Day Variation in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113259.
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by progressive loss of weight and muscle atrophy. Using metabolomics, we investigated serum markers and their intra-day variation in advanced pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia.
Patients were enrolled in two groups: those with or without cachexia. Blood samples collected at 6:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:30 PM, and 9:30 PM were analyzed using metabolomics, and serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin were measured and compared between the two groups. Intra-day variation was then evaluated.
Twenty-one patients were enrolled in total. In the cachexia group (n = 9), median body weight loss rate over 6 months was greater, performance status was poorer, and anorexia was more severe than in the non-cachexia group (n = 12). Each metabolites level showed substantial intra-day variation, and some of them displayed significant differences between the two groups. Levels of paraxanthine remained markedly lower in the cohort with cachexia at all measurement points. Besides, median IL-6 and TNF-α levels appeared higher and leptin concentration appeared lower in the cachexia group, albeit without statistical significance.
Some metabolites and some serological marker levels were affected by cancer cachexia. Although paraxanthine levels were consistently lower in patients with cachexia, we identified that many metabolites indicated large intra- and inter-day variation and that it might be necessary to pay attention to intra-day variation in metabolomics research.
PMCID: PMC4239056  PMID: 25411961
3.  Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery in Gastroenterological Cancer 
Metabolites  2014;4(3):547-571.
The study of the omics cascade, which involves comprehensive investigations based on genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc., has developed rapidly and now plays an important role in life science research. Among such analyses, metabolome analysis, in which the concentrations of low molecular weight metabolites are comprehensively analyzed, has rapidly developed along with improvements in analytical technology, and hence, has been applied to a variety of research fields including the clinical, cell biology, and plant/food science fields. The metabolome represents the endpoint of the omics cascade and is also the closest point in the cascade to the phenotype. Moreover, it is affected by variations in not only the expression but also the enzymatic activity of several proteins. Therefore, metabolome analysis can be a useful approach for finding effective diagnostic markers and examining unknown pathological conditions. The number of studies involving metabolome analysis has recently been increasing year-on-year. Here, we describe the findings of studies that used metabolome analysis to attempt to discover biomarker candidates for gastroenterological cancer and discuss metabolome analysis-based disease diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4192679  PMID: 25003943
metabolomics; biomarker; serum; gastroenterological cancer; mass spectrometry
4.  Whole-genome sequencing of clarithromycin resistant Helicobacter pylori characterizes unidentified variants of multidrug resistant efflux pump genes 
Gut Pathogens  2014;6:27.
Clarithromycin (CLR) is the key drug in eradication therapy of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, and widespread use of CLR has led to an increase in primary CLR-resistant H. pylori. The known mechanism of CLR resistance has been established in A2146G and A2147G mutations in the 23S rRNA gene, but evidence of the involvement of other genetic mechanisms is lacking. Using the MiSeq platform, whole-genome sequencing of the 19 clinical strains and the reference strain ATCC26695 was performed to identify single nucleotide variants (SNVs) of multi-drug resistant efflux pump genes in the CLR-resistant phenotype.
Based on sequencing data of ATCC26695, over one million sequencing reads with over 50-fold coverage were sufficient to detect SNVs, but not indels in the bacterial genome. Sequencing reads of the clinical isolates ranged from 1.82 to 10.8 million, and average coverage ranged from 90.9- to 686.3-fold, which were acceptable criteria for detecting SNVs. Utilizing the conventional approach of allele-specific PCR, point mutations in the 23S rRNA gene were detected in 12 clinical resistant isolates, but not in 7 clinical susceptible isolates. All sequencing reads of CLR-resistant strains had a G mutation in an identical position of the 23S rRNA gene. In addition, genetic variants of four gene clusters (hp0605-hp0607, hp0971-hp0969, hp1327-hp1329, and hp1489-hp1487) of TolC homologues, which have been implicated in multi-drug resistance, were examined. Specific SNVs were dominantly found in resistant strains.
Gene clusters of TolC homologues are involved in CLR susceptibility profiles in individual H. pylori strains. Whole-genome sequencing has yielded novel understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships.
PMCID: PMC4079918  PMID: 24995043
Whole-genome sequencing; Helicobacter pylori; Clarithromycin; Multidrug efflux; TolC homolog
5.  Predominant mucosal IL-8 mRNA expression in non-cagA Thais is risk for gastric cancer 
AIM: To study gastric mucosal interleukine-8 (IL-8) mRNA expression, the cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA) mutation, and serum pepsinogen (PG) I/II ratio related risk in Thai gastric cancer.
METHODS: There were consent 134 Thai non-cancer volunteers who underwent endoscopic narrow band imaging examination, and 86 Thais advance gastric cancer patients who underwent endoscopic mucosal biopsies and gastric surgery. Tissue samples were taken by endoscopy with 3 points biopsies. The serum PG I, II, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody for H. pylori were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. The histopathology description of gastric cancer and non-cancer with H. pylori detection was defined with modified Sydney Score System. Gastric mucosal tissue H. pylori DNA was extracted and genotyped for cagA mutation. Tissue IL-8 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA expression were conducted by real time relative quantitation polymerase chain reaction. From 17 Japanese advance gastric cancer and 12 benign gastric tissue samples, all were tested for genetic expression with same methods as well as Thai gastric mucosal tissue samples. The multivariate analysis was used for the risk study. Correlation and standardized t-test were done for quantitative data, P value < 0.05 was considered as a statistically significant.
RESULTS: There is a high non cagA gene of 86.8 per cent in Thai gastric cancer although there are high yields of the East Asian type in the positive cagA. The H. pylori infection prevalence in this study is reported by combined histopathology and H. pylori IgG antibody test with 77.1% and 97.4% of sensitivity and specificity, respectively. The serum PG I/II ratio in gastric cancer is significantly lower than in the non-cancer group, P = 0.045. The serum PG I/II ratio of less than 3.0 and IL-8 mRNA expression ≥ 100 or log10 ≥ 2 are significant cut off risk differences between Thai cancer and non-cancer, P = 0.03 and P < 0.001, respectively. There is a significantly lower PGI/II ratio in Japanese than that in Thai gastric cancer, P = 0.026. Serum PG I/II ratio at cut off less than 3.0 and IL-8 mRNA expression Raw RQ > 100 or log10 > 2 are significantly difference between Thai cancer group when compared to non-cancer group, P = 0.013 and P < 0.001, respectively. In the correlation study, low PG I/II ratio does not associate with chronic atrophic gastritis severity score in Thais non-cancer cases. However, there is a trend, but not significant convert correlation between IL-8 mRNA expression level and low PG I/II ratio in Thai positive H. pylori infection. The high expression of IL-8 gene demonstrates a poorer prognosis by stage and histology.
CONCLUSION:Predominant gastric mucosal IL-8 mRNA expression level, H. pylori infection, and low PG I/II ratio are relative risks for Thai gastric cancer without correlation with cagA mutation.
PMCID: PMC3660819  PMID: 23704827
Gastric cancer; CagA mutation; Interleukine-8 mRNA expression; Helicobacter pylori; Pepsinogen I/II ratio
6.  Metabolic Profiling of Oxidized Lipid-Derived Volatiles in Blood by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry with In-Tube Extraction 
Mass Spectrometry  2013;2(1):A0018.
Once lipids are oxidized, various volatiles are produced by cleavage of the fatty acid side chain. Considering the variety of lipids present in the body, a large number of possible volatiles might originate from oxidized lipids. However, only specific volatiles such as aldehydes are exclusively examined in current studies, and there is no reported method for the exhaustive analysis of all volatiles. We developed a sensitive analytical method for the detection of all possible volatiles for multimarker profiling, applying a new extraction method called in-tube extraction. Oxidized phosphatidyl choline standards were prepared in vitro and analyzed in order to determine the potential variety of volatiles. Over 40 compounds, including alcohols, ketones, and furanones, were identified in addition to the aldehydes reported previously. Based on this result, we applied our analytical method to mouse plasma and identified 12 volatiles, including 1-octen-3-ol, which is correlated to disease states. To determine the volatile profile after oxidation, we oxidized plasma in vitro under various conditions and identified 27 volatiles, including 1-octen-3-ol and benzaldehyde. The generation capacity of each volatile was different. This method allows sensitive and exhaustive analysis of various volatiles in addition to aldehydes.
PMCID: PMC3967009  PMID: 24860708
in tube extraction; volatile; lipids; oxidation; metabolic profiling
7.  A Novel Serum Metabolomics-Based Diagnostic Approach for Colorectal Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40459.
To improve the quality of life of colorectal cancer patients, it is important to establish new screening methods for early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed serum metabolome analysis using gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry (GC/MS). First, the accuracy of our GC/MS-based serum metabolomic analytical method was evaluated by calculating the RSD% values of serum levels of various metabolites. Second, the intra-day (morning, daytime, and night) and inter-day (among 3 days) variances of serum metabolite levels were examined. Then, serum metabolite levels were compared between colorectal cancer patients (N = 60; N = 12 for each stage from 0 to 4) and age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (N = 60) as a training set. The metabolites whose levels displayed significant changes were subjected to multiple logistic regression analysis using the stepwise variable selection method, and a colorectal cancer prediction model was established. The prediction model was composed of 2-hydroxybutyrate, aspartic acid, kynurenine, and cystamine, and its AUC, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 0.9097, 85.0%, 85.0%, and 85.0%, respectively, according to the training set data. In contrast, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of CEA were 35.0%, 96.7%, and 65.8%, respectively, and those of CA19-9 were 16.7%, 100%, and 58.3%, respectively. The validity of the prediction model was confirmed using colorectal cancer patients (N = 59) and healthy volunteers (N = 63) as a validation set. At the validation set, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the prediction model were 83.1%, 81.0%, and 82.0%, respectively, and these values were almost the same as those obtained with the training set. In addition, the model displayed high sensitivity for detecting stage 0–2 colorectal cancer (82.8%).
Our prediction model established via GC/MS-based serum metabolomic analysis is valuable for early detection of colorectal cancer and has the potential to become a novel screening test for colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3394708  PMID: 22792336
8.  Inhibitory Effects of Glycyrrhetinic Acid on DNA Polymerase and Inflammatory Activities 
We investigated the inhibitory effect of three glycyrrhizin derivatives, such as Glycyrrhizin (compound 1), dipotassium glycyrrhizate (compound 2) and glycyrrhetinic acid (compound 3), on the activity of mammalian pols. Among these derivatives, compound 3 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, β, κ, and λ, which belong to the B, A, Y, and X families of pols, respectively, whereas compounds 1 and 2 showed moderate inhibition. Among the these derivatives tested, compound 3 displayed strongest suppression of the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a cell-culture system using mouse macrophages RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages derived from mice. Moreover, compound 3 was found to inhibit the action of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in engineered human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. In addition, compound 3 caused greater reduction of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-(TPA-) induced acute inflammation in mouse ear than compounds 1 and 2. In conclusion, this study has identified compound 3, which is the aglycone of compounds 1 and 2, as a promising anti-inflammatory candidate based on mammalian pol inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3138047  PMID: 21785649
9.  Resolvin E1, an endogenous lipid mediator derived from eicosapentaenoic acid, prevents dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis 
Inflammatory bowel diseases  2010;16(1):87-95.
Resolvin E1 (RvE1), an endogenous lipid mediator derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), has been identified in local inflammation during the healing stage. RvE1 reduces inflammation in several types of animal models including peritonitis and retinopathy, and blocks human neutrophil transendothelial cell migration. The RvE1 receptor ChemR23 is expressed on myeloid cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. The aim of this study was to determine whether RvE1 regulates colonic inflammation when the innate immune response of macrophages plays a key role in the pathogenesis and tissue damage.
RvE1 receptor, ChemR23, was expressed in mouse peritoneal macrophages as defined by flow cytometry. Peritoneal macrophages were pretreated with RvE1, followed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation whereupon of the transcriptional levels of proinflammatory cytokines were analyzed. RvE1 treatment led to the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-12p40. In HEK293 cells, pretreatment with RvE1 inhibited TNF-α-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB in a ChemR23 dependent manner. These results suggested that RvE1 could regulate pro-inflammatory responses of macrophages expressing ChemR23. Therefore, we investigated the beneficial effects of RvE1 in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) induced colitis. RvE1 treatment led to amelioration of colonic inflammation.
These results indicate that RvE1 suppresses pro-inflammatory responses of macrophages. RvE1 and its receptor may therefore be useful as therapeutic targets in the treatment of human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC3070396  PMID: 19572372
Resolvin E1; macrophage; NF-κB; DSS-induced colitis
10.  Effects of Intermediates between Vitamins K2 and K3 on Mammalian DNA Polymerase Inhibition and Anti-Inflammatory Activity 
Previously, we reported that vitamin K3 (VK3), but not VK1 or VK2 (=MK-4), inhibits the activity of human DNA polymerase γ (pol γ). In this study, we chemically synthesized three intermediate compounds between VK2 and VK3, namely MK-3, MK-2 and MK-1, and investigated the inhibitory effects of all five compounds on the activity of mammalian pols. Among these compounds, MK-2 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, κ and λ, which belong to the B, Y and X families of pols, respectively; whereas VK3 was the strongest inhibitor of human pol γ, an A-family pol. MK-2 potently inhibited the activity of all animal species of pol tested, and its inhibitory effect on pol λ activity was the strongest with an IC50 value of 24.6 μM. However, MK-2 did not affect the activity of plant or prokaryotic pols, or that of other DNA metabolic enzymes such as primase of pol α, RNA polymerase, polynucleotide kinase or deoxyribonuclease I. Because we previously found a positive relationship between pol λ inhibition and anti-inflammatory action, we examined whether these compounds could inhibit inflammatory responses. Among the five compounds tested, MK-2 caused the greatest reduction in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced acute inflammation in mouse ear. In addition, in a cell culture system using mouse macrophages, MK-2 displayed the strongest suppression of the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Moreover, MK-2 was found to inhibit the action of nuclear factor (NF)-κB. In an in vivo mouse model of LPS-evoked acute inflammation, intraperitoneal injection of MK-2 in mice led to suppression of TNF-α production in serum. In conclusion, this study has identified VK2 and VK3 intermediates, such as MK-2, that are promising anti-inflammatory candidates.
PMCID: PMC3083694  PMID: 21541047
vitamin K; MK-2; DNA polymerase λ; enzyme inhibitor; anti-inflammation
11.  Gamma Interferon Produced by Antigen-Specific CD4+ T Cells Regulates the Mucosal Immune Responses to Citrobacter rodentium Infection▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(6):2653-2666.
Citrobacter rodentium, a murine model pathogen for enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, colonizes the surface of intestinal epithelial cells and causes mucosal inflammation. This bacterium is an ideal model for investigating pathogen-host immune interactions in the gut. It is well known that gene transcripts for Th1 cytokines are highly induced in colonic tissue from mice infected with C. rodentium. However, it remains to be seen whether the Th1 or Th2 cytokines produced by antigen-specific CD4+ T cells provide effective regulation of the host immune defense against C. rodentium infection. To investigate the antigen-specific immune responses, C. rodentium expressing ovalbumin (OVA-C. rodentium), a model antigen, was generated and used to define antigen-specific responses under gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-deficient or interleukin-4 (IL-4)-deficient conditions in vivo. The activation of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells and macrophage phagocytosis were evaluated in the presence of IFN-γ or IL-4 in vitro. IFN-γ-deficient mice exhibited a loss of body weight and a higher bacterial concentration in feces during OVA-C. rodentium infection than C57BL/6 (wild type) or IL-4-deficient mice. This occurred through the decreased efficiency of macrophage phagocytosis and the activation of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, a deficiency in antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell-expressed IFN-γ led to a higher susceptibility to mucosal and gut-derived systemic OVA-C. rodentium infection. These results show that the IFN-γ produced by antigen-specific CD4+ T cells plays an important role in the defense against C. rodentium.
PMCID: PMC2876554  PMID: 20351140
12.  Rat L6 myotubes as an in vitro model system to study GLUT4-dependent glucose uptake stimulated by inositol derivatives 
Cytotechnology  2007;55(2-3):103-108.
Some of inositol derivatives have been reported to help the action of insulin stimulating glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. Rat L6 myotubes were employed in an attempt to develop an in vitro model system for investigation of the possible insulin-like effect of eight inositol derivatives, namely allo-inositol, d-chiro-inositol l-chiro-inositol, epi-inositol, muco-inositol, myo-inositol, scyllo-inositol and d-pinitol. At a higher concentration of 1 mM seven inositol derivatives other than myo-inositol were able to stimulate glucose uptake, while at 0.1 mM only d-chiro-inositol, l-chiro-inositol, epi-inositol and muco-inositol could induce glucose uptake, indicating their significant insulin-mimetic activity. Immunoblot analyses revealed that at least d-chiro-inositol, l-chiro-inositol, epi-inositol, muco-inositol and d-pinitol were able to induce translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to plasma membrane not only in L6 myotubes but also in skeletal muscles of rats ex vivo. These results demonstrated that L6 myotubes appeared efficient as an in vitro system to identify inositol derivatives exerting an insulin-like effect on muscle cells depending on the induced translocation of GLUT4.
PMCID: PMC2104555  PMID: 19002999
Glucose transporter 4; Glucose uptake; Inositol; L6 myotubes; Muscle cells

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