Although mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be obtained from the fetal membrane (FM), little information is available regarding biological differences in MSCs derived from different layers of the FM or their therapeutic potential. Isolated MSCs from both amnion and chorion layers of FM showed similar morphological appearance, multipotency, and cell-surface antigen expression. Conditioned media obtained from amnion- and chorion-derived MSCs inhibited cell death caused by serum starvation or hypoxia in endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Amnion and chorion MSCs secreted significant amounts of angiogenic factors including HGF, IGF-1, VEGF, and bFGF, although differences in the cellular expression profile of these soluble factors were observed. Transplantation of human amnion or chorion MSCs significantly increased blood flow and capillary density in a murine hindlimb ischemia model. In addition, compared to human chorion MSCs, human amnion MSCs markedly reduced T-lymphocyte proliferation with the enhanced secretion of PGE2, and improved the pathological situation of a mouse model of acute graft-versus-host disease. Our results highlight that human amnion- and chorion-derived MSCs, which showed differences in their soluble factor secretion and angiogenic/immuno-suppressive function, could be ideal cell sources for regenerative medicine.
Many people have a history of catching the flu several times during childhood but no additional flu in adulthood, even without vaccination. We analyzed the total repertoire of antibodies (Abs) against influenza A group 1 viruses induced in such a flu-resistant person after vaccination with 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. They were classified into two types, with no exceptions. The first type, the products of B cells newly induced through vaccination, binds near the sialic acid-binding pocket. The second type, the products of long-lived memory B cells established before vaccination, utilizes the 1-69 VH gene, binds to the stem of HA, and neutralizes both H1N1 and H5N1 viruses with few exceptions. These observations indicate that the sialic acid-binding pocket and its surrounding region are immunogenically very potent and majority of the B cells whose growth is newly induced by vaccination produce Abs that recognize these regions. However, they play a role in protection against influenza virus infection for a short period since variant viruses that have acquired resistance to these Abs become dominant. On the other hand, although the stem of HA is immunogenically not potent, the second type of B cells eventually becomes dominant. Thus, a selection system should function in forming the repertoire of long-lived memory B cells and the stability of the epitope would greatly affect the fate of the memory cells. Acquisition of the ability to produce Abs that bind to the stable epitope could be a major factor of flu resistance.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is essential for brain development and function, and its deregulated expression is implicated in some of neurodegenerative diseases. We reported earlier that the forebrain-specific Cdk5 conditional knockout (cKO) mice displayed an early lethality associated with neuroinflammation, increased expression of the neuronal tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), and neuronal migration defects.
In order to suppress neuroinflammation in the cKO mice, we first treated these mice with pioglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, and analyzed its effects on neuronal loss and longevity. In a second approach, to delineate the precise role of tPA in neuroinflammation in these mice, we generated Cdk5 cKO; tPA double knockout (dKO) mice.
We found that pioglitazone treatment significantly reduced astrogliosis, microgliosis, neuronal loss and behavioral deficit in Cdk5 cKO mice. Interestingly, the dKO mice displayed a partial reversal in astrogliosis, but they still died at early age, suggesting that the increased expression of tPA in the cKO mice does not contribute significantly to the pathological process leading to neuroinflammation, neuronal loss and early lethality.
The suppression of neuroinflammation in Cdk5 cKO mice ameliorates gliosis and neuronal loss, thus suggesting the potential beneficial effects of the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone for the treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.
Neuroinflammation; Cdk5; Pioglitazone; tPA; Cdk5 conditional knockout mice
Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) is a plant pararetrovirus with a double-stranded DNA genome. It is the type member of the genus Caulimovirus in the family Caulimoviridae. CaMV is transmitted by sap inoculation and in nature by aphids in a semi-persistent manner. To investigate the patterns and timescale of CaMV migration and evolution, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of 67 isolates of CaMV collected mostly in Greece, Iran, Turkey, and Japan together with nine published sequences. We identified the open-reading frames (ORFs) in the genomes and inferred their phylogeny. After removing recombinant sequences, we estimated the substitution rates, divergence times, and phylogeographic patterns of the virus populations. We found that recombination has been a common feature of CaMV evolution, and that ORFs I–V have a different evolutionary history from ORF VI. The ORFs have evolved at rates between 1.71 and 5.81×10−4 substitutions/site/year, similar to those of viruses with RNA or ssDNA genomes. We found four geographically confined lineages. CaMV probably spread from a single population to other parts of the world around 400–500 years ago, and is now widely distributed among Eurasian countries. Our results revealed evidence of frequent gene flow between populations in Turkey and those of its neighboring countries, with similar patterns observed for Japan and the USA. Our study represents the first report on the spatial and temporal spread of a plant pararetrovirus.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a serine/threonine kinase, and its kinase activity is dependent upon its association with either of the activating subunits p35 or p39, which are mainly expressed in neurons. We previously reported that Cdk5 knockout (KO) mice exhibit perinatal lethality, defective neuronal migration, and abnormal positioning of neurons in the facial motor nucleus and inferior olive in the hindbrain and Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellum.. In this study, we focused on the analysis of the role of Cdk5 in cerebellar development. For this purpose we generated midbrain-hindbrain-specific Cdk5 conditional knockout (MHB-Cdk5 KO) mice because the cerebellum develops postnatally, whereas Cdk5 KO mice die perinatally. Histological analysis of the MHB-Cdk5 KO mice revealed a significant size reduction of the cerebellum. In addition, profound disturbance of inward migration of granule cells (GC) was observed in the developing cerebellum. A normal dendritic development of the Purkinje cells (PCs) was disturbed in MHB-Cdk5 KO mice. Cultured Cdk5-null PCs showed similar dendritic abnormalities. These results indicate that Cdk5/p35 plays an important role in neuronal migration of PCs and GCs and dendrite formation of PCs in cerebellar development.
Cdk5; neuronal migration; midbrain-hindbrain; conditional KO; dendrite
Levels of free D-amino acids were compared in 11 vinegars produced from different sources or through different manufacturing processes. To analyze the D- and L-amino acids, the enantiomers were initially converted into diastereomers using pre-column derivatization with o-phthaldialdehyde plus N-acethyl-L-cysteine or N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-L-cysteine. This was followed by separation of the resultant fluorescent isoindol derivatives on an octadecylsilyl stationary phase using ultra-performance liquid chromatography. The analyses showed that the total D-amino acid level in lactic fermented tomato vinegar was very high. Furthermore, analysis of the amino acids in tomato juice samples collected after alcoholic, lactic and acetic fermentation during the production of lactic fermented tomato vinegar showed clearly that lactic fermentation is responsible for the D-amino acids production; marked increases in D-amino acids were seen during lactic fermentation, but not during alcoholic or acetic fermentation. This suggests lactic acid bacteria have a greater ability to produce D-amino acids than yeast or acetic acid bacteria.
D-Amino acid; Vinegar; Lactic acid bacteria; Fermentation; UPLC
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is an oncogenic retrovirus etiologically associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). The HTLV-1 bZIP factor (HBZ), which is encoded by minus strand of provirus, is expressed in all ATL cases and supports the proliferation of ATL cells. However, the precise mechanism of growth promoting activity of HBZ is poorly understood.
In this study, we showed that HBZ suppressed C/EBPα signaling activation induced by either Tax or C/EBPα. As mechanisms of HBZ-mediated C/EBPα inhibition, we found that HBZ physically interacted with C/EBPα and diminished its DNA binding capacity. Luciferase and immunoprecipitation assays revealed that HBZ repressed C/EBPα activation in a Smad3-dependent manner. In addition, C/EBPα was overexpressed in HTLV-1 infected cell lines and fresh ATL cases. HBZ was able to induce C/EBPα transcription by enhancing its promoter activity. Finally, HBZ selectively modulated the expression of C/EBPα target genes, leading to the impairment of C/EBPα-mediated cell growth suppression.
HBZ, by suppressing C/EBPα signaling, supports the proliferation of HTLV-1 infected cells, which is thought to be critical for oncogenesis.
HTLV-1; HBZ; C/EBPα
The Japanese National Hospital Organization evidence-based medicine (EBM) Study group for Adverse effects of Corticosteroid therapy (J-NHOSAC) is a Japanese hospital-based cohort study investigating the safety of the initial use of glucocorticoids (GCs) in patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases. Using the J-NHOSAC registry, the purpose of this observational study is to analyse the rates, characteristics and associated risk factors of intracellular infections in patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases who were initially treated with GCs.
A total 604 patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases treated with GCs were enrolled in this registry between April 2007 and March 2009. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to determine independent risk factors for serious intracellular infections with covariates including sex, age, co-morbidity, laboratory data, use of immunosuppressants and dose of GCs. Survival was analysed according to the Kaplan-Meier method and was assessed by the log-rank test. There were 127 serious infections, including 43 intracellular infections, during 1105.8 patient-years of follow-up. The 43 serious intracellular infections resulted in 8 deaths. After adjustment for covariates, diabetes (Odds ratio [OR]: 2.5, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.1–5.9), lymphocytopenia (≦1000/μl, OR: 2.5, 95% CI 1.2–5.2) and use of high-dose (≧30 mg/day) GCs (OR: 2.4, 95% CI 1.1–5.3) increased the risk of intracellular infections. Survival curves showed lower intracellular infection-free survival rate in patients with diabetes, lymphocytopaenia and high-dose GCs treatments.
Patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases were at high risk of developing intracellular infection during initial treatment with GCs. Our findings provide background data on the risk of intracellular infections of patients with autoimmune diseases. Clinicians showed remain vigilant for intracellular infections in patients with autoimmune diseases who are treated with GCs.
Neurite growth requires two guanine nucleotide-binding protein polymers of tubulins and septins. However, whether and how those cytoskeletal systems are coordinated was unknown. Here we show that the acute knockdown or knockout of the pivotal septin subunit SEPT7 from cerebrocortical neurons impairs their interhemispheric and cerebrospinal axon projections and dendritogenesis in perinatal mice, when the microtubules are severely hyperacetylated. The resulting hyperstabilization and growth retardation of microtubules are demonstrated in vitro. The phenotypic similarity between SEPT7 depletion and the pharmacological inhibition of α-tubulin deacetylase HDAC6 reveals that HDAC6 requires SEPT7 not for its enzymatic activity, but to associate with acetylated α-tubulin. These and other findings indicate that septins provide a physical scaffold for HDAC6 to achieve efficient microtubule deacetylation, thereby negatively regulating microtubule stability to an optimal level for neuritogenesis. Our findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying the HDAC6-mediated coupling of the two ubiquitous cytoskeletal systems during neural development.
Septins are a family of heteropolymerizing GTP/GDP-binding proteins and are implicated in neuritogenesis in nematodes. Ageta-Ishihara et al. show that septins also facilitate this process in the developing mouse brain as scaffolds that coordinate HDAC6-mediated deacetylation of microtubules.
To explore stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD), three adult rhesus monkeys were first rendered hemiparkinsonian by unilateral intracarotid 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) infusion. Five months postinfusion, they were given MRI-guided stereotaxic intrastriatal and intranigral injections of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cultures of dopaminergic neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells (DA-hES cells). The animals were immunosuppressed using daily oral cyclosporine (CsA). Three months later, viable grafts were observed at the injection sites in one animal, while no obvious grafts were present in the other two monkeys. The surviving grafts contained numerous GFP-positive cells that were positively labeled for nestin and MAP2 but not for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), NeuN, or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The grafted areas in all animals showed dense staining for GFAP, CD68, and CD45. These results indicated that xenografts of human stem cell derivatives in CsA-suppressed rhesus brain were mostly rejected. Our study suggests that immunological issues are obstacles for preclinical evaluation of hES cells and that improved immunosuppression paradigms and/or alternative cell sources that do not elicit immune rejection are needed for long-term preclinical studies.
Parkinson’s disease (PD); Human embryonic stem (hES) cells; Dopamine (DA); Immune rejection; Cell transplantation; Cell differentiation
A dye-linked d-lactate dehydrogenase from a hyperthermophilic archaeon was successfully isolated and crystallized.
A dye-linked d-lactate dehydrogenase from the aerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon Aeropyrum pernix was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with polyethylene glycol 8000 as the precipitant. The crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 63.4, b = 119.4, c = 70.2 Å, β = 112.0°, and diffracted to 2.0 Å resolution on the BL26B1 beamline at SPring-8. The overall R
merge was 4.5% and the completeness was 99.8%.
hyperthermophiles; Aeropyrum pernix; dye-linked d-lactate dehydrogenases
Lymphopenia-induced homeostatic proliferation (HP) of T cells following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) skews the T-cell repertoire by engaging tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), leading to an induction of antitumor immunity. Here, as the tumor-reactive lymphocytes preferentially proliferate during the condition of HP, we examined whether the priming of a donor lymphocytes to TAAs could enhance HP-induced antitumor immunity in autologous HSCT recipients. First, to examine whether the tumor-bearing condition of donor influences the antitumor effect of HSCT, the lymphocytes isolated from CT26 tumor-bearing mice were infused into lethally irradiated mice. The growth of tumors was substantially suppressed in the mice that received HSCT from a tumor-bearing donor compared with a naïve donor, suggesting that a fraction of donor lymphocytes from tumor-bearing mice are primed in response to TAAs and remain responsive upon transplantation. We previously reported that type I interferon (IFN) maturates the dendritic cells and promotes the priming of T cells. We then investigated whether the further priming of donor cells by IFN-α can strengthen the antitumor effect of HSCT. The intratumoral IFN-α gene transfer significantly increased the number of IFN-γ-positive lymphocytes in response to CT26 cells but not the syngeneic lymphocytes in donor mice. The infusion of primed donor lymphocytes markedly suppressed the tumor growth in recipient mice, and cured 64% of the treated mice. Autologous HSCT with the infusion of primed donor lymphocytes is a promising strategy to induce an effective antitumor immunity for solid cancers.
Donor; gene therapy; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; interferon-alpha; preimmunization
Patients in the chronic phase (CP) of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) have been treated successfully following the advent of ABL kinase inhibitors, but once they progress to the blast crisis (BC) phase the prognosis becomes dismal. Although mechanisms underlying the progression are largely unknown, recent studies revealed the presence of alterations of key molecules for hematopoiesis, such as AML1/RUNX1. Our analysis of 13 BC cases revealed that three cases had AML1 mutations and the transcript levels of wild-type (wt.) AML1 were elevated in BC compared with CP. Functional analysis of representative AML1 mutants using mouse hematopoietic cells revealed the possible contribution of some, but not all, mutants for the BC-phenotype. Specifically, K83Q and R139G, but neither R80C nor D171N mutants, conferred upon BCR-ABL-expressing cells a growth advantage over BCR-ABL-alone control cells in cytokine-free culture, and the cells thus grown killed mice upon intravenous transfer. Unexpectedly, wt.AML1 behaved similarly to K83Q and R139G mutants. In a bone marrow transplantation assay, K83Q and wt.AML1s induced the emergence of blast-like cells. The overall findings suggest the roles of altered functions of AML1 imposed by some, but not all, mutants, and the elevated expression of wt.AML1 for the disease progression of CML.
Pure laparoscopic hepatectomy is a less invasive procedure than conventional open hepatectomy for the resection of hepatic lesions. Increases in experiences with the technique, in combination with advances in technology, have promoted the popularity of pure laparoscopic hepatectomy. However, indications for usage and potential contraindications of the procedure remain unresolved. The characteristics and specific advantages of the procedure, especially for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with chronic liver diseases, are reviewed and discussed in this paper. For cirrhotic patients with liver tumors, pure laparoscopic hepatectomy minimizes destruction of the collateral blood and lymphatic flow from laparotomy and mobilization, and mesenchymal injury from compression. Therefore, pure laparoscopic hepatectomy has the specific advantage of minimal postoperative ascites production that leads to lowering the risk of disturbance in water or electrolyte balance and hypoproteinemia. It minimizes complications that routinely trigger postoperative serious liver failure. Under adequate patient positioning and port arrangement, the partial resection of the liver in the area of subphrenic space, peri-inferior vena cava area or next to the attachment of retro-peritoneum is facilitated in pure laparoscopic surgery by providing good vision and manipulation in the small operative field. Furthermore, the features of reduced post-operative adhesion, good vision, and manipulation within the small area between the adhesions make this procedure safer in the context of repeat hepatectomy procedures. These improved features are especially advantageous for patients with liver cirrhosis and multicentric and/or metachronous HCCs.
Laparoscopic hepatectomy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver cirrhosis; Chronic liver disease; Liver Tumor; Liver resection; Repeat hepatectomy; Bridging therapy to transplantation; Ascites; Postoperative liver failure
Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5 (CEACAM5) is an oncofetal cell surface glycoprotein. Because of its high expression in cancer cells and secretion into serum, CEA has been widely used as a serum tumor marker. Although other members of CEACAM family were investigated for splice variants/variants-derived protein isoforms, few studies about the variants of CEACAM5 have been reported. In this study, we demonstrated the existence of novel CEACAM5 splice variants and splice variant-derived protein isoforms in gastrointestinal cancer cell lines.
We identified two novel CEACAM5 splice variants in gastrointestinal (pancreatic, gastric, and colorectal) cancer cell lines. One of the variants possessed an alternative minor splice site that allowed generation of GC-AG intron. Furthermore, CEA protein isoforms derived from the novel splice variants were expressed in cancer cell lines and those protein isoforms were secreted into the culture medium. Although CEA protein isoforms always co-existed with the full-length protein, the secretion patterns of these isoforms did not correlate with the expression patterns.
This is the first study to identify the expression of CEA isoforms derived from the novel splice variants processed on the unique splice site. In addition, we also revealed the secretion of those isoforms from gastrointestinal cancer cell lines. Our findings suggested that discrimination between the full-length and identified protein isoforms may improve the clinical utility of CEA as a tumor marker.
CEA; Alternative splicing; Tumor marker; Splice variant; Protein isoform
To develop high-quality silage starters adapted to hot and humid weather, 12 LAB isolates from silage produced in Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan were characterized based on their morphological features, growth curves and sugar utilization. In addition, the nucleotide sequences of the V2-V3 region of their 16S rRNA genes and the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (ITS) regions were determined. The isolates were also subjected to RAPD-PCR analysis, DNA-DNA hybridization, G+C content analysis and immuno-identification using species-specific monoclonal antibodies and SDS-PAGE profiling. Nearly all of the isolates exhibited high thermotolerance and rapid growth. Combining ITS sequence analysis, RAPD-PCR and immuno-identification enabled rapid and accurate identification of closely related LAB strains that other methods failed to appropriately differentiate; for example, L. plantarum was distinguished from L. pentosus, and L. casei was distinguished from L. rhamonsus. Using the aforementioned techniques, the isolated strains were identified as L. plantarum, L. rhamonsus, L. rapi, Pediococcus pentosaceus and P. lolii. Our findings also showed that there is greater diversity among thermophilic LABs in silage prepared in a hot and humid environment.
Lactic acid bacteria; Lactobacillus; Pediococcus; Silage; Hot and humid environment
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes both a neoplastic disease and inflammatory diseases, including HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The HTLV-1 basic leucine zipper factor (HBZ) gene is encoded in the minus strand of the proviral DNA and is constitutively expressed in infected cells and ATL cells. HBZ increases the number of regulatory T (Treg) cells by inducing the Foxp3 gene transcription. Recent studies have revealed that some CD4+Foxp3+ T cells are not terminally differentiated but have a plasticity to convert to other T-cell subsets. Induced Treg (iTreg) cells tend to lose Foxp3 expression, and may acquire an effector phenotype accompanied by the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as interferon-γ (IFN-γ). In this study, we analyzed a pathogenic mechanism of chronic inflammation related with HTLV-1 infection via focusing on HBZ and Foxp3. Infiltration of lymphocytes was observed in the skin, lung and intestine of HBZ-Tg mice. As mechanisms, adhesion and migration of HBZ-expressing CD4+ T cells were enhanced in these mice. Foxp3−CD4+ T cells produced higher amounts of IFN-γ compared to those from non-Tg mice. Expression of Helios was reduced in Treg cells from HBZ-Tg mice and HAM/TSP patients, indicating that iTreg cells are predominant. Consistent with this finding, the conserved non-coding sequence 2 region of the Foxp3 gene was hypermethylated in Treg cells of HBZ-Tg mice, which is a characteristic of iTreg cells. Furthermore, Treg cells in the spleen of HBZ-transgenic mice tended to lose Foxp3 expression and produced an excessive amount of IFN-γ, while Foxp3 expression was stable in natural Treg cells of the thymus. HBZ enhances the generation of iTreg cells, which likely convert to Foxp3−T cells producing IFN-γ. The HBZ-mediated proinflammatory phenotype of CD4+ T cells is implicated in the pathogenesis of HTLV-1-associated inflammation.
Viral infection frequently induces tissue inflammation in the host. HTLV-1 infection is associated with chronic inflammation in the CNS, skin, and lung, but the inflammatory mechanism is not fully understood yet. Since HTLV-1 directly infects CD4+ T cells, central player of the host immune regulation, HTLV-1 should modulate the host immune response not only via viral antigen stimulation but also via CD4+ T-cell-mediated immune deregulation. It has been reported that Foxp3+CD4+ T cells are increased in HTLV-1 infection. It remains a central question in HTLV-1 pathogenesis why HTLV-1 induces inflammation despite of increase of FoxP3+ cells, which generally possess immune suppressive function. We have elucidated here that most of the increased Foxp3+ cells in HBZ-Tg mice or HAM/TSP patients is not thymus-derived naturally occurring Treg cells but induced Treg cells. Since the iTreg cells are prone to lose FoxP3 expression and then become cytokine-producing cells, the increase of iTreg cells could serve as a source of proinflammatory CD4+ T cells. Thus HTLV-1 causes abnormal CD4+ T-cell differentiation by expressing HBZ, which should play a crucial role in chronic inflammation related with HTLV-1. This study has provided new insights into the mechanism of chronic inflammation accompanied with viral infection.
“See-through” strains of medaka are unique tools for experiments: their skin is transparent, and their internal organs can be externally monitored throughout life. However, see-through fish are less vital than normally pigmented wild-type fish, which allows only skilled researchers to make the most of their advantages. Expecting that hybrid vigor (heterosis) would increase the vitality, we outcrossed two see-through strains (SK2 and STIII) with a genetically distant wild-type strain (HNI). Fish with the see-through phenotypes were successfully restored in the F2 generation and maintained as closed colonies. We verified that genomes of these hybrid see-through strains actually consisted of approximately 50% HNI and approximately 50% SK2 or STIII alleles, but we could not obtain evidence supporting improved survival of larvae or fecundity of adults, at least under our breeding conditions. We also found that four of the five see-through mutations (bg8, i-3, gu, and il-1 but not lf) additively decrease viability. Given that heterosis could not overwhelm the viability-reducing effects of the see-through mutations, easy-to-breed see-through strains will only be established by other methods such as conditional gene targeting or screening of new body-color mutations that do not reduce viability.
medaka; oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (oca2); solute carrier family 45 member 2 (slc45a2); leucophore free; guanineless; iridophoreless-1
Geobacillus kaustophilus strain GBlys was isolated along with the bacteriophage ϕOH2, which infects G. kaustophilus NBRC 102445T. Here we present a draft sequence of this strain’s genome, which consists of 216 contigs for a total of 3,541,481 bp, 3,679 predicted coding sequences, and a G+C content of 52.1%.
Lactobacillus otakiensis strain JCM 15040T was isolated from an unsalted pickling solution used in the production of sunki, a traditional Japanese pickle. Here, we prepared a draft genome sequence for this strain consisting of 40 contigs containing a total of 2,347,132 bp, 2,310 predicted coding sequences, and a G+C content of 42.4%.
A substantial number of “retrogenes” that are derived from the mRNA of various intron-containing genes have been reported. A class of mammalian retroposons, long interspersed element-1 (LINE1, L1), has been shown to be involved in the reverse transcription of retrogenes (or processed pseudogenes) and non-autonomous short interspersed elements (SINEs). The 3′-end sequences of various SINEs originated from a corresponding LINE. As the 3′-untranslated regions of several LINEs are essential for retroposition, these LINEs presumably require “stringent” recognition of the 3′-end sequence of the RNA template. However, the 3′-ends of mammalian L1s do not exhibit any similarity to SINEs, except for the presence of 3′-poly(A) repeats. Since the 3′-poly(A) repeats of L1 and Alu SINE are critical for their retroposition, L1 probably recognizes the poly(A) repeats, thereby mobilizing not only Alu SINE but also cytosolic mRNA. Many flowering plants only harbor L1-clade LINEs and a significant number of SINEs with poly(A) repeats, but no homology to the LINEs. Moreover, processed pseudogenes have also been found in flowering plants. I propose that the ancestral L1-clade LINE in the common ancestor of green plants may have recognized a specific RNA template, with stringent recognition then becoming relaxed during the course of plant evolution.
Species-specific vocalizations in mice have frequency-modulated (FM) components slower than the lower limit of FM direction selectivity in the core region of the mouse auditory cortex. To identify cortical areas selective to slow frequency modulation, we investigated tonal responses in the mouse auditory cortex using transcranial flavoprotein fluorescence imaging. For differentiating responses to frequency modulation from those to stimuli at constant frequencies, we focused on transient fluorescence changes after direction reversal of temporally repeated and superimposed FM sweeps. We found that the ultrasonic field (UF) in the belt cortical region selectively responded to the direction reversal. The dorsoposterior field (DP) also responded weakly to the reversal. Regarding the responses in UF, no apparent tonotopic map was found, and the right UF responses were significantly larger in amplitude than the left UF responses. The half-max latency in responses to FM sweeps was shorter in UF compared with that in the primary auditory cortex (A1) or anterior auditory field (AAF). Tracer injection experiments in the functionally identified UF and DP confirmed that these two areas receive afferent inputs from the dorsal part of the medial geniculate nucleus (MG). Calcium imaging of UF neurons stained with fura-2 were performed using a two-photon microscope, and the presence of UF neurons that were selective to both direction and direction reversal of slow frequency modulation was demonstrated. These results strongly suggest a role for UF, and possibly DP, as cortical areas specialized for processing slow frequency modulation in mice.
The crystal structure of an extremely thermostable multicopper oxidase from a hyperthermophile was determined.
The crystal structure of an extremely thermostable multicopper oxidase (McoP) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrobaculum aerophilum was determined at a resolution of 2.0 Å. The overall fold was comprised of three cupredoxin-like domains and the main-chain coordinates of the enzyme were similar to those of multicopper oxidases from Escherichia coli (CueO) and Bacillus subtilis (CotA). However, there were clear topological differences around domain 3 between McoP and the other two enzymes: a methionine-rich helix in CueO and a protruding helix in CotA were not present in McoP. Instead, a large loop (PL-1) covered the T1 copper centre of McoP and a short α-helix in domain 3 extended near the N-terminal end of PL-1. In addition, the sizes of several surface loops in McoP were markedly smaller than the corresponding loops in CueO and CotA. Structural comparison revealed that the presence of extensive hydrophobic interactions and a smaller cavity volume are likely to be the main factors contributing to the hyperthermostability of McoP.
hyperthermophiles; Pyrobaculum aerophilum; multicopper oxidases; archaea