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1.  Positive Association Between Serum Level of Glyceraldehyde-Derived Advanced Glycation End Products and Vascular Inflammation Evaluated by [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(12):2618-2625.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) evoke inflammatory reactions, contributing to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. We investigated the relationship between serum AGE level and vascular inflammation.
The study involved 275 outpatients at Kurume University, Japan (189 males and 86 females; mean age 61.2 ± 8.8 years) who underwent complete history and physical examinations and determinations of blood chemistry and anthropometric variables, including AGEs. Serum AGE level was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Vascular [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake, an index of vascular inflammation, was measured as blood-normalized standardized uptake value, known as the target-to-background ratio (TBR), by FDG–positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Furthermore, we examined whether the changes in serum AGE level after treatment with oral hypoglycemia agents (OHAs) were correlated with those of TBR in another 18 subjects whose AGE value was >14.2 units/mL (mean ± 2 SD).
Mean serum AGE level and carotid TBR values were 9.15 ± 2.53 and 1.43 ± 0.22 units/mL, respectively. Multiple stepwise regression analysis revealed that TBR was independently correlated with AGEs (P < 0.001), carotid intima-media thickness (P < 0.01), and BMI (P < 0.02). When age- and sex-adjusted AGE values stratified by TBR tertiles were compared using ANCOVA, a significant trend was observed (P < 0.01). In addition, the changes in AGEs after OHA treatment were positively (r = 0.50, P < 0.05) correlated with those in TBR value.
The current study reveals that serum AGE level is independently associated with vascular inflammation evaluated by FDG-PET, suggesting that circulating AGE value may be a biomarker that could reflect vascular inflammation within an area of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3507595  PMID: 22912424
2.  MicroRNA 648 Targets ET-1 mRNA and Is Cotranscriptionally Regulated with MICAL3 by PAX5 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;35(3):514-528.
Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is associated with high mortality in sickle cell anemia (SCA). Previously, we showed that elevated levels of placenta growth factor (PlGF) in SCA patients correlate with increased levels of the potent vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) and PHT. Moreover, PlGF induced the expression of ET-1 via hypoxia-inducible factor 1α. Here, we show a novel example of ET-1 posttranscriptional regulation by PlGF via action of microRNA 648 (miR-648), which is subject to transcriptional coregulation with its host gene, MICAL3 (microtubule-associated monooxygenase, calponin, and LIM domain containing 3gene). PlGF repressed expression of miR-648 in endothelial cells. Luciferase reporter assays using wild-type and mutant ET-1 3′ untranslated region (UTR) constructs, and transfection of miR-648 mimics showed that miR-648 targets the 3′ UTR of ET-1 mRNA. Since miR-648 is located in a 5′-proximal intron of MICAL3, we examined which of three potential promoters was responsible for its expression. The MICAL3 distal promoter (P1) was the predominant promoter used for transcription of pre-miR-648, and it was under positive control by PAX5 (paired box protein 5) transcription factor, as demonstrated by the loss and gain of function of PAX5 activity, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. These studies provide a novel link wherein PlGF-mediated downregulation of PAX5 attenuates miR-648 expression leading to increased ET-1 levels that are known to induce PHT in SCA.
PMCID: PMC4285416  PMID: 25403488
3.  Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single-molecule level 
Nature Communications  2015;6:7685.
How polypeptide chains acquire specific conformations to realize unique biological functions is a central problem of protein science. Single-molecule spectroscopy, combined with fluorescence resonance energy transfer, is utilized to study the conformational heterogeneity and the state-to-state transition dynamics of proteins on the submillisecond to second timescales. However, observation of the dynamics on the microsecond timescale is still very challenging. This timescale is important because the elementary processes of protein dynamics take place and direct comparison between experiment and simulation is possible. Here we report a new single-molecule technique to reveal the microsecond structural dynamics of proteins through correlation of the fluorescence lifetime. This method, two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, is applied to clarify the conformational dynamics of cytochrome c. Three conformational ensembles and the microsecond transitions in each ensemble are indicated from the correlation signal, demonstrating the importance of quantifying microsecond dynamics of proteins on the folding free energy landscape.
Single molecule spectroscopy can visualise dynamic changes in protein conformation on the submillisecond timescale. Here, Otosu et al. apply two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy to visualise dynamics between seven conformers of cytochrome c on the microsecond timescale.
PMCID: PMC4506535  PMID: 26151767
4.  Fish Oil Accelerates Diet-Induced Entrainment of the Mouse Peripheral Clock via GPR120 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0132472.
The circadian peripheral clock is entrained by restricted feeding (RF) at a fixed time of day, and insulin secretion regulates RF-induced entrainment of the peripheral clock in mice. Thus, carbohydrate-rich food may be ideal for facilitating RF-induced entrainment, although the role of dietary oils in insulin secretion and RF-induced entrainment has not been described. The soybean oil component of standard mouse chow was substituted with fish or soybean oil containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and/or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Tuna oil (high DHA/EPA), menhaden oil (standard), and DHA/EPA dissolved in soybean oil increased insulin secretion and facilitated RF-induced phase shifts of the liver clock as represented by the bioluminescence rhythms of PER2::LUCIFERASE knock-in mice. In this model, insulin depletion blocked the effect of tuna oil and fish oil had no effect on mice deficient for GPR120, a polyunsaturated fatty acid receptor. These results suggest food containing fish oil or DHA/EPA is ideal for adjusting the peripheral clock.
PMCID: PMC4498928  PMID: 26161796
5.  Transient Evoked and Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions in a Group of Neonates 
Introduction The most commonly used method in neonatal hearing screening programs is transient evoked otoacoustic emissions in the first stage of the process. There are few studies comparing transient evoked otoacoustic emissions with distortion product, but some authors have investigated the issue.
Objective To correlate the results of transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions in a Brazilian maternity hospital.
Methods This is a cross-sectional, comparative, and prospective study. The study included 579 newborns, ranging from 6 to 54 days of age, born in a low-risk maternity hospital and assessed for hearing loss. All neonates underwent hearing screening by transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions. The results were analyzed using the Spearman correlation test to relate the two procedures.
Results The pass index on transient evoked otoacoustic emissions was 95% and on distortion product otoacoustic emissions was 91%. The comparison of the two procedures showed that 91% of neonates passed on both procedures, 4.5% passed only on transient evoked otoacoustic emissions, 0.5% passed only on distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and 4% failed on both procedures. The inferential analysis showed a significant strong positive relationship between the two procedures.
Conclusion The failure rate was higher in distortion product otoacoustic emissions when compared with transient evoked; however, there was correlation between the results of the procedures.
PMCID: PMC4490930  PMID: 26157501
audiology; neonatal screening; hearing tests
6.  Effectiveness of lower target temperature therapeutic hypothermia in post-cardiac arrest syndrome patients with a resuscitation interval of ≤30 min 
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is a standard strategy to reduce brain damage in post-cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS) patients. However, it is unknown whether the target temperature should be adjusted for PCAS patients in different states.
Participants in the J-PULSE-Hypo study database were divided into lower (32.0–33.5 °C; Group L) or moderate (34.0–35.0 °C; Group M) temperature groups. Primary outcome was a favourable neurological outcome (proportion of patients with a Glasgow-Pittsburgh Cerebral Performance Category [CPC] of 1–2 on day 30). We compared between the two groups and in subgroups of patients divided by age and resuscitation interval (interval from collapse to return of spontaneous circulation) by propensity score (PS) analysis.
Overall, 467 participants were analysed. The proportions of patients with favourable neurological outcomes were as follows (Group L vs. Group M) (OR; Odds ratio): all patients, 64 % (n = 42) vs. 55 % ((n = 424) (PS; OR 1.381 (0.596–3.197)), P = 0.452) and resuscitation interval ≤ 30 min, 88 % (n = 24) vs. 64 % ((n = 281) (PS; OR 7.438 (1.769–31.272)), P = 0.007).
PCAS patients with a resuscitation interval of <30 min may be candidates for TH with a target temperature of <34 °C.
Trial registration
University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000001935; available at:
PMCID: PMC4474339  PMID: 26097741
Target temperature; Rapid cooling; Prolonged hypothermia; Slow rewarming; Post-cardiac arrest syndrome
7.  Entrainment of the mouse circadian clock by sub-acute physical and psychological stress 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11417.
The effects of acute stress on the peripheral circadian system are not well understood in vivo. Here, we show that sub-acute stress caused by restraint or social defeat potently altered clock gene expression in the peripheral tissues of mice. In these peripheral tissues, as well as the hippocampus and cortex, stressful stimuli induced time-of-day-dependent phase-advances or -delays in rhythmic clock gene expression patterns; however, such changes were not observed in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, i.e. the central circadian clock. Moreover, several days of stress exposure at the beginning of the light period abolished circadian oscillations and caused internal desynchronisation of peripheral clocks. Stress-induced changes in circadian rhythmicity showed habituation and disappeared with long-term exposure to repeated stress. These findings suggest that sub-acute physical/psychological stress potently entrains peripheral clocks and causes transient dysregulation of circadian clocks in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4466793  PMID: 26073568
8.  Optical coherence tomography endpoints in stent clinical investigations: strut coverage 
Late stent thrombosis (LST) and very LST (VLST) are infrequent complications after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation, but they carry a significant risk for patients. Delayed healing, which may be represented by incomplete stent coverage, has been observed in necropsy vessel specimens treated with DES. As a result, in vivo assessment of stent coverage, as well as stent apposition using optical coherence tomography (OCT), have been recently used as surrogate safety endpoints in clinical trials testing DES platforms. By adopting strut coverage assessed by OCT, one can assess the safety profile of the new generation of DES in preregistration studies. This article focuses on stent strut coverage as a central predictor of late DES thrombosis from the histopathological point of view, discusses the limitations of the current imaging modalities and presents the technical characteristics of OCT for the detection of neointimal coverage after stent implantation. We also review the preclinical and clinical investigations using this novel imaging modality.
PMCID: PMC4459645  PMID: 21394615
Strut coverage; Optical coherence tomography; Drug-eluting stent
9.  Volumetric Characterization of Human Coronary Calcification by Frequency Domain Optical Coherence Tomography 
Coronary artery calcification (CAC) presents unique challenges for percutaneous coronary intervention. Calcium appears as a signal-poor region with well-defined borders by FD-OCT, which might enable full quantification of CAC. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the accuracy of intravascular frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) to determine distribution of CAC.
Methods and Results
Cadaveric coronary arteries were imaged using FD-OCT at 100Dm frame interval. Arteries were subsequently frozen, sectioned and imaged in their entire length at 20Dm intervals using the Case Cryo-Imaging automated system™. Full volumetric co-registration between FD-OCT and cryo-images was performed. Calcium area, distance from lumen and angle were traced on every cross-section and volumetric quantification was performed offline using a dedicated algorithm.
Thirty left anterior descending (LAD) arteries were imaged by both FD-OCT and cryo-imaging. Of these, 13 vessels had a total of 55 plaques with calcification by cryo-imaging and FD-OCT identified 47 (85%) of these plaques. Quantitative analyses of 1285 cryo-images were compared with corresponding co-registered 257 FD-OCT images. Calcium distribution, represented by the calcium-lumen distance (depth) and the mean calcium angle, was similar with excellent correlation between FD-OCT and cryo-imaging respectively (calcium-lumen distance: 0.25±0.09mm vs. 0.26±0.12mm, p=0.742; R=0.90), (mean calcium angle: 35.33±21.86° vs. 39.68±26.61°, p=0.207; R=0.88). Volumetric quantification of CAC was possible by OCT; calcium volume was underestimated in large calcifications in which the abluminal plaque border could not be well visualized (3.11±2.14mm3 vs. 4.58±3.39mm3, p=0.001) in OCT vs. cryo respectively.
Intravascular FD-OCT can accurately characterize CAC distribution. OCT can quantify absolute calcium volume, but may underestimate calcium burden in large plaques with poorly defined abluminal borders.
PMCID: PMC4422196  PMID: 23782524
Optical coherence tomography; Coronary artery calcification; Cryo-imaging; Percutaneous coronary intervention
10.  Involvement of RORγt-overexpressing T cells in the development of autoimmune arthritis in mice 
Differentiation of T helper 17 cells is dependent on the expression of transcription retinoid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt). The purpose of our study is to determine the role of RORγt expression in T cells on the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
CIA was induced in C57BL/6 and T cell-specific RORγt transgenic (RORγt Tg) mice. At day 10 post-1st-immunization, lymph node (LN) cells were cultured with type II collagen (CII), and the expression levels of various cytokines and transcription factors on CD4+ T cells were measured. Total cells or CD4+ cells of draining LN were harvested from each mouse group after CII-immunization and transferred into C57BL/6 mice, and then CIA was induced in recipient mice. The expression levels of RORγt and other surface antigens, and the production of cytokines were analyzed in forkhead box P3 (Foxp3)+ regulatory T (Treg) cells. Foxp3+ Treg cells were analyzed for suppressive activity against proliferation of effector CD4+ T cells. Interlukin (IL)-10 neutralizing antibody was administrated in the course of CIA.
CIA was significantly suppressed in RORγt Tg mice compared with C57BL/6 mice. RORγt expression and IL-17 production were significantly higher in CII-reactive CD4+ T cells from RORγt Tg mice. Arthritis was significantly attenuated in C57BL/6 mice recipient of cells from RORγt Tg mice. Most of Foxp3+ Treg cells expressed RORγt, produced IL-10 but not IL-17, and overexpressed CC chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6) and surface antigens related to the suppressive activity of Foxp3+ Treg cells in RORγt Tg mice. In vitro suppression assay demonstrated significant augmentation of the suppressive capacity of Foxp3+ Treg cells in RORγt Tg mice. CIA was exacerbated in both C57BL/6 mice and RORγt Tg mice by the treatment of anti-IL-10 antibody.
Our results indicated that RORγt overexpression in T cells protected against the development of CIA. The protective effects were mediated, at least in part, through the anti-inflammatory effects including high production of IL-10 of RORγt+Foxp3+ Treg cells.
PMCID: PMC4436146  PMID: 25928901
11.  Fusobacterium in colonic flora and molecular features of colorectal carcinoma 
Cancer research  2014;74(5):1311-1318.
Fusobacterium species are part of the gut microbiome in humans. Recent studies have identified over-representation of Fusobacterium in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues but it is not yet clear whether this is pathogenic or simply an epiphenomenon. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between Fusobacterium status and molecular features in CRCs through quantitative real-time PCR in 149 CRC tissues, 89 adjacent normal appearing mucosae and 72 colonic mucosae from cancer-free individuals. Results were correlated with CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) status, microsatellite instability (MSI) and mutations in BRAF, KRAS, TP53, CHD7 and CHD8. Whole exome capture sequencing data were also available in 11 cases. Fusobacterium was detectable in 111/149 (74%) CRC tissues and heavily enriched in 9% (14/149) of the cases. As expected, Fusobacterium was also detected in normal appearing mucosae from both cancer and cancer-free individuals but the amount of bacteria was much lower compared to CRC tissues (a mean of 250-fold lower for Pan-fusobacterium). We found the Fusobacterium-high CRC group (FB-high) to be associated with CIMP positivity (p=0.001), TP53 wild type (p=0.015), hMLH1 methylation positivity (p=0.0028), MSI (p=0.018) and CHD7/8 mutation positivity (p=0.002). Among the 11 cases where whole exome sequencing data was available, two that were FB-high cases also had the highest number of somatic mutations (a mean of 736 per case in FB-high vs. 225 per case in all others). Taken together, our findings show that Fusobacterium enrichment is associated with specific molecular subsets of CRCs, offering support for a pathogenic role in CRC for this gut microbiome component
PMCID: PMC4396185  PMID: 24385213
Fusobacterium; colorectal cancer; DNA methylation; CpG island methylator phenotype; exome sequencing
12.  Gremlin, a Bone Morphogenetic Protein Antagonist, Is a Crucial Angiogenic Factor in Pituitary Adenoma 
Gremlin is an antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and a major driving force in skeletal modeling in the fetal stage. Several recent reports have shown that Gremlin is also involved in angiogenesis of lung cancer and diabetic retinopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of Gremlin in tumor angiogenesis in pituitary adenoma. Double fluorescence immunohistochemistry of Gremlin and CD34 was performed in pituitary adenoma tissues obtained during transsphenoidal surgery in 45 cases (7 PRLoma, 17 GHoma, 2 ACTHoma, and 2 TSHoma). Gremlin and microvascular density (MVD) were detected by double-immunofluorescence microscopy in CD34-positive vessels from tissue microarray analysis of 60 cases of pituitary adenomas (6 PRLoma, 23 GHoma, 22 NFoma, 5 ACTHoma, and 4 TSHoma). In tissue microarray analysis, MVD was significantly correlated with an increased Gremlin level (linear regression: P < 0.005,  r2 = 0.4958). In contrast, Gremlin expression showed no correlation with tumor subtype or Knosp score. The high level of expression of Gremlin in pituitary adenoma tissue with many CD34-positive vessels and the strong coherence of these regions indicate that Gremlin is associated with angiogenesis in pituitary adenoma cells.
PMCID: PMC4365323  PMID: 25834571
13.  Study of the Relationship between Taste Sensor Response and the Amount of Epigallocatechin Gallate Adsorbed Onto a Lipid-Polymer Membrane 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2015;15(3):6241-6249.
A taste sensor using lipid-polymer membranes has been developed to evaluate the taste of foods, beverages and medicines. The response of the taste sensor, measured as a change in the membrane potential caused by adsorption (CPA), corresponds to the aftertaste felt by humans. The relationships between the CPA value and the amount of adsorbed taste substances, quinine and iso-α acid (bitterness), and tannic acid (astringency), have been studied so far. However, that of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) has not been clarified, although EGCg is abundantly present in green tea as one of its astringent substances. This study aimed at clarifying the response of the taste sensor to EGCg and its relationship with the amount of EGCg adsorbed onto lipid-polymer membranes. The lipid concentration dependence of the CPA value was similar to that of the amount of adsorbed EGCg, indicating a high correlation between the CPA value and the amount of adsorbed EGCg. The CPA value increased with increasing amount of adsorbed EGCg; however, the CPA value showed a tendency of leveling off when the amount of adsorbed EGCg further increased.
PMCID: PMC4435111  PMID: 25781512
taste sensor; lipid-polymer membrane; CPA value; astringent substance; epigallocatechin gallate
14.  Construction of a linkage map based on retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms in sweetpotato via high-throughput sequencing 
Breeding Science  2015;65(2):145-153.
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is an outcrossing hexaploid species with a large number of chromosomes (2n = 6x = 90). Although sweetpotato is one of the world’s most important crops, genetic analysis of the species has been hindered by its genetic complexity combined with the lack of a whole genome sequence. In the present study, we constructed a genetic linkage map based on retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms using a mapping population derived from a cross between ‘Purple Sweet Lord’ (PSL) and ‘90IDN-47’ cultivars. High-throughput sequencing and subsequent data analyses identified many Rtsp-1 retrotransposon insertion sites, and their allele dosages (simplex, duplex, triplex, or double-simplex) were determined based on segregation ratios in the mapping population. Using a pseudo-testcross strategy, 43 and 47 linkage groups were generated for PSL and 90IDN-47, respectively. Interestingly, most of these insertions (~90%) were present in a simplex manner, indicating their utility for linkage map construction in polyploid species. Additionally, our approach led to savings of time and labor for genotyping. Although the number of markers herein was insufficient for map-based cloning, our trial analysis exhibited the utility of retrotransposon-based markers for linkage map construction in sweetpotato.
PMCID: PMC4430505  PMID: 26069444
sweetpotato; polyploidy; linkage map; pseudo-testcross; retrotransposon; high-throughput sequencing
15.  Examination of whole blood DNA methylation as a potential risk marker for gastric cancer 
Whole blood DNA methylation analysis has been proposed to be a risk marker for cancer that can be used to target patients for preventive interventions. To test this, we examined whole blood DNA methylation of 16 CpG island promoters and LINE1 repetitive element in gastric cancer (GC) patients and control subjects. Bisulfite pyrosequencing was used to quantify the methylation of 14 CpG island promoters (MINT25, RORA, GDNF, CDH1, RARAB2, ER, CDH13, MYOD1, SFRP1, P2RX7, SLC16A12, IGF2, DPYS, and N33) and LINE1 from 72 GC, 67 control, and 52 healthy young individuals. Quantitative methylation-specific real-time PCR (qMSP) was also performed for 3 CpG island promoters (MINT25, MYO3A, and SOX11). Among all sites tested, only a marginal increase in the methylation of the SFRP1 promoter was observed in the blood of GC patients when compared to the control group (11.3% vs. 10.5%; age-adjusted p value: p=0.009), and this association was also seen in a validation set of 91 GC patients (11.5% vs. 10.5%; age-adjusted p value: p=0.001). The methylation of 9 sites (GDNF, CDH1, RARAB2, CDH13, MYOD1, SFRP1, SLC16A12, DPYS, N33, and LINE1) and their mean Z score was correlated with higher age (R=0.41, p<0.0001) and marginally with telomere shortening (R=−0.18, p=0.01) but not with gastric cancer risk (other than SFRP1 methylation). Variability in whole blood DNA methylation of cancer markers is primarily associated with aging, reflecting turnover of white blood cells, and has no direct link to GC predisposition. SFRP1 methylation in whole blood may be associated with gastric cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC4337829  PMID: 23943784
DNA methylation; whole blood DNA; gastric cancer; aging; telomere length
16.  Importance of luminal membrane mesothelin expression in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms 
Oncology Letters  2015;9(4):1583-1589.
The present study demonstrated that luminal membrane mesothelin expression is a reliable prognostic factor in gastric cancer. Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) often exhibit a spectrum of dysplasia, ranging between adenoma and carcinoma. Therefore, an immunohistochemical analysis of mesothelin expression in IPMN was performed in the present study, focusing on the localization of mesothelin. IPMNs were classified into two groups, IPMNs associated with invasive carcinoma and low-high (L-H) grade dysplasias. The tumors were classified as mesothelin-positive or -negative and in the mesothelin-positive cases, the localization of mesothelin was evaluated as luminal membrane- or cytoplasmic-positive. Among the 37 IPMNs, mesothelin expression was observed in 21 samples (56.8%), including 46.2% (12 out of 26) of the L-H dysplasia and 81.8% (9 out of 11) of the invasive carcinoma samples (P=0.071). Luminal membrane localization was observed in 10 samples (27%), including 15.4% (4/26) of the L-H dysplasia samples and 54.5% (6 out of 11) of the invasive carcinoma samples (P=0.022). Six patients experienced post-operative recurrence, with five of the recurrent tumors exhibiting mesothelin expression and all six exhibiting luminal membrane localization. It was concluded that immunohistochemical examinations for mesothelin expression and localization are clinically useful for prognostic assessments and decision making regarding further treatment subsequent to surgical procedures in patients with IPMN.
PMCID: PMC4356290  PMID: 25789005
mesothelin; intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms; luminal membrane expression
17.  Werner Syndrome-specific induced pluripotent stem cells: recovery of telomere function by reprogramming 
Werner syndrome (WS) is a rare human autosomal recessive premature aging disorder characterized by early onset of aging-associated diseases, chromosomal instability, and cancer predisposition. The function of the DNA helicase encoded by WRN, the gene responsible for WS, has been studied extensively. WRN helicase is involved in the maintenance of chromosome integrity through DNA replication, repair, and recombination by interacting with a variety of proteins associated with DNA repair and telomere maintenance. The accelerated aging associated with WS is reportedly caused by telomere dysfunction, and the underlying mechanism of the disease is yet to be elucidated. Although it was reported that the life expectancy for patients with WS has improved over the last two decades, definitive therapy for these patients has not seen much development. Severe symptoms of the disease, such as leg ulcers, cause a significant decline in the quality of life in patients with WS. Therefore, the establishment of new therapeutic strategies for the disease is of utmost importance. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be established by the introduction of several pluripotency genes, including Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-myc into differentiated cells. iPSCs have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell types that constitute the human body, and possess infinite proliferative capacity. Recent studies have reported the generation of iPSCs from the cells of patients with WS, and they have concluded that reprogramming represses premature senescence phenotypes in these cells. In this review, we summarize the findings of WS patient-specific iPSCs (WS iPSCs) and focus on the roles of telomere and telomerase in the maintenance of these cells. Finally, we discuss the potential use of WS iPSCs for clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC4310323  PMID: 25688260
Werner syndrome (WS); accelerated aging; chromosomal instability; telomere dysfunction; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); reprogramming; telomerase; premature senescence phenotypes
18.  Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Cisternostomy for Nonneoplastic Sellar Cysts 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:389474.
Background and Importance. Sellar arachnoid cysts and Rathke's cleft cysts are benign lesions that produce similar symptoms, including optochiasmatic compression, pituitary dysfunction, and headache. Studies have reported the use of various surgical treatment methods for treating these symptoms, preventing recurrence, and minimizing operative complications. However, the postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistula and recurrence rate remain significant. Clinical Presentation. In this paper, we present 8 consecutive cases involving arachnoid cysts and Rathke's cleft cysts, which were managed by using drainage and cisternostomy, the intentional fenestration of the cyst into the subarachnoid space, and then meticulously closing sellar floor using dural sutures. The postoperative images, CSF fistula rate, and the recurrence rate were favorable. Conclusion. We report this technique and discuss the benefit of this minimally invasive approach.
PMCID: PMC4317582  PMID: 25685785
19.  Relationship between Expression of Onco-Related miRNAs and the Endoscopic Appearance of Colorectal Tumors 
Accumulating data indicates that certain microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are differently expressed in samples of tumors and paired non-tumorous samples taken from the same patients with colorectal tumors. We examined the expression of onco-related miRNAs in 131 sporadic exophytic adenomas or early cancers and in 52 sporadic flat elevated adenomas or early cancers to clarify the relationship between the expression of the miRNAs and the endoscopic morphological appearance of the colorectal tumors. The expression levels of miR-143, -145, and -34a were significantly reduced in most of the exophytic tumors compared with those in the flat elevated ones. In type 2 cancers, the miRNA expression profile was very similar to that of the exophytic tumors. The expression levels of miR-7 and -21 were significantly up-regulated in some flat elevated adenomas compared with those in exophytic adenomas. In contrast, in most of the miR-143 and -145 down-regulated cases of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence and in some of the de novo types of carcinoma, the up-regulation of oncogenic miR-7 and/or -21 contributed to the triggering mechanism leading to the carcinogenetic process. These findings indicated that the expression of onco-related miRNA was associated with the morphological appearance of colorectal tumors.
PMCID: PMC4307318  PMID: 25584614
microRNA; endoscopic appearance; colorectal tumor
20.  Minimal experimental requirements for definition of extracellular vesicles and their functions: a position statement from the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2014;3:10.3402/jev.v3.26913.
Secreted membrane-enclosed vesicles, collectively called extracellular vesicles (EVs), which include exosomes, ectosomes, microvesicles, microparticles, apoptotic bodies and other EV subsets, encompass a very rapidly growing scientific field in biology and medicine. Importantly, it is currently technically challenging to obtain a totally pure EV fraction free from non-vesicular components for functional studies, and therefore there is a need to establish guidelines for analyses of these vesicles and reporting of scientific studies on EV biology. Here, the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) provides researchers with a minimal set of biochemical, biophysical and functional standards that should be used to attribute any specific biological cargo or functions to EVs.
PMCID: PMC4275645  PMID: 25536934
extracellular vesicles; microvesicles; microparticles; exosomes; ectosomes; extracellular RNA
21.  Contextual Effect of Repression of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Activity in Prostate Cancer 
Endocrine-related cancer  2013;20(6):861-874.
Several studies have focused on the impact of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) on prostate cancer homing and growth at distant metastatic sites, but very little on impact at the primary site. Here we used two cell lines, one (E8) isolated from a primary tumor and the other (cE1) from a recurrent tumor arising at the primary site, both from the conditional Pten deletion mouse model of prostatic adenocarcinoma. Over-expression of the BMP antagonist Noggin inhibited proliferation of cE1 cells in vitro while enhancing their ability to migrate. On the other hand cE1/Noggin grafts grown in vivo showed a greater mass and a higher proliferation index than the cE1/Control grafts. For suppression of BMP activity in the context of cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), we used Noggin-transduced CAFs from the same mouse model to determine their effect on E8 or cE1 induced tumor growth. CAF/Noggin led to increased tumor mass and greater de-differentiation of the E8 cell as compared to tumors formed in the presence of CAF/Control cells. A trend in increase in the size of the tumor was also noted for cE1 cells when inoculated with CAF/Noggin. Together, the results may point to a potential inhibitory role of BMP in the growth or re-growth of prostate tumor at the primary site. Additionally, results for cE1/Noggin, and cE1 mixed with CAF/Noggin suggested that suppression of BMP activity in the cancer cells may have a stronger growth enhancing effect on the tumor than its suppression in the fibroblastic compartment of the tumor microenvironment.
PMCID: PMC3885249  PMID: 24042462
BMP; Noggin; prostate cancer mouse model; prostate cancer cell lines; cancer-associated fibroblasts
22.  Haplotype defined by the MLH1-93G/A polymorphism is associated with MLH1 promoter hypermethylation in sporadic colorectal cancers 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:835.
Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region has been suggested to be a major mechanism of gene inactivation in sporadic microsatellite instability-positive (MSI-H) colorectal cancers (CRCs). Recently, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the MLH1 promoter region (MLH1-93G/A; rs1800734) has been proposed to be associated with MLH1 promoter methylation, loss of MLH1 protein expression and MSI-H tumors. We examined the association of MLH1-93G/A and six other SNPs surrounding MLH1-93G/A with the methylation status in 210 consecutive sporadic CRCs in Japanese patients.
Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region was evaluated by Na-bisulfite polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The genotype frequencies of SNPs located in the 54-kb region surrounding the MLH1-93G/A SNP were examined by SSCP analysis.
Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region was observed in 28.6% (60/210) of sporadic CRCs. The proportions of MLH1-93G/A genotypes A/A, A/G and G/G were 26% (n = 54), 51% (n = 108) and 23% (n = 48), respectively, and they were significantly associated with the methylation status (p = 0.01). There were no significant associations between genotype frequency of the six other SNPs and methylation status. The A-allele of MLH1-93G/A was more common in cases with methylation than the G-allele (p = 0.0094), especially in females (p = 0.0067). In logistic regression, the A/A genotype of the MLH1-93G/A SNP was shown to be the most significant risk factor for methylation of the MLH1 promoter region (odds ratio 2.82, p = 0.003). Furthermore, a haplotype of the A-allele of rs2276807 located -47 kb upstream from the MLH1-93G/A SNP and the A-allele of MLH1-93G/A SNP was significantly associated with MLH1 promoter methylation.
These results indicate that individuals, and particularly females, carrying the A-allele at the MLH1-93G/A SNP, especially in association with the A-allele of rs2276807, may harbor an increased risk of methylation of the MLH1 promoter region.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-835) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4253604  PMID: 25421847
MSI; SNP; MLH1; Methylation; Colorectal cancer; Haplotype
23.  Reprogramming Suppresses Premature Senescence Phenotypes of Werner Syndrome Cells and Maintains Chromosomal Stability over Long-Term Culture 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112900.
Werner syndrome (WS) is a premature aging disorder characterized by chromosomal instability and cancer predisposition. Mutations in WRN are responsible for the disease and cause telomere dysfunction, resulting in accelerated aging. Recent studies have revealed that cells from WS patients can be successfully reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In the present study, we describe the effects of long-term culture on WS iPSCs, which acquired and maintained infinite proliferative potential for self-renewal over 2 years. After long-term cultures, WS iPSCs exhibited stable undifferentiated states and differentiation capacity, and premature upregulation of senescence-associated genes in WS cells was completely suppressed in WS iPSCs despite WRN deficiency. WS iPSCs also showed recapitulation of the phenotypes during differentiation. Furthermore, karyotype analysis indicated that WS iPSCs were stable, and half of the descendant clones had chromosomal profiles that were similar to those of parental cells. These unexpected properties might be achieved by induced expression of endogenous telomerase gene during reprogramming, which trigger telomerase reactivation leading to suppression of both replicative senescence and telomere dysfunction in WS cells. These findings demonstrated that reprogramming suppressed premature senescence phenotypes in WS cells and WS iPSCs could lead to chromosomal stability over the long term. WS iPSCs will provide opportunities to identify affected lineages in WS and to develop a new strategy for the treatment of WS.
PMCID: PMC4229309  PMID: 25390333
24.  The Host Protease TMPRSS2 Plays a Major Role in In Vivo Replication of Emerging H7N9 and Seasonal Influenza Viruses 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(10):5608-5616.
Proteolytic cleavage of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein is essential for influenza A virus (IAV) to acquire infectivity. This process is mediated by a host cell protease(s) in vivo. The type II transmembrane serine protease TMPRSS2 is expressed in the respiratory tract and is capable of activating a variety of respiratory viruses, including low-pathogenic (LP) IAVs possessing a single arginine residue at the cleavage site. Here we show that TMPRSS2 plays an essential role in the proteolytic activation of LP IAVs, including a recently emerged H7N9 subtype, in vivo. We generated TMPRSS2 knockout (KO) mice. The TMPRSS2 KO mice showed normal reproduction, development, and growth phenotypes. In TMPRSS2 KO mice infected with LP IAVs, cleavage of HA was severely impaired, and consequently, the majority of LP IAV progeny particles failed to gain infectivity, while the viruses were fully activated proteolytically in TMPRSS2+/+ wild-type (WT) mice. Accordingly, in contrast to WT mice, TMPRSS2 KO mice were highly tolerant of challenge infection by LP IAVs (H1N1, H3N2, and H7N9) with ≥1,000 50% lethal doses (LD50) for WT mice. On the other hand, a high-pathogenic H5N1 subtype IAV possessing a multibasic cleavage site was successfully activated in the lungs of TMPRSS2 KO mice and killed these mice, as observed for WT mice. Our results demonstrate that recently emerged H7N9 as well as seasonal IAVs mainly use the specific protease TMPRSS2 for HA cleavage in vivo and, thus, that TMPRSS2 expression is essential for IAV replication in vivo.
IMPORTANCE Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading pathogen that infects and kills many humans every year. We clarified that the infectivity and pathogenicity of IAVs, including a recently emerged H7N9 subtype, are determined primarily by a host protease, TMPRSS2. Our data showed that TMPRSS2 is the key host protease that activates IAVs in vivo through proteolytic cleavage of their HA proteins. Hence, TMPRSS2 is a good target for the development of anti-IAV drugs. Such drugs could also be effective for many other respiratory viruses, including the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, because they are also activated by TMPRSS2 in vitro. Consequently, the present paper could have a large impact on the battle against respiratory virus infections and contribute greatly to human health.
PMCID: PMC4019123  PMID: 24600012
25.  Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cell Death in Myocardial Infarction using 111In-GSAO 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6826.
Acute insult to the myocardium is associated with substantial loss of cardiomyocytes during the process of myocardial infarction. In this setting, apoptosis (programmed cell death) and necrosis may operate on a continuum. Because the latter is characterized by the loss of sarcolemmal integrity, we propose that an appropriately labeled tracer directed at a ubiquitously present intracellular moiety would allow non-invasive definition of cardiomyocyte necrosis. A trivalent arsenic peptide, GSAO (4-(N-(S-glutathionylacetyl)amino)phenylarsonous acid), is capable of binding to intracellular dithiol molecules such as HSP90 and filamin-A. Since GSAO is membrane impermeable and dithiol molecules abundantly present intracellularly, we propose that myocardial localization would represent sarcolemmal disruption or necrotic cell death. In rabbit and mouse models of myocardial infarction and post-infarct heart failure, we employed In-111-labelled GSAO for noninvasive radionuclide molecular imaging. 111In-GSAO uptake was observed within the regions of apoptosis seeking agent- 99mTc-Annexin A5 uptake, suggesting the colocalization of apoptotic and necrotic cell death processes.
PMCID: PMC4212241  PMID: 25351258

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