Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO), a Rieske nonheme iron oxygenase (RO), is a three-component system composed of a terminal oxygenase (Oxy), ferredoxin, and a ferredoxin reductase. Oxy has angular dioxygenation activity against carbazole. Previously, site-directed mutagenesis of the Oxy-encoding gene from Janthinobacterium sp. strain J3 generated the I262V, F275W, Q282N, and Q282Y Oxy derivatives, which showed oxygenation capabilities different from those of the wild-type enzyme. To understand the structural features resulting in the different oxidation reactions, we determined the crystal structures of the derivatives, both free and complexed with substrates. The I262V, F275W, and Q282Y derivatives catalyze the lateral dioxygenation of carbazole with higher yields than the wild type. A previous study determined the crystal structure of Oxy complexed with carbazole and revealed that the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178 hydrogen bonds with the imino nitrogen of carbazole. In these derivatives, the carbazole was rotated approximately 15, 25, and 25°, respectively, compared to the wild type, creating space for a water molecule, which hydrogen bonds with the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178 and the imino nitrogen of carbazole. In the crystal structure of the F275W derivative complexed with fluorene, C-9 of fluorene, which corresponds to the imino nitrogen of carbazole, was oriented close to the mutated residue Trp275, which is on the opposite side of the binding pocket from the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178. Our structural analyses demonstrate that the fine-tuning of hydrophobic residues on the surface of the substrate-binding pocket in ROs causes a slight shift in the substrate-binding position that, in turn, favors specific oxygenation reactions toward various substrates.
A crystal was obtained of the complex between reduced terminal oxygenase and oxidized ferredoxin components of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase. The crystal belonged to space group P21 and diffracted to 2.25 Å resolution.
The initial reaction in bacterial carbazole degradation is catalyzed by carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase, which consists of terminal oxygenase (Oxy), ferredoxin (Fd) and ferredoxin reductase components. The electron-transfer complex between reduced Oxy and oxidized Fd was crystallized at 293 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with PEG 3350 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystal diffracted to a maximum resolution of 2.25 Å and belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 97.3, b = 81.6, c = 116.2 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 100.1°. The V
M value is 2.85 Å3 Da−1, indicating a solvent content of 56.8%.
Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase; electron-transfer complex; terminal oxygenase; ferredoxin; carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase
To examine an association between self-reported sleep quality determined by Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) and metabolic syndrome.
This study was designed as cross-sectional study. Participants were 1481 adults aged 20 years and above from general population (549 males and 932 females). We assessed the global sleep quality by PSQI. PSQI consists of 7 elements, i.e. subjective sleep quality, sleep latency (prolonged sleep onset time), sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency (proportion of hours slept to hours spent in bed), sleep disturbance (interruption of sleep), use of sleep medication and daytime dysfunction (trouble staying awake while engaging in social activity). Any participants with score of 6 or more are diagnosed to have sleep disorder. We also assessed the above 7 elements, which consisted of a four-grade system (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3). Metabolic syndrome consisted of abdominal obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia. Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was done when the participants have abdominal obesity and meet two or more other components. All analyses were adjusted by age, drinking habit, smoking habit, working hours, exercise habit and depression.
Fifty-two male participants (9.5%) and 133 female (14.3%) scored 6 or more points in global PSQI score. The global PSQI score, sleep latency score and sleep disturbance score of participants with metabolic syndrome were higher level than those without the condition (p < 0.001, p = 0.009, p = 0.025 for male and p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.002 for females, respectively). The odds ratio of metabolic syndrome among participants with PSQI score of 6 or more points were 2.37 (95% confidence interval: 1.23-4.58) for males and 2.71 (1.45-5.07) for females in contrast to those with 5 or less points. The odds ratio of metabolic syndrome with sleep latency score of 2 was 2.65 (1.14-6.15) for male and 3.82 (1.81-8.09) for females in contrast with those of 0. The odds ratio of metabolic syndrome with sleep disturbance score of 1 was 1.76 (1.09-2.86) for males and 2.43 (1.26-4.69) for females in contrast with those of 0.
Global PSQI score and its components (especially, sleep latency and sleep disturbance) were associated with metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Pittsburgh sleep quality index; Sleep quality; General population
Although serum hyaluronan (HA) levels increase in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), the association between OA severity and elevation of serum HA levels is not clear. Our purpose was to investigate the relationship between serum HA levels and OA in various anatomical sites and to detect which joints are strongly correlated with elevated serum HA levels.
Seven hundred and ten individuals from the general population who participated in the Iwaki Health Promotion Project in 2008 were involved. Kellgren–Lawrence grade 2 or higher in the knee, hip, lumbar spine, finger and wrist was defined as OA. Serum HA levels were determined on the same day. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between serum HA levels and total number of joints affected by OA were calculated. Linear regression was analysed with serum HA levels as the independent variable; age, gender, presence of OA and intake of supplements were used as dependent variables.
Prevalence of knee OA was 30.7 %, hip 16.8 %, lumbar spine 65.1 %, wrist 9.0 % and finger 22.0 %. Serum HA levels had a positive correlation with the number of involved joints, and the correlation coefficient was 0.410 (p < 0.001). Serum HA was significantly affected by age (β = 0.382), knee OA (β = 0.163) and finger OA (β = 0.164).
Although this biomarker reflects a systemic condition, higher serum HA levels were associated with total number of OA joints. Knee and finger OA were key joints related to increased serum HA levels. These results are valuable in understanding characteristics of serum HA levels as a biomarker for osteoarthritis.
Radiographic findings may provide clues to the underlying cause of neck symptoms. However, these associations remain controversial. This study investigates the association between roentgenographic findings of the cervical spine and neck symptoms in a Japanese community population.
A total of 762 volunteers participated in this study. Sagittal radiographs of the cervical spine were taken and a questionnaire about the presence of and visual analog scale (VAS) for neck pain or stiff shoulder was completed. The sagittal alignment of the cervical spine (C2–C7) and the degenerative index were measured from lateral aspect radiographs. Three groups based on the sagittal alignment of C2–C7 were defined: straight-spine, lordotic-spine, and kyphotic-spine. The roentgenographic findings were examined in relation to symptoms.
The prevalence rate of stiff shoulder on the day of examination was significantly higher in females than males. Although the VAS for neck pain and stiff shoulder on the examination day and for stiff shoulder in the preceding 12 months were not significantly different between females and males, that for neck pain in the preceding 12 months was significantly higher in females than males. Although there was no association between the sagittal alignment of C2–C7 and neck symptoms in males or females, a significant correlation between the degenerative index and VAS for neck pain on the examination day and in the preceding 12 months was seen in females after adjusting for age. The prevalence of and VAS for neck pain and stiff shoulder were not significantly different among the three C2–C7 sagittal alignment groups.
Although the sagittal alignment of the cervical spine was not associated with neck symptoms, degenerative changes were associated with the severity of neck pain in females.
The terminal oxygenase component (Oxy) of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) catalyzes dihydroxylation of the aromatic ring. The Oxy of CARDO from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.1 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial dioxygenase in the carbazole-degradation pathway of Novosphingobium sp. KA1. The CARDO from KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase (Oxy), a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin reductase. The Oxy from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized at 277 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 2.1 Å. The crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group P21. Self-rotation function analysis suggested that the asymmetric unit contained two Oxy trimers; the Matthews coefficient and solvent content were calculated to be 5.9 Å3 Da−1 and 79.1%, respectively.
carbazole; Novosphingobium; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; sphingomonads; terminal oxygenases
The ferredoxin reductase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (Red) is involved in electron transfer from NAD(P)H to ferredoxin. The class IIA Red from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystal diffracted to a resolution of 1.58 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial enzyme of the carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of Novosphingobium sp. KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase, a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin-NADH oxidoreductase (Red) and is classified as a class IIA Rieske oxygenase. Red from KA1 was crystallized at 278 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000. The crystal diffracted to 1.58 Å resolution and belonged to space group P32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 92.2, c = 78.6 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 120°. Preliminary analysis of the X-ray diffraction data revealed that the asymmetric unit contained two Red monomers. The crystal appeared to be a merohedral twin, with a twin fraction of 0.32 and twin law (−h, −k, l).
carbazole; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; ferredoxin reductases
There have been a limited number of studies comparing bone mass between patients with schizophrenia and the general population. The aim of this study was to compare the bone mass of schizophrenia patients with that of healthy subjects in Japan.
We recruited patients (n = 362), aged 48.8 ± 15.4 (mean ± SD) years who were diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). Bone mass was measured using quantitative ultrasound densitometry of the calcaneus. The osteosono-assessment index (OSI) was calculated as a function of the speed of sound and the transmission index. For comparative analysis, OSI data from 832 adults who participated in the Iwaki Health Promotion Project 2009 was used as representative of the general community.
Mean OSI values among male schizophrenic patients were lower than those in the general population in the case of individuals aged 40 and older. In females, mean OSI values among schizophrenic patients were lower than those in the general community in those aged 60 and older. In an analysis using the general linear model, a significant interaction was observed between subject groups and age in males.
Older schizophrenic patients exhibit lower bone mass than that observed in the general population. Our data also demonstrate gender and group differences among schizophrenic patients and controls with regard to changes in bone mass associated with aging. These results indicate that intervention programs designed to delay or prevent decreased bone mass in schizophrenic patients might be tailored according to gender.
bone mass; Japanese; schizophrenia; ultrasound
Hearing impairment is a prevalent and chronic condition in older people. This study investigated the relationship between cognitive function and hearing impairment in a Japanese population.
A pure-tone average (0.5-2.0 kHz) was used to evaluate hearing impairment in 846 participants of the Iwaki Health Promotion Project who were aged at least 50 years old (310 men and 536 women). We also administered the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies for Depression (CES-D) scale, Starkstein's apathy scale (AS) and the Short Form Health Survey Version 2 (SF-36v2). A multiple linear regression analysis assessed the association between hearing impairment and mental correlates.
The overall prevalence of hearing impairment in this study population was 37.7%. The participants with hearing impairment were older and less educated compared to those with no hearing problems. We observed significant differences in the MMSE and AS scores between the mild/moderate to severe groups versus the non-impaired group. After adjusting for age, gender and amount of education, hearing impairment was significantly associated with MMSE and AS scores, but not with CES-D scores. Hearing impairment was significantly related to the social functioning (SF) and role emotional (RE) scores of the SF-36v2.
Hearing impairment is common among older people and is associated with cognitive impairment, apathy and a poor health-related quality of life. Screening for and correcting hearing impairments might improve the quality of life and functional status of older patients.
Over 290,000 patients are undergoing hemodialysis (HD) in Japan. With old age, the odds of undergoing HD treatment sharply increase, as does the prevalence of cognitive impairment. The aim of the present work was to assess cognitive impairment in HD patients and its relation to clinical characteristics.
Using a cross-sectional design, we administered the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to 154 HD outpatients and 852 participants from the Iwaki Health Promotion Project 2010, representing the general population.
The prevalence of cognitive impairment based on the MMSE was 18.8% in HD patients. HD patients showed a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment in older groups (50 years and older). In a logistic regression model with age, gender and amount of education as covariates, undergoing HD was a significant independent factor (OR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.33 to 3.94) associated with a lower MMSE score. Among HD patients, we found that level of education was associated with MMSE score.
There is a high prevalence of cognitive impairment among HD patients that has adverse implications for hospitalization and shortens their life expectancy. HD treatment was an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment. Clinicians should carefully monitor and treat cognitive impairment in HD patients. Further studies are required to determine the reasons for cognitive impairment in HD patients.
The ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO-F) is involved in an electron-transfer reaction. The CARDO-F from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized under anaerobic conditions and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
Novosphingobium sp. KA1 uses carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) as the first dioxygenase in its carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of KA1 contains a terminal oxygenase component and two electron-transfer components: ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase. In contrast to the CARDO systems of other species, the ferredoxin component of KA1 is a putidaredoxin-type protein. This novel ferredoxin was crystallized at 293 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG MME 550 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystals belong to space group C2221 and diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 1.9 Å (the diffraction limit was 1.6 Å).
carbazole; putidaredoxin-type proteins; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases
Vascular factors have been implicated in the development of cognitive decline and dementia. The purpose of this study is to determine the association of the Ankle Brachial pressure Index (ABI) and brachial-ankle Pulse Wave Velocity (ba-PWV) to cognitive impairment in a community-dwelling population.
The ABI and ba-PWV were measured using the volume-plethymographic apparatus in 388 subjects aged 60 years old and over. The Mini-Mental State Examination was also employed to measure global cognitive status. The effectiveness of the ABI and ba-PWV as putative markers of cognitive impairment were determined by using a multiple logistic regression analysis after adjusting for confounding factors.
Subjects with poor cognition were significantly older and less well educated than those with normal cognition. According to the multiple logistic regression analysis, the lowest ABI tertile was found to be a significant independent risk factor (OR = 3.19, 95% CI = 1.30 to 7.82) of the cognitive impairment, whereas the highest brachial-ankle PWV tertile was not.
A low ABI was an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment in community-dwelling older populations, whereas a high ba-PWV may not be. Further research will be required to analyze ABI and PWV with greater accuracy.
Athletes undergoing weight reduction are recognised as being more prone to infection. Few studies exist for athletes on the weight reduction‐mediated changes in neutrophil function and related activities such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) production capability, phagocytic activity (PA) and serum opsonic activity (SOA).
16 Japanese female university judoists were examined in the early morning of the first day (pre‐values) and the last day (post‐values) of a 20‐day pre‐competition training period. Of the 16 subjects, 8 needed to reduce weight (WR group) and the other 8 did not (control group). The parameters assessed were the neutrophil count, serum immunoglobulins and complements, myogenic enzymes, ROS production capability, PA and SOA.
Comparing the post‐values with the pre‐values, ROS production significantly increased in both groups (p<0.01 for both). PA significantly decreased in the WR group (p<0.05); it also decreased in the control group but the decrease was not significant. SOA significantly increased in the control group (p<0.05), but showed no significant change in the WR group.
The changes in the WR group were probably a direct consequence of the weight‐reduction regimen coupled with the exercise regimen, suggesting that neutrophil parameters (ROS production, PA and SOA) had tended to deviate from their typical compensatory changes to maintain immune system homoeostasis.
We summarize the results from a series of investigations of Japanese style acupuncture and moxibustion therapies on symptoms of the common cold that have been conducted (FTLE 1999–03, supported by the Foundation for Training and Licensure Examination in Anma- Massage- Acupressure, Acupuncture and Moxibustion). We also discuss the various interventions and concerns that we faced during these investigations. The subjects were students and teachers. The pilot study (FTLE1999) of a two arm (real and non-treatment control) RCT at a Japanese acupuncture school showed that manual acupuncture to a specific needling point at the throat clearly reduced symptoms of the common cold. The first multi-center (five centers) RCT (FTLE 2000) revealed a significant reduction in cold symptoms, by general linear model analysis (between groups, P = 0.024). To reduce the technical variation, we employed indirect moxibustion to the neck points as a uniform intervention in the next project (FTLE 2001) without statistically significant results. Then we elongated the periods of treatment from 2 to a maximum of 12 weeks (FTLE 2002) with different interventions accompanied by 4 weeks follow-up. The results were still not statistically significant. As the final project, we tried to develop a new experimental design for individualized intervention by conducting n-of-1 trials using elderly subjects in a health care center but without detecting a clear effect. In conclusion, the safety of Japanese acupuncture or moxibustion was sufficiently demonstrated; however, a series of clinical trials could not offer convincing evidence to recommend the use of Japanese style acupuncture or moxibustion for preventing the common cold. Further studies are required as the present trials had several limitations.
multi-center RCTs; common cold symptoms; acupuncture; moxibustion; japanese style
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of weight reduction prior to a competition on the salivary cortisol level for first-rate judo players. Subjects were divided into three groups by the weight reduction rate. On the day before the competition, the cortisol levels of the low- and high-weight reduction group showed a tendency to decrease and were significantly lower than that of the non-weight reduction group (p<0.05). However, with regard to the change in the stress indices, there was a difference between the high- and low-weight reduction groups. In the high-weight reduction group alone, there was a significant increase in the stress indices on the day before the competition (p<0.05). These findings suggest that the HPA axis is affected during the relatively early stage of weight reduction and mental stress is increased at the higher weight reduction rate.
cortisol; saliva; weight reduction; mental stress; judo players
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of weight reduction on the anti-mutagenicity of human saliva. Subjects were 16 male college judo players. The anti-mutagenicity of the saliva was measured using the umu test. There was an inhibiting effect of the saliva on the mutagenicity of AF-2. However, a modifying effect of the saliva on Trp-P-1 was not observed. On the day before a competition and 7 days after the competition, the inhibiting capacity of the saliva for the mutagenicity of AF-2 decreased and increased in two non-weight reduction and two weight reduction groups, respectively.
However, on the day before the competition, the changed body weights (r=−0.77, p<0.01) and BMI (r=−0.77, p<0.01) were significantly correlated with that of the inhibiting capacity of the saliva for the mutagenicity of AF-2. In addition, the BMI at 20 days before the competition was not significantly but markedly correlated with it (r=0.50, p=0.057). At 7 days after the competition, however, these correlations were not found.
These findings suggest a unique correlation between the anti-mutagenicity of human saliva and body weight or BMI.
anti-mutagenicity; human saliva; umu test; fasting; judo players
Since Fuchs' report in 1999, the reported protective effect of dietary fiber from colorectal carcinogenesis has led many researchers to question its real benefit. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between diet, especially dietary fiber and fat and colorectal cancer in Japan.
A multiple regression analysis (using the stepwise variable selection method) was performed using the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) of colon and rectal cancer in 23 Japanese prefectures as objective variables and dietary fiber, nutrients and food groups as explanatory variables.
As for colon cancer, the standardized partial correlation coefficients were positively significant for fat (1,13, P = 0.000), seaweeds (0.41, P = 0.026) and beans (0.45, P = 0.017) and were negatively significant for vitamin A (-0.63, P = 0.003), vitamin C (-0.42, P = 0.019) and yellow-green vegetables (-0.37, P = 0.046). For rectal cancer, the standardized partial correlation coefficient in fat (0.60, P = 0.002) was positively significant. Dietary fiber was not found to have a significant relationship with either colon or rectal cancers.
This study failed to show any protective effect of dietary fiber in subjects with a low fat intake (Japanese) in this analysis, which supports Fuchs' findings in subjects with a high fat intake (US Americans).
Gender-related differences in anthropometry, blood biochemistry, psychological parameters, and energy intake during prematch weight reduction were studied in 22 men and 7 women college judoists who lost weight by combining judo training, restricting food and fluid, and sweating. Body weight (BW) decreased significantly by 2.2±1.4 kg in men and 2.0±1.4 kg in women 2 weeks after weight reduction started — not significandy different. Body fat, relative body fat and total energy intake also decreased significandy in both groups 2 weeks after weight reduction started. Lean body mass decreased significandy 2 weeks after weight reduction started only in men. Men had significantly decreased blood lipids, immunoglobulins, complements, hematocrit, white blood cell count, and serum electrolytes, and significant increases in blood uric nitrogen, creatinine, and hemoglobin, while women showed no such changes. The score for vigor in the Profile of Mood States (POMS) decreased in both groups 2 weeks after weight reduction started, but with no statistically gender difference. In women, scores for anxiety in the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and confusion in POMS increased significandy. Although the men and women had the same BW reduction, significant physical stress response was seen only in men, and psychological stress due to weight reduction and mental pressure of an upcoming competition were seen more in women.
anthropometry; blood biochemistry; gender-stress differences; judoists; psychological parameters; weight reduction
We studied changes in physical characteristics: body composition; muscle and physical strength; hematological parameters; and nutrients and food intake in 22 male college judoists who were losing weight purposefully. Nutritional parameters in blood, such as triglycerides, decreased immediately before matches and rebounded after matches. Free fatty acid increased before matches and returned to previous levels 10 days after matches. IgM and complements decreased before matches and did not return to previous levels even 10 days after matches. These changes were noted in the marked weight reduction group (weight lost / body weight before weight reduction, weight reduction rate≥6%). In contrast, creatine kinase increased before matches in the slight and moderate weight reduction groups (weight reduction rate< 3%, 3≤and<6%, respectively). The marked weight reduction group showed no changes in creatine kinase, however, indicating inadequate exercise due to excessive weight reduction. Muscle strength (grip) and nutrients and food intake decreased significantly before matches. These changes were noted in the marked weight reduction group. These findings suggested that a weight reduction rate of 6% or more adversely affected the performance and health of the judoist.
judoist; weight reduction; hematological parameter nutrients; food intake; physical characteristic