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1.  Function of a Glutamine Synthetase-Like Protein in Bacterial Aniline Oxidation via γ-Glutamylanilide 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(19):4406-4414.
Acinetobacter sp. strain YAA has five genes (atdA1 to atdA5) involved in aniline oxidation as a part of the aniline degradation gene cluster. From sequence analysis, the five genes were expected to encode a glutamine synthetase (GS)-like protein (AtdA1), a glutamine amidotransferase-like protein (AtdA2), and an aromatic compound dioxygenase (AtdA3, AtdA4, and AtdA5) (M. Takeo, T. Fujii, and Y. Maeda, J. Ferment. Bioeng. 85:17-24, 1998). A recombinant Pseudomonas strain harboring these five genes quantitatively converted aniline into catechol, demonstrating that catechol is the major oxidation product from aniline. To elucidate the function of the GS-like protein AtdA1 in aniline oxidation, we purified it from recombinant Escherichia coli harboring atdA1. The purified AtdA1 protein produced gamma-glutamylanilide (γ-GA) quantitatively from aniline and l-glutamate in the presence of ATP and MgCl2. This reaction was identical to glutamine synthesis by GS, except for the use of aniline instead of ammonia as the substrate. Recombinant Pseudomonas strains harboring the dioxygenase genes (atdA3 to atdA5) were unable to degrade aniline but converted γ-GA into catechol, indicating that γ-GA is an intermediate to catechol and a direct substrate for the dioxygenase. Unexpectedly, a recombinant Pseudomonas strain harboring only atdA2 hydrolyzed γ-GA into aniline, reversing the γ-GA formation by AtdA1. Deletion of atdA2 from atdA1 to atdA5 caused γ-GA accumulation from aniline in recombinant Pseudomonas cells and inhibited the growth of a recombinant Acinetobacter strain on aniline, suggesting that AtdA2 prevents γ-GA accumulation that is harmful to the host cell.
PMCID: PMC3807463  PMID: 23893114
2.  Outcomes after Induction Failure in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(15):1371-1381.
Failure of remission-induction therapy is a rare but highly adverse event in children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
We identified induction failure, defined by the persistence of leukemic blasts in blood, bone marrow, or any extramedullary site after 4 to 6 weeks of remission-induction therapy, in 1041 of 44,017 patients (2.4%) 0 to 18 years of age with newly diagnosed ALL who were treated by a total of 14 cooperative study groups between 1985 and 2000. We analyzed the relationships among disease characteristics, treatments administered, and outcomes in these patients.
Patients with induction failure frequently presented with high-risk features, including older age, high leukocyte count, leukemia with a T-cell phenotype, the Philadelphia chromosome, and 11q23 rearrangement. With a median follow-up period of 8.3 years (range, 1.5 to 22.1), the 10-year survival rate (±SE) was estimated at only 32±1%. An age of 10 years or older, T-cell leukemia, the presence of an 11q23 rearrangement, and 25% or more blasts in the bone marrow at the end of induction therapy were associated with a particularly poor outcome. High hyperdiploidy (a modal chromosome number >50) and an age of 1 to 5 years were associated with a favorable outcome in patients with precursor B-cell leukemia. Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation from matched, related donors was associated with improved outcomes in T-cell leukemia. Children younger than 6 years of age with precursor B-cell leukemia and no adverse genetic features had a 10-year survival rate of 72±5% when treated with chemotherapy only.
Pediatric ALL with induction failure is highly heterogeneous. Patients who have T-cell leukemia appear to have a better outcome with allogeneic stem-cell transplantation than with chemotherapy, whereas patients who have precursor B-cell leukemia without other adverse features appear to have a better outcome with chemotherapy. (Funded by Deutsche Krebshilfe and others.)
PMCID: PMC3374496  PMID: 22494120
3.  Functional bracing for delayed union of a femur fracture associated with Paget's disease of the bone in an Asian patient: a case report 
Paget's disease of the bone is a common metabolic bone disease in most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Conversely, this disease is rare in Scandinavia, Asia, and Africa. In Japan, it is extremely rare, with a prevalence of 0.15/100000. Paget's disease is a localized disorder of bone remodeling. Excessive bone resorption and abnormal bone formation result in biomechanically weakened bone and predispose patients to fracture. Delayed union and non-union of fractures have been reported in patients with Paget's disease. Therefore, open reduction and internal fixation of fractures has been recommended to prevent such complications. Here we report an unusual case of a 63-year-old Asian woman with delayed union of a femur fracture secondary to Paget's disease, which was treated successfully by functional bracing.
PMCID: PMC2881078  PMID: 20459871
4.  6-Aminohexanoate Oligomer Hydrolases from the Alkalophilic Bacteria Agromyces sp. Strain KY5R and Kocuria sp. Strain KY2▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(21):7099-7102.
Alkalophilic, nylon oligomer-degrading strains, Agromyces sp. and Kocuria sp., were isolated from the wastewater of a nylon-6 factory and from activated sludge from a sewage disposal plant. The 6-aminohexanoate oligomer hydrolases (NylC) from the alkalophilic strains had 95.8 to 98.6% similarity to the enzyme in neutrophilic Arthrobacter sp. but had superior thermostability, activity under alkaline conditions, and affinity for nylon-related substrates, which would be advantageous for biotechnological applications.
PMCID: PMC2074972  PMID: 17827307

Results 1-4 (4)