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1.  Cloning and Characterization of a Unique Cytotoxic Protein Parasporin-5 Produced by Bacillus thuringiensis A1100 Strain 
Toxins  2014;6(6):1882-1895.
Parasporin is the cytocidal protein present in the parasporal inclusion of the non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis strains, which has no hemolytic activity but has cytocidal activities, preferentially killing cancer cells. In this study, we characterized a cytocidal protein that belongs to this category, which was designated parasporin-5 (PS5). PS5 was purified from B. thuringiensis serovar tohokuensis strain A1100 based on its cytocidal activity against human leukemic T cells (MOLT-4). The 50% effective concentration (EC50) of PS5 to MOLT-4 cells was approximately 0.075 μg/mL. PS5 was expressed as a 33.8-kDa inactive precursor protein and exhibited cytocidal activity only when degraded by protease at the C-terminal into smaller molecules of 29.8 kDa. Although PS5 showed no significant homology with other known parasporins, a Position Specific Iterative-Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (PSI-BLAST) search revealed that the protein showed slight homology to, not only some B. thuringiensis Cry toxins, but also to aerolysin-type β-pore-forming toxins (β-PFTs). The recombinant PS5 protein could be obtained as an active protein only when it was expressed in a precursor followed by processing with proteinase K. The cytotoxic activities of the protein against various mammalian cell lines were evaluated. PS5 showed strong cytocidal activity to seven of 18 mammalian cell lines tested, and low to no cytotoxicity to the others.
PMCID: PMC4073135  PMID: 24945755
Bacillus thuringiensis; parasporin; cry toxin; β-pore-forming toxin
2.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Formaldehyde-Resistant Fungus Byssochlamys spectabilis No. 5 (Anamorph Paecilomyces variotii No. 5) (NBRC109023) 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(1):e01162-13.
Byssochlamys spectabilis no. 5 (anamorph Paecilomyces variotii no. 5) (NBRC109023) was isolated from a soil sample in 2001 in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. This fungus is highly resistant to formaldehyde. Here, we report a draft genome sequence of P. variotii no. 5; this draft was produced with the intent of investigating the mechanism of formaldehyde resistance. This is the first report of the genome sequence of any Paecilomyces species.
PMCID: PMC3886963  PMID: 24407650
3.  Purification and properties of S-hydroxymethylglutathione dehydrogenase of Paecilomyces variotii no. 5, a formaldehyde-degrading fungus 
AMB Express  2012;2:32.
S-hydroxymethylglutathione dehydrogenase from Paecilomyces variotii No. 5 strain (NBRC 109023), isolated as a formaldehyde-degrading fungus, was purified by a procedure that included ammonium sulfate precipitation, DEAE-Sepharose and hydroxyapatite chromatography and isoelectrofocusing. Approximately 122-fold purification was achieved with a yield of 10.5%. The enzyme preparation was homogeneous as judged by sodium dodecyl polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The molecular mass of the purified enzyme was estimated to be 49 kDa by SDS-PAGE and gel filtration, suggesting that it is a monomer. Enzyme activity was optimal at pH 8.0 and was stable in the range of pH 7.0–10. The optimum temperature for activity was 40°C and the enzyme was stable up to 40°C. The isoelectric point was pH 5.8. Substrate specificity was very high for formaldehyde. Besides formaldehyde, the only aldehyde or alcohol tested that served as a substrate was pyruvaldehyde. Enzyme activity was enhanced by several divalent cations such as Mn2+ (179%), Ba2+ (132%), and Ca2+ (112%) but was completely inhibited by Ni2+, Fe3+, Hg2+, p-chloromercuribenzoate (PCMB) and cuprizone. Inactivation of the enzyme by sulfhydryl reagents (Hg2+ and PCMB) indicated that the sulfhydryl group of the enzyme is essential for catalytic activity.
PMCID: PMC3439253  PMID: 22731626
S-hydroxymethylglutathione dehydrogenase; Enzyme purification; Formaldehyde metabolism; Paecilomyces variotii; SH enzyme
4.  Compatible Solutes Protect against Chaotrope (Ethanol)-Induced, Nonosmotic Water Stress 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2003;69(12):7032-7034.
Water stress is one of the major stresses experienced by cellular systems and can take a number of distinct forms. In response to turgor-related osmotic stress, cells produce compatible solutes that are macromolecule protectants and also counteract the outflow of water from stressed cells. In this report we show that the germination of conidia of Aspergillus nidulans, a sensitive indicator of water stress, in the presence of ethanol is correlated with the intracellular concentration of the compatible solutes glycerol and erythritol, which protect against both osmotic and nonturgor forms of water stress.
PMCID: PMC309872  PMID: 14660346
5.  Acetic Acid Production by an Electrodialysis Fermentation Method with a Computerized Control System 
In acetic acid fermentation by Acetobacter aceti, the acetic acid produced inhibits the production of acetic acid by this microorganism. To alleviate this inhibitory effect, we developed an electrodialysis fermentation method such that acetic acid is continuously removed from the broth. The fermentation unit has a computerized system for the control of the pH and the concentration of ethanol in the fermentation broth. The electrodialysis fermentation system resulted in improved cell growth and higher productivity over an extended period; the productivity exceeded that from non-pH-controlled fermentation. During electrodialysis fermentation in our system, 97.6 g of acetic acid was produced from 86.0 g of ethanol; the amount of acetic acid was about 2.4 times greater than that produced by non-pH-controlled fermentation (40.1 g of acetic acid produced from 33.8 g of ethanol). Maximum productivity of electrodialysis fermentation in our system was 2.13 g/h, a rate which was 1.35 times higher than that of non-pH-controlled fermentation (1.58 g/h).
PMCID: PMC202410  PMID: 16347520
6.  Novel Method of Lactic Acid Production by Electrodialysis Fermentation 
In lactic acid fermentation by Lactobacillus delbrueckii, the produced lactic acid affected the lactic acid productivity. Therefore, for the purpose of alleviating this inhibitory effect, an electrodialysis fermentation method which can continuously remove produced lactic acid from the fermentation broth was applied to this fermentation process. As a result, the continuation of fermentation activity was obtained, and the productivity was three times higher than in non-pH-controlled fermentation. In electrodialysis fermentation, the amount of produced lactic acid was 82.2 g/liter, which was about 5.5 times greater than that produced in non-pH-controlled fermentation. It was concluded that these good results were obtained on account of alleviating the lactic acid inhibitory effect by electrodialysis fermentation. However, the fouling of anion-exchange membranes by cells was observed in electrodialysis fermentation.
PMCID: PMC203522  PMID: 16347129

Results 1-6 (6)