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1.  Pathogenic substitution of IVS15 + 5G > A in SLC26A4 in patients of Okinawa Islands with enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome or Pendred syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:56.
Background
Pendred syndrome (PS) and nonsyndromic hearing loss associated with enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA) are caused by SLC26A4 mutations. The Okinawa Islands are the southwestern-most islands of the Japanese archipelago. And ancestral differences have been reported between people from Okinawa Island and those from the main islands of Japan. To confirm the ethnic variation of the spectrum of SLC26A4 mutations, we investigated the frequencies of SLC26A4 mutations and clinical manifestations of patients with EVA or PS living in the Okinawa Islands.
Methods
We examined 22 patients with EVA or PS from 21 unrelated families in Okinawa Islands. The patient’s clinical history, findings of physical and otoscopic examinations, hearing test, and computed tomography (CT) scan of the temporal bones were recorded. To detect mutations, all 21 exons and the exon–intron junctions of SLC26A4 were sequenced for all subjects. Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) for SLC26A4 and calculations using the comparative CT (2−ΔΔCT) method were used to determine the pathogenicity associated with gene substitutions.
Results
SLC26A4 mutations were identified in 21 of the 22 patients. We found a compound heterozygous mutation for IVS15 + 5G > A/H723R in nine patients (41%), a homozygous substitution of IVS15 + 5G > A in six patients (27%), and homozygous mutation for H723R in five patients (23%). The most prevalent types of SLC26A4 alleles were IVS15 + 5G > A and H723R, which both accounted for 15/22 (68%) of the patients. There were no significant correlations between the types of SLC26A4 mutation and clinical manifestations. Based on qRT-PCR results, expression of SLC26A4 was not identified in patients with the homozygous substitution of IVS15 + 5G > A.
Conclusions
The substitution of IVS15 + 5G > A in SLC26A4 was the most common mutation in uniquely found in patients with PS and EVA in Okinawa Islands. This suggested that the spectrum of SLC26A4 mutation differed from main islands of Japan and other East Asian countries. The substitution of IVS15 + 5G > A leads to a loss of SLC26A expression and results in a phenotype of PS and EVA.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-14-56
PMCID: PMC3664218  PMID: 23705809
2.  Bacterial delivery of large intact genomic-DNA-containing BACs into mammalian cells 
Bioengineered Bugs  2012;3(2):86-92.
Efficient delivery of large intact vectors into mammalian cells remains problematical. Here we evaluate delivery by bacterial invasion of two large BACs of more than 150 kb in size into various cells. First, we determined the effect of several drugs on bacterial delivery of a small plasmid into different cell lines. Most drugs tested resulted in a marginal increase of the overall efficiency of delivery in only some cell lines, except the lysosomotropic drug chloroquine, which was found to increase the efficiency of delivery by 6-fold in B16F10 cells. Bacterial invasion was found to be significantly advantageous compared with lipofection in delivering large intact BACs into mouse cells, resulting in 100% of clones containing intact DNA. Furthermore, evaluation of expression of the human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene from its genomic locus, which was present in one of the BACs, showed that single copy integrations of the HPRT-containing BAC had occurred in mouse B16F10 cells and that expression of HPRT from each human copy was 0.33 times as much as from each endogenous mouse copy. These data provide new evidence that bacterial delivery is a convenient and efficient method to transfer large intact therapeutic genes into mammalian cells.
doi:10.4161/bbug.18621
PMCID: PMC3357338  PMID: 22095052
BACs; bacterial transfer; lysosomotropic drugs
3.  Identification of Four Novel Synonymous Substitutions in the X-Linked Genes Neuroligin 3 and Neuroligin 4X in Japanese Patients with Autistic Spectrum Disorder 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:724072.
Mutations in the X-linked genes neuroligin 3 (NLGN3) and neuroligin 4X (NLGN4X) were first implicated in the pathogenesis of X-linked autism in Swedish families. However, reports of mutations in these genes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients from various ethnic backgrounds present conflicting results regarding the etiology of ASD, possibly because of genetic heterogeneity and/or differences in their ethnic background. Additional mutation screening study on another ethnic background could help to clarify the relevance of the genes to ASD. We scanned the entire coding regions of NLGN3 and NLGN4X in 62 Japanese patients with ASD by polymerase chain reaction-high-resolution melting curve and direct sequencing analyses. Four synonymous substitutions, one in NLGN3 and three in NLGN4X, were identified in four of the 62 patients. These substitutions were not present in 278 control X-chromosomes from unrelated Japanese individuals and were not registered in the database of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms build 132 or in the Japanese Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms database, indicating that they were novel and specific to ASD. Though further analysis is necessary to determine the physiological and clinical importance of such substitutions, the possibility of the relevance of both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions with the etiology of ASD should be considered.
doi:10.1155/2012/724072
PMCID: PMC3420546  PMID: 22934180
4.  Spectrum of MLL2 (ALR) mutations in 110 cases of Kabuki syndrome 
Kabuki syndrome is a rare, multiple malformation disorder characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, cardiac anomalies, skeletal abnormalities, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Simplex cases make up the vast majority of the reported cases with Kabuki syndrome, but parent-to-child transmission in more than a half-dozen instances indicates that it is an autosomal dominant disorder. We recently reported that Kabuki syndrome is caused by mutations in MLL2, a gene that encodes a Trithorax-group histone methyltransferase, a protein important in the epigenetic control of active chromatin states. Here, we report on the screening of 110 families with Kabuki syndrome. MLL2 mutations were found in 81/110 (74%) of families. In simplex cases for which DNA was available from both parents, 25 mutations were confirmed to be de novo, while a transmitted MLL2 mutation was found in two of three familial cases. The majority of variants found to cause Kabuki syndrome were novel nonsense or frameshift mutations that are predicted to result in haploinsufficiency. The clinical characteristics of MLL2 mutation-positive cases did not differ significantly from MLL2 mutation-negative cases with the exception that renal anomalies were more common in MLL2 mutation-positive cases. These results are important for understanding the phenotypic consequences of MLL2 mutations for individuals and their families as well as for providing a basis for the identification of additional genes for Kabuki syndrome.
doi:10.1002/ajmg.a.34074
PMCID: PMC3121928  PMID: 21671394
Kabuki syndrome; MLL2; ALR; Trithorax group histone methyltransferase
5.  Targeted Deletion of Both Thymidine Phosphorylase and Uridine Phosphorylase and Consequent Disorders in Mice 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(14):5212-5221.
Thymidine phosphorylase (TP) regulates intracellular and plasma thymidine levels. TP deficiency is hypothesized to (i) increase levels of thymidine in plasma, (ii) lead to mitochondrial DNA alterations, and (iii) cause mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE). In order to elucidate the physiological roles of TP, we generated mice deficient in the TP gene. Although TP activity in the liver was inhibited in these mice, it was fully maintained in the small intestine. Murine uridine phosphorylase (UP), unlike human UP, cleaves thymidine, as well as uridine. We therefore generated TP-UP double-knockout (TP−/− UP−/−) mice. TP activities were inhibited in TP−/− UP−/− mice, and the level of thymidine in the plasma of TP−/− UP−/− mice was higher than for TP−/− mice. Unexpectedly, we could not observe alterations of mitochondrial DNA or pathological changes in the muscles of the TP−/− UP−/− mice, even when these mice were fed thymidine for 7 months. However, we did find hyperintense lesions on magnetic resonance T2 maps in the brain and axonal edema by electron microscopic study of the brain in TP−/− UP−/− mice. These findings suggested that the inhibition of TP activity caused the elevation of pyrimidine levels in plasma and consequent axonal swelling in the brains of mice. Since lesions in the brain do not appear to be due to mitochondrial alterations and pathological changes in the muscle were not found, this model will provide further insights into the causes of MNGIE.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.14.5212-5221.2002
PMCID: PMC139774  PMID: 12077348
6.  Neointima formation in a restenosis model is suppressed in midkine-deficient mice 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2000;105(4):489-495.
Neointima formation is a common feature of atherosclerosis and restenosis after balloon angioplasty. To find a new target to suppress neointima formation, we investigated the possible role of midkine (MK), a heparin-binding growth factor with neurotrophic and chemotactic activities, in neointima formation. MK expression increased during neointima formation caused by intraluminal balloon injury of the rat carotid artery. Neointima formation in a restenosis model was strongly suppressed in MK-deficient mice. Continuous administration of MK protein to MK-deficient mice restored neointima formation. Leukocyte recruitment to the vascular walls after injury was markedly decreased in MK-deficient mice. Soluble MK as well as that bound to the substratum induced migration of macrophages in vitro. These results indicate that MK plays a critical role in neointima formation at least in part owing to its ability to mediate leukocyte recruitment.
PMCID: PMC289157  PMID: 10683378

Results 1-6 (6)