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author:("Yamada, maori")
1.  B-type (brain) natriuretic peptide and pruritus in hemodialysis patients 
Introduction and objective
While pruritus is a common complication in hemodialysis patients, the pathophysiological mechanisms remain obscure. Recently, B-type (brain) natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been defined as an itch-selective neuropeptide in pruriceptive neurons in mice, and higher serum levels of BNP are frequently observed in hemodialysis patients. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the role of serum BNP in pruritus in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
Patients and methods
The current cross-sectional study was performed on 43 patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. A visual analog scale (VAS) measuring the general severity of pruritus (values from 0 to 10, with higher values indicating more severe pruritus) in daytime and at night was self-reported by patients. Each patient’s background and laboratory tests, including serum BNP in the post-hemodialysis period, were collected. The correlation between VAS and clinical parameters was evaluated.
Both daytime and nighttime VAS scores in diabetic patients were significantly less than those in nondiabetic patients. Multiple regression analysis revealed that pruritus in daytime was worsened by serum BNP (β=2.0, t=2.4, P=0.03), calcium (β=4.4, t=5.2, P<0.0001), and β2-microglobulin (β=2.0, t=3.0, P=0.007), while it was eased by age (β=−2.2, t=−3.2, P=0.0004). Nocturnal pruritus was severe in nondiabetic patients (β=1.7, t=3.8, P=0.0005) and weakened by the total iron binding capacity (β=−2.9, t=−3.1, P=0.004).
It is suggested that a higher level of serum BNP increases the pruritus of hemodialysis patients in daytime and that diabetic patients are less sensitive to itch, especially at nighttime.
PMCID: PMC4149441  PMID: 25187733
B-type brain natriuretic peptide; pruritus; hemodialysis; visual analog scale; itch-selective neuropeptide; pruriceptive neurons; cerebrospinal fluid
2.  A mobile signal transported over a long distance induces systemic transcriptional gene silencing in a grafted partner 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(13):4561-4570.
Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) can be induced by promoter-targeted small interfering RNA (siRNA). Long-distance transmission of TGS by viral infection in plants has been reported. However, systemic TGS has not been observed in the case of using an inverted repeat transgene as the silencing trigger. Here it is reported that a mobile signal, presumably the siRNA, produced from a hairpin structure transgene controlled by a companion cell-specific promoter can also induce transmissible TGS in both a modified agroinfiltration and a grafting system. Although the transmissible TGS occurred only in cells located in the vicinity of a leaf vein in the scion, very strong silencing was observed in the root system, especially the lateral roots, including the root apical meristem. The transmissible TGS was maintained through tissue culture and subsequently inherited by the progeny. The results suggest the potential application of mobile promoter-targeting siRNA in horticulture for improvement of plant cultivars by grafting.
PMCID: PMC3170550  PMID: 21652532
Epigenetic change; grafting; RNA-directed DNA methylation; short interfering RNA; systemic silencing; transcriptional gene silencing
3.  HvCEBiP, a gene homologous to rice chitin receptor CEBiP, contributes to basal resistance of barley to Magnaporthe oryzae 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:288.
Rice CEBiP recognizes chitin oligosaccharides on the fungal cell surface or released into the plant apoplast, leading to the expression of plant disease resistance against fungal infection. However, it has not yet been reported whether CEBiP is actually required for restricting the growth of fungal pathogens. Here we evaluated the involvement of a putative chitin receptor gene in the basal resistance of barley to the ssd1 mutant of Magnaporthe oryzae, which induces multiple host defense responses.
The mossd1 mutant showed attenuated pathogenicity on barley and appressorial penetration was restricted by the formation of callose papillae at attempted entry sites. When conidial suspensions of mossd1 mutant were spotted onto the leaves of HvCEBiP-silenced plants, small brown necrotic flecks or blast lesions were produced but these lesions did not expand beyond the inoculation site. Wild-type M. oryzae also produced slightly more severe symptoms on the leaves of HvCEBiP-silenced plants. Cytological observation revealed that these lesions resulted from appressorium-mediated penetration into plant epidermal cells.
These results suggest that HvCEBiP is involved in basal resistance against appressorium-mediated infection and that basal resistance might be triggered by the recognition of chitin oligosaccharides derived from M. oryzae.
PMCID: PMC3020183  PMID: 21190588
4.  Identification of Inappropriately Reprogrammed Genes by Large-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of Individual Cloned Mouse Blastocysts 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11274.
Although cloned embryos generated by somatic/embryonic stem cell nuclear transfer (SECNT) certainly give rise to viable individuals, they can often undergo embryonic arrest at any stage of embryogenesis, leading to diverse morphological abnormalities. In an effort to gain further insights into reprogramming and the properties of SECNT embryos, we performed a large-scale gene expression profiling of 87 single blastocysts using GeneChip microarrays. Sertoli cells, cumulus cells, and embryonic stem cells were used as donor cells. The gene expression profiles of 87 blastocysts were subjected to microarray analysis. Using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, the gene expression profiles were clearly classified into 3 clusters corresponding to the type of donor cell. The results revealed that each type of SECNT embryo had a unique gene expression profile that was strictly dependent upon the type of donor cells, although there was considerable variation among the individual profiles within each group. This suggests that the reprogramming process is distinct for embryos cloned from different types of donor cells. Furthermore, on the basis of the results of comparison analysis, we identified 35 genes that were inappropriately reprogrammed in most of the SECNT embryos; our findings demonstrated that some of these genes, such as Asz1, Xlr3a and App, were appropriately reprogrammed only in the embryos with a transcriptional profile that was the closest to that of the controls. Our findings provide a framework to further understand the reprogramming in SECNT embryos.
PMCID: PMC2894852  PMID: 20614022
5.  Effector domain of human Dlg tumor suppressor acts as a switch that relieves auto-inhibition of kinesin-3 motor GAKIN/KIF13B 
Biochemistry  2007;46(35):10039-10045.
Activity of motor proteins must be tightly regulated in the cells, in order to prevent unnecessary energy consumption and to maintain proper distribution of cellular components. Loading of the cargo molecule is one likely mechanism to activate an inactive motor. Here, we report that the activity of the kinesin-3 motor protein, GAKIN, is regulated by the direct binding of its protein cargo, human Discs large (hDlg) tumor suppressor. Recombinant GAKIN exhibits potent microtubule gliding activity but has little microtubule-stimulated ATPase activity in solution, suggesting that it exists in an auto-inhibitory form. In vitro binding measurements revealed that defined segments of GAKIN, particularly the MAGUK binding stalk (MBS) domain and the motor domain, mediate intramolecular interactions to confer globular protein conformation. Direct binding of the SH3-I3-GUK module of hDlg to the MBS domain of GAKIN activates the microtubule-stimulated ATPase activity of GAKIN by ~10 fold. We propose that the cargo-mediated regulation of motor activity constitutes a general paradigm for the activation of kinesins.
PMCID: PMC2525504  PMID: 17696365

Results 1-5 (5)