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1.  Development of an Agrobacterium-Mediated Stable Transformation Method for the Sensitive Plant Mimosa pudica 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88611.
The sensitive plant Mimosa pudica has long attracted the interest of researchers due to its spectacular leaf movements in response to touch or other external stimuli. Although various aspects of this seismonastic movement have been elucidated by histological, physiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, the lack of reverse genetic tools has hampered the investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in these processes. To overcome this obstacle, we developed an efficient genetic transformation method for M. pudica mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agrobacterium). We found that the cotyledonary node explant is suitable for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation because of its high frequency of shoot formation, which was most efficiently induced on medium containing 0.5 µg/ml of a synthetic cytokinin, 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). Transformation efficiency of cotyledonary node cells was improved from almost 0 to 30.8 positive signals arising from the intron-sGFP reporter gene by using Agrobacterium carrying a super-binary vector pSB111 and stabilizing the pH of the co-cultivation medium with 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES) buffer. Furthermore, treatment of the explants with the detergent Silwet L-77 prior to co-cultivation led to a two-fold increase in the number of transformed shoot buds. Rooting of the regenerated shoots was efficiently induced by cultivation on irrigated vermiculite. The entire procedure for generating transgenic plants achieved a transformation frequency of 18.8%, which is comparable to frequencies obtained for other recalcitrant legumes, such as soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum). The transgene was stably integrated into the host genome and was inherited across generations, without affecting the seismonastic or nyctinastic movements of the plants. This transformation method thus provides an effective genetic tool for studying genes involved in M. pudica movements.
PMCID: PMC3922943  PMID: 24533121
2.  ROS generation via NOX4 and its utility in the cytological diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder 
BMC Urology  2011;11:22.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production via NADPH oxidase (NOX) contributes to various types of cancer progression. In the present research, we examined the pathobiological role of NADPH oxidase (NOX)4-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the urinary bladder, and demonstrated the utility of ROS labeling in urine cytology.
NOX4 gene was silenced in vivo and in vitro by NOX4 siRNA transfection with or without atlocollagen. Cell cycle and measurement of ROS were analyzed by flowcytometry. Orthotopic implantation animal model was used in vivo experiment. NOX4 expression in urothelial carcinoma cells was observed by immunohistochemical analysis using surgical specimens of human bladder cancer. Urine cytology was performed after treatment with ROS detection reagents in addition to Papanicolaou staining.
NOX4 was overexpressed in several UC cell lines and the NOX inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium reduced intracellular ROS and induced p16-dependent cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. Moreover, silencing of NOX4 by siRNA significantly reduced cancer cell growth in vivo as assessed in an orthotopic mouse model. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated high expression of NOX4 in low grade/non-invasive and high grade/invasive UC including precancerous lesions such as dysplasia but not in normal urothelium. Then, we assessed the usefulness of cytological analysis of ROS producing cells in urine (ROS-C). Urine samples obtained from UC cases and normal controls were treated with fluorescent reagents labeling the hydrogen peroxide/superoxide anion and cytological atypia of ROS positive cells were analyzed. As a result, the sensitivity for detection of low grade, non-invasive UC was greatly increased (35% in conventional cytology (C-C) vs. 75% in ROS-C), and the specificity was 95%. Through ROS-C, we observed robust improvement in the accuracy of follow-up urine cytology for cases with previously diagnosed UC, especially in those with low grade/non-invasive cancer recurrence (0% in C-C vs. 64% in ROS-C).
This is the first report demonstrating that ROS generation through NOX4 contributes to an early step of urothelial carcinogenesis and cancer cell survival. In addition, cytology using ROS labeling could be a useful diagnostic tool in human bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3215170  PMID: 22032647
3.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of maleylacetate reductase from Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005 
Maleylacetate reductase from Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005 has been crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and microseeding. The crystals contained one dimeric molecule per asymmetric unit and diffracted to 1.79 Å resolution.
Maleylacetate reductase (EC, which catalyzes the reduction of maleylacetate to 3-oxoadipate, plays an important role in the aerobic microbial catabolism of resorcinol. The enzyme has been crystallized at 293 K by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method supplemented with a microseeding technique, using ammonium sulfate as the precipitating agent. The crystal belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 56.85, b = 121.13, c = 94.09 Å, β = 101.48°, and contained one dimeric molecule in the asymmetric unit. It diffracted to 1.79 Å resolution.
PMCID: PMC2494958  PMID: 18678945
maleylacetate reductase; Rhizobium; resorcinol catabolic pathway
4.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of tetrameric malate dehydrogenase from the novel Antarctic psychrophile Flavobacterium frigidimaris KUC-1 
A psychrophilic malate dehydrogenase from the novel Antarctic bacterium F. frigidimaris KUC-1 was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals contained one tetrameric molecule per asymmetric unit. The best crystal diffracted to 1.8 Å resolution.
Flavobacterium frigidimaris KUC-1 is a novel psychrotolerant bacterium isolated from Antarctic seawater. Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is an essential metabolic enzyme in the citric acid cycle and has been cloned, overexpressed and purified from F. frigidimaris KUC-1. In contrast to the already known dimeric form of MDH from the psychrophile Aquaspirillium arcticum, F. frigidimaris MDH exists as a tetramer. It was crystallized at 288 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using ammonium sulfate as the precipitating agent. The crystal diffracted to a maximum resolution of 1.80 Å. It contains one tetrameric molecule in the asymmetric unit.
PMCID: PMC2339744  PMID: 18007057
malate dehydrogenase; tetramer; psychrophile; Antarctic

Results 1-4 (4)