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1.  Expression of the rodent-specific alternative splice variant of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase in murine tissues and cells 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3477.
Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (TrpRS) catalyzes the aminoacylation of tRNATrp. mRNA of a rodent-specific alternative splice variant of TrpRS (SV-TrpRS), which results in the inclusion of an additional hexapeptide at the C-terminus of full-length TrpRS (FL-TrpRS), has been identified in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells. In the present study, we evaluated the expression of mouse TrpRS mRNA by real-time reverse transcription PCR. We show that SV-TrpRS and FL-TrpRS mRNAs are highly expressed in murine ES cells, embryo, spleen, lung, liver and uterus, and that the relative expression of SV-TrpRS compared to FL-TrpRS is significantly less in the brain. Moreover, we found that interferon-γ increases the expression of TrpRS in a mouse cell line. These results provide the first evidence for tissue-specific expression and alternative splicing of mouse TrpRS.
PMCID: PMC3858792  PMID: 24327169
2.  Inhibition of NEDD8 Conjugation Pathway by Novel Molecules: Potential Approaches to Anticancer Therapy 
Molecular oncology  2012;6(3):10.1016/j.molonc.2012.01.003.
Cancer cells can survive through the upregulation of cell cycle and the escape from apoptosis induced by numerous cellular stresses. In the normal cells, these biological cascades depend on scheduled proteolytic degradation of regulatory proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Therefore, interruption of regulated proteolytic pathways leads to abnormal cell-proliferation. Ubiquitin ligases called SCF complex (consisting of Skp-1, cullin, and F-box protein) or CRL (cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase) are predominant in a family of E3 ubiquitin ligases that control a final step in ubiquitination of diverse substrates. To a great extent, the ubiquitin ligase activity of the SCF complex requires the conjugation of NEDD8 to cullins, i.e. scaffold proteins. This review is anticipated to review the downregulation system of NEDD8 conjugation by several factors including a chemical compound such as MLN4924 and protein molecules (e.g. COP9 signalosome, inactive mutant of Ubc12, and NUB1/NUB1L). Since the downregulation of NEDD8 conjugation affects cell cycle progression by inhibiting the ligase activity of SCF complexes, such knowledge in the NEDD8 conjugation pathway will contribute to the more magnificent therapies that selectively suppress tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3826113  PMID: 22306028
Ubiquitination; SCF complex; NEDD8; MLN4924; Ubc12; NUB1
3.  Urinary levels of Hepatocarcinoma-intestine-pancreas/Pancreatitis-associated protein as a diagnostic biomarker in patients with bladder cancer 
BMC Urology  2012;12:24.
To assess the possibility of hepatocarcinoma-intestine-pancreas/pancreatitis-associated protein (HIP/PAP) as a biological marker for detecting Bladder cancer (BCa), we examined the expression of HIP/PAP in both BCa specimens and BCa cell lines and measured HIP/PAP levels in urine from patients with BCa.
HIP/PAP expression in BCa samples was evaluated by western blot analysis, and urinary levels of HIP/PAP in patients with BCa were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Urine samples were collected from 10 healthy volunteers and 109 with benign urological disorders as controls, and from 101 patients who were diagnosed with BCa.
HIP/PAP was highly expressed in BCa samples as compared with control bladder. Urinary HIP/PAP concentrations were significantly higher in BCa patients than in controls (median value; 3.184 pg/mL vs. 55.200 pg/mL, P <0.0001, by Mann–Whitney U test). Urinary HIP/PAP levels in BCa patients correlated positively with pathological T stages and progression-risk groups among non-muscle invasive BCa (P = 0.0008, by Kruskal-Wallis test). Regarding the recurrence-risk classifications of non-muscle invasive BCa, the urinary levels of HIP/PAP were significantly higher in the intermediate than in the low risk group (P = 0.0002, by Mann–Whitney U test). Based on a cut-off of 8.5 pg/mL, the ability of urinary HIP/PAP levels to detect BCa had a sensitivity of 80.2%, specificity of 78.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 75.7%, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 82.3%.
HIP/PAP was abundantly expressed in BCa, and the urinary levels of HIP/PAP could be a novel and potent biomarker for detection of BCa, and also for predicting the risks of recurrence- and progression-risk of non-muscle invasive BCa. A large scale study will be needed to establish the usefulness of this biomarker.
PMCID: PMC3487857  PMID: 22943287
Bladder cancer; Urinary marker; HIP/PAP; ELISA; ROC
4.  Homozygosity Mapping on Homozygosity Haplotype Analysis to Detect Recessive Disease-Causing Genes from a Small Number of Unrelated, Outbred Patients 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e25059.
Genes involved in disease that are not common are often difficult to identify; a method that pinpoints them from a small number of unrelated patients will be of great help. In order to establish such a method that detects recessive genes identical-by-descent, we modified homozygosity mapping (HM) so that it is constructed on the basis of homozygosity haplotype (HM on HH) analysis. An analysis using 6 unrelated patients with Siiyama-type α1-antitrypsin deficiency, a disease caused by a founder gene, the correct gene locus was pinpointed from data of any 2 patients (length: 1.2–21.8 centimorgans, median: 1.6 centimorgans). For a test population in which these 6 patients and 54 healthy subjects were scrambled, the approach accurately identified these 6 patients and pinpointed the locus to a 1.4-centimorgan fragment. Analyses using synthetic data revealed that the analysis works well for IBD fragment derived from a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) who existed less than 60 generations ago. The analysis is unsuitable for the genes with a frequency in general population more than 0.1. Thus, HM on HH analysis is a powerful technique, applicable to a small number of patients not known to be related, and will accelerate the identification of disease-causing genes for recessive conditions.
PMCID: PMC3176806  PMID: 21949849
5.  Prediction of the Pathogens That Are the Cause of Pneumonia by the Battlefield Hypothesis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24474.
Commensal organisms are frequent causes of pneumonia. However, the detection of these organisms in the airway does not mean that they are the causative pathogens; they may exist merely as colonizers. In up to 50% cases of pneumonia, the causative pathogens remain unidentified, thereby hampering targeting therapies. In speculating on the role of a commensal organism in pneumonia, we devised the battlefield hypothesis. In the “pneumonia battlefield,” the organism-to-human cell number ratio may be an index for the pathogenic role of the organism. Using real-time PCR reactions for sputum samples, we tested whether the hypothesis predicts the results of bacteriological clinical tests for 4 representative commensal organisms: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Pseudomonas spp., and Moraxella catarrhalis. The cutoff value for the organism-to-human cell number ratio, above which the pathogenic role of the organism was suspected, was set up for each organism using 224 sputum samples. The validity of the cutoff value was then tested in a prospective study that included 153 samples; the samples were classified into 3 groups, and each group contained 93%, 7%, and 0% of the samples from pneumonia, in which the pathogenic role of Streptococcus pneumoniae was suggested by the clinical tests. The results for Haemophilus influenzae, Pseudomonas spp., and Moraxella catarrhalis were 100%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. The battlefield hypothesis enabled legitimate interpretation of the PCR results and predicted pneumonia in which the pathogenic role of the organism was suggested by the clinical test. The PCR reactions based on the battlefield hypothesis may help to promote targeted therapies for pneumonia. The prospective observatory study described in the current report had been registered to the University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) registry before its initiation, where the UMIN is a registry approved by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The UMIN registry number was UMIN000001118: A prospective study for the investigation of the validity of cutoff values established for the HIRA-TAN system (April 9, 2008).
PMCID: PMC3164732  PMID: 21909436
6.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis resistant to conventional treatments: long-term results of a case series in Japan 
BMC Urology  2011;11:11.
There is no confirmed strategy for treating painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis (PBS/IC) with unclear etiology. Therefore, a pilot study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in treatment-resistant PBS/IC patients.
HBO treatment (2.0 ATA for 60 minutes/day × 5 days/week for 2 or 4 weeks) was performed on 11 patients with severe symptoms that had not been improved by previous therapy regimens between December 2004 and July 2009.
Seven of the 11 patients demonstrated persistent improvement in symptoms during the 12 months after HBO treatment. These responders demonstrated a decrease in the pelvic pain scale and urgency scale from 7.7 ± 1.0 and, 6.6 ± 0.9 to 3.4 ± 2.5 and 4.3 ± 2.4 after 12 months, respectively (p < 0.05). The total score of the interstitial cystitis symptom index and 24-hour urinary frequency demonstrated a significant sustained decrease from the baseline. Two responders, who received an additional course of HBO 12 and 13 months after initial treatment, respectively, did not suffer impairment for more than two years. There was one case of transient eustachian tube dysfunction and three cases of reversible exudative otitis media as a consequence of HBO treatment.
HBO is a potent treatment for PBS/IC patients resistant to conventional therapy. It was well tolerated and provided maintained amelioration of pain, urgency and urinary frequency for at least 12 months.
PMCID: PMC3116481  PMID: 21609485
7.  A quantitatively-modeled homozygosity mapping algorithm, qHomozygosityMapping, utilizing whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping data 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11(Suppl 7):S5.
Homozygosity mapping is a powerful procedure that is capable of detecting recessive disease-causing genes in a few patients from families with a history of inbreeding. We report here a homozygosity mapping algorithm for high-density single nucleotide polymorphism arrays that is able to (i) correct genotyping errors, (ii) search for autozygous segments genome-wide through regions with runs of homozygous SNPs, (iii) check the validity of the inbreeding history, and (iv) calculate the probability of the disease-causing gene being located in the regions identified. The genotyping error correction restored an average of 94.2% of the total length of all regions with run of homozygous SNPs, and 99.9% of the total length of them that were longer than 2 cM. At the end of the analysis, we would know the probability that regions identified contain a disease-causing gene, and we would be able to determine how much effort should be devoted to scrutinizing the regions. We confirmed the power of this algorithm using 6 patients with Siiyama-type α1-antitrypsin deficiency, a rare autosomal recessive disease in Japan. Our procedure will accelerate the identification of disease-causing genes using high-density SNP array data.
PMCID: PMC2957688  PMID: 21106127
8.  Telmisartan inhibits human urological cancer cell growth through early apoptosis 
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are widely used as hypertensive therapeutic agents. In addition, studies have provided evidence that ARBs have the potential to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer cells. It was reported that telmisartan (a type of ARB) has peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ activation activity. We previously reported that the PPAR-γ ligand induces growth arrest in human urological cancer cells through apoptosis. In this study, we evaluated the effects of telmisartan and other ARBs on cell proliferation in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), bladder cancer (BC), prostate cancer (PC) and testicular cancer (TC) cell lines. The inhibitory effects of telmisartan and other ARBs (candesartan, valsartan, irbesartan and losartan) on the growth of the RCC, BC, PC and TC cell lines was investigated using an MTT assay. Flow cytometry and Hoechst staining were used to determine whether the ARBs induced apoptosis. Telmisartan caused marked growth inhibition in the urological cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Urological cancer cells treated with 100 μM telmisartan underwent early apoptosis and DNA fragmentation. However, the other ARBs had no effect on cell proliferation in any of the urological cancer cell lines. Telmisartan may mediate potent anti-proliferative effects in urological cancer cells through PPAR-γ. Thus, telmisartan is a potent target for the prevention and treatment of human urological cancer.
PMCID: PMC3445905  PMID: 22993542
telmisartan; angiotensin II receptor blocker; urological cancer; apoptosis
9.  Oral Administration of Ren-Shen-Yang-Rong-Tang ‘Ninjin’yoeito’ Protects Against Hematotoxicity and Induces Immature Erythroid Progenitor Cells in 5-Fluorouracil-induced Anemia 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of four different Japanese and Chinese herbal prescriptions, Ren-Shen-Yang-Rong-Tang (Ninjin’yoeito, NYT), Chai-Hu-Gui-Zhi-Gan-Jiang-Tang (Saikokeishikankyoto, SKKT), Si-Jun-Zi-Tang (Shikunshito, SKT) and Si-Wu-Tang (Shimotsuto, SMT), which are traditionally used for anemia and fatigue, against hematotoxicity in mice treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). NYT 1–100 mg kg–1 day–1 injected orally for 7 consecutive days before and after 5-FU injection significantly suppressed reductions in red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet counts in peripheral blood, and accelerated their recovery. Administration of SKKT also produced a slight but significant improvement in 5-FU-induced erythrocytopenia, whereas SMT and SKT could not prevent anemia. Oral injection of NYT also inhibited 5-FU-induced decreases in peripheral reticulocyte and bone marrow cell counts on day 10, and markedly hastened their recovery on day 20, in a dose-dependent manner. Erythroid progenitor colonies, such as colony forming units-erythroid and burst forming units-erythroid, formed by marrow cells from mice treated with 5-FU were significantly increased by oral administration of NYT. These findings suggest that NYT has the potential to protect against hematotoxicity, and also has hematopoietic activity, through stimulation of immature erythroid progenitor cell differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2686622  PMID: 18955264
anemia; erythroid progenitor cells; 5-fluorouracil; Kampo medicines; Ninjin’yoeito

Results 1-9 (9)