The baculovirus-silkworm recombinant protein expression system is an excellent method for achieving high-level expression and post-translational modifications, especially glycosylation. However, the presence of paucimannosidic-type N-glycan in glycoproteins restricts their clinical use. Paucimannosidic-type N-glycan is produced by insect-specific membrane-binding-type ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (GlcNAcase). In the silkworm, BmGlcNAcase1, BmGlcNAcase2, and BmFDL are membrane-binding-type GlcNAcases. We investigated the localization of these GlcNAcases and found that BmFDL and BmGlcNAcase2 were mainly located in the fat body and hemolymph, respectively. The fat body is the main tissue of recombinant protein expression by baculovirus, and many glycoproteins are secreted into the hemolymph. These results suggest that inhibition of BmFDL and BmGlcNAcase2 could increase GlcNAc-type N-glycan levels. We therefore injected a GlcNAcase inhibitor into silkworms to investigate changes in the N-glycan structure of the glycoprotein expressed by baculovirus; modest levels of GlcNAc-type N-glycan were observed (0.8% of total N-glycan). Next, we generated a transgenic silkworm in which RNA interference (RNAi) reduced the BmFDL transcript level and enzyme activity to 25% and 50%, respectively, of that of the control silkworm. The proportion of GlcNAc-type N-glycan increased to 4.3% in the RNAi-transgenic silkworm. We conclude that the structure of N-glycan can be changed by inhibiting the GlcNAcases in silkworm.
Some Lactobacillus brevis strains were found to aggregate upon the addition of xylan after screening for lactic acid bacteria that interact with plant materials. The S-layer proteins of cell surface varied among the strains. The strains that displayed xylan-mediated aggregation retained its ability even after the removal of S-layer proteins. L. brevis had negative zeta potentials. A correlation between the strength of aggregation and zeta potential was not observed. However, partial removal of S-layer proteins resulted in decreases in the electric potential and aggregation ability of some strains. Therefore, xylan-mediated aggregation of L. brevis was considered to be caused by an electrostatic effect between the cells and xylan. L. brevis also aggregated in the presence of mucin, and the strengths of aggregation among the strains were similar to that induced by xylan. Thus, xylan- and mucin-mediated L. brevis aggregation was supposed to be caused by a similar mechanism.
Notch signalling plays a key role in the generation of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during vertebrate development and requires intimate contact between signal-emitting and signal-receiving cells, although little is known regarding when, where and how these intercellular events occur. We previously reported that the somitic Notch ligands, Dlc and Dld, are essential for HSC specification. It has remained unclear, however, how these somitic requirements are connected to the later emergence of HSCs from the dorsal aorta. Here we show in zebrafish that Notch signalling establishes HSC fate as their shared vascular precursors migrate across the ventral face of the somite and that junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs) mediate this required Notch signal transduction. HSC precursors express jam1a (also known as f11r) and migrate axially across the ventral somite, where Jam2a and the Notch ligands Dlc and Dld are expressed. Despite no alteration in the expression of Notch ligand or receptor genes, loss of function of jam1a led to loss of Notch signalling and loss of HSCs. Enforced activation of Notch in shared vascular precursors rescued HSCs in jam1a or jam2a deficient embryos. Together, these results indicate that Jam1a-Jam2a interactions facilitate the transduction of requisite Notch signals from the somite to the precursors of HSCs, and that these events occur well before formation of the dorsal aorta.
This study quantitatively analyzed the flow phenomena in model gastric contents induced by peristalsis using a human gastric flow simulator (GFS). Major functions of the GFS include gastric peristalsis simulation by controlled deformation of rubber walls and direct observation of inner flow through parallel transparent windows. For liquid gastric contents (water and starch syrup solutions), retropulsive flow against the direction of peristalsis was observed using both particle image velocimetry (PIV) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The maximum flow velocity was obtained in the region occluded by peristalsis. The maximum value was 9 mm s(-1) when the standard value of peristalsis speed in healthy adults (UACW = 2.5 mm s(-1)) was applied. The intragastric flow-field was laminar with the maximum Reynolds number (Re = 125). The viscosity of liquid gastric contents hardly affected the maximum flow velocity in the applied range of this study (1 to 100 mPa s). These PIV results agreed well with the CFD results. The maximum shear rate in the liquid gastric contents was below 20 s(-1) at UACW = 2.5 mm s(-1). We also measured the flow-field in solid-liquid gastric contents containing model solid food particles (plastic beads). The direction of velocity vectors was influenced by the presence of the model solid food particle surface. The maximum flow velocity near the model solid food particles ranged from 8 to 10 mm s(-1) at UACW = 2.5 mm s(-1). The maximum shear rate around the model solid food particles was low, with a value of up to 20 s(-1).
Activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) triggers anti-apoptotic signaling, proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance, which leads to development and progression of human epithelial cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Inhibition of EGFR by tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as gefitinib and erlotinib has provided a new hope for the cure of NSCLC patients. However, acquired resistance to gefitinib and erlotinib via EGFR-mutant NSCLC has occurred through various molecular mechanisms such as T790M secondary mutation, MET amplification, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) overexpression, PTEN downregulation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and other mechanisms. This review will discuss the biology of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition and focus on the molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors of EGFR-mutant NSCLC.
Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) are custom-made enzymes designed to cut double-stranded DNA at desired locations. The DNA breaks are repaired either by error-prone non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway or via homologous recombination requiring homologous DNA as a template for the repair. TALENs are used for site-specific mutagenesis in an extended range of organisms including insects. We will describe here a simple TALEN-based mutagenesis protocol suitable for the generation of germline mutations in Bombyx mori and Drosophila melanogaster. The protocol includes assembly of specific TAL modules, in vitro synthesis of TALEN RNAs, egg microinjection and mutation detection using PCR analysis. Our procedure allows a high frequency induction of NHEJ mutations, which often allows the reception of homozygous mutants already in the G1.
Juvenile hormone (JH) has an ability to repress the precocious metamorphosis of insects during their larval development. Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) is an early JH-inducible gene that mediates this action of JH; however, the fine hormonal regulation of Kr-h1 and the molecular mechanism underlying its antimetamorphic effect are little understood. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the hormonal regulation and developmental role of Kr-h1. We found that the expression of Kr-h1 in the epidermis of penultimate-instar larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori was induced by JH secreted by the corpora allata (CA), whereas the CA were not involved in the transient induction of Kr-h1 at the prepupal stage. Tissue culture experiments suggested that the transient peak of Kr-h1 at the prepupal stage is likely to be induced cooperatively by JH derived from gland(s) other than the CA and the prepupal surge of ecdysteroid, although involvement of unknown factor(s) could not be ruled out. To elucidate the developmental role of Kr-h1, we generated transgenic silkworms overexpressing Kr-h1. The transgenic silkworms grew normally until the spinning stage, but their development was arrested at the prepupal stage. The transgenic silkworms from which the CA were removed in the penultimate instar did not undergo precocious pupation or larval-larval molt but fell into prepupal arrest. This result demonstrated that Kr-h1 is indeed involved in the repression of metamorphosis but that Kr-h1 alone is incapable of implementing normal larval molt. Moreover, the expression profiles and hormonal responses of early ecdysone-inducible genes (E74, E75, and Broad) in transgenic silkworms suggested that Kr-h1 is not involved in the JH-dependent modulation of these genes, which is associated with the control of metamorphosis.
Accumulating evidence indicates that a small population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is involved in intrinsic resistance to cancer treatment. The hypoxic microenvironment is an important stem cell niche that promotes the persistence of CSCs in tumors. Our aim here was to elucidate the role of hypoxia and CSCs in the resistance to gefitinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation. NSCLC cell lines, PC9 and HCC827, which express the EGFR exon 19 deletion mutations, were exposed to high concentration of gefitinib under normoxic or hypoxic conditions. Seven days after gefitinib exposure, a small fraction of viable cells were detected, and these were referred to as "gefitinib-resistant persisters" (GRPs). CD133, Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, CXCR4, and ALDH1A1-all genes involved in stemness-were highly expressed in GRPs in PC9 and HCC827 cells, and PC9 GRPs exhibited a high potential for tumorigenicity in vivo. The expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) was also upregulated and IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) was activated on GRPs. Importantly, hypoxic exposure significantly increased sphere formation, reflecting the self-renewal capability, and the population of CD133- and Oct4-positive GRPs. Additionally, hypoxia upregulated IGF1 expression through hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF1?), and markedly promoted the activation of IGF1R on GRPs. Knockdown of IGF1 expression significantly reduced phosphorylated IGF1R-expressing GRPs under hypoxic conditions. Finally, inhibition of HIF1? or IGF1R by specific inhibitors significantly decreased the population of CD133- and Oct4-positive GRPs, which were increased by hypoxia in PC9 and HCC827 cells. Collectively, these findings suggest that hypoxia increased the population of lung CSCs resistant to gefitinib in EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC by activating IGF1R. Targeting the IGF1R pathway may be a promising strategy for overcoming gefitinib resistance in EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC induced by lung CSCs and microenvironment factors such as tumor hypoxia.
Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive drug used to prevent acute rejection following organ transplantation and to treat autoimmune disease. Tacrolimus is usually prescribed in such situation at a dose of 3.0 mg/day. Pneumocystis pneumonia induced by this dose of tacrolimus has been reported in many cases; however, we encountered a rare case of Pneumocystis pneumonia induced by low-dose tacrolimus and methylprednisolone.
This study sought to encapsulate a high concentration of L-ascorbic acid, up to 30% (w/v), in the inner aqueous phase of water-in-oil-water (W/O/W) emulsions with soybean oil as the oil phase. Two-step homogenization was conducted to prepare W/O/W emulsions stabilized by a hydrophobic emulsifier and 30% (v/v) of W/O droplets stabilized by a hydrophilic emulsifier. First-step homogenization prepared W/O emulsions with an average aqueous droplet diameter of 2.0 to 3.0 ?m. Second-step homogenization prepared W/O/W emulsions with an average W/O droplet diameter of 14 to 18 ?m and coefficients of variation (CVs) of 18% to 25%. The results indicated that stable W/O/W emulsions containing a high concentration of L-ascorbic acid were obtained by adding gelatin and magnesium sulfate in the inner aqueous phase and glucose in both aqueous phases. L-Ascorbic acid retention in the W/O/W emulsions was 40% on day 30 and followed first-order kinetics.
Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) increase with age; however, their relationship remains unclear. Objective: Our objective was to investigate the relationship between SCH and indices of metabolic syndrome and follow up subjects for 1 year.
Soybean oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion-agar gel samples were prepared and their digestibility evaluated by using an in vitro gastrointestinal digestion model. Emulsion-agar sols were obtained by mixing the prepared O/W emulsions with a 1.5 wt % agar solution at 60 °C, and their subsequent cooling at 5 °C for 1 h formed emulsion-agar gels. Their gel strength values increased with increasing degree of polymerization of the emulsifiers, and the relative gel strength increased in the case of droplets with an average diameter smaller than 700 nm. Flocculation and coalescence of the released emulsion droplets depended strongly on the emulsifier type; however, the emulsifier type hardly affected the ?-potential of emulsion droplets released from the emulsion-agar gels during in vitro digestion. The total FFA content released from each emulsion towards the end of the digestion period was nearly twice that released from the emulsion-agar gel, indicating that gelation of the O/W emulsion may have delayed lipid hydrolysis.
Microfluidics is an emerging and promising interdisciplinary technology which offers powerful platforms for precise production of novel functional materials (e.g., emulsion droplets, microcapsules, and nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles- and drug molecules) as well as high-throughput analyses (e.g., bioassays, detection, and diagnostics). In particular, multiphase microfluidics is a rapidly growing technology and has beneficial applications in various fields including biomedicals, chemicals, and foods. In this review, we first describe the fundamentals and latest developments in multiphase microfluidics for producing biocompatible materials that are precisely controlled in size, shape, internal morphology and composition. We next describe some microfluidic applications that synthesize drug molecules, handle biological substances and biological units, and imitate biological organs. We also highlight and discuss design, applications and scale up of droplet- and flow-based microfluidic devices used for drug discovery and delivery.
The efficacy of systemic chemotherapy for peritoneal dissemination of gastric cancer remains unclear. The efficacy of weekly paclitaxel in combination with doxifluridine (5-DFUR) in gastric cancer patients with malignant ascites was evaluated.
RNA interference is one of the most revolutionary tools in the study of gene function, particularly in non-model systems. However, in Bombyx mori, as with many lepidopteran species, attempts at systemic RNAi have had mixed success. Gene identification and phylogenetic analyses suggest that Bombyx has the core RNAi machinery, which is necessary to undergo RNAi as a cellular response. We introduced sid genes from Caenorhabditis elegans into Bombyx BmN4 cells to enhance the uptake of dsRNA and revealed that the SID-1 protein, but not SID-2, has the ability to endow the RNAi effect with the addition of dsRNA to the medium. Observed RNAi effect was dependent on both the levels of sid-1 expression and the concentration of the dsRNA. These results suggest that SID-1 promotes the uptake of dsRNA from the medium into Bombyx cells. We generated transgenic animals that express sid-1 but have not detected significant enhancements of in vivo phenotype in response to the injection of the dsRNA into hemocoel.
?-Amylase is a common enzyme for hydrolyzing starch. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), ?-amylase is found in both digestive fluid and hemolymph. Here, the complete genomic sequence of the Amy gene encoding ?-amylase from a local Thai silkworm, the Nanglai strain, was obtained. This gene was 7981 bp long with 9 exons. The full length Amy cDNA sequence was 1749 bp containing a 1503 bp open reading frame. The ORF encoded 500 amino acid residues. The deduced protein showed 81-54% identity to other insect ?-amylases and more than 50% identity to mammalian enzymes. Southern blot analysis revealed that in the Nanglai strain Amy is a single-copy gene. RT- PCR showed that Amy was transcribed only in the foregut. Transgenic B. mori also showed that the Amy promoter activates expression of the transgene only in the foregut.
Microfluidics, a rapidly emerging enabling technology has the potential to revolutionize food, agriculture and biosystems industries. Examples of potential applications of microfluidics in food industry include nano-particle encapsulation of fish oil, monitoring pathogens and toxins in food and water supplies, micro-nano-filtration for improving food quality, detection of antibiotics in dairy food products, and generation of novel food structures. In addition, microfluidics enables applications in agriculture and animal sciences such as nutrients monitoring and plant cells sorting for improving crop quality and production, effective delivery of biopesticides, simplified in vitro fertilization for animal breeding, animal health monitoring, vaccination and therapeutics. Lastly, microfluidics provides new approaches for bioenergy research. This paper synthesizes information of selected microfluidics-based applications for food, agriculture and biosystems industries.
In insects and other animals, intraspecific communication between individuals of the opposite sex is mediated in part by chemical signals called sex pheromones. In most moth species, male moths rely heavily on species-specific sex pheromones emitted by female moths to identify and orient towards an appropriate mating partner among a large number of sympatric insect species. The silkmoth, Bombyx mori, utilizes the simplest possible pheromone system, in which a single pheromone component, (E, Z)-10,12-hexadecadienol (bombykol), is sufficient to elicit full sexual behavior. We have previously shown that the sex pheromone receptor BmOR1 mediates specific detection of bombykol in the antennae of male silkmoths. However, it is unclear whether the sex pheromone receptor is the minimally sufficient determination factor that triggers initiation of orientation behavior towards a potential mate. Using transgenic silkmoths expressing the sex pheromone receptor PxOR1 of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella in BmOR1-expressing neurons, we show that the selectivity of the sex pheromone receptor determines the chemical response specificity of sexual behavior in the silkmoth. Bombykol receptor neurons expressing PxOR1 responded to its specific ligand, (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Ald), in a dose-dependent manner. Male moths expressing PxOR1 exhibited typical pheromone orientation behavior and copulation attempts in response to Z11-16:Ald and to females of P. xylostella. Transformation of the bombykol receptor neurons had no effect on their projections in the antennal lobe. These results indicate that activation of bombykol receptor neurons alone is sufficient to trigger full sexual behavior. Thus, a single gene defines behavioral selectivity in sex pheromone communication in the silkmoth. Our findings show that a single molecular determinant can not only function as a modulator of behavior but also as an all-or-nothing initiator of a complex species-specific behavioral sequence.
A typical library screen in directed evolution primarily requires physical separation of the clones on agar plates followed by detection of clones with improved properties; using this method only limited numbers of clones relative to the number of potential variations can be assessed. In particular, screening for a secretory enzyme is difficult to perform at high clone density, because of diffusion of the signal or unfavorable utilization of the reaction product by neighboring clones. In this study, we have developed a novel method of enrichment culture: "Emulsion Culture", i.e., segregated replication of clones in an emulsified culture medium. Clones expressing enzyme-variants are separately distributed to small (up to 50 ?m in diameter), segregated compartments composed of a droplet of medium to form several tens of millions of microcolonies in a milliliter of medium, which allows a miniaturized, in-bulk screening of clones. We applied this culture method to yeast clones expressing secretory beta-galactosidase to analyze the enrichment factor achieved. A high-density screen for a signal peptide sequence that maximizes extracellular production of the enzyme was also performed to demonstrate the practicability of this culture method. In addition, micro-channel emulsification was tested as a method of forming uniformly-sized compartments in the emulsion.
A binary gene expression system using the yeast GAL4 DNA-binding protein and the upstream activating sequence (UAS) of galactose-driven yeast genes is an established and powerful tool for the analysis of gene function. However, in the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, this system has been limited in its utility by the relatively low transcriptional activation activity of GAL4 and by its toxicity. In this study, we investigated the potential of several established GAL4 variants (GAL4?, GAL4VP16, GAL4VPmad2, GAL4VPmad3, and GAL4NF?B) and of two new GAL4 variants, GAL4Rel and GAL4Relish, which contain the transcription-activating regions of the BmRel and BmRelish genes, respectively, to improve the utility of the GAL4/UAS system in B. mori. We generated constructs containing these GAL4 variants under the control of constitutive or inducible promoters and investigated their transcription-activating activity in cultured B. mori cells and embryos and in transgenic silkworms. GAL4VP16 and GAL4NF?B exhibited high transactivation activity but appeared to be toxic when used as transgenes under the control of a constitutive promoter. Similarly, GAL4VPmad2 and GAL4VPmad3 exhibited higher transactivation activity than GAL4, combined with strong toxicity. The transcription-activating activity of GAL4? was about twice that of GAL4. The two new GAL4 variants, GAL4Rel and GAL4Relish, were less active than GAL4. Using GAL4VP16 and GAL4NF?B constructs, we have developed a very efficient GAL4/UAS binary gene expression system for use in cultured B. mori cells and embryos and in transgenic silkworms.
Pigmentation patterning has long interested biologists, integrating topics in ecology, development, genetics, and physiology. Wild-type neonatal larvae of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, are completely black. By contrast, the epidermis and head of larvae of the homozygous recessive sex-linked chocolate (sch) mutant are reddish brown. When incubated at 30 degrees C, mutants with the sch allele fail to hatch; moreover, homozygous mutants carrying the allele sch lethal (sch(l)) do not hatch even at room temperature (25 degrees C). By positional cloning, we narrowed a region containing sch to 239,622 bp on chromosome 1 using 4,501 backcross (BC1) individuals. Based on expression analyses, the best sch candidate gene was shown to be tyrosine hydroxylase (BmTh). BmTh coding sequences were identical among sch, sch(l), and wild-type. However, in sch the approximately 70-kb sequence was replaced with approximately 4.6 kb of a Tc1-mariner type transposon located approximately 6 kb upstream of BmTh, and in sch(l), a large fragment of an L1Bm retrotransposon was inserted just in front of the transcription start site of BmTh. In both cases, we observed a drastic reduction of BmTh expression. Use of RNAi with BmTh prevented pigmentation and hatching, and feeding of a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor also suppressed larval pigmentation in the wild-type strain, pnd(+) and in a pS (black-striped) heterozygote. Feeding L-dopa to sch neonate larvae rescued the mutant phenotype from chocolate to black. Our results indicate the BmTh gene is responsible for the sch mutation, which plays an important role in melanin synthesis producing neonatal larval color.
The endosteal niche is critical for the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). However, it consists of a heterogeneous population in terms of differentiation stage and function. In this study, we characterized endosteal cell populations and examined their ability to maintain HSCs. Bone marrow endosteal cells were subdivided into immature mesenchymal cell-enriched ALCAM(-)Sca-1(+) cells, osteoblast-enriched ALCAM(+)Sca-1(-), and ALCAM(-)Sca-1(-) cells. We found that all 3 fractions maintained long-term reconstitution (LTR) activity of HSCs in an in vitro culture. In particular, ALCAM(+)Sca-1(-) cells significantly enhanced the LTR activity of HSCs by the up-regulation of homing- and cell adhesion-related genes in HSCs. Microarray analysis showed that ALCAM(-)Sca-1(+) fraction highly expressed cytokine-related genes, whereas the ALCAM(+)Sca-1(-) fraction expressed multiple cell adhesion molecules, such as cadherins, at a greater level than the other fractions, indicating that the interaction between HSCs and osteoblasts via cell adhesion molecules enhanced the LTR activity of HSCs. Furthermore, we found an osteoblastic marker(low/-) subpopulation in ALCAM(+)Sca-1(-) fraction that expressed cytokines, such as Angpt1 and Thpo, and stem cell marker genes. Altogether, these data suggest that multiple subsets of osteoblasts and mesenchymal progenitor cells constitute the endosteal niche and regulate HSCs in adult bone marrow.
Targeted mutagenesis is one of the key methods for functional gene analysis. A simplified variant of gene targeting uses direct microinjection of custom-designed Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) mRNAs into Drosophila embryos. To evaluate the applicability of this method to gene targeting in another insect, we mutagenized the Bombyx mori epidermal color marker gene BmBLOS2, which controls the formation of uric acid granules in the larval epidermis. Our results revealed that ZFN mRNA injection is effective to induce somatic, as well as germline, mutations in a targeted gene by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). The ZFN-induced NHEJ mutations lack end-filling and blunt ligation products, and include mainly 7 bp or longer deletions, as well as single nucleotide insertions. These observations suggest that the B. mori double-strand break repair system relies on microhomologies rather than on a canonical ligase IV-dependent mechanism. The frequency of germline mutants in G(1) was sufficient to be used for gene targeting relying on a screen based solely on molecular methods.
We have previously demonstrated the presence of graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR) in fish employing a model system of clonal triploid ginbuna and tetraploid ginbuna-goldfish hybrids. To elucidate the role of CD8alpha+ T cells in the induction of GVHR, we investigate the kinetics of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets in GVHR along with the pathological changes associated with GVH disease (GVHD) in ginbuna. GVHR was not induced with a leukocyte fraction lacking CD8alpha+ T cells separated by magnetic cell sorting. Ploidy and immunofluorescence analysis revealed that CD4+ and CD8alpha+ T cells from sensitized donors greatly increased in the host trunk kidney, constituting more than 80% of total cells 1-2 weeks after donor cell injection, while those from non-sensitized donors constituted less than 50% of cells present. The increase of CD4+ T cells was greater and more rapid than that of CD8alpha+ T cells. The number of donor CD4+ and CD8alpha+ T cells was highest in trunk kidney followed by spleen. Increases in donor CD4+ and CD8alpha+ T cells were also found in liver and PBL, although the percentages were not as high. Pathologic changes similar to those in human and murine acute GVHD were observed in the lymphoid organs as well as target organs such as skin, liver and intestine, including the destruction of cells and tissues and massive leukocyte infiltration. The pathologic changes became more severe with the increase of CD8alpha+ T cells. These results suggest that donor-derived CD8alpha+ T cells play essential roles for the induction of acute GVHR/D in teleosts as in mammals.
The patient was a 69-year-old woman with a family history of type 2 diabetes. Her body mass index was 31.5. She was diagnosed as type 2 diabetes 32 years previously, and treated with insulin for 8 years. She had no episode of weight loss. She was hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis for the first time. Her GAD antibodies were not detected. However, ICA antibodies and insulin antibodies were positively detected. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Interestingly, her diabetes state was controlled to the same level after recovery from ketoacidosis.
Baculovirus expression systems (BES) are widely used for recombinant protein production in lepidopteran cells or larvae. However, even in BES, the insolubility of recombinant proteins sometimes makes their expression difficult. In this study, to improve the solubility and yield of foreign proteins, we constructed transgenic silkworms using silkworm heat-shock proteins, Hsp70 and Hsp40, or Hsc70 and Hsp90 co-chaperone Hop. In these transgenic silkworms, the expression levels of the transgenes were under the control of a UAS.hsp mini-promoter driven by a Gal4NFkBp65 activator. When the transgenic silkworm with HSP70 and 40 (TGS-HSP70/40) was infected with BmNPV carrying mC3d and Gal4NFkBp65 under the control of baculovirus polyhedrin or p10 promoters, respectively, the soluble fraction of the His- or His.GST-tagged mC3d increased significantly. Similarly, the transgenic silkworm with HSC70 and HOP (TGS-HOP7) was effective for the expression of a steroid hormone receptor, USP2. In conclusion, the His-tagged baculovirus expression system featuring the chaperone effect TGS-HSP70/40 and TGS-HOP7 silkworms is effective for increasing the yields of soluble and functional foreign gene products.
The transport pathway of specific dietary carotenoids from the midgut lumen to the silk gland in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a model system for selective carotenoid transport because several genetic mutants with defects in parts of this pathway have been identified that manifest altered cocoon pigmentation. In the wild-type silkworm, which has both genes, Yellow blood (Y) and Yellow cocoon (C), lutein is transferred selectively from the hemolymph lipoprotein to the silk gland cells where it is accumulated into the cocoon. The Y gene encodes an intracellular carotenoid-binding protein (CBP) containing a lipid-binding domain known as the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein-related lipid transfer domain. Positional cloning and transgenic rescue experiments revealed that the C gene encodes Cameo2, a transmembrane protein gene belonging to the CD36 family genes, some of which, such as the mammalian SR-BI and the fruit fly ninaD, are reported as lipoprotein receptors or implicated in carotenoid transport for visual system. In C mutant larvae, Cameo2 expression was strongly repressed in the silk gland in a specific manner, resulting in colorless silk glands and white cocoons. The developmental profile of Cameo2 expression, CBP expression, and lutein pigmentation in the silk gland of the yellow cocoon strain were correlated. We hypothesize that selective delivery of lutein to specific tissue requires the combination of two components: 1) CBP as a carotenoid transporter in cytosol and 2) Cameo2 as a transmembrane receptor on the surface of the cells.
Hematopoiesis in teleost fish is maintained in the kidney. We previously reported that Hoechst dye efflux activity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is highly conserved in vertebrates, and that Hoechst can be used to purify HSCs from teleost kidneys. Regulatory molecules that are strongly associated with HSC activity may also be conserved in vertebrates. In this study, we identified evolutionarily conserved molecular components in HSCs by comparing the gene expression profiles of zebrafish, murine, and human HSCs. Microarray data of zebrafish kidney side population cells (zSPs) showed that genes involved in cell junction and signal transduction tended to be up-regulated in zSPs, whereas genes involved in DNA replication tended to be down-regulated. These properties of zSPs were similar to those of mammalian HSCs. Overlapping gene expression analysis showed that 40 genes were commonly up-regulated in these 3 HSCs. Some of these genes, such as egr1, gata2, and id1, have been previously implicated in the regulation of HSCs. In situ hybridization in zebrafish kidney revealed that expression domains of egr1, gata2, and id1 overlapped with that of abcg2a, a marker for zSPs. These results suggest that the overlapping genes identified in this study are regulated in HSCs and play important roles in their functions.
We performed a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of 3915 men and 2032 women. Subjects who were diagnosed with two or more factors among high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia or high triglyceride and/or low HDL were classified as the metabolic syndrome group. By performing a ROC curve analysis, we have determined the cut-off point of waist circumference (WC) and BMI to define metabolic syndrome and further calculated the sensitivity and specificity of these two factors for the diagnosis. Cut-off point for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was 85 cm (men) and 80 cm (women) in WC and 24 (men) and 23 (women) in BMI. By combining these two factors, the sensitivity for the diagnosis increased to more than 80%. We conclude that it is beneficial to combine both WC and BMI for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
To construct an efficient system for the production of recombinant proteins in silkworm (Bombyx mori), we investigated the promoter activity of the silkworm sericin 1, 2, and 3 genes (Ser1, Ser2, and Ser3) using a GAL4/UAS binary gene expression system in transgenic silkworm. The promoter activity of the upstream region of Ser1 was strong, yielding high expression of an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene in the middle and posterior regions of the middle silk gland (MSG) after day 2 of the fifth instar. The Ser3 upstream region exhibited moderate promoter activity in the anterior MSG, but the Ser2 upstream region did not exhibit any promoter activity. Since the strongest promoter activity was observed for Ser1, we devised a system for the production of recombinant proteins using a GAL4-Ser1 promoter construct (Ser1-GAL4). Transgenic silkworms harboring both the Ser1-GAL4 construct and the previously reported upstream activating sequence (UAS)-EGFP construct, which contains the TATA box region of the Drosophila hsp70 gene, yielded approximately 100 microg EGFP per larva. When we then analyzed the TATA box region, signal peptide, and intron sequences for their effects on production from the UAS-EGFP construct, we found that the optimization of these sequences effectively increased production to an average of 500 microg EGFP protein per transgenic larva. We conclude that this binary system is a useful tool for the mass production of recombinant proteins of biomedical and pharmaceutical interest in silkworm.
Severe acute hepatitis of unknown etiology is difficult to treat and often progresses to subacute fulminant hepatitis or late-onset hepatic failure. A 45-year-old well-nourished, healthy man had progressive fatigue and his liver function tests showed severe liver dysfunction. The etiology of sever acute cholestatic hepatitis was unknown. The liver function tests normalized gradually, which excluded high persistent total bilirubin after starting on predonine. A liver biopsy showed chronic active hepatitis with mild fibrosis (A2, F1). Oral Inchinko-to, a Chinese herbal medicine, at 7.5 g daily was prescribed. The treatment was effective with no adverse effects. We present a successfully treated case and discuss hepatoprotective and choleretic effects of Inchinko-to.
The lipid-coated ice-droplet hydration method was applied for the preparation of milliliter volumes of a suspension of giant phospholipid vesicles containing in the inner aqueous vesicle pool in high yield either calcein, ?-chymotrypsin, fluorescently labeled bovine serum albumin or dextran (FITC-BSA and FITC-dextran; FITC=fluorescein isothiocyanate). The vesicles had an average diameter of ca. 7-11 ?m and contained 20-50% of the desired molecules to be entrapped, the entrapment yield being dependent on the chemical structure of the entrapped molecules and on the details of the vesicle-formation procedure. The lipid-coated ice droplet hydration method is a multistep process, based on i) the initial formation of a monodisperse water-in-oil emulsion by microchannel emulsification, followed by ii) emulsion droplet freezing, and iii) surfactant and oil removal, and replacement with bilayer-forming lipids and an aqueous solution. If one aims at applying the method for the entrapment of enzymes, retention of catalytic activity is important to consider. With ?-chymotrypsin as first model enzyme to be used with the method, it was shown that high retention of enzymatic activity is possible, and that the entrapped enzyme molecules were able to catalyze the hydrolysis of a membrane-permeable substrate which was added to the vesicles after their formation. Furthermore, one of the critical steps of the method that leads to significant release of the molecules from the water droplets was investigated and optimized by using calcein as fluorescent probe.
The sericin-1 gene encoding a glue protein is expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. A member of the class III POU domain transcription factors, POU-M1, was cloned as the factor bound to the SC site of the sericin-1 promoter and has been proposed to be a positive transcription factor. In this study, we analyzed the expression pattern of the POU-M1 gene in fourth and fifth instars in comparison with the pattern of the sericin-1 gene. The POU-M1 gene was expressed strongly in the region anterior to the sericin-1-expressing portion of the silk gland at both feeding stages. As the sericin-1-expressing region expands from the posterior to middle portions of the MSG in the fifth instar, the POU-M1-expressing region retreated from the middle to anterior portion. Introduction of the expression vector of POU-M1 into the silk glands by gene gun technology repressed promoter activity of the sericin-1 gene, suggesting that POU-M1 regulates the sericin-1 gene negatively. An in vitro binding assay showed that POU-M1 bound not only to the SC site but also to other promoter elements newly detected in vivo. Another spatiotemporal specific factor MIC binds to these elements, and POU-M1 competed with MIC to bind at the -70 site essential for promoter activity. These results suggest that POU-M1 is involved in restricting the anterior boundary of the sericin-1-expressing region in the silk gland by inhibiting the binding of the transcriptional activator to the promoter elements.
Arsenate resistance has been used for screening for photosynthetic mutants of Chlamydomonas, since photosynthetic mutants, such as CC981 defective in phosphoribulokinase, were shown to have arsenate resistance. Also, another type of arsenate-resistant mutants, including AR3 that lacks a homolog of a phosphate (Pi) transporter, PTB1, has been isolated. We investigated the uptake of Pi and arsenate, and the gene expression of Pi transporters, which are involved in both Pi and arsenate transport, in mutants CC981 and AR3. In the wild type, both Pi and arsenate uptake were initially high, but were inactivated in the presence of arsenate with time, especially in the dark. In contrast, both mutants were shown to exhibit higher Pi uptake, but lower arsenate uptake than the wild type, regardless of the presence or absence of light. Then, the gene expression of Pi transporters in the cells used for the uptake measurements was investigated and compared between the mutants and the wild type. In CC981, the mRNA levels of PTA2 and PTA4 were higher, while those of PTB3 and PTB5 were lower, as compared with in the wild type. In AR3, those of PTA2 and PTB2 were higher, but that of PTB5 was lower than in the wild type. These findings suggest that the arsenate resistance shown by the mutants in light is due to reduction of arsenate uptake probably through the down-regulation of some Pi transporter expression, while the Pi uptake maintained even in the dark is possibly related to higher expression of other Pi transporter(s) than in the wild type.
Bt toxins derived from the arthropod bacterial pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis are widely used for insect control as insecticides or in transgenic crops. Bt resistance has been found in field populations of several lepidopteran pests and in laboratory strains selected with Bt toxin. Widespread planting of crops expressing Bt toxins has raised concerns about the potential increase of resistance mutations in targeted insects. By using Bombyx mori as a model, we identified a candidate gene for a recessive form of resistance to Cry1Ab toxin on chromosome 15 by positional cloning. BGIBMGA007792-93, which encodes an ATP-binding cassette transporter similar to human multidrug resistance protein 4 and orthologous to genes associated with recessive resistance to Cry1Ac in Heliothis virescens and two other lepidopteran species, was expressed in the midgut. Sequences of 10 susceptible and seven resistant silkworm strains revealed a common tyrosine insertion in an outer loop of the predicted transmembrane structure of resistant alleles. We confirmed the role of this ATP-binding cassette transporter gene in Bt resistance by converting a resistant silkworm strain into a susceptible one by using germline transformation. This study represents a direct demonstration of Bt resistance gene function in insects with the use of transgenesis.
Insect molting and metamorphosis are intricately governed by two hormones, ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JHs). JHs prevent precocious metamorphosis and allow the larva to undergo multiple rounds of molting until it attains the proper size for metamorphosis. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, several "moltinism" mutations have been identified that exhibit variations in the number of larval molts; however, none of them have been characterized molecularly. Here we report the identification and characterization of the gene responsible for the dimolting (mod) mutant that undergoes precocious metamorphosis with fewer larval-larval molts. We show that the mod mutation results in complete loss of JHs in the larval hemolymph and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued by topical application of a JH analog. We performed positional cloning of mod and found a null mutation in the cytochrome P450 gene CYP15C1 in the mod allele. We also demonstrated that CYP15C1 is specifically expressed in the corpus allatum, an endocrine organ that synthesizes and secretes JHs. Furthermore, a biochemical experiment showed that CYP15C1 epoxidizes farnesoic acid to JH acid in a highly stereospecific manner. Precocious metamorphosis of mod larvae was rescued when the wild-type allele of CYP15C1 was expressed in transgenic mod larvae using the GAL4/UAS system. Our data therefore reveal that CYP15C1 is the gene responsible for the mod mutation and is essential for JH biosynthesis. Remarkably, precocious larval-pupal transition in mod larvae does not occur in the first or second instar, suggesting that authentic epoxidized JHs are not essential in very young larvae of B. mori. Our identification of a JH-deficient mutant in this model insect will lead to a greater understanding of the molecular basis of the hormonal control of development and metamorphosis.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved mechanism that catalyzes sequence-specific gene silencing and has been used for loss-of-function genetic screens in many organisms. Here, we demonstrated that the expression of Caenorhabditis elegans SID-1 (CeSID-1) could trigger effective gene silencing in the cultured silkworm cell line, BmN4 (BmN4-SID1). Soaking the BmN4-SID1 in dsRNA corresponding to endogenous target genes induced a significant decrease of the amount of mRNA or protein. A small amount of dsRNA was enough to silence the target gene in a few days. Overexpression of CeSID-1 did not affect the cell viability. Our results suggest that BmN4-SID1 can be used in many applications in silkworm cells and will become a valuable resource for gene analysis.
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