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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 2545 matches for " Akira Tsujimura "
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A Review of ERCC1 Gene in Bladder Cancer: Implications for Carcinogenesis and Resistance to Chemoradiotherapy
Atsunari Kawashima,Hitoshi Takayama,Akira Tsujimura
Advances in Urology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/812398
Abstract: The excision repair cross-complementing group 1 (ERCC1) gene performs a critical incision step in DNA repair and is reported to be correlated with carcinogenesis and resistance to drug or ionizing radiation therapy. We reviewed the correlation between ERCC1 and bladder cancer. In carcinogenesis, several reports discussed the relation between ERCC1 single nucleotide polymorphisms and carcinogenesis in bladder cancer only in case-control studies. Regarding the relation between ERCC1 and resistance to chemoradiotherapy, in vitro and clinical studies indicate that ERCC1 might be related to resistance to radiation therapy rather than cisplatin therapy. It is controversial whether ERCC1 predicts prognosis of bladder cancer treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Tyrosine kinase receptors or endothelial-mesenchymal transition are reported to regulate the expression of ERCC1, and further study is needed to clarify the mechanism of ERCC1 expression and resistance to chemoradiotherapy in vitro and to discover novel therapies for advanced and metastatic bladder cancer. 1. Introduction Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men in the United States [1, 2]. Bladder cancer is more prevalent in men than women, with men accounting for around 80% of cases. Up to one-half of bladder cancer cases in men and one-third in women are caused by cigarette smoking [3, 4], and another important risk factor is occupational exposure to various chemical carcinogens [5]. A common property of these exposures is the presence of carcinogens that can induce DNA damage in the bladder epithelium. Genotoxic compounds derived from the metabolism of chemical carcinogens can contribute to the accumulation of several forms of DNA damage, such as bulky adducts, single-strand breaks (SSBs) and double-strand breaks (DSBs), abasic sites, and modified bases. DNA repair mechanisms exist to prevent detrimental consequences of these types of DNA damage. Specifically, base damage, abasic sites, and SSBs are repaired through the base excision repair (BER) pathway, whereas DSBs are repaired by either nonhomologous end joining or the homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathways. Bulky adducts are generally repaired by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. An overall association was reported between genetic variation in the NER pathway and bladder cancer risk, suggesting the presence of gene-gene and gene-smoking interactions [6]. On the other hand, systemic radiotherapy and chemotherapy including cisplatin are used for locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer, but their
Male Infertility and Its Causes in Human
Toshinobu Miyamoto,Akira Tsujimura,Yasushi Miyagawa,Eitetsu Koh,Mikio Namiki,Kazuo Sengoku
Advances in Urology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/384520
Abstract: Infertility is one of the most serious social problems facing advanced nations. In general, approximate half of all cases of infertility are caused by factors related to the male partner. To date, various treatments have been developed for male infertility and are steadily producing results. However, there is no effective treatment for patients with nonobstructive azoospermia, in which there is an absence of mature sperm in the testes. Although evidence suggests that many patients with male infertility have a genetic predisposition to the condition, the cause has not been elucidated in the vast majority of cases. This paper discusses the environmental factors considered likely to be involved in male infertility and the genes that have been clearly shown to be involved in male infertility in humans, including our recent findings. 1. Introduction One of the most serious social problems facing developed countries today is the declining birth rate, although it is generally not well recognized that the number of infertile couples is on the rise in these countries. While both social (i.e., social progress for women and the resulting increase in the age at which women marry) and environmental (i.e., pollution and global warming) factors are behind part of the increase in the number of patients with infertility, infertility in the male partner contributes to approximately half of all cases. To date, various techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (particularly, intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI) and so-called TESE-ICSI involving the harvesting of sperm from the testes, have been developed for male infertility. Although these methods are steadily producing results, no technique has proven effective for patients with nonobstructive azoospermia, in which there is an absence of mature sperm in the testes. Evidence suggests that many patients with azoospermia have a genetic predisposition to the condition, although the cause has not been elucidated in the vast majority of cases [1]. Conversely, studies using knockout mouse models have recently linked many genes to spermatogenesis, the mechanisms of which are currently being clarified. These animal findings have yet to be shown applicable to most human cases. This is because identifying the affected genes in humans requires a retrograde genetic approach and because the knockout mouse phenotype is not always faithfully reproduced in humans. This paper discusses the environmental factors considered likely to be involved in male infertility and the genes that have been clearly shown to be involved in male
Genetic Variation in the Testis-Specific HASPIN Gene Encoding a Serine/Threonine Protein Kinase in Infertile Japanese Males  [PDF]
Hiromitsu Tanaka, Akira Tsujimura, Yasushi Miyagawa, Dakyo Oh, Damin Choi, Morimasa Wada, Hiromi Nishimura, Yoshitake Nishimune
Advances in Sexual Medicine (ASM) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/asm.2016.63003
Abstract: HASPIN is a serine/threonine protein kinase predominantly expressed during spermatogenesis and localized in the nucleus. The HASPIN gene is conserved from yeast to mammals and plants. To investigate any possible associations between HASPIN polymorphisms and impaired spermatogenesis in Japanese males, we screened for mutations in the HASPIN coding sequence (CDS) using DNA from 282 sterile male patients and 262 fertile male volunteers. Polymorphisms were found at 10 positions within the HASPIN CDS. Among these 10 polymorphisms, 5 were found only in the infertile group, 3 of which were nonsynonymous. These polymorphisms found only in the infertile patients may be a cause of male infertility and thus valuable candidates for further study of this condition.
Melanopsin Gene Polymorphism I394T Is Associated with Pupillary Light Responses in a Dose-Dependent Manner
Shigekazu Higuchi, Akiko Hida, Sei-ichi Tsujimura, Kazuo Mishima, Akira Yasukouchi, Sang-il Lee, Youhei Kinjyo, Manabu Miyahira
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060310
Abstract: Background Melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) play an important role in non-image forming responses to light, such as circadian photoentrainment, light-induced melatonin suppression, and pupillary light response. Although it is known that there are some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the melanopsin (OPN4) gene in humans, the associations of the SNPs with non-image forming responses to light remains unclear. In the present study, we examined the associations of melanopsin gene polymorphisms with pupillary light response. Methods Japanese university students (mean age: 21.0±1.7 years) with the genotypes of TT (n = 38), TC (n = 28) and CC (n = 7) at rs1079610 (I394T) located in the coding region participated in the present study. They were matched by age and sex ratio. Dark-adapted pupil size (<1 lx) was first measured. Then steady-state pupil size was measured during exposure to five lighting conditions (10 lx, 100 lx, 1000 lx, 3000 lx, 6000 lx in the vertical direction at eye level). Results Significant interaction between the genotype of I394T (TT versus TC+CC) and luminance levels was found in pupil size. Under high illuminance levels (1000 lx, 3000 lx and 6000 lx), pupil sizes in subjects with the C allele were significantly smaller than those in subjects with the TT genotype. On the other hand, pupil size in subjects with the C allele under low illuminance (<1 lx) was significantly larger than that in subjects with the TT genotype. Percentages of pupil constriction under high illuminance levels were significantly greater in subjects with the C allele than in subjects with the TT genotype. Conclusions Human melanopsin gene polymorphism I394T interacted with irradiance in association with pupil size. This is the first evidence suggesting a functional connection between melanopsin gene polymorphism and pupillary light response as an index of non-image forming response to light.
A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism within the Novel Sex-Linked Testis-Specific Retrotransposed PGAM4 Gene Influences Human Male Fertility
Hidenobu Okuda, Akira Tsujimura, Shinji Irie, Keisuke Yamamoto, Shinichiro Fukuhara, Yasuhiro Matsuoka, Tetsuya Takao, Yasushi Miyagawa, Norio Nonomura, Morimasa Wada, Hiromitsu Tanaka
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035195
Abstract: Background The development of novel fertilization treatments, including in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic injection, has made pregnancy possible regardless of the level of activity of the spermatozoa; however, the etiology of male-factor infertility is poorly understood. Multiple studies, primarily through the use of transgenic animals, have contributed to a list of candidate genes that may affect male infertility in humans. We examined single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as a cause of male infertility in an analysis of spermatogenesis-specific genes. Methods and Finding We carried out the prevalence of SNPs in the coding region of phosphoglycerate mutase 4 (PGAM4) on the X chromosome by the direct sequencing of PCR-amplified DNA from male patients. Using RT-PCR and western blot analyses, we identified that PGAM4 is a functional retrogene that is expressed predominantly in the testes and is associated with male infertility. PGAM4 is expressed in post-meiotic stages, including spermatids and spermatozoa in the testes, and the principal piece of the flagellum and acrosome in ejaculated spermatozoa. A case-control study revealed that 4.5% of infertile patients carry the G75C polymorphism, which causes an amino acid substitution in the encoded protein. Furthermore, an assay for enzymatic activity demonstrated that this polymorphism decreases the enzyme’s activity both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion These results suggest that PGAM4, an X-linked retrogene, is a fundamental gene in human male reproduction and may escape meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. These findings provide fresh insight into elucidating the mechanisms of male infertility.
Phosphorus Release from Sediments in a Riparian Phragmites australis Community at the Estuary of the Chikugogawa River, Western Japan  [PDF]
Akira Haraguchi
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2012.37114
Abstract: In order to determine the contribution of aquatic macrophyte communities on nutrition to sustain the high primary productivity of an estuary aquatic community, we analyzed the process of phosphorus release from sediments in aquatic macrophyte community in the estuary of the Chikugogawa River, South-Western Japan. Vertical profile of PD3-4 concentration and redox potential (Eh) of pore water in sediments were investigated within and outside the Phragmites australis community. Sediment horizon lower than 23 cm layer from the surface showed anaerobic (Eh < -200 mV) in the P. australis community, whereas sediment was constantly oxic (Eh > 0 mV) up to 50 cm depth outside the P. australis community without organic matter accumulation. Non-vegetated sediment with organic matter accumulation showed anoxic profile as vegetated site. PD3-4 concentration in anaerobic parts of sediment showed higher than oxic parts, and higher PD3-4 concentration in sediment pore water corresponded to sulfur deposition in sediment. Sulfate ion supplied from the sea water is reduced under the anoxic condition and S2- reacts with water-insoluble phosphorus salts e.g. Fe3(PO4)2 or AlPO4 and Fe2S3 or Al2S3 precipitates. Thus PD3-4 was mobilized and released under anoxic sediments. P. australis supply organic litter to sediment and the sediment within the P. australis community showed anoxic after aerobic decomposition of organic substances in sediment. Incubation of sediments under N2 atmosphere accumulated PD3-4 in the medium corresponding to low Eh (< -300 mV) showing that PD3-4 was released under anaerobic condition. Estuary P. australis community has function for supplying PD3-4 to river water.
Analysis of the Tracer Diffusion Phenomena through Cracks in the Porous Media by Means of X-Ray CT  [PDF]
Akira Sato
Materials Sciences and Applications (MSA) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/msa.2013.48A003

The migration process of contamination materials in the porous rock mass was visualized and analyzed by X-ray CT image data. In this study, Kimachi sandstone, which had approximately 26% porosity, was used as a rock sample. Here two cases of diffusion phenomena were analyzed. One is the case that solute diffuses into the porous rock mass from the crack surfaces, and it simulates the contamination process of rock mass. Another is the case that the solute diffuses out of the porous rock mass, and it simulates the process that the contamination materials spread from highly contaminated sources. It was found that the diffusion phenomena were clearly visualized by X-ray CT method. By introducing the parameter, coefficient of tracer density increment α, quantitative analysis of tracer density became possible, and the relation between the density distribution of tracer and the crack apertures and the relation between the density distribution and porosity distribution became clear.

Effects of Salinity on Germination, Seedling Growth and Ecological Properties of Phragmites australis Communities in the Estuary of the Chikugogawa River, Southwestern Japan  [PDF]
Akira Haraguchi
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2014.55073

Salt tolerance of Phragmites australis populations was investigated in natural reed habitats in the estuary of the Chikugogawa River, southwestern Japan. P. australis populations were selected along the salinity gradient in the estuary, including limnetic (salinity 0.05%), oligohaline (0.4%) and polyhaline sections (2.5%). The ratio of Total-P/Total-N of river water showed high values in the oligohaline section and the above ground biomass, population height and culm diameter of P. australis showed maximum values in this section. Sufficient phosphorus supply could sustain the high productivity of the community in the oligohaline section, irrespective of the salinity of inundated water. The seed production of P. australis was lowest in the polyhaline section. Thus, the ecological performance of P. australis was highest in the oligohaline section and the performance declined with the increasing salinity of the habitat. The effects of salinity on germination and seedling growth were evaluated by means of cultivation in 0.0% -5.0% (NaCl w/w%) salinity medium. Seeds of P. australis collected from every natural population in the estuary failed to germinate at salinity levels above 2.3%. Growth of shoot length and above-ground biomass of seedlings germinated in the fresh water medium were measured for 21 days’ exposure to constant salinity solutions ranging from 0.0% -5.0%. Although mortality was high at salinity levels 3.5% and 5.0%, elongation of shoots of some plants was evident at a salinity level of 5.0%. Seeds from the population in the limnetic section

Extendibility Evaluation of Industrial EUV Source Technologies for kW Average Power and 6.x nm Wavelength Operation  [PDF]
Akira Endo
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2014.55039

Interests in the extendibility are growing after the introduction of the LPP (Laser Produced Plasma) EUV source technology in the semiconductor industry, towards higher average power and shorter wavelength, based on the basic architecture of the established LPP EUV source technology. It is discussed in this article that the power scaling of the 13.5nm wavelength source is essentially possible by a slight increase of the driving laser power, CE (Conversion Efficiency) and EUV collection efficiency by some introduction of novel component technologies. Extension of the EUV wavelength towards BEUV (Beyond EUV), namely 6.x nm is discussed based on the general rule of the UTA (Unresolved Transition Arrays) of high Z ions, and development of multilayer mirrors in this particular wavelength region. Technical difficulties are evaluated for the extension of the LPP source technology by considering the narrower mirror bandwidth and higher melting temperature of the candidate plasma materials. Alternative approach based on the superconducting FEL is evaluated in comparison with the LPP source technology for the future solution.

A Single Enhancer Regulating the Differential Expression of Duplicated Red-Sensitive Opsin Genes in Zebrafish
Taro Tsujimura,Tomohiro Hosoya,Shoji Kawamura
PLOS Genetics , 2010, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001245
Abstract: A fundamental step in the evolution of the visual system is the gene duplication of visual opsins and differentiation between the duplicates in absorption spectra and expression pattern in the retina. However, our understanding of the mechanism of expression differentiation is far behind that of spectral tuning of opsins. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have two red-sensitive cone opsin genes, LWS-1 and LWS-2. These genes are arrayed in a tail-to-head manner, in this order, and are both expressed in the long member of double cones (LDCs) in the retina. Expression of the longer-wave sensitive LWS-1 occurs later in development and is thus confined to the peripheral, especially ventral-nasal region of the adult retina, whereas expression of LWS-2 occurs earlier and is confined to the central region of the adult retina, shifted slightly to the dorsal-temporal region. In this study, we employed a transgenic reporter assay using fluorescent proteins and P1-artificial chromosome (PAC) clones encompassing the two genes and identified a 0.6-kb “LWS-activating region” (LAR) upstream of LWS-1, which regulates expression of both genes. Under the 2.6-kb flanking upstream region containing the LAR, the expression pattern of LWS-1 was recapitulated by the fluorescent reporter. On the other hand, when LAR was directly conjugated to the LWS-2 upstream region, the reporter was expressed in the LDCs but also across the entire outer nuclear layer. Deletion of LAR from the PAC clones drastically lowered the reporter expression of the two genes. These results suggest that LAR regulates both LWS-1 and LWS-2 by enhancing their expression and that interaction of LAR with the promoters is competitive between the two genes in a developmentally restricted manner. Sharing a regulatory region between duplicated genes could be a general way to facilitate the expression differentiation in duplicated visual opsins.
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