Gastric gland mucin is secreted from gland mucous cells, including pyloric gland cells and mucous neck cells located in the lower layer of the gastric mucosa. These mucins typically contain O-glycans carrying terminal α1,4-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues (αGlcNAc) attached to the scaffold protein MUC6, and biosynthesis of the O-glycans is catalyzed by the glycosyltransferase, α1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (α4GnT). We previously used expression cloning to isolate cDNA encoding α4GnT, and then demonstrated that αGlcNAc functions as natural antibiotic against Helicobacter pylori, a microbe causing various gastric diseases including gastric cancer. More recently, it was shown that αGlcNAc serves as a tumor suppressor for differentiated-type adenocarcinoma. This review summarizes these findings and identifies dual roles for αGlcNAc in gastric cancer.
The ciliary zonule in the eye, also known as Zinn’s zonule, is composed of oxytalan fibers, which are bundles of microfibrils consisting mainly of fibrillin-1. However, it is still unclear which of the microfibril-associated molecules present in the ciliary zonule controls oxytalan fibers. Microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 (MAGP-1) is the only microfibril-associated molecule identified in the human ciliary zonule. In the present study, we used siRNA against MAGP-1 in cultures of human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells to examine the extracellular deposition and appearance of fibrillin-1 employing Western blotting and immunofluorescence. MAGP-1 suppression led to a reduction of fibrillin-1 deposition. Immunofluorescence also confirmed that RNAi-mediated down-regulation of MAGP-1 led to suppression of fiber development. These results suggest that MAGP-1 plays a crucial role in the extracellular deposition of fibrillin-1 during formation of the human ciliary zonule.
Angiopoietin-1 regulates vascular angiogenesis and stabilization, and is reported to promote bone formation by facilitating angiogenesis. To estimate the role of Ang1 in odontogenesis, we explored the distribution of Ang1 and the receptor, Tie2 in the mouse developing and mature first molar of the mandible. At embryonic day 18, when differentiation of odontoblasts begins, immunosignals for Ang1 were intensely detected in the basement membrane and the distal side, which faced the basement membrane of odontoblasts. In situ hybridization revealed that Ang1 was expressed in odontoblasts and ameloblasts facing the basement membrane. Tie2 was localized in the distal side of odontoblasts. After birth, Ang1 was detected in the predentin, whereas both Ang1 and Tie2 were colocalized in odontoblasts and odontoblast processes. These distributions were retained up to 8 weeks. In contrast to odontoblasts, ameloblasts, cementoblasts and osteoblasts expressed Ang1 but did not express Tie2. Colocalization of Ang1 and Tie2 in odontoblasts and selective expression of Tie2 in odontoblasts among cells responsible for calcified tissue formation suggested the involvement of autocrine signals of Ang1-Tie2 in dentinogenesis.
Aquaporin (AQP) is suggested to be regulated by leptin through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway. AQP7 and AQP9 are membrane proteins with water and glycerol channels, the latter of which is essential for triglyceride synthesis. We conjectured that the expression of AQP7 and AQP9 would be altered in the skeletal myofibers in obese leptin deficient ob/ob mice as compared with that of wild mice. RNA and protein levels were studied in the quadriceps femoris muscles of ob/ob and wild mice. Real time quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that mouse AQP7 mRNA levels in skeletal muscles were significantly higher in ob/ob mice than in wild mice (P<0.01), whereas mouse AQP9 mRNA level was not different between the two groups (P>0.05). Histologically the type 1 myofibers of ob/ob mice contained numerous lipid droplets in oil red O stain samples. Immunohistochemical staining of ob/ob mouse muscles revealed enhanced expression of AQP7 at myofiber surface membranes, while AQP9 expression appeared to be similar to that of wild mice. The findings suggest that the upregulated expression of AQP7 in ob/ob mouse muscles facilitates the secretion of glycerol from myocytes.