Glyphosate and glufosinate are non-selective herbicides that have been extensively used worldwide. Their ionic and water-soluble characteristics often make it difficult to analyze them, especially in food components. A method was developed in this study for the simultaneous analysis of glyphosate, glufosinate, and three metabolic products in beer, barley tea, and their ingredients (malt and corn). The analytical samples were extracted with H2O, purified with a strong anion-exchange solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge, and then analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with an anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column. This method enabled a rapid and sensitive analysis [limit of quantification (LOQ) = 10 µg/kg] of the herbicides to be achieved.
Reed lignocellulose was subjected to a steam explosion pretreatment to obtain a high conversion rate of sugar after subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis using a commercial cellulase mixture. Under conditions of differing temperature (200 °C, 220 °C and 240 °C) and residence time (2, 5, and 8 min), the effect of the pretreatment on the sugar yield from enzymatic hydrolysis was studied. The highest respective reducing sugar and glucose yields were 36.14% and 15.35% after 60-h enzymatic hydrolysis of reed straw that had been pretreated with a steam explosion at 220 °C for 5 min. Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used in this study to comprehensively investigate the steam explosion-induced changes in the organizational structure and morphological properties of reed straw to analyze the reason for the increased sugar yield from enzymatic hydrolysis after the steam explosion.
Aleuritopteris ferns produce triterpenes and sesterterpenes with tricyclic cheilanthane and tetracyclic 18-episcalarane skeletons. The structural and mechanistic similarities between both classes of fern terpene suggest that their biosynthetic enzymes may be closely related. We investigate here whether a triterpene synthase is capable of recognizing geranylfarnesols as a substrate, and is able to convert them to cyclic sesterterpenes. We found that a bacterial triterpene synthase converted all-E-geranylfarnesol (1b) into three scalarane sesterterpenes with 18αH stereochemistry (5, 7 and 8), as well as mono- and tricyclic sesterterpenes (6 and 9). In addition, 2Z-geranylfarnesol (4) was converted into an 18-episcalarane derivative (10), whose skeleton can be found in sesterterpenes isolated from Aleuritopteris ferns. These results provide insight into sesterterpene biosynthesis in Aleuritopteris ferns.
Sweet potato flowers were collected for a transcriptome analysis to identify the putative floral-specific and flowering regulatory-related genes by using the RNA-sequencing technique. Pair-end short reads were de novo assembled by an integrated strategy, and then the floral transcriptome was carefully compared with several published vegetative transcriptomes. A total of 2595 putative floral-specific and 2928 putative vegetative-specific transcripts were detected. We also identified a large number of transcripts similar to the key genes in the flowering regulation network of Arabidopsis thaliana.
Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidases (cAPXs) of soybean have been found by proteome analysis to be downregulated in submerged seedlings. To elucidate the physiological meaning of this downregulation, soybean cAPXs were characterized in this study. Vigorous synthesis was detected in germinating seeds and seedlings. Expression of the corresponding genes was detected clearly in tissues that actively underwent cell division. The gene expression was suppressed by flooding stress, but not by salinity, cold or drought stress. The expression recovered 1 d after release from flooding stress, accompanied by growth resurgence.
Recently, we confirmed the widespread occurrence of α-tubulin acetylation on Lys40 in angiosperms. In the present study, we found that α-tubulin acetylation is regulated in a growth stage- and organ development-dependent manner in the rapid cycling Brassica rapa, also known as Fast Plants. Organ distribution analysis showed that the proportion of acetylated α-tubulin is high in the cotyledons of young plants and in the true leaves and flowers of mature plants. A correlation between the increase in the levels of α-tubulin acetylation and the maturation of true leaves was observed. In the mature leaves, the acetylated α-tubulin showed an uneven distribution pattern, and the cells in the region of the leaf margins contained a high proportion of acetylated α-tubulin. These results indicate that α-tubulin acetylation is dynamically regulated in plant organs during development, and that it might play an important role in microtubule functioning throughout the angiosperm's life cycle.
To obtain a selection marker gene functional in a thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus, an in vivo-directed evolutionary strategy was conducted on a hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene (hyg) from Streptomyces hygroscopicus. The expression of wild-type hyg in T. thermophilus provided hygromycin B (HygB) resistance up to 60 °C. Through selection of mutants showing HygB resistance at higher temperatures, eight amino acid substitutions and the duplication of three amino acids were identified. A variant containing seven substitutions and the duplication (HYG10) showed HygB resistance at a highest temperature of 74 °C. Biochemical and biophysical analyses of recombinant HYG and HYG10 revealed that HYG10 was in fact thermostabilized. Modeling of the three-dimensional structure of HYG10 suggests the possible roles of the various substitutions and the duplication on thermostabilization, of which three substitutions and the duplication located at the enzyme surface suggested that these mutations made the enzyme more hydrophilic and provided increased stability in aqueous solution.
To determine the structure and functional relationships of invertebrate lysozymes, we isolated a new invertebrate (i)-type lysozyme from the common orient clam (Meretrix lusoria) and determined the complete amino acid sequence of two isozymes that differed by one amino acid. The determined sequence showed 65% similarity to a lysozyme from Venerupis philippinarum (Tapes japonica), and it was therefore classified as an i-type lysozyme. The lytic activities of this lysozyme were similar to those of previously reported bivalve i-type lysozymes, but unlike the V. philippinarum lysozyme, it did not exhibit an increase in activity in high ionic strength. Our data suggest that this lysozyme does not have a dimeric structure, due to the replacement of Lys108 which contributes to dimer formation in the V. philippinarum lysozyme. GlcNAc oligomer activities suggested an absence of transglycosylation activity and a higher number of subsites on this enzyme compared with hen egg lysozyme.
HIN (hematopoietic interferon-inducible nuclear antigens with a 200-amino-acid repeat) domains are found in all AIM2-like receptors (ALRs) and mediate protein/DNA interactions to regulate innate immunity. We cloned, expressed, and purified the human interferon-inducible protein p202 (Ifi202) HINb domain and the murine Ifi203 HIN domain using Escherichia coli JM109 (DE3) host cells. The Ifi203 HIN domain is a monomer in solution, and it has the ability to bind both double-stranded DNA and RNA. In contrast, the Ifi202 HINb domain is a dimer in solution, and no interaction with double-stranded DNA or RNA was detected. A complex of the Ifi203 HIN domain and double-stranded DNA was prepared, and crystals of the complex were obtained. To analyze further the dimeric interface of the Ifi202 HINb domain and the DNA binding site of the Ifi203 HIN domain, models of both proteins were developed. This work provides a basis for understanding the structure and function of HIN domains.
We examined atrogin-1/MAFbx mRNA expression in the smooth muscle of gizzards from egg- and meat-type chickens. Gizzard weight relative to body weight was significantly lower in the meat-type chickens than in the egg-type at 14 d of age. In contrast, the level of atrogin-1/MAFbx mRNA in the gizzard was significantly higher in the meat-type chickens than in the egg-type chickens. Thus atrogin-1/MAFbx mRNA expression in the smooth muscle of the gizzard was higher in meat-type chickens than in egg-type chickens, in contrast to its expression in the skeletal muscles.
SCO5059, encoded in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), was identified as a polyphosphate glucokinase. The Km values of SCO5059 for glucose and polyphosphate (poly(P)6) were estimated to be 12 and 4 µM, respectively, and the kcat value was 0.3 s−1 at pH 7.7 at 28 °C. SCO5059 homologs are highly conserved among Streptomyces, and can work as polyphosphate glucokinase as well.
When Ypet was used as a reporter protein for high-throughput screening (HTS), it showed peak fold induction and a dynamic range similar to those for firefly luciferase. We also determined that conducting a reading immediately after media aspiration was the best method for HTS. We conclude that Ypet can serve as a substitute for luciferase as a reporter protein in HTS assays.
Changes in the extracellular concentration of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) resulting from the voluntary ingestion of either corn oil, mineral oil, or 1% linoleic acid diluted with mineral oil as a vehicle were measured in rats by using in vivo microdialysis after they had been trained to establish a preference for corn oil. Ingesting the mineral oil caused no significant change in DA level in the NAc shell, whereas corn oil ingestion significantly increased the DA level during 0–15 min of the test session, reaching the maximum level of 129.8 ± 6.2% compared with the baseline after 10 min. Ingesting linoleic acid also resulted in a significant increase in DA level during 0–20 min, reaching 125.9 ± 9.0% after 10 min. Similar results were obtained in the BLA. Despite its very low calorie content, a low concentration of non-esterified fatty acid increased the DA levels equivalent to those resulting from corn oil in the brain's reward system.
It has been reported that fructose force-feeding rapidly induced jejunal Slc2a5 gene expression in rodents. We demonstrate in this study that acetylation at lysine (K) 9 of histone H3 and acetylation at K5 and K16 of histone H4 were more enhanced in the promoter/enhancer to transcribed regions of the Slc2a5 gene in fructose force-fed mice than in glucose force-fed mice. However, fructose force-feeding did not induce acetylation at K14 of histone H3, or at K8 and K12 of histone H4 around the Slc2a5 gene. These results suggest that fructose force-feeding induced selective histone acetylation, particularly of H3 and H4, around the jejunal Slc2a5 gene in mice.
We compared the volatile profiles in soy sauce according to inoculation with Tetragenococcus halophilus and/or Zygosaccharomyces rouxii. Totals of 107 and 81 volatiles were respectively identified by using solid-phase microextraction and solvent extraction. The various volatile compounds identified included acids, aldehydes, esters, ketones, furans and furan derivatives, and phenols. The major volatiles in the samples treated with T. halophilus were acetic acid, formic acid, benzaldehyde, methyl acetate, ethyl 2-hydroxypropanoate, 2-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-cyclopenten-1-one, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde, while those in the samples inoculated with Z. rouxii were mainly ethanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl propanoate, 2/3-methylbutanol, 1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol, ethyl 2-methylpropanoate, and 4-hydroxy-2-ethyl-5-methyl-3(2H)-furanone. The results indicate that T. halophilus produced significant acid compounds and could affect the Z. rouxii activity, supporting the notion that yeasts and lactic acid bacteria respectively have different metabolic pathways of alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation, and produce different dominant volatile compounds in soy sauce.
The porcine myofibrillar protein hydrolysate obtained by a papain treatment showed antioxidative activity in a system of linolenic acid peroxidation induced by Fe2+. The five peptides, DSGVT, IEAEGE, DAQEKLE, EELDNALN, and VPSIDDQEELM, have been characterized as antioxidative peptides (Saiga et al., J. Agric. Food Chem., 51, 3661–3667 (2003)). These peptides were synthesized and their antioxidative activity evaluated. The antioxidative activity of four peptides, excluding DSGVT, was confirmed by their addition at 0.1% to the peroxidation system. To clarify the mechanism for the antioxidative activity of these peptides, their short peptides with amino acid deletions at the C- or N-termini were synthesized. The antioxidative activity gradually decreased with decreasing peptide length. Replacing the charged amino acids in these peptide sequences with Ala also affected their antioxidative activity. We hypothesize that the anions from acidic amino acids and the cations from iron interacted with each other and inactivated the pro-oxidant, Fe (II).
Isoflavone data concerning the metabolism and permeability on intestinal epithelial cells are scarce, particularly for microbial isoflavone metabolites. This study evaluates the absorption mechanisms for the isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, and their microbial metabolites, dihydrogenistein (DHG) and dihydrodaidzein (DHD). The permeability characteristics of isoflavones were compared by using the Caco-2 human colon adenocarcinoma cell line for a parallel artificial membrane permeability assay, and comparing their physicochemical properties. The data suggest that genistein, DHG and DHD were efficiently transported by passive diffusion according to the pH-partition hypothesis. Genistein was conjugated by phase II metabolizing enzymes and acted as a substrate of the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). Daidzein was not conjugated but did act as a substrate for BCRP, multidrug resistance-associated proteins, and P-glycoprotein. In contrast, DHG and DHD were markedly more permeable than their parent isoflavones; they were therefore difficult to transport by the efflux effect, and glucuronidation/sulfation was limited by the flux time.
This study investigated the effects of a combination of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (CHS) and rosiglitazone (RSG) on glucose metabolism in the liver of insulin-resistant C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat high-sucrose diet for 19 weeks. The results showed that the combination (CHS/RSG) synergistically improved body weight gain, liver weight, fasting blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance on an oral glucose tolerance test, serum insulin levels, homeostasis model assessment indexes, and hepatic glycogen content. In liver tissue, CHS/RSG significantly normalized the activities of hexokinase, pyruvate kinase, and glucose-6-phosphatase. In additionally, it increased the mRNA expression of insulin receptors, insulin receptor substrate 2, phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (PKB), and glycogen synthase, and inhibited glycogen synthase kinase 3β(GSK-3β) mRNA expression in the liver. This suggests that CHS/RSG treatment improves glucose metabolism by modulating metabolic enzymes and strengthening the PI3K/PKB/GSK-3β signal pathway mediated by insulin at the transcriptional level.
A change in the free fatty acid (FFA) profile reflects an alteration in the lipid metabolism of peripheral tissue. A high-throughput quantitative analysis method for individual FFAs therefore needs to be established. We report here an optimized LC-MS assay for a high-throughput and high-sensitivity analysis of the 10 major long-chain FFAs in mouse plasma and liver. This assay enables quantification of individual FFAs by using trace amounts of samples (2 µL of plasma and 10 mg of liver tissue). We apply this method to analyze the FFA profile of plasma and liver samples from an obese mouse model treated with bezafibrate, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonist, and show a change in the FFA profile, particularly in the palmitoleic and oleic acid contents. This assay is useful for quantifying individual FFAs and helpful for monitoring the condition of lipid metabolism.
We investigated the effects of non-pungent pepper powder fermented by Bacillus licheniformis SK1230 on the fat accumulation in mice. Four weeks of feeding a high-fat diet with fermented pepper powder resulted in a significantly decreased hepatic total-lipid level and increased serum HDL-cholesterol, and tended to lower the fat weight. These results suggest that fermented pepper powder inhibited fat accumulation and improved lipid metabolism in mice fed the high-fat diet.
We investigated the effects of ajoene on intestinal IgA production. Ajoene (1.35, 4.5, and 13.5 µg/kg/d) was administered to mice for 4 weeks. The fecal IgA level in the 13.5 µg/kg/d group increased after 3 weeks. The intestinal IgA level also increased in a dose-dependent manner upon ajoene administration. An oil-macerated garlic extract, with 1500 µg/g of ajoene, enhanced the intestinal IgA production.
We have reported that a change from a lysine-deficient diet to a lysine-sufficient diet induced compensatory growth in rats and pigs. The aim of the present study was to determine whether compensatory growth of C2C12 myotubes occurs only by sufficiency of lysine or also by the synergic effect of sufficiency of lysine and modulation of the levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and glucocorticoid in a medium. The results provide the first evidence of compensatory growth of C2C12 myotubes induced by sufficiency of a single amino acid in combination with modulation of the levels of IGF-I and glucocorticoid.
Treatment with the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, anagliptin, or with the α-glucosidase inhibitor, miglitol, reduced the oral sucrose load-inducible expression of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, tumor necrosis factor-α, S100a8, S100a9, S100a11, IL-1R2, IL-1Rn and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 genes in peripheral leukocytes of Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats at the stage of impaired glucose tolerance. Inhibiting postprandial hyperglycemia reduced the expression of genes related to inflammation in peripheral leukocytes of OLETF rats.
Minced or cut-up leaves of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum Rottler) contain thiosulfinates and their disproportionate reaction products. Among these organosulfur compounds, methyl methanethiosulfinate was found to be an uncompetitive inhibitor of β-glucuronidase. Approximately 80% of the enzyme activity was inhibited by methyl methanethiosulfinate at 50 µM, the IC50 value being comparable to 3.6 µM.
A novel compound bioflocculant, CBF-256, was obtained using three bacterial strains, Bacillus sp., Enterobacter sp., and Aeromonas sp., which were screened from activated sludge of a printing and dyeing wastewater treatment plant. Response surface methodology was employed to optimize the fermentation medium dosage to improve the flocculation rate of CBF-256, which increased from 69.00% to 82.65%. In addition the yield of the compound bioflocculant increased from 2.31 g·L−1 to 2.84 g·L−1. The flocculating efficiency distribution of the components of the culture broth indicated that the supernatant was the most effective component in the flocculation process. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to analyze the fermentation medium and composite bacteria. The compound flocculants were produced easily, and during the flocculation process, all the flocculation ingredients settled down in the remaining sludge along with the bacteria screened from the activated sludge, without causing secondary pollution.
A sweet potato medium (SPM) was formed with extract from baked sweet potatoes supplemented with 0, 4, or 8 g/L of each nitrogen source (beef extract, yeast extract, and proteose peptone #3) to form SPM1, SPM2, and SPM3 respectively. Lactobacilli MRS was used as control medium. Ten Lactobacillus strains containing an average of 2.34 ± 0.29 log CFU/mL were inoculated individually into batches of MRS, SPM1, SPM2, and SPM3. The growth patterns for the tested Lactobacillus strains growing in SPM2 and SPM3 were found to be similar to that in MRS. The average final population after 24 h of incubation in MRS, SPM2, and SPM3 reached 10.41 ± 0.35, 10.59 ± 0.27, and 10.72 ± 0.19 log CFU/mL respectively. SPM2 and SPM3 maintained higher pH values throughout the incubation period than MRS. These findings indicate that SPM2 can be a suitable medium for the growth of Lactobacillus and can provide an alternative at low-cost.
Sake yeast strains maintain high fermentation rates, even after the stationary growth phase begins. To determine the molecular mechanisms underlying this advantageous brewing property, we compared the gene expression profiles of sake and laboratory yeast strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during the stationary growth phase. DNA microarray analysis revealed that the sake yeast strain examined had defects in expression of the genes related to glucose derepression mediated by transcription factors Adr1p and Cat8p. Furthermore, deletion of the ADR1 and CAT8 genes slightly but statistically significantly improved the fermentation rate of a laboratory yeast strain. We also identified two loss-of-function mutations in the ADR1 gene of existing sake yeast strains. Taken together, these results indicate that the gene expression program associated with glucose derepression for yeast acts as an impediment to effective alcoholic fermentation under glucose-rich fermentative conditions.
Transformation of Pleurotus ostreatus PC9 with the mutated heterotrimeric G protein alpha subunit (Gα) gene resulted in higher laccase (Lac) activity and intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) concentrations as compared to those in wild-type PC9. The transformant also exhibited higher Lac activity than the wild type when cultured in a medium containing known Lac inducers CuSO4 and ferulic acid.
Dietary supplementation with Lactobacillus gasseri NT significantly decreased visceral fat weight and triglyceride (TG) in the liver in KK-Ay mice on a high-fat diet, but increased fecal TG. A decrease in lipase activity and down regulation of fatty acid transport proteins in the small intestine was involved in fat accumulation by L. gasseri NT.
This report describes efficient plasmid uptake by the thermophile Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 by means of a ternary conjugation system, which was used to construct thermophile DNA libraries for G. kaustophilus and to identify the genes for orotidine-5'-phosphate decarboxylase by in vivo functional screening. The results indicate that the conjugation system is useful in constructing G. kaustophilus libraries, which are practical in identifying thermophile genes.
We have reported that a leguminous bacterial strain, Bradyrhizobium sp. strain 17-4, isolated from river sediment, phylogenetically very close to Bradyrhizobium elkanii, degraded methoxychlor through O-demethylation and oxidative dechlorination. In the present investigation, we found that B. elkanii (USDA94), a standard species deposited in the Culture Collection, degraded methoxychlor. Furthermore, Bradyrhizobium sp. strain 4-1, also very close to B. elkanii, isolated from Japanese paddy field soil, degraded methoxychlor. These B. elkanii and closely related strains degraded methoxychlor through almost identical metabolic pathways, and cleaved the phenyl ring and mineralized. In contrast, another representative Bradyrhizobium species, B. japonicum (USDA110), did not degrade methoxychlor at all. Based on these findings, B. elkanii and closely related strains are likely to play an important role not only in providing the readily biodegradable substrates but also in completely degrading (mineralizing) methoxychlor by themselves in the soil and surface water environment.