Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) are suitable for long-term imaging studies. In this study, we employed a highly sensitive GECI, G-GECO, and achieved efficient gene delivery with an adenoviral vector. The adenoviral vector allowed us to express G-GECO in more than 80% of cells. More than 80% of G-GECO-expressing cells showed an ATP-induced increase in fluorescence intensity due to Ca2+ release from intracellular stores and subsequent Ca2+ entry. The fluorescence intensity of these cells was increased more than 2-fold by stimulation with 10 μM ATP. We applied long-term imaging (for ~10 h) to monitor Ca2+ responses in SF2, a rat dental epithelial cell line, in culture conditions. SF2 cells showed intermittent rises in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in the presence of 100 nM 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Many of these Ca2+ responses began at a specific location in the cytoplasm and spread throughout the entire cytoplasm. The combination of efficient gene delivery with an adenoviral vector and long-term imaging with a highly sensitive GECI enabled detection of intermittent Ca2+ responses that occur only 3–10 times/h/100 cells. This method could be useful to study the effects of Ca2+ responses for regulating longterm processes, such as gene expression, cell migration, and cell division, in many cell types.
Cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) is a broadly expressed transmembrane protein that has multiple ligands, including oxidized low-density lipoproteins. We found recently that CD36 is expressed in olfactory sensory neurons and postulated that it plays a role in the detection of distinct odorants in the nasal cavity. To date, however, there have been few examples of attempts to identify CD36-recognizable odorants. In this study, by an in vitro assay using a peptide mimic of the receptor, we provided evidence that CD36 recognizes (Z,Z)-4,7-tridecadienal, an odor-active volatile compound that is known to occur in Katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna commonly used in Japanese cuisine as a seasoning) and in the preorbital secretion of male oribi. In addition, by comparing the data with those of its related compounds, we provided information on the structural requirements of (Z,Z)-4,7-tridecadienal for recognition by CD36. For instance, we showed that flexible rotation around the C2–C3 bond of the volatile may be of importance in gaining access to CD36. Identification of (Z,Z)-4,7-tridecadienal as the ligand prompts us to hypothesize that CD36 could participate in the control of distinct mammalian behaviors (e.g., food selection) through its ability to recognize specific odorants in the environment.
Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating peptide hormone with an octanoyl modification at serine 3 that is essential for its orexigenic effect. Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is the enzyme that catalyzes ghrelin acylation using fatty acyl-coenzyme A as a substrate. We previously developed an assay system based on the AGS-GHRL8 cell line that produces octanoylated ghrelin in the presence of octanoic acid, and demonstrated that some fatty acids suppressed octanoylated ghrelin production. Recent studies have reported that triterpenes have anti-obesity effect. Since such triterpenes, like fatty acids, have a carboxyl group, we speculated that they can suppress octanoylated ghrelin production. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of triterpenes on octanoylated ghrelin production. Asiatic acid, corosolic acid, glycyrrhetinic acid, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid suppressed octanoylated ghrelin levels in AGS-GHRL8 cells without decreasing transcript expression of GOAT or furin, a protease required for ghrelin maturation. β-amyrin had no effect on octanoylated ghrelin level, which was only slightly inhibited by uvaol; the fact that both these triterpenes lack a carboxyl group indicates that this group is important for suppressing octanoylated ghrelin production. These results suggest that triterpenes may have the potential as obesity-preventing agents with suppressive effect on octanoylated ghrelin production.
GP2, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is a useful marker for M cells of Peyer’s patches, is functionally related to the uptake of pathogenic bacteria in the gut lumen. Our immunostaining throughout the whole body of mice detected a broader localization than previously found of GP2 in various mucous glands and secretory cells. In the oral cavity, the palatine gland and lingual gland intensely expressed GP2 with immunolabeling along the basolateral membrane of acini and in luminal secretions of ducts. Secretory portions of the duodenal gland as well as the pancreas were immunoreactive for GP2 in the digestive tract. Luminal contents in the small intestine contained aggregations of GP2-immunoreactive substances which mixed with bacteria. The bulbourethral gland of Cowper displayed the GP2 immunoreactivity among the male reproductive organs. The vaginal epithelium contained many GP2-immunoreactive goblet-like cells, the occurrence of which dramatically changed according to the estrous cycle. These findings show that GP2 is a popular secretory product released from mucous glands and secretory cells and may support defense mechanisms against pathogenic bacteria in the tubular organs open to the external milieu.
Identification of causal genomic alterations is an indispensable step in the implementation of personalized cancer medicine. Analytical methods play a central role in identifying such changes because of the vast amount of data produced by next generation sequencer. Most analytical techniques are designed for the Illumina platform and are therefore suboptimal for analyzing datasets generated by whole exome sequencing (WES) using the Ion Proton System. Accurate identification of somatic mutations requires the characterization of platform-dependent error profiles and genomic properties that affect the accuracy of sequence data as well as platform-oriented optimization of the pipeline. Therefore, we used the Ion Proton System to perform WES of DNAs isolated from tumor and matched control tissues of 1,058 patients with cancer who were treated at the Shizuoka Cancer Center Hospital. Among the initially identified candidate somatic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), 10,279 were validated by manual inspection of the WES data followed by Sanger sequencing. These validated SNVs were used as an objective standard to determine an optimum cutoff value to improve the pipeline. Using this optimized pipeline analysis, 189,381 SNVs were identified in 1,101 samples. The analytical technique presented here is a useful resource for conducting clinical WES, particularly using semiconductor-based sequencing technology.
The use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques to analyze the genomes of cancer cells has identified numerous genomic alterations, including single-base substitutions, small insertions and deletions, amplification, recombination, and epigenetic modifications. NGS contributes to the clinical management of patients as well as new discoveries that identify the mechanisms of tumorigenesis. Moreover, analysis of gene panels targeting actionable mutations enhances efforts to optimize the selection of chemotherapeutic regimens. However, whole genome sequencing takes several days and costs at least $10,000, depending on sequence coverage. Therefore, laboratories with relatively limited resources must employ a more economical approach. For this purpose, we conducted an integrated nucleotide sequence analysis of a panel of 409-cancer related genes (409-CRG) combined with whole exome sequencing (WES). Analysis of the 409-CRG panel detected low-frequency variants with high sensitivity, and WES identified moderate and high frequency somatic variants as well as germline variants.
The mechanism of peripheral blood circulation failure by low temperatures, known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, is not well understood at present. We examined the possibility that the efferent fibers of peripheral sympathetic neurons may release transmitters directly by cold sensation. PC12 cells, a culture model of sympathetic neurons, were placed at 25°C for 30 min, fixed with the tannic acid-glutaraldehyde-osmium method and observed by electron microscopy. The number of omega-shaped exocytotic vesicle figures increased significantly compared with that in the control (37°C), although it was lower than that of the positive control (high potassium stimulation at 25°C and 37°C). As it is known that PC12 cells and sympathetic neurons do not express the typical cold sensing channels (TRPA1 and TRPM8), our results suggest that the peripheral sympathetic neurons may have an unknown cold monitoring system which reacts to low temperatures, release transmitters by exocytosis and directly regulate local blood circulation.