For a long time, many types of vaccines have been useful for the prophylaxis of many infectious diseases. Thus far, many adjuvants that enhance the effects of vaccines have been explored. However, very few adjuvants are being used for humans worldwide. In this study, we investigated the adjuvant activity of various substances, and found citrulline to have high potential as an adjuvant. Citrulline is a type of amino acid present in the body of many organisms. A number of biological activities of citrulline have been reported; however, no adjuvant activity has been reported thus far. Aluminum salts, which are commonly used as adjuvants are not water soluble; therefore, some difficulties are encountered while using them as vaccine adjuvants. Citrulline is easy to use because of its water solubility. In this study, we showed for the first time the adjuvant activity of citrulline by using viral antigens and amyloid β peptide. Water-soluble citrulline, which is present in our body, is a potential adjuvant candidate.
Can f 1 belongs to the lipocalin superfamily and is considered to be an animal allergen. The immune response induced by Can f 1 in mice was compared with that induced by ovalbumin (OVA), a typical food allergen. Female BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice (6 weeks of age) were subcutaneously injected with Can f 1 or OVA with or without aluminum hydroxide (Alum) three times with intervals of two weeks. Serum levels of total IgE or antigen-specific IgE and production of IL13 and IFNγ from splenocytes were analyzed. Immunization with Can f 1 or OVA increased serum levels of both total IgE and antigen-specific IgE significantly irrespective of Alum. These results indicate that Can f 1 and OVA were able to induce allergic sensitization in mice. Splenocyte production of IL13 in mice immunized with Can f 1 or OVA with and without Alum were significantly increased after stimulation with each antigen. However, IL13 levels in the mice immunized with Can f 1 with Alum were significantly lower than those immunized without Alum. Increases in IFNγ levels after stimulation with Can f 1 or OVA were not remarkable. No influence of genetic backgrounds of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice was found. Although Can f 1 induced Th2 type immune responses as was also the case for immunization with OVA, an inhibitory effect of Alum on induction of IL13 was observed only in mice immunized with Can f 1. These results suggest that the immune mechanism for allergic sensitization with Can f 1 is different from that with OVA.
This study aimed to clarify relationships among UDP-glucose-6 dehydrogenase (UGDH) expression, clinicopathological factors, and the prognosis of patients, and to determine the role of UGDH in lung adenocarcinoma (AC). Firstly, UGDH expression and localization in 126 lung AC tissues were immunohistochemically studied, and associations with clinicopathological parameters and patients’ prognosis were evaluated. Secondly, serum UGDH levels were measured in 267 lung cancer patients and 100 healthy controls. Finally, the effects of UGDH knockdown by siRNA on migration and invasion abilities were analyzed. As a result, nuclear UGDH staining was significantly correlated with poorer differentiation, a larger tumor size, higher p-TNM stage, positive nodal metastasis, positive lymphatic invasion, and positive vascular invasion in lung AC patients. Nuclear UGDH-positive patients showed significantly poorer survival than nuclear UGDH-negative patients. Serum UGDH levels were especially higher in lung AC patients even in stage I than those in healthy controls. In lung AC cell lines, nuclear expression levels of UGDH were higher in LC-2/ad cells than in A549 cells. UGDH siRNA-treated LC-2/ad cells showed significantly decreased migration and invasion abilities, but no significant differences were observed in UGDH siRNA-treated A549 cells. These data indicate that UGDH expression and localization are an early sero-diagnostic marker in addition to a poor prognostic indicator in lung AC patients.
One of the most severe complications of lung resection is postoperative pneumonia, and its prevention and prediction are critical. Exhaled acetone and isoprene are thought to be related to metabolism; however, little is known on their relationship with bacteria living in the oral cavity or their meaning in the acute phase in perioperative lung cancer patients. We measured acetone and isoprene in exhaled breath of 13 Japanese patients with lung cancer (3 women and 10 men, age range 62–82 years, mean 72.4 years) before breakfast during hospitalization, and compared with two acute-phase proteins, C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin in blood serum, as well as the total number of bacteria in saliva and their activity to produce acetone and isoprene. Before operation, intensive oral care was carried out for each patient to prevent postoperative pneumonia, and swallowing and cough reflexes were measured for 12 of 13 patients to assess risk of postoperative pneumonia. Breath and saliva were sampled before intensive oral care (T1), after oral care but before operation (T2), and after operation (T3) during hospitalization. The total number of oral bacteria in saliva decreased significantly from T1 to T2 among 13 patients. No acetone or isoprene was detected from saliva after in vitro incubation under anaerobic or aerobic conditions, but both acetone and isoprene were detected in breath. After operation, breath acetone correlated significantly with CRP (Spearman’s ρ = 0.559, P = 0.03), but not with albumin. Breath isoprene correlated significantly with albumin (Spearman’s ρ = 0.659, P = 0.008), but not with CRP after operation. Although the number of subjects was small, our results support the hypothesis that breath acetone and isoprene may be related with these acute-phase proteins, which reflect inflammatory reactions and subsequent changes in metabolism in the early postoperative phase of lung resection.
The tumor suppressor gene TP53 (gene) codes for a transcription factor which transactivates its target genes responsible for cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis, and senescence. TP53 is well known to be the most frequent target of genetic mutations in nearly half of human cancers including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Many p53 mutants including R248Q and R248W not only lose its tumor-suppressor activities, but also interfere with the functions of wild-type p53; this is so-called dominant-negative (DN) mutation. The DN p53 mutation is a predictor of poor outcome in patients with various cancers, and also a risk factor for metastatic recurrence in patients with OSCC. Recently it has been reported that DN p53 mutants acquire new oncogenic activities, which is named gain-of-function (GOF). This study aimed at determining whether R248Q and R248W were involved in OSCC cells’ acquiring aggressive phenotypes, using SAS, HSC4 and Ca9-22 cell lines. First, two mutants p53, R248Q and R248W, were respectively transfected into SAS cells harboring recessive-type p53 (E336X). As a result, SAS cells expressing R248Q showed highly spreading, motile and invasive activities compared to parent or mock-transfected cells whereas those expressing R248W did not increase those activities. Secondly, in HSC4 cells harboring R248Q and Ca9-22 cells harboring R248W, expressions of the mutants p53 were inhibited by the transfection with siRNAs targeting p53. The inhibition of the mutants p53 decreased spreading, motile and invasive activities of HSC4 cells whereas it did not affect those activities of Ca9-22 cells. These findings suggest that R248Q p53 mutation, but not R248W p53 mutation, induces more motile and invasive potentials in human OSCC cells.
Oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation are two hallmarks of apoptosis. However, their generation mechanisms are not entirely understood. Histone H1, a positively charged nuclear protein located in the linker region of chromatin, is involved in higher-order chromatin structures and tight chromatin packing. On the basis of the physical and biochemical characteristics of histone H1, we hypothesized that histone H1 plays a role in determining the efficiencies of apoptotic DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation. Therefore, we examined histone H1 quantity in five human leukemia cell lines and compared the efficiencies. The cell lines were categorized into two groups according to their origins: (i) Ramos and Molt-4 cells of lymphoid origin and (ii) U937, ML-1, and HL60 cells of myeloid origin. Compared to the lymphoid-origin group, the myeloid-origin group had lower levels of histone H1 but more open chromatin. Furthermore, the myeloid-origin group showed marked DNA fragmentation but less chromatin condensation during apoptosis. These results suggested that histone H1 determined chromatin structure and that its quantity affected the efficiencies of DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation in apoptosis.