We have developed a cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) technique that makes use of an extract prepared from the organs of the silkworm—an organism renowned in synthetic biology as a “protein manufacturing plant.” This extract, prepared from the posterior silk gland of silkworm larvae, has enabled us to develop a stable, high-yield, and exceedingly implementable CFPS pipeline: a silkworm CFPS system. By demonstrating its capability to efficiently produce a variety of disease-associated proteins, we have demonstrated the significant utility of this system in drug development research. In an effort to make our technology widely available to biological and pharmacological researchers, we have partnered with Ozeki Corporation to launch a venture corporation that leverages our silkworm CFPS system to provide contract-based protein production solutions.
The diagnosis of food allergy requires both definitive symptom evoked episodes and the detection of the specific IgE. In addition, knowledge of the allergen components of each causative food is essential for the interpretation of specific IgE. In peanut allergy, Ara h 2, one of the 2S albumins, is the allergen component with the highest diagnostic accuracy. Though peanut allergens contain the similar types of protein families as other tree nuts allergens, the amino acid sequence homology between them are relatively low, so the clinical cross reactivity is not frequent. On the other hand, cross-reactive carbohydrate determinant which is a glycoprotein with high structural similarity seen in many plants sometimes cause the detection of clinically inactive IgE antibodies. This review gives an overview on the characteristics of peanut allergy and the interpretation of the allergen components.
Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) is a plant pathogenic virus that often causes a serious damage to rice production in Africa. In this study, we developed detection systems of RYMV DNA or RNA using each of PCR, recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), and an RNA-specific amplification. The sensitivities were in the range of several copies of the target DNA for PCR and RPA and dozens copies of the target RNA for RNA-specific amplification. The cycle numbers or reaction times required for amplification from 109 copies of the target DNA or RNA were 15 cycles (27 min) for the PCR-based system and 5 min for RPA- or RNA-specific amplification-based systems. These results suggested that isothermal RPA and RNA-specific amplification-based detection systems of RYMV will be more suitable for quick detection of RYMV-infected rice plants than the PCR-based one.
We studied the anti-dyslipidemic effects of Petasites japonicus subsp. giganteus (PJG) in vitro and
in vivo. A water extract from the leaves of PJG (PJGL-WE) markedly inhibited lipoprotein production
from Caco-2 human colonic carcinoma cells differentiated into intestinal epithelium-like cells
and from HepG2 human hepatoma cells. We examined the effects of PJGL-WE on the expression of
lipogenic enzymes in both cells at the mRNA level. As a result, PJGL-WE suppressed gene expression
involved in transacylation, such as monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2; however, it did not affect enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis. PJGL-WE also attenuated the expression of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein and apolipoprotein B100, elements required for lipoprotein synthesis. Furthermore, we studied the actions of PJGL-WE on adipose tissue accumulation, intrahepatic lipid content, and plasma parameters in vivo. PJGL-WE suppressed mesenteric adipose tissue accumulation and normalized intrahepatic triglyceride content and plasma triglyceride levels in mice fed a high-fat diet. These findings suggested that PJGL-WE attenuated the expression of genes required for lipid and lipoprotein synthesis, thereby suppressing lipid absorption from the small intestine and participating in the improvement of fatty liver and normalization of plasma triglyceride levels.
Effect of alkali metal ions on the orientation of cortical MTs (microtubules) was investigated using Spirogyra cells. With GdCl3, inhibitor of mechanosensing receptor, alkali metal ion affected the orientation of cortical MTs in a characteristic manner. Na+ and Rb+ induced the ratio of cells having transverse MTs to increase, whereas K+ and Cs+ had almost no effects. Na+ and Rb+ had the same effect, while K+ and Cs+ had a different effect, that was already reported in the movement of water molecules treated with far infrared radiating ceramic and is the first report in living things. In addition, other interesting phenomena of MT orientation related to trehalose is reported.