The first domestication of the dog occurred in East Asia, and major ancestor of the dog was a wolf subspecies, Canis lupus chanco. This finding derives from data on the nucleotide sequences of mtDNA and the frequency of genes controlling blood protein polymorphisms in various subspecies of wolves and dog breeds around the world. The results of the allele frequency distribution of genes controlling 16 blood protein polymorphisms, and the incidence of dogs possessing erythrocytes with high potassium (HK) in Japan, East Asia and Europe allowed us to posturate the following hypothesis about the origins of Japanese dogs and the history of their development. In the Jomon period the first dogs entered the Japanese archipelago from southern or northern continental Asia. These dogs eventually spread throughout Japan. Then, during the Yayoi and Kofun periods, other dogs were brought over via the Korean Peninsula, and crossbreeding occurred with the original dogs. The resulted offspring can be assumed to be the ancestors of most of the Japanese breeds that exist today. Ethological studies have revealed a significant breed difference in behavioral traits among canine breeds with Japanese dogs, showing more aggressive dispositions than most of European dogs.
Catecholamines [dopamine, noradrenaline (norepinephrine), and adrenaline (epinephrine); CAs] are neurotransmitters in the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as hormones in the endocrine system. CAs in the brain play a central role in versatile functions as slow-acting neurotransmitters functioning in synaptic neurotransmission, modulating the effects of fast-acting neurotransmitters such as glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In this review, I focus on recent advances in the biochemistry and molecular biology of the CA system in humans in health and disease, especially in neuropsychiatric diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), in relation to the biosynthesis of CAs regulated by a pteridine-dependent monooxygenase, tyrosine 3-monooxygenase (tyrosine hydroxylase, TH) and its pteridine cofactor, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4).
ATP is synthesized by F-type proton-translocating ATPases (F-ATPases) coupled with an electrochemical proton gradient established by an electron transfer chain. This mechanism is ubiquitously found in mitochondria, chloroplasts and bacteria. Vacuolar-type ATPases (V-ATPases) are found in endomembrane organelles, including lysosomes, endosomes, synaptic vesicles, etc., of animal and plant cells. These two physiologically different proton pumps exhibit similarities in subunit assembly, catalysis and the coupling mechanism from chemistry to proton transport through subunit rotation. We mostly discuss our own studies on the two proton pumps over the last three decades, including ones on purification, kinetic analysis, rotational catalysis and the diverse roles of acidic luminal organelles. The diversity of organellar proton pumps and their stochastic fluctuation are the important concepts derived recently from our studies.