Serum albumin is regarded as an important and indispensable protein, but analbuminemic rats established by Sumi Nagase in 1977 seems to exhibit few symptoms in spite of an almost total lack of albumin in the serum. The albumin gene of analbuminemic rats was found to have a seven-base-pair deletion in an intron, close to exon-intron junction, resulting in the formation of non-functional mRNA in hepatocytes. Immunostaining for albumin was negative in young analbuminemic rat hepatocytes, but a significant number of immunoreactive hepatocytes were observed in aged rats. The incidence of immunoreactive hepatocytes increased with aging. Surprisingly, many immunoreactive hepatocytes were observed after hepatocarcinogen treatment sometimes in large clusters. Albumin transcripts in analbuminemic rat liver after treatment with carcinogen, showed an altered pattern of exon-skipping. The altered albumin molecules thus synthesized accumulated in cellular organelles. Analbuminemic rats exhibited a high sensitivity in various organs to different types of carcinogens. Further challenges remain regarding the biology of analbuminemic rats.
A hemocyte lysate from horseshoe crab (Limulus) produced a gel, when exposed to Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins, lipopolysaccharides (LPS). This gelation reaction of the lysate, so-called Limulus test, has been widely employed as a simple and very sensitive assay method for endotoxins. Recent biochemical studies on the principle of Limulus test indicate that the hemocytes contain several serine protease zymogens, which constitute a coagulation cascade triggered by endotoxins, and that there is a (1,3)-β-D-glucan-mediated coagulation pathway which also results in the formation of gel. Up to now, six protein components, designated coagulogen, proclotting enzyme, factor B, factor C, and factor G, all of which are closely associated with the endotoxin-mediated coagulation pathway, have been purified and biochemically characterized. The molecular structures of these proteins have also been elucidated. Moreover, the reconstitution experiments using the isolated clotting factors, factor C, factor B, proclotting enzyme and coagulogen in the presence of endotoxin, leads to the formation of coagulin gel. Here, I will focus on the biochemical principle of Limulus test for detecting bacterial endotoxins, and its activation and regulation mechanism on the LPS-mediated coagulation cascade.
A marked difference in spin relaxation behavior due to hemoglobin magnetism was found for positive muons (μ+) in deoxyhemoglobin in comparison with that observed in oxyhemoglobin in aqueous solution at room temperature under zero and external longitudinal magnetic fields upto 0.4 Tesla. At the same time, small but significant unique relaxation pattern was observed in nonmagnetic oxyhemoglobin. Combined with our previous measurements on hemoglobin in human blood, application of this type of measurement to the studies of the level of oxygenation in various regions of the human brain is suggested.