This paper summarizes our study on microwave and millimeter-wave propagation in rain with special emphasis on the effects of polarization. Starting from a recount of our past findings, we will discuss developments with these and how they are connected with subsequent research.
Pancreatic β-cells play a central role in the maintenance glucose homeostasis by secreting insulin, a key hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Dysfunction of the β-cells and/or a decrease in the β-cell mass are associated closely with the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, a major metabolic disease that is rapidly increasing worldwide. Clarification of the mechanisms of insulin secretion and β-cell fate provides a basis for the understanding of diabetes and its better treatment. In this review, we discuss cell signaling critical for the insulin secretory function based on our recent studies.
This review describes the results of the author’s studies on glycoproteins which have been carried out for more than 50 years. Starting from the elucidation of basic structures of glycoproteins, i.e. the structure of the linkage between an amino acid and a sugar and the occurrence of the β-mannosidic linkage as the common structure of glycoproteins, the author became interested in the cell membrane glycoproteins focused on the comparison of cancer cells versus normal cells. These studies were then extended to the establishment of sugar-directed and cancer-associated monoclonal antibodies. Some of the monoclonal antibodies are useful for cancer diagnosis.
It has been more than 25 years since HGF was discovered as a mitogen of hepatocytes. HGF is produced by stromal cells, and stimulates epithelial cell proliferation, motility, morphogenesis and angiogenesis in various organs via tyrosine phosphorylation of its receptor, c-Met. In fetal stages, HGF-neutralization, or c-Met gene destruction, leads to hypoplasia of many organs, indicating that HGF signals are essential for organ development. Endogenous HGF is required for self-repair of injured livers, kidneys, lungs and so on. In addition, HGF exerts protective effects on epithelial and non-epithelial organs (including the heart and brain) via anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory signals. During organ diseases, plasma HGF levels significantly increased, while anti-HGF antibody infusion accelerated tissue destruction in rodents. Thus, endogenous HGF is required for minimization of diseases, while insufficient production of HGF leads to organ failure. This is the reason why HGF supplementation produces therapeutic outcomes under pathological conditions. Moreover, emerging studies delineated key roles of HGF during tumor metastasis, while HGF-antagonism leads to anti-tumor outcomes. Taken together, HGF-based molecules, including HGF-variants, HGF-fragments and c-Met-binders are available as regenerative or anti-tumor drugs. Molecular analysis of the HGF-c-Met system could provide bridges between basic biology and clinical medicine.
Semaphorins were originally identified as axon guidance cues involved in the development of the nervous system. In recent years, it is emerging that they also participate in various biological systems, including physiological and pathological processes. In this review, we primarily focus on our cumulative findings for the role of semaphorins and their receptors in the regulation of the immune system, while also summarizing recent progress in the context of cardiovascular system.
Nectins have recently been identified as new cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) consisting of four members. They show immunoglobulin-like structures and exclusively localize at adherens junctions (AJs) between two neighboring cells. During the formation of cell–cell junctions, nectins function in cooperation with or independently of cadherins, major CAMs at AJs. Similar to cadherins, which are linked to the actin cytoskeleton by binding to catenins, nectins also bind to afadin through their C-terminal region and are linked to the actin cytoskeleton. In addition to nectins, there are nectin-like molecules (Necls), which resemble nectins in their structures and consist of five members. Nectins and Necls are involved in the formation of various kinds of cell–cell adhesion, and also play key roles in diverse cellular functions including cell movement, proliferation, survival, and differentiation. Thus, nectins and Necls are crucial for physiology and pathology of multicellular organisms.
Mammals face drastic environmental changes at birth. Appropriate adjustments of various systems must take place rapidly to accommodate this once in a life time event. The brain undergoes significant adjustments as well, the most obvious of which is in its need to meet the drastic increase in energy consumption at the neuronal cell membrane due to the explosive increase in neural activities after birth. Actual changes were found to be taken place in two systems, namely, acid base balance control and cytosolic energy transport. The adjustments are accomplished by converting cytosol microenvironment from a taurine rich fetal type environment to an N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) rich adult type environment during the post-natal period. High concentrations of taurine are necessary to provide effective buffering in the fetal brain, because the fetus cannot utilize the adult type of pCO2 dependent acid–base balance control system, namely respiration driven pCO2 changes. To accommodate the significantly higher demand of energy consumption at the membrane due to the increased neuronal activities, taurine has to be replaced by NAA, since the latter facilitates HEP transport from mitochondria to the membrane by passive diffusion.