A sensitive fluorescent labeling reagent, 4-(5,6-dimethoxy-2-phthalimidinyl)-2-methoxyphenylsulfonyl chloride (DMS-Cl), for the determination of amino compounds in HPLC was developed. DMS-Cl reacted with amino compounds in the basic medium to produce the corresponding fluorescent sulfonamides (excition 318 nm, emission 406 nm in aqueous acetonitrile). When amino acids were analyzed using reverse-phase HPLC, the detection limits (signal-to-noise ratio = 3) of almost all amino acids labeled with DMS-Cl were less than 5 fmol/injection. DMS-Cl was utilized for highly sensitive determination of amino compounds in biological samples and HPLC methods for determination of prolyl dipeptides, Pro and Hyp, in serum and urine, pipecolic acid in serum, taurine in plasma, and free and N-acetylated polyamine in urine were established. As these proposed methods are highly sensitive and reproducible and require only a small amount of biological sample, they may be useful for clinical and biochemical research.
Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin and amikacin, are a class of clinically important antibiotics used worldwide in the treatment of infections caused by Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity are serious problems in the use of aminoglycosides and are the major dose-limiting side effects. Most of the intravenously administered dose is excreted into the urine, whereas some of the aminoglycoside injected (about 10% of the dose) is selectively accumulated in the renal cortex, leading to renal injury. Aminoglycosides are taken up into the epithelial cells of the renal proximal tubules by an endocytic pathway. Acidic phospholipids, broadly distributed in the plasma membranes in various tissues, were considered to be the binding site of aminoglycosides. Recently, megalin, a giant endocytic receptor abundantly expressed in renal proximal tubules, has been reported to bind aminoglycosides. Therefore we first examined whether megalin plays an important role in the renal accumulation of aminoglycosides under in vivo and in vitro conditions. We then attempted to develop new strategies for preventing the nephrotoxicity of aminoglycosides based on the molecular mechanisms of aminoglycoside accumulation in the kidney. This review summarizes our recent findings ol the role of megalin in the renal accumulation of aminoglycosides and our approach to develop nonnephrotoxic aminoglycoside therapy.
Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is one of the most abundant protein kinases in the mammalian brain, especially in the hippocampus. Neuronal CaMKII is a multifunctional mediator of activity dependent on an increase in the Ca2+ level in excitable cells. It plays an important role in synaptic plasticity, including learning and memory, and is recognized as a “memory molecule.” The expression of the kinase increases most rapidly during the most active phase in the formation of synapses in the postnatal brain and remains at a high level after synaptic maturation, indicating that the kinase is carefully regulated in the space-temporal gene expression. It is accumulated in the postsynaptic density (PSD), which is central in synaptic transmission. This review presents the gene expression and alternative splicing of CaMKII during neural differentiation, molecular constituents of PSD, and regulation of CaMKII by activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) mainly developed in our study.
The nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), a key transcription factor for the expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B genes, resides in the cytoplasm under untreated conditions and translocates into the nucleus upon xenobiotic exposure. CAR forms a multiprotein complex including heat shock protein 90 in the cytoplasm as the glucocorticoid receptor, and it is likely that protein phosphatase 2A plays a critical role in the first step of CAR nuclear translocation. In addition to the xenobiotic induction of CYP2Bs, our recent studies have indicated that CAR is important for sex and strain differences and obesity/diabetes-associated changes in the expression of CYP2B genes. These results have raised the hypothesis that the expression of nuclear receptors varies depending on the physiologic condition, leading to the dysregulation of CYP expression. In obese mice fed a high-fat diet, however, hepatic CYP3A levels are drastically decreased without any significant changes in the expression of nuclear receptors including the pregnane X receptor and hepatocyte nuclear factor-4, which are known to be key transcription factors in the expression of CYP3A genes. These results indicate that it is important to investigate the mechanism of the transcriptional regulation of nuclear receptor genes as well as the activation of nuclear receptors to understand the CYP expression system fully.
Brand name confusion is one of the most common causes of drug-related errors. The aim of this study was to develop quantitative measures of similarity among brand names of drugs. We modified the fragmentary pattern-based measure, a measure of similarity for character strings based on the string resemblance system, to develop three novel measures of similarity, i.e., the head and tail-weighted fragmentary pattern-based measure (htfrag), visually weighted htfrag (vwhtfrag), and auditorily weighted htfrag (awhtfrag). The 227 pairs of brand names for which confusion errors have been reported were used as a positive control group. Ten sets of 2270 random pairs of brand names were generated as negative controls. Then we evaluated the measures developed by using the geometric mean of sensitivity and selectivity as an objective function, in comparison with two conventional measures of similarity based on the vector space model (cos1 and htco). The measures developed, htfrag, vwhtfrag, and awhtfrag, provided better discrimination with mean objective function values of 0.953, 0.962, and 0.940, respectively, which were higher than those for the conventional measures cos1 and htco (0.922 and 0.892, respectively). The rates of false-positives and false-negatives were 3.3—10.7% and 5.3—11.9% for cos1, respectively, while the rates for vwhtfrag were 4.8—5.9% and 2.2%, respectively. The measures of similarity developed may provide significant information to avoid drug-related errors associated with brand name confusion.
This study aimed to develop a new processing method for the effective use of rice shochu distillation remnants. We examined the inhibitory effects on the growth of human lung carcinoma cells in the medium of rice shochu distillation remnants with various fungi. Interestingly, high inhibitory effects on the growth of human lung carcinoma cells in the medium of rice shochu distillation remnants with Aspergillus oryzae were obtained, although no inhibitory effect was observed in the case of synthetic medium. We therefore fractionated the medium of rice shochu distillation remnants with A. oryzae using anion-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography. Furthermore, we attempted to determine the chemical structure of compounds that showed high inhibitory effects on the growth of tumor cells. The chemical structure of 1-hydroxy-6-(1-methylpropyl)-3-(2-methylproryl)-2(1H)-pyrazinone was revealed on the basis of liquid and gas mass spectroscopies. This compound should be completely safe based on toxic test results using model mice.
The effects of polysaccharide extracted from Lycium barbarum (LBP) on blood glucose, oxidative stress and DNA damage in rats with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) were studied. The results show that LBP treatment (10 mg/kg·d) for 4 weeks led to decreased levels of blood glucose, malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) in serum of fasting rats; and to increased serum level of superoxidedismutase (SOD). Furthermore, LBP could reduce cellular DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes of NIDDM rats. The DNA damage was determined by using the single cell gel (comet) assay with alkaline electrophoresis and was quantified by measuring tail length and tail moment. These results suggest that LBP can control blood glucose and modulate the metabolism of glucose, leading to significant improvement of oxidative stress markers (SOD, MDA) in rats with NIDDM. And that, LBP decreases DNA damage possibly via a decrease in oxidative stress levels. In conclusion, LBP as a dietary supplement may prevent the development of complications or even tendency to carcinogenesis in NIDDM rats.
Problems associated with outpatient pharmacotherapy may require hospitalization. However, such hospitalization may be prevented if pharmacist's pharmaceutical care (PC) is given. We investigated the reasons for hospitalization in medical institutions and medical expenses were calculated. Inpatient diagnoses, treatment, etc. in the previous year in the past were examined, and cases of hospitalization due to drug therapy were extracted. Next, the possibility of preventing hospitalization with PC practice was examined. Among 1552 cases, outpatient pharmacotherapy was the reason for hospitalization in 27 cases. Noncompliance was the underlying cause in about 40% of hospitalizations. It was thought that in 22 cases hospitalization could have been prevented by pharmacist's PC. The average hospitalization medical expense was ¥295,805 per patient. It is necessary to perform regular consultation recommendations, interventions with the family, home care, etc. for proactive PC.