Japan Science and Technology Corporation

Saitama, Japan

Japan Science and Technology Corporation

Saitama, Japan
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Watanabe M.,Hamamatsu University School of Medicine | Fukuda A.,Hamamatsu University School of Medicine | Nabekura J.,National Institute for Physiological science | Nabekura J.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation
Frontiers in Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons form the final common pathway for the central regulation of reproduction. Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) has long been implicated as one of the major players in the regulation of GnRH neurons. Although GABA is typically an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature adult central nervous system, most mature GnRH neurons show the unusual characteristic of being excited by GABA. While many reports have provided much insight into the contribution of GABA to the activity of GnRH neurons, the precise physiological role of the excitatory action of GABA on GnRH neurons remains elusive. This brief review presents the current knowledge of the role of GABA signaling in GnRH neuronal activity. We also discuss the modulation of GABA signaling by neurotransmitters and neuromodulators and the functional consequence of GABAergic inputs to GnRH neurons in both the physiology and pathology of reproduction. © 2014 Watanabe, Fukuda and Nabekura.


Segawa K.,Kyoto University | Suzuki J.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2011

Apoptotic cells are quickly recognized and engulfed by phagocytes to prevent the release of noxious materials from dying cells. Phosphatidylserine (PS) exposed on the surface of apoptotic cells is a proposed "eat-me" signal for the phagocytes. Transmembrane protein 16F (TMEM16F), a membrane protein with eight transmembrane segments, has the Ca-dependent phospholipid scramblase activity. Here we show that when lymphoma cells were transformed with a constitutively active form of TMEM16F, they exposed a high level of PS that was comparable to that observed on apoptotic cells. The PS-exposing cells were morphologically normal and grew normally. They efficiently responded to interleukin 3 and underwent apoptosis upon treatment with Fas ligand. The viable PS-exposing cells bound to peritoneal macrophages at 4 °C, but not at 25 °C. Accordingly, these cells were not engulfed by macrophages. When apoptotic cells were injected i.v. into mice, they were phagocytosed by CD11c +CD8 + dendritic cells (DCs) in the spleen, but the PS-exposing living cells were not phagocytosed by these DCs. Furthermore, when PS-exposing lymphoma cells were transplanted s.c. into nude mice, they generated tumors as efficiently as parental lymphoma cells that did not expose PS. These results indicated that PS exposure alone is not sufficient to be recognized by macrophages as an eat-me signal.


Suzuki J.,Kyoto University | Denning D.P.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Imanishi E.,Kyoto University | Horvitz H.R.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 2 more authors.
Science | Year: 2013

A classic feature of apoptotic cells is the cell-surface exposure of phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) as an "eat me" signal for engulfment. We show that the Xk-family protein Xkr8 mediates PtdSer exposure in response to apoptotic stimuli. Mouse Xkr8-/- cells or human cancer cells in which Xkr8 expression was repressed by hypermethylation failed to expose PtdSer during apoptosis and were inefficiently engulfed by phagocytes. Xkr8 was activated directly by caspases and required a caspase-3 cleavage site for its function. CED-8, the only Caenorhabditis elegans Xk-family homolog, also promoted apoptotic PtdSer exposure and cell-corpse engulfment. Thus, Xk-family proteins have evolutionarily conserved roles in promoting the phagocytosis of dying cells by altering the phospholipid distribution in the plasma membrane.


Komatsu M.,Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science | Komatsu M.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation | Ichimura Y.,Juntendo University
FEBS Letters | Year: 2010

Autophagy is a highly conserved bulk protein degradation pathway responsible for the turnover of long-lived proteins, disposal of damaged organelles, and clearance of aggregate-prone proteins. Thus, inactivation of autophagy results in cytoplasmic protein inclusions, which are composed of misfolded proteins and excess accumulation of deformed organelles, leading to liver injury, diabetes, myopathy, and neurodegeneration. Although autophagy has been considered non-selective, growing lines of evidence indicate the selectivity of autophagy in sorting vacuolar enzymes and in the removal of aggregate-prone proteins, unwanted organelles and microbes. Such selectivity by autophagy enables diverse cellular regulations, similar to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In this review, we introduce the selective turnover of the ubiquitin- and LC3-binding protein 'p62' through autophagy and discuss its physiological significance. © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


Toda S.,Kyoto University | Hanayama R.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2012

Apoptotic cells expose phosphatidylserine on their surface as an "eat me" signal, and macrophages respond by engulfing them. Although several molecules that specifically bind phosphatidylserine have been identified, the molecular mechanism that triggers engulfment remains elusive. Here, using a mouse pro-B cell line, Ba/F3, that grows in suspension, we reconstituted the engulfment of apoptotic cells. The parental Ba/F3 cells did not engulf apoptotic cells. Ba/F3 transformants expressing T cell immunoglobulin- and mucin-domain-containing molecule 4 (Tim4), a type I membrane protein that specifically binds phosphatidylserine, efficiently bound apoptotic cells in a phosphatidylserine-dependent manner but did not engulf them. However, Ba/F3 transformants expressing both Tim4 and the integrin α vβ 3 complex bound to and engulfed apoptotic cells in the presence of milk fat globule epidermal growth factor factor VIII (MFG-E8), a secreted protein that can bind phosphatidylserine and integrin α vβ 3. These results indicate that the engulfment of apoptotic cells proceeds in two steps: Tim4 tethers apoptotic cells, and the integrin α vβ 3 complex mediates engulfment in coordination with MFG-E8. A similar two-step engulfment of apoptotic cells was observed with mouse resident peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, the Tim4/integrin-mediated engulfment by the Ba/F3 cells was enhanced in cells expressing Rac1 and Rab5, suggesting that this system well reproduces the engulfment of apoptotic cells by macrophages. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.


Nagata S.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation | Hanayama R.,Kyoto University | Hanayama R.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation | And 2 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2010

To maintain organismal homeostasis, phagocytes engulf dead cells, which are recognized as dead by virtue of a characteristic "eat me" signal exposed on their surface. The dead cells are then transferred to lysosomes, where their cellular components are degraded for reuse. Inefficient engulfment of dead cells activates the immune system, causing disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and if the DNA of the dead cells is not properly degraded, the innate immune response becomes activated, leading to severe anemia and chronic arthritis. Here, we discuss how the endogenous components of dead cells activate the immune system through both extracellular and intracellular pathways. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Toda S.,Kyoto University | Segawa K.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation
Blood | Year: 2014

Definitive erythropoiesis takes place at erythroblastic islands, where erythroblasts proliferate and differentiate in association with central macrophages. At the final stage of erythropoiesis, pyrenocytes (nuclei surrounded by plasma membranes) are excluded from erythroblasts, expose phosphatidylserine (PtdSer), and are engulfed by the macrophages in a PtdSer-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the engulfment of pyrenocytes are incompletely understood. Here, we constructed an in vitro assay system for the enucleation and engulfment of pyrenocytes using a methylcellulose-based culture. As reported previously, erythroblasts were bound to macrophages via interactions between integrin- α4β1 on erythroblasts and Vcam1 on macrophages. After enucleation, the resulting pyrenocytes exhibited a reduced affinity for Vcam1 that correlated with the presence of inactive integrin- α4β1 complexes. The pyrenocytes were then engulfed by the macrophages via a MerTK-protein S-dependent mechanism. Protein S appeared to function as a bridge between the pyrenocytes and macrophages by binding to PtdSer on the pyrenocytes and MerTK on the macrophages. Normally, NIH3T3 cells do not engulf pyrenocytes, but when they were transformed with MerTK, they efficiently engulfed pyrenocytes in the presence of protein S. These results suggest that macrophages use similar mechanisms to engulf both pyrenocytes and apoptotic cells. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.


Segawa K.,Kyoto University | Kurata S.,Kyoto University | Yanagihashi Y.,Kyoto University | Brummelkamp T.R.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | And 3 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Phospholipids are asymmetrically distributed in the plasma membrane. This asymmetrical distribution is disrupted during apoptosis, exposing phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) on the cell surface. Using a haploid genetic screen in human cells, we found that ATP11C (adenosine triphosphatase type 11C) and CDC50A (cell division cycle protein 50A) are required for aminophospholipid translocation from the outer to the inner plasma membrane leaflet; that is, they display flippase activity. ATP11C contained caspase recognition sites, and mutations at these sites generated caspase-resistant ATP11C without affecting its flippase activity. Cells expressing caspase-resistant ATP11C did not expose PtdSer during apoptosis and were not engulfed by macrophages, which suggests that inactivation of the flippase activity is required for apoptotic PtdSer exposure. CDC50A-deficient cells displayed PtdSer on their surface and were engulfed by macrophages, indicating that PtdSer is sufficient as an "eat me" signal.


Imao T.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Kyoto University | Nagata S.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2013

Two major apoptosis pathways, the mitochondrial and death receptor pathways, are well recognized. Here we established cell lines from the fetal thymus of Apaf-1-, Caspase-9-, or Bax/Bak-deficient mice. These cell lines were resistant to apoptosis induced by DNA-damaging agents, RNA or protein synthesis inhibitors, or stress in the endoplasmic reticulum. However, they underwent efficient apoptosis when treated with kinase inhibitors such as staurosporine and H-89, indicating that these inhibitors induce a caspase-dependent apoptosis that is different from the mitochondrial pathway. CrmA, a Caspase-8 inhibitor, did not prevent staurosporine-induced apoptosis of fetal thymic cell lines, suggesting that the death receptor pathway was also not involved in this process. The staurosporine-induced cell death was inhibited by okadaic acid, a serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor, suggesting that dephosphorylation of a proapoptotic molecule triggered the death process, or that phosphorylation of an antiapoptotic molecule could block the process. Cells of various types (fetal thymocytes, bone marrows, thymocytes, and splenocytes), but not embryonic fibroblasts, were sensitive to the noncanonical staurosporine-induced apoptosis, suggesting that the noncanonical apoptosis pathway is tissue specific. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Collier N.,Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology | Collier N.,Japan Science and Technology Corporation | Doan S.,Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Summary: We present a novel public health database (GENI-DB) in which news events on the topic of over 176 infectious diseases and chemicals affecting human and animal health are compiled from surveillance of the global online news media in 10 languages. News event frequency data were gathered systematically through the BioCaster public health surveillance system from July 2009 to the present and is available to download by the research community for purposes of analyzing trends in the global burden of infectious diseases. Database search can be conducted by year, country, disease and language. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.

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