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Zhao X.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Bai H.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Shi Q.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Lu X.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Zhang Z.,Xingtai Iron and Steel Company Ltd
Applied Energy | Year: 2017

Most integrated iron and steel corporations have built on–site power plants (OSPPs) to reduce their purchased electricity and thus to decrease the overall electricity cost. Due to their large quantities and easy access, the byproduct gases generated in the steel production process are the main fuels used for the OSPPs. The introduction of time–of–use (TOU) electricity pricing in the steel industry has made it possible to decrease electricity costs through an optimal collaboration between the energy storage equipment (gasholders) and OSPPs. In this paper, a byproduct gas scheduling model based on mixed–integer linear programing (MILP) considering the TOU electricity pricing is proposed. In this model, Pareto optimality and fuzzy sets were used to find the best compromise solution for two conflicting objectives: achieving the gasholder stability and reducing the electricity purchasing cost. In addition, the influence of the operation load on the boiler efficiency was considered to improve the model accuracy. The results show that the optimisation can achieve better peak–valley shifting of the electricity generation and decrease the electricity purchasing cost by 29.7% with improved gasholder stability. Optimisation increased the overall boiler efficiency by 3.3%, indicating that the byproduct gases are effectively and efficiently used. The sensitivity analysis results indicate that the peak–valley shifting of the electricity generation improves with increasing peak–valley price rate (PVR) at the expense of decreasing the overall gasholder stability. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Aikawa S.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Kano K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Kano K.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Inoue A.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | And 3 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2017

Endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) proliferate rapidly both in vivo and in vitro. Here we show that proliferation of ESCs in vitro is strongly dependent on lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signaling. LPA is produced by autotaxin (ATX) and induces various kinds of cellular processes including migration, proliferation and inhibition of cell death possibly through six G protein-coupled receptors (LPA1-6). We found that ESCs proliferated rapidly in vitro in an autocrine manner and that the proliferation was prominently suppressed by either an ATX inhibitor (ONO-8430506) or an LPA1/3 antagonist (Ki16425). Among the cells lines tested, mouse ESCs were the most sensitive to these inhibitors. Proliferation of ESCs isolated from either LPA1- or LPA3-deficient mice was comparable to proliferation of ESCs isolated from control mice. An LPA receptor antagonist (AM095), which was revealed to be a dual LPA1/LPA3 antagonist, also suppressed the proliferation of ESCs. The present results show that LPA signaling has a critical role in the proliferation of ESCs, and that this role is possibly mediated redundantly by LPA1 and LPA3. © 2016

Umezu K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Hiradate Y.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Oikawa T.,Miyagi Prefectural Livestock Experiment StationMiyagi | Ishiguro H.,Miyagi Prefectural Livestock Experiment StationMiyagi | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2016

Recently, the conception rates after artificial insemination have been pointed out to decline continuously. To overcome this problem, the control of frozen and thawed sperm quality is required. However, the mechanism of bovine sperm functional regulation is still largely unknown. In mammals, the ejaculated sperm are capable of showing fertilizing ability during migration in the female reproductive organs. It is well known that these female organs secrete several factors contributing to sperm capacitation. We previously reported that neurotensin (NT) secreted from the oviduct and cumulus cells enhanced sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in mice. In this study, we confirmed the expression of the NT receptor (NTR1) in the bovine sperm neck region and the secretion of NT in the bovine uterus and oviduct. The similar expression patterns of NT and NTR1 suggests a conserved mechanism of sperm functional regulation between mouse and cattle. Thus, we examined the effects of exogenous NT on the bovine sperm functions. First, we showed that NT induced sperm protein tyrosine phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT enhances sperm capacitation. Second, we showed that NT induced acrosome reactions of capacitated sperm in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that NT facilitates acrosome reaction. Finally, we used a computer-aided sperm analysis system to show that NT did not have a great effect on sperm motility. These results suggest that NT acts as a facilitator of sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in the female reproductive tracts in cattle, highlighting the importance of NT-mediated signaling to regulate sperm functions. © 2016 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.

Oji Y.,Osaka University | Hashimoto N.,Osaka University | Tsuboi A.,Osaka University | Murakami Y.,Osaka University | And 22 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2016

We previously evaluated Wilms’ tumor gene 1 (WT1) peptide vaccination in a large number of patients with leukemia or solid tumors and have reported that HLA-A*24:02 restricted, 9-mer WT1-235 peptide (CYTWNQMNL) vaccine induces cellular immune responses and elicits WT1-235-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). However, whether this vaccine induces humoral immune responses to produce WT1 antibody remains unknown. Thus, we measured IgG antibody levels against the WT1-235 peptide (WT1-235 IgG antibody) in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) receiving the WT1 peptide vaccine. The WT1-235 IgG antibody, which was undetectable before vaccination, became detectable in 30 (50.8%) of a total of 59 patients during 3 months of WT1 peptide vaccination. The dominant WT1-235 IgG antibody subclass was Th1-type, IgG1 and IgG3. WT1-235 IgG antibody production was significantly and positively correlated with both progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Importantly, the combination of WT1-235 IgG antibody production and positive delayed type-hypersensitivity (DTH) to the WT1-235 peptide was a better prognostic marker for long-term OS than either parameter alone. These results suggested that WT1-235 peptide vaccination induces not only WT1-235-specific CTLs as previously described but also WT1-235-specific humoral immune responses associated with antitumor cellular immune response. Our results indicate that the WT1 IgG antibody against the WT1 peptide may be a useful predictive marker, with better predictive performance in combination with DTH to WT1 peptide, and provide a new insight into the antitumor immune response induction in WT1 peptide vaccine-treated patients. © 2016 The Authors International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of UICC

Nishi H.,Applied Information Sciences | Nakata J.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Kinoshita K.,Applied Information Sciences | Kinoshita K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi
Protein Science | Year: 2016

Recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques have identified rare single-nucleotide variants with less than 1% minor allele frequency. Despite the growing interest and physiological importance of rare variants in genome sciences, less attention has been paid to the allele frequency of variants in protein sciences. To elucidate the characteristics of genetic variants on protein interaction sites, from the viewpoints of the allele frequency and the structural position of variants, we mapped about 20,000 human SNVs onto protein complexes. We found that variants are less abundant in protein interfaces, and specifically the core regions of interfaces. The tendency to “avoid” the interfacial core is stronger among common variants than rare variants. As amino acid substitutions, the trend of mutating amino acids among rare variants is consistent in different interfacial regions, reflecting the fact that rare variants result from random mutations in DNA sequences, whereas amino acid changes of common variants vary between the interfacial core and rim regions, possibly due to functional constraints on proteins. This study illustrated how the allele frequency of variants relates to the protein structural regions and the functional sites in general and will lead to deeper understanding of the potential deleteriousness of rare variants at the structural level. Exceptional cases of the observed trends will shed light on the limitations of structural approaches to evaluate the functional impacts of variants. Published by Wiley-Blackwell. © 2015 The Protein Societ

Otaka K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Hiradate Y.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Kobayashi N.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Shirakata Y.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi | Tanemura K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2015

During mammalian spermatogenesis, spermatogenic cells undergo mitotic division and are subsequently divided into haploid spermatids by meiotic division, but the dynamics of sex chromosomes during spermatogenesis are unclear in vivo. To gain insight into the distribution of sex chromosomes in the testis, we examined the localization of sex chromosomes before and after meiosis in mouse testis sections. Here, we developed a method of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using specific probes for the X and Y chromosomes to obtain their positional information in histological testis sections. FISH analysis revealed the sex chromosomal position during spermatogenesis in each stage of seminiferous epithelia and in each spermatogenic cell. In the spermatogonia and leptotene spermatocytes, sex chromosomes were distantly positioned in the cell. In the zygotene and pachytene spermatocytes at prophase I, X and Y chromosomes had a random distribution. After meiosis, the X and Y spermatids were random in every seminiferous epithelium. We also detected aneuploidy of sex chromosomes in spermatogenic cells using our developed FISH analysis. Our results provide further insight into the distribution of sex chromosomes during spermatogenesis, which could help to elucidate a specific difference between X and Y spermatids and sex chromosome-specific behavior. © 2015 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.

Kinoshita K.,Tohoku UniversityMiyagi
Transactions of Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering | Year: 2014

According to the progress of genome sequencing technology, the cost of genome analyses is rapidly decreasing, and the feasibility of genome-based personalized healthcare is dramatically increasing. Actually, a lot of large-scale genome cohort studies are established to realize personalized healthcare. Tohoku University is also constructing a new genome cohort in the process of constructive recoveries from the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. On the other hands, the cost of information analyses of genome data is not decreased, mainly due to the increase of the amount of data produced by new generation sequencers and high sensitivity of the data. In this talk, I will introduce our approaches to build a basis of in-silico analyses though the setup of a new computer system in Tohoku Medical Megabank, and discuss some issues in information analyses to realize the genome-based personalized healthcare. © 2014, Japan Soc. of Med. Electronics and Biol. Engineering. All rights reserved.

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