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Kawagoe, Japan

Tokyo International University is an institution of higher learning with a strong international focus, with a satellite campus—Tokyo International University of America --Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.The university is actually located in the area surrounding Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, which is not in Tokyo proper, but is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.The one-year program at TIUA and Willamette University enables students to pursue academic goals, while developing intercultural awareness. Programs are designed to offer students opportunities to learn through experience about other people and cultures. As a result, students also gain and share insights about their own traditions and values. An exchange program began between TIU and Willamette in 1965. TIUA was established in 1985. Wikipedia.

Lee W.-J.,Seoul National University | Hase K.,Keio University | Hase K.,Tokyo International University
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2014

Gut microbiota is found in virtually any metazoan, from invertebrates to vertebrates. It has long been believed that gut microbiota, more specifically, the activity of the microbiome and its metabolic products, directly influence a variety of aspects in metazoan physiology. However, the exact molecular relationship among microbe-derived gut metabolites, host signaling pathways, and host physiology remains to be elucidated. Here we review recent discoveries regarding the molecular links between gut metabolites and host physiology in different invertebrate and vertebrate animal models. We describe the different roles of gut microbiome activity and their metabolites in regulating distinct host physiology and the molecular mechanisms by which gut metabolites cause physiological homeostasis via regulating specific host signaling pathways. Future studies in this direction using different animal models will provide the key concepts to understanding the evolutionarily conserved chemical dialogues between gut microbiota and metazoan cells and also human diseases associated with gut microbiota and metabolites. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bornholdt Z.A.,Scripps Research Institute | Noda T.,Tokyo Medical University | Abelson D.M.,Scripps Research Institute | Halfmann P.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 6 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2013

Proteins, particularly viral proteins, can be multifunctional, but the mechanisms behind multifunctionality are not fully understood. Here, we illustrate through multiple crystal structures, biochemistry, and cellular microscopy that VP40 rearranges into different structures, each with a distinct function required for the ebolavirus life cycle. A butterfly-shaped VP40 dimer traffics to the cellular membrane. Once there, electrostatic interactions trigger rearrangement of the polypeptide into a linear hexamer. These hexamers construct a multilayered, filamentous matrix structure that is critical for budding and resembles tomograms of authentic virions. A third structure of VP40, formed by a different rearrangement, is not involved in virus assembly but instead uniquely binds RNA to regulate viral transcription inside infected cells. These results provide a functional model for ebolavirus matrix assembly and the other roles of VP40 in the virus life cycle and demonstrate how a single wild-type, unmodified polypeptide can assemble into different structures for different functions. PaperFlick © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Niwa K.,Tokyo International University
Current Opinion in Pediatrics | Year: 2015

Purpose of review At present, 85-90% of those born with congenital heart disease (CHD) grow up to become adults. With few exceptions, reparative surgery is not curative and requires long-term surveillance. Caregivers could be changed from pediatric cardiologists to adult CHD specialists (or cardiologists) during this process. This study will focus on the current practice of transition in CHD. Recent findings Residua and sequelae may progress in severity with age and induce late complications, such as arrhythmias, cardiac failure, thromboembolism, sudden cardiac death, reoperation, cardiac intervention, and arrhythmia ablation. There are other obstacles that further complicate adult CHD, including pregnancy and delivery, noncardiac surgery, psychosocial problems, health insurance coverage, and extracardiac complications, making close follow-up and proper management mandatory. Because of this, several specialized centers have been established to respond to this need, and several studies focusing on transition have been published recently. Summary Provision of comprehensive care by multidisciplinary teams including adult CHD specialists, adult and pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, specialized nurses, and other specific disciplines are the fundamental features in care facilities for adult CHD. Training and education should be focused on adult CHD fellows who represent the next generation that will assume responsibility for this patient population. Proper transition from pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to adult CHD care team, including adult CHD specialists and/or cardiologists trained in this field, is mandatory. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Neumann G.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kawaoka Y.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kawaoka Y.,Tokyo International University
Virology | Year: 2015

Influenza A viruses cause respiratory infections that range from asymptomatic to deadly in humans. Widespread outbreaks (pandemics) are attributable to 'novel' viruses that possess a viral hemagglutinin (HA) gene to which humans lack immunity. After a pandemic, these novel viruses form stable virus lineages in humans and circulate until they are replaced by other novel viruses. The factors and mechanisms that facilitate virus transmission among hosts and the establishment of novel lineages are not completely understood, but the HA and basic polymerase 2 (PB2) proteins are thought to play essential roles in these processes by enabling avian influenza viruses to infect mammals and replicate efficiently in their new host. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the contributions of HA, PB2, and other viral components to virus transmission and the formation of new virus lineages. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Here we describe the application of a recently developed high-resolution microcantilever biosensor resonating at the air-liquid interface for the continuous detection of antigen-antibody and enzyme-substrate interactions. The cantilever at the air-liquid interface demonstrated 50% higher quality factor and a 5.7-fold increase in signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) compared with one immersed in the purified water. First, a label-free detection of a low molecular weight protein (insulin, 5.8 kDa) in physiological concentration was demonstrated. The liquid facing side of the cantilever was functionalized by coating its surface with insulin antibodies, while the opposite side was exposed to air. The meniscus membrane at the micro-slit around the cantilever sustained the liquid in the microchannel. After optimizing the process of surface functionalization, the resonance frequency shift was successfully measured for insulin solutions of 0.4, 2.0, and 6.3 ng ml(-1). To demonstrate additional application of the device for monitoring enzymatic protein degradation, the liquid facing microcantilever surface was coated with human recombinant SOD1 (superoxide dismutase 1) and exposed to various concentrations of proteinase K solution, and the kinetics of the SOD1 digestion was continuously monitored. The results showed that it is a suitable tool for sensitive protein detection and analysis.

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