Tokyo International University
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.

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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.

Fukuyama S.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Kawaoka Y.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Kawaoka Y.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kawaoka Y.,Tokyo Medical University | Kawaoka Y.,Tokyo International University
Current Opinion in Immunology | Year: 2011

Influenza viruses cause acute respiratory inflammation in humans and symptoms such as high fever, body aches, and fatigue. Usually these symptoms improve after several days; however, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus [influenza A(H1N1) 2009] is more pathogenic than seasonal influenza viruses and the pathogenicity of highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses is still higher. The 1918 influenza pandemic virus caused severe pneumonia, resulting in an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide. Several virulence factors have been identified in these virus strains, but host factors are also responsible for the pathogenesis of infections caused by virulent viruses. Here, we review the contributions of both virus and host factors to the pathogenesis of these viral infections. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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.

Neumann G.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kawaoka Y.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kawaoka Y.,Tokyo International University
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2011

In the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype emerged that transmitted efficiently among humans; by June of 2009, the outbreak reached pandemic status. The pandemic virus possesses six viral RNA segments from so-called triple reassortant swine viruses that emerged in North American pig populations in the late 1990s and two viral RNA segments from Eurasian avian-like swine influenza viruses. Most human infections with the virus have been mild; however, severe and fatal infections occurred among certain risk groups, but also among those without any known risk factors. Here, we summarize the evolutionary, epidemiological, clinical, and molecular findings on the pandemic virus. We also discuss the arsenal of antiviral compounds and vaccines available to prevent and treat infections with the virus. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Chen I.-Y.,Tokyo International University | Ichinohe T.,Tokyo International University
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that induce downstream immune responses to specific pathogens, environmental stimuli, and host cell damage. Components of specific viruses activate different inflammasomes; for example, the influenza A virus M2 protein and encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) 2B protein activate the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor family pyrin domain (PYD)-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, whereas viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activates the retinoic acid inducible gene-I (RIG-I) inflammasome. Once activated in response to viral infection, inflammasomes induce the activation of caspases and the release of mature forms of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. Here we review the association between viral infection and inflammasome activation. Identifying the mechanisms underlying virus-induced inflammasome activation is important if we are to develop novel therapeutic strategies to target viruses. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Sasakawa C.,Tokyo International University
Proceedings of the Japan Academy Series B: Physical and Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

Bacteria-gut epithelial interplay and the mucosal immune response are the most critical issues in determining the fate of bacterial infection and the severity of diseases. Shigella species (abbreviated here as Shigella), the causative agent of bacillary dysentery (shigellosis), are highly adapted human pathogens that are capable of invading and colonizing the intestinal epithelium, which results in severe inflammatory colitis. Shigella secrete a large and diverse number (more then 50) of effectors via the type III secretion system (TTSS) during infection, some of which are delivered into the surrounding bacterial space and some others into the host cell cytoplasm and nucleus. The delivered effectors mimic and usurp the host cellular functions, and modulate host cell signaling and immune response, thus playing pivotal roles in promoting bacterial infection and circumventing host defense systems. This article overviews the pathogenic characteristics of Shigella, and highlights current topics related to the bacterial infectious stratagem executed by the TTSS-secreted effectors. Though bacterial stratagems and the molecular mechanisms of infection vary greatly among pathogens, the current studies of Shigella provide a paradigm shift in bacterial pathogenesis. © 2010 The Japan Academy.

Tokunaga M.,Tokyo International University
Frontiers of Physics | Year: 2012

In this article, studies on the magnetoelectric effects of multiferroic materials in high magnetic fields, particularly pulsed magnetic fields, are discussed and results for some representative materials are presented. In the discussions on representative materials, the relationship between the crystallographic symmetry and the linear magnetoelectric effect in Cr 2O 3 is introduced. Then drastic changes in polarization caused by magnetic transitions are discussed through a case study of manganites with a perovskite-type structure. In addition, high field studies on the magnetoelectric effects in BiFeO 3, which is an exceptional multiferroic material, are presented and discussed in the framework of the Landau-Ginzburg theory. © 2012 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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.

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.

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