O Imamura

National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan

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Publications (19)90.66 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Werner was originally identified as a protein that interacts with the product of the Werner syndrome (WS) gene, WRN. To examine the function of the WRNIP1/WRN complex in cells, we generated knock-out cell lines that were deficient in either WRN (WRN(-/-)), WRNIP1 (WRNIP10(-/-/-)), or both (WRNIP1(-/-/-)/WRN(-/-)), using a chicken B lymphocyte cell line, DT40. WRNIP1(-/-/-)/WRN(-/-) DT40 cells grew at a similar rate as wild-type cells, but the rate of spontaneous sister-chromatid exchange was augmented compared to that of either of the single mutant cell lines. Moreover, while WRNIP1(-/-/-) and WRN(-/-) cells were moderately sensitive to camptothecin (CPT), double mutant cells showed a synergistic increase in CPT sensitivity. This suggested that WRNIP1 and WRN do not always function cooperatively to repair DNA lesions. The lack of a discernable functional interaction between WRNIP1 and WRN prompted us to reevaluate the nature of the physical interaction between these proteins. We found that MBP-tagged WRNIP1 interacted directly with WRN, and that the interaction was enhanced by the addition of ATP. Mutations in the Walker A motifs of the two proteins revealed that WRNIP1, but not WRN, must bind ATP before an efficient interaction can occur.
    DNA Repair 08/2006; 5(7):816-28. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Werner syndrome (WS) is a recessive disorder characterized by premature senescence. Bloom syndrome (BS) is a recessive disorder characterized by short stature and immunodeficiency. A common characteristic of both syndromes is genomic instability leading to tumorigenesis. WRN and BLM genes causing WS and BS, encode proteins that are closely related to the RecQ helicase. We produced WRN-/-, BLM-/- and WRN(-/-)/BLM(-/-) mutants in the chicken B-cell line DT40. WRN-/- cells showed hypersensitivities to genotoxic agents, such as 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide, camptothecin and methyl methanesulfonate. They also showed a threefold increase in targeted integration rate of exogenous DNAs, but not in sister chromatid exchange (SCE) frequency. BLM-/- cells showed hypersensitivities to the genotoxic agents as well as ultraviolet (UV) light, in addition to a 10-fold increase in targeted integration rate and an 11-fold increase in SCE frequency. In WRN(-/-)/BLM(-/-) cells, synergistically increased hypersensitivities to the genotoxic agents were observed whereas both SCE frequencies and targeted integration rates were partially diminished compared to the single mutants. Chromosomal aberrations were also synergistically increased in WRN(-/-)/BLM(-/-) cells when irradiated with UV light in late S to G(2) phases. These results suggest that both WRN and BLM may be involved in DNA repair in a complementary fashion.
    Oncogene 02/2002; 21(6):954-63. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bloom syndrome (BS) is a recessive human genetic disorder characterized by short stature, immunodeficiency and an elevated risk of malignancy. The gene mutated in BS, BLM, encodes a RecQ-type DNA helicase. BS cells have mutator phenotypes such as hyper-recombination, chromosome instability and an increased frequency of sister chromatid exchange (SCE). To define the primary role of BLM, we generated BLM(-/-) mutants of the chicken B-cell line DT40. In addition to characteristics of BLM(-/-) cells reported previously by the other group, they are hypersensitive to genotoxic agents such as etoposide, bleomycin and 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide and irradiation with the short wave length of UV (UVC) light, whereas they exhibit normal sensitivity to X-ray irradiation and hydroxyurea. UVC irradiation to BLM(-/-) cells during G(1) to early S phase caused chromosomal instability such as chromatid breaks and chromosomal quadriradials, leading to eventual cell death. These results suggest that BLM is involved in surveillance of base abnormalities in genomic DNA that may be encountered by replication forks in early S phase. Such surveillance would maintain genomic stability in vertebrate cells, resulting in the prevention of cellular tumorigenesis.
    Oncogene 04/2001; 20(10):1143-51. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Werner's syndrome is a potential model of accelerated human aging. The gene responsible for Werner's syndrome encodes a protein that has a helicase domain homologous to Escherichia coli RecQ. To identify binding partners that regulate the function in concert with Wrn, we screened for proteins using the yeast two-hybrid system with mouse Wrn as bait and found three. One was a novel protein, and the other two were mouse Ubc9 and SUMO-1. Ubc9 also interacted with the mouse homologue of the Bloom's syndrome gene product, another eukaryotic RecQ-type helicase, but not mouse DNA helicase Q1/RecQL (RecQL1). Deletion experiments indicated that both proteins interacted with the N-terminal segment of Wrn (amino acid 272-514). The interaction between Wrn and SUMO-1 was weaker than that between Wrn and Ubc9. Positive interaction was observed in the heterogeneous combination of Wrn and yeast Ubc9 (yUbc9), as well as yUbc9 and SUMO-1, in the two-hybrid system. The interaction between yUbc9 and SUMO-1 was abolished by deleting the C-terminal Gly residue of SUMO-1, which is reportedly required for the formation of Ubc9-SUMO-1 thioester linkage. The interaction of Wrn and SUMO-1 was also abolished by deleting the Gly residue, indicating that the interaction of Wrn and SUMO-1 is mediated by yUbc9 in the two-hybrid system. Finally, we confirmed by immunoblotting with an anti-SUMO-1 antibody that Wrn was covalently attached with SUMO-1.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2000; 275(28):20963-6. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed mRNAs that were up- or down-regulated in fibroblasts from Werner syndrome (WS) patients compared with those from normal individuals. The mRNAs from normal and WS cells were first screened by differential display, and those mRNAs that were apparently up- or down-regulated were selected except for mRNAs related to extra-cellular matrix (ECM) proteins that are already known to be up-regulated in WS fibroblasts. Then, the expression levels of these mRNAs were semiquantified by northern blot analysis, and six up-regulated and two down-regulated mRNAs were identified in WS cell lines. Among the six up-regulated mRNAs were three mRNAs that coded TGFbeta-1 and two proteins, their expressions of which were increased by TGFbeta-1. These results together with the fact that TGFbeta-1 up-regulates the expression of ECM proteins strongly suggest that TGFbeta-1 has a key role in accelerated cellular senescence of fibroblasts of WS patients.
    Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 07/2000; 115(3):189-98. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 06/2000; 115(3). · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mouse homologue of the human Rep-8 gene was cloned by PCR methods using degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved regions between human and mouse genes, and by the Marathon-Ready cDNA amplification method. The full-length mouse Rep-8 contains 1422 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 277 amino acids with a calculated mol. wt. of 31,519. The overall amino acid sequence homology between mouse and human Rep-8 proteins was 73%, and the overall nucleic acid sequence similarity was 65%. The predicted amino acid sequence of mouse Rep-8 has leucine zipper-like motifs in the N-terminal region, similar to the human Rep-8 protein. Rep-8 exists as a single-copy gene and is expressed in both the early and late embryonic stages of mouse development, suggesting that the Rep-8 gene product has an important role in embryogenesis. The genomic structure of the mouse Rep-8 gene was characterized extensively so that a gene targeting strategy could be used to develop an understanding of the biological function(s) of this interesting gene and its product.
    Gene 03/1999; 227(1):39-47. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mouse homologue of the human Rep-8 gene was cloned by PCR methods using degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved regions between human and mouse genes, and by the Marathon–Ready cDNA amplification method. The full-length mouse Rep-8 contains 1422 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 277 amino acids with a calculated mol. wt. of 31,519. The overall amino acid sequence homology between mouse and human Rep-8 proteins was 73%, and the overall nucleic acid sequence similarity was 65%. The predicted amino acid sequence of mouse Rep-8 has leucine zipper-like motifs in the N-terminal region, similar to the human Rep-8 protein. Rep-8 exists as a single-copy gene and is expressed in both the early and late embryonic stages of mouse development, suggesting that the Rep-8 gene product has an important role in embryogenesis. The genomic structure of the mouse Rep-8 gene was characterized extensively so that a gene targeting strategy could be used to develop an understanding of the biological function(s) of this interesting gene and its product.
    Gene 01/1999; 227(1):39-47. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the splicing process, spliceosomal snRNAs undergo numerous conformational rearrangements that appear to be catalyzed by proteins belonging to the DEAD/H-box superfamily of RNA helicases. We have cloned a new RNA helicase gene, designated DBP2 (DEAH-boxprotein), homologous to the Schizosaccaromyces pombe cdc28(+)/prp8(+) gene involved in pre-mRNA splicing and cell cycle progression. The full-length DBP2 contains 3400 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 1041 amino acids with a calculated mol. wt of 119 037 Da. Transfection experiments demonstrated that the GFP-DBP2 gene product, transiently expressed in HeLa cells, was localized in the nucleus. The DBP2 gene was mapped by FISH to the MHC region on human chromosome 6p21.3, a region where many malignant, genetic and autoimmune disease genes are linked. Because the expression of DBP2 gene in S.pombe prp8 mutant cells partially rescued the temperature-sensitive phenotype, we conclude that DBP2 is a functional human homolog of the fission yeast Cdc28/Prp8 protein.
    Nucleic Acids Research 06/1998; 26(9):2063-8. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed physical maps of the human genome are important resources for identification and isolation of genes responsible for diseases and for the study of their structure and function. We constructed a 2.0-Mb high-resolution physical map within the human chromosome 8p12-p21 region extending from marker D8S131 to D8S283. The map comprises a series of contigs mostly P1/PAC clones, which span the loci of potential tumor suppressor genes and the Werner's syndrome gene. Each P1/PAC DNA was defined by its size, restriction sites, terminal sequences, intermarker distances and location relative to major genes and markers. The genes on these P1/PAC DNAs were analyzed by an exon amplification method to determine their locations. The genes newly found by the exon amplification method together with other known genes, including those of glutathion reductase, a general transcription factor, protein phosphatase 2A beta subunit and Werner's syndrome, were precisely mapped within the contigs. These P1/PAC DNAs are useful reagents for the generation of new microsatellite markers to narrow the candidate region of the tumor suppressor gene(s) and/or genes responsible for other diseases, which are believed to exist in this region by linkage analysis.
    DNA Research 05/1998; 5(2):103-13. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nuclear localization signal (NLS) of the DNA helicase involved in Werner's syndrome (WS) was studied. Previously, we noted that the C-terminal region of WS helicase contains the NLS. In this study, we generated in HeLa cells various chimeric proteins consisting of the N-terminal tagged with an enhanced green fluorescent protein and the C-terminal fragments of the WS helicase that were truncated either from N- or C-termini, and we examined the ability of fragments to transfer the fusion proteins to the nucleoplasm by fluorescence microscopy. A small C-proximal region containing 34 amino acid residues (residues 1369-1402) was found to contain full nuclear migration activities. Subsequent amino acid substitution experiments showed that a sequence of three positively charged amino acids (Lys1371-Arg1372-Arg1373) in this region are particularly important. Similar sequence has previously been defined as the nuclear localization signal of SV-40 large T antigen that also acts as a viral DNA helicase. Conservation of this motif was found in the C-terminal regions of the other RecQ type DNA helicases, including murine WS helicase, yeast sgs1 and rqh+1 and human Bloom syndrome DNA helicases.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 02/1998; 1(1):71-6. · 1.96 Impact Factor
  • O Imamura, M Sugawara, Y Furuichi
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    ABSTRACT: A human RNA helicase gene, DBP1, was cloned by PCR methodsusing degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved motifs among known members of the DEAH-box protein family. The full-length DBP1 contains 3028 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 813 amino acids with a calculated mol. wt. of 92723 daltons. The predicted amino acid sequence shares extensive homology with Prp2, Prp16, and Prp22 proteins, which are required to splice mRNA precursors in budding yeast. The protein encoded by DBP1 has RGD, RD, and HS(A/T) repeat motifs close to the N-terminus. Southern blot analysis suggested the presence of a homologue of the DBP1 genes in other species, and Northern blot analysis showed that DBP1 is expressed ubiquitously in various human organs investigated. The DBP1 gene was found to be on chromosome 4p15.3 and encodes a putative nuclear ATP-dependent RNA helicase.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/1997; 240(2):335-40. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene responsible for Werner's syndrome (WRN) contains a region homologous to the Escherichia coli RecQ type DNA helicase and was thought to code for a DNA helicase belonging to this helicase family. However, no evidence has been shown before to substantiate this prediction. Here, we show data that the product of the WRN gene is indeed a DNA helicase. The gene product, a polypeptide with a relative molecular mass of 170 kDa, expressed in the insect Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf21) cell and purified by affinity column chromatography contained both the ATPase and DNA unwinding activities characteristic of DNA helicase. Expressions in Sf21, as well as in HeLa cells, showed that the WRN DNA helicase is exclusively transported to the nucleoplasm, which is consistent with its function in DNA metabolism. Our studies on strand displacement suggest that WRN helicase can unwind not only a duplex DNA, but also an RNA-DNA heteroduplex, while the latter reaction seems less efficient. Enzymological features learned from the purified WRN helicase are discussed with respect to the biological function, which remains to be clarified.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/1997; 25(15):2973-8. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The correlation between mutations in the Werner's syndrome (WRN) gene and the haplotypes of surrounding markers was studied in Japanese patients. We have elucidated the genomic structure of WRN helicase, and found five additional mutations, designated mutations 6-10. Mutations 4 and 6 were found to be the two major mutations in this population; these mutations comprised 50.8% and 17.5%, respectively, of the total in a sample of 126 apparently unrelated chromosomes. Almost all the patients homozygous for mutation 4 shared a haplotype around the WRN gene, consistent with the view that they are derived from a single ancestor. This important advantage demonstrated in the identification of the WRN gene suggests that the Japanese present a unique population for the cloning of other disease genes. The conserved haplotype was observed across 19 loci, extending a distance estimated to be more than 1.4 Mbp around the WRN gene. This haplotype is rare among random Japanese individuals. Unexpectedly, all the nine patients homozygous for mutation 6 shared a haplotype that was identical to this haplotype at 18 of these 19 markers. These results suggest that mutations 4 and 6 arose independently in almost identical rare haplotypes. The remaining mutations (1, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10) occurred rarely, and were each associated with different haplotypes.
    Human Genetics 08/1997; 100(1):123-30. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A novel human gene referred to as the WS-3 gene, in the short arm of human chromosome 8, was cloned by a combination of exon trapping, thermal asymmetric interlaced-PCR (TAIL-PCR) and the Marathon-Ready cDNA amplification method. The gene consists of 7 exons separated by 6 introns, and is at the telomere side of the STS marker, D8S1055. The full-length WS-3 gene contains 1052 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 190 amino acids with a calculated mol. wt. of 20,747. Southern blot experiments showed that the WS-3 gene exists as a single copy in the human genome. A protein encoded by the WS-3 gene has an R-G-D (Arg-Gly-Asp) motif in the N-terminal region, which seems to confer adhesive properties to macromolecular proteins like fibronectin. Although WS-3 is a small gene with unknown biological function, its ubiquitous expression in various tissues and organs suggests that the encoded protein is one of the essential components of all organs and tissues.
    Gene 05/1997; 189(2):277-87. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    Genomics 05/1997; 41(2):298-300. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The profile of helicase gene mutations was studied in 89 Japanese Werner's syndrome (WRN) patients by examining the previously described mutations 1-4 as well as a new mutation found during this study, designated mutation 5. Of 178 chromosomes (89 patients), 89 chromosomes (50%) had mutation 4, 11 (6.2%) chromosomes had mutation 1, and two chromosomes (1.1%) contained mutation 5. Mutations 2 and 3 were not observed in this patient population. The remaining 76 (42.7%) chromosomes had none of these mutations. A significant fraction of all patients (22 total patients, 24.7%) appear to be compound heterozygotes, including those carrying mutations of both types 1 and 4. The genotypes analysis of the markers surrounding the. WRN helicase gene strongly suggests that most of the chromosomes carrying either mutation 1 or 4 were derived from two single founders.
    Human Genetics 03/1997; 99(2):191-3. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A novel human gene referred to as the Rep-8 gene (D8S2298E) was cloned by a combination of exon trapping, thermal asymmetric interlaced-PCR, and screening of a cDNA library. It is located in human chromosome 8p11.2-p12. The gene consists of eight exons and spans about 20 kb between the glutathione S-reductase and the protein phosphatase 2A beta subunit genes. The full-length Rep-8 gene contains 1483 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 270 amino acids. Southern blot experiments showed that the Rep-8 gene exists as a single copy per haploid. With a zoo blot analysis, human Rep-8 DNA hybridized strongly with the monkey DNA, but only weakly with the DNAs of species other than Homo sapiens. Northern blot analysis showed that it is expressed abundantly in the testis and ovary, suggesting that the Rep-8 gene product may play a role in reproduction.
    Genomics 02/1997; 39(2):198-204. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A unique gene, RBP-MS, spanning over 230 kb in the human chromosome 8p11-12 near the Werner syndrome gene locus is described. The single-copy RBP-MS gene is alternatively spliced, resulting in a family of at least 12 transcripts (average length of 1.5 kb). Nine different types of cDNAs that encode an RNa-binding motif at the N terminus and helix-rich sequences at the C terminus have been identified thus far. Among the 16 exons identified, four 5'-proximal exons contained sequences homologous to the RNA-binding domain of Drosophila couch potato gene. Northern blot analysis showed that the RBP-MS gene was expressed strongly in the heart, prostate, intestine, and ovary, and poorly in the skeletal muscle, spleen, thymus, brain, and peripheral leukocytes. The possible role of this gene in RNA metabolism is discussed.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/1996; 93(20):10913-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor