Yoko Nagata

Nihon University, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (15)38.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although the pupae and larvae of Bombyx mori possess especially large amounts of free d-serine, the physiological role of the amino acid in the silkworm is unknown. We investigated the effect of d-serine on spermatogenesis. A lowered d-serine level throughout larval development caused a delay in spermatogenesis and resulted in reduced numbers of eupyrene sperm. Administration of d-serine transiently increased the activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase1/2 (ERK1/2; hereafter, ERK) by approximately 25% in the testis of day 3 fifth instar larvae. l-Serine had no effect on ERK activation, and other organs did not respond to d-serine. The effect of d-serine on ERK activation was confirmed by administering d-serine dehydratase, an enzyme that specifically degrades d-serine, and the enzyme's inhibitor, hydroxylamine. ERK phosphorylation in the testis was significantly inhibited by Go6983 and U0126, inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC) and mitogen-associated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK), respectively, but not by H-89, a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, indicating that ERK was activated in the testis via PKC and MEK but not via PKA. The inhibition of ERK phosphorylation by Go6983 or U0126 was reduced by 20-30% by d-serine. Roughly 30% of c-Raf phosphorylation at an inhibitory site (Ser259) was decreased by the addition of d-serine. These results suggest that d-serine activates ERK in the testis of silkworms through a pathway including c-Raf but not PKC or MEK. Immunohistochemistry confirmed d-serine-induced ERK phosphorylation in the testis and revealed the presence of phospho-ERK in the nuclei of spermatocytes and spermatids.
    Journal of Insect Physiology 06/2014; · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We purified d-amino acid oxidase (EC, DAO) from Xenopus laevis tadpoles. The optimal temperature and pH for enzyme activity were 35-40°C and 8.3-9.0, respectively, depending on the substrate amino acids available to the enzyme; the highest activity was observed with d-proline followed by d-phenylalanine. Activity was significantly inhibited by p-hydroxymercuribenzoate, but only moderately by p-chloromercuribenzoate or benzoate. Enzyme activity was increased until the final tadpole stage, but was reduced to one-third in the adult and was localized primarily in the kidney. The tadpoles contained high concentrations of d-proline close to the final developmental stage and nearly no d-amino acids were detected in the adult frog, indicating that d-amino acid oxidase functions in metamorphosis.
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology 08/2013; · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, a simple and low-cost method for the analysis of amino acid enantiomers by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is described. In this method, the amino acids are modified to diastereomers in order to be separated into enantiomers on a usual C(18) reversed-phase column. Methanol instead of acetonitrile is used as an elution solvent; the results of HPLC with methanol elution are comparable with those of HPLC with acetonitrile elution. Sub-nanomolar sensitivity is attained by measuring the absorbance at 340 nm in analysis of 15 amino-acid enantiomers.
    Journal of chromatographic science 05/2012; 50(5):393-5. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method of measuring the concentration of intrinsic free D-serine in tissue samples. This method uses chicken D-serine dehydratase in an enzymatic reaction to produce pyruvate, which is detected spectrophotometrically. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), a cofactor of D-serine dehydratase, increased pyruvate formation by 28%. The presence of Zn(2+) or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) did not have any effect on pyruvate formation under the present assay conditions. In addition, this method was not affected by the presence of a large excess of L-serine, nor by the presence of tissue extracts, and accurately determined concentrations of 2-30 μM (200 pmol-3 nmol) of D-serine. The entire assay requires only 60 min. With this method, we determined the concentration of D-serine in various silkworm tissues. The results were in agreement with high performance liquid chromatography measurements. We found high concentrations of D-serine in silkworm larvae at day 3 of the fifth instar; specifically, 509 nmol g(-1) wet tissue in the midgut, 434 nmol g(-1) in the ovary, and 353 nmol g(-1) in the testis.
    Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences 07/2011; 879(29):3326-30. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyrobaculum islandicum is a hyperthermophilic archaeon. P. islandicum cells have been suggested to multiply by constriction, budding and branching, as no septa were observed in cells by phase-contrast light microscopy. In this study, we observed the cells using transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and light microscopy with dark-field image analyses, and we report binary fission via septum formation to be the main mode of P. islandicum's proliferation. "Long cells" reported previously were found to comprise several cylindrical cells that align in tandem.
    Extremophiles 07/2010; 14(4):403-7. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is a microaerophilic bacterium associated with gastric inflammation and peptic ulcers. Knowledge of how pathogenic organisms produce energy is important from a therapeutic point of view. We found d-amino acid dehydrogenase-mediated electron transport from d-proline or d-alanine to oxygen via the respiratory chain in H. pylori. Coupling of the electron transport to ATP synthesis was confirmed by using uncoupler reagents. We reconstituted the electron transport chain to demonstrate the electron flow from the d-amino acids to oxygen using the recombinant cytochrome bc(1) complex, cytochrome c-553, and the terminal oxidase cytochrome cbb(3) complex. Upon addition of the recombinant d-amino acid dehydrogenase and d-proline or d-alanine to the reconstituted electron transport system, reduction of cytochrome cbb(3) and oxygen consumption was revealed spectrophotometrically and polarographically, respectively. Among the constituents of H. pylori's electron transport chain, only the cytochrome bc(1) complex had been remained unpurified. Therefore, we cloned and sequenced the H. pylori NCTC 11637 cytochrome bc(1) gene clusters encoding Rieske Fe-S protein, cytochrome b, and cytochrome c(1), with calculated molecular masses of 18 kDa, 47 kDa, and 32 kDa, respectively, and purified the recombinant monomeric protein complex with a molecular mass of 110 kDa by gel filtration. The absorption spectrum of the recombinant cytochrome bc(1) complex showed an alpha peak at 561 nm with a shoulder at 552 nm.
    Journal of bacteriology 12/2009; 192(5):1410-5. · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is a microaerophilic bacterium, associated with gastric inflammation and peptic ulcers. D-Amino acid dehydrogenase is a flavoenzyme that digests free neutral D-amino acids yielding corresponding 2-oxo acids and hydrogen. We sequenced the H. pylori NCTC 11637 D-amino acid dehydrogenase gene, dadA. The primary structure deduced from the gene showed low similarity with other bacterial D-amino acid dehydrogenases. We purified the enzyme to homogeneity from recombinant Escherichia coli cells by cloning dadA. The recombinant protein, DadA, with 44 kDa molecular mass, possessed FAD as cofactor, and showed the highest activity to D-proline. The enzyme mediated electron transport from D-proline to coenzyme Q(1), thus distinguishing it from D-amino acid oxidase. The apparent K(m) and V(max) values were 40.2 mM and 25.0 micromol min(-1) mg(-1), respectively, for dehydrogenation of D-proline, and were 8.2 microM and 12.3 micromol min(-1) mg(-1), respectively, for reduction of Q(1). The respective pH and temperature optima were 8.0 and 37 degrees C. Enzyme activity was inhibited markedly by benzoate, and moderately by SH reagents. DadA showed more similarity with mammalian D-amino acid oxidase than other bacterial D-amino acid dehydrogenases in some enzymatic characteristics. Electron transport from D-proline to a c-type cytochrome was suggested spectrophotometrically.
    Amino Acids 03/2009; 38(1):247-55. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: H. pylori is a gram-negative bacterium associated with gastric inflammation and peptic ulcer and considered a risk factor for gastric cancer in its natural habitat. However, the energy metabolism of H. pylori in the stomach remains to be clarified. H. pylori shows rather high respiratory activity with L-proline and significantly large amounts of L-proline are present in the gastric juice from H. pylori infected patients. We constructed a disrupted mutant of the put A gene, which encodes the proline utilization A (Put A) flavin-linked enzyme, in order to examine the role of put A in the gastric colonization of H. pylori. The put A disrupted mutant, DeltaputA, was constructed by inserting a chloramphenicol resistant gene into put A. DeltaputA did not show respiratory activity using L-proline and could not incorporate L-proline into cells. DeltaputA also did not show motility in response to amino acids and did not display the swarming activity observed with the wild-type. DeltaputA had lost its ability to colonize the stomach of nude mice, an ability possessed by the wild-type. These findings indicate that put A may play an important role in H. pylori colonization on the gastric mucus layer.
    Biomedical Research 03/2008; 29(1):9-18. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyrobaculum islandicum is an anaerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon that is most active at 100 degrees C. A pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent serine racemase called Srr was purified from the organism. The corresponding srr gene was cloned, and recombinant Srr was purified from Escherichia coli. It showed the highest racemase activity toward L-serine, followed by L-threonine, D-serine, and D-threonine. Like rodent and plant serine racemases, Srr is bifunctional, showing high L-serine/L-threonine dehydratase activity. The sequence of Srr is 87% similar to that of Pyrobaculum aerophilum IlvA (a putative threonine dehydratase) but less than 32% similar to any other serine racemases and threonine dehydratases. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration analyses revealed that Srr is a homotrimer of a 44,000-molecular-weight subunit. Both racemase and dehydratase activities were highest at 95 degrees C, while racemization and dehydration were maximum at pH 8.2 and 7.8, respectively. Unlike other, related Ilv enzymes, Srr showed no allosteric properties: neither of these enzymatic activities was affected by either L-amino acids (isoleucine and valine) or most of the metal ions. Only Fe2+ and Cu2+ caused 20 to 30% inhibition and 30 to 40% stimulation of both enzyme activities, respectively. ATP inhibited racemase activity by 10 to 20%. The Km and Vmax values of the racemase activity of Srr for L-serine were 185 mM and 20.1 micromol/min/mg, respectively, while the corresponding values of the dehydratase activity of L-serine were 2.2 mM and 80.4 micromol/min/mg, respectively.
    Journal of bacteriology 03/2008; 190(4):1359-65. · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase was purified by several column chromatographies from Helicobacter pylori NCTC 11637, and the N-terminal amino acid sequence was analyzed. The enzyme gene was sequenced based on a putative branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase gene, ilvE of H. pylori 26695, and the whole amino acid sequence was deduced from the nucleotide sequence. The enzyme existed in a homodimer with a calculated subunit molecular weight (MW) of 37,539 and an isoelectric point (pI) of 6.47. The enzyme showed high affinity to 2-oxoglutarate (K (m) = 0.085 mM) and L-isoleucine (K (m) = 0.34 mM), and V (max) was 27.3 micromol/min/mg. The best substrate was found to be L-isoleucine followed by L-leucine and L-valine. No activity was shown toward the D-enantiomers of these amino acids. The optimal pH and temperature were pH 8.0 and 37 degrees C, respectively.
    Amino Acids 10/2007; 33(3):445-9. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular green microalga, could grow to a stationary phase having optical density of 2.0-2.5 at 750 nm in Tris-acetate-phosphate (TAP) medium containing 0.1% D-alanine. D-alanine has no inhibitory effect on growth and induced alanine racemase activity 130-fold more than without D-alanine in the green alga. Although C. reinhardtii cultured in the TAP medium showed alanine racemase activity, the content of free D-alanine was only 0.14%. The enzyme was partially purified by ammonium sulfate fractionation followed by three kinds of liquid chromatography using DEAE Toyopearl, Phenyl Sepharose, and TSK G3000 SWXL columns. The specific activity for L-alanine of the partially purified alanine racemase was 3.8 micromol/min/mg. The molecular weight of the enzyme was determined to be approximately 72,000 by gel filtration. The enzyme showed a maximum activity at 45 degrees C and pH 8.4 and requires pyridoxal 5'-phosphate as a coenzyme.
    Amino Acids 02/2007; 32(1):59-62. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Helicobacter pylori NCTC 11637 alanine racemase gene, alr1, was cloned based on a putative alanine racemase gene, alr, of H. pylori 26695. The protein, Alr1, was purified to homogeneity from Escherichia coli MB2795 cells harboring the alr1 gene. The protein exclusively catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine to the d-isomer with K(m) and V(max) values of 100 mM and 909 mumol min(-1) mg(-1), respectively. The values are 16-fold higher than those for the reaction in the reverse direction. The molecular weight of Alr1 is 42,000 by SDS-PAGE, and 68,000 by gel-filtration analysis. The optimal pH and temperature are pH 8.3 and 37 degrees C, respectively, in good accordance with the characteristics shown by the alanine racemase purified from H. pylori NCTC 11637 cells. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate was suggested to be the cofactor. The physiological function of Alr1 is discussed regarding energy production in the microbial cells.
    Life Sciences 02/2007; 80(8):788-94. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The concentrations of free D- and L-amino acids were determined in the gastric juice from four groups: patients suffering from early gastric carcinoma with or without Helicobacter pylori infection, and patients without carcinoma but with peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers or chronic gastritis with or without H. pylori infection. H. pylori is a bacterium associated with gastric inflammation and peptic ulcers and is a risk factor for stomach cancer. The highest D-amino acid ratios (free D-amino acid concentration to the total corresponding free D- and L-amino acid concentration) were 29%, 26%, 18%, 4% and 1% for proline, alanine, serine, aspartate and glutamate, respectively. The gastric juice levels of L-alanine, L-serine, L-proline, L-glutamate and D-alanine in the samples obtained from subjects bearing early gastric carcinoma and H. pylori were significantly higher than in the samples from the other three groups. Except for D-alanine, there was no correlation between the D-amino acid concentrations and presence of carcinoma or H. pylori.
    Amino Acids 02/2007; 32(1):137-40. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Free neutral D-amino acids have previously been detected in human plasma, usually accounting for less than 2% of the total free amino acid concentration (D-amino acid ratio) [Nagata, Y., Masui, R., Akino, T., 1992a. The presence of free D-serine, D-alanine and D-proline in human plasma. Experientia 48, 986-988. Nagata, Y., Yamamoto, K., Shimojo, T., 1992b. Determination of D- and L-amino acids in mouse kidney by high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Chromatography 575, 147-152. Nagata, Y., Yamamoto, K., Shimojo, T., Konno, R., Yasumura, Y., Akino, T., 1992c. The presence of free D-alanine, D-proline and D-serine in mice. Biochimca et Biiophysica Acta 1115, 208-211]. In the present study to search for the source of free D-amino acids, D- and L-enantiomers of the major non-essential amino acids, i.e., the free form of serine, alanine, proline, aspartate and glutamate were analyzed by HPLC in human saliva, submandibular glands and oral epithelial cells. The D-enantiomer ratios to total of free alanine or proline were 35% and 20%, respectively, in saliva. The ratios of the other D-amino acids were less than 11%. The effect of ingested food and oral bacteria on the saliva amino acid levels was suggested to be insignificant. D-Alanine and d-aspartate were also detected in the submandibular gland in ratios up to 5%, and D-alanine and d-proline were found in oral epithelial cells in ratios of 18% and 5%, respectively. The submandibular gland and oral epithelial cells are suggested to be possible sources of the saliva D-alanine and D-aspartate.
    Life Sciences 04/2006; 78(15):1677-81. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori whole cells showed high rates of oxygen uptake with L-serine and L-proline as respiratory substrates, and somewhat lower rates with D-alanine and D-proline. These respiratory activities were inhibited by rotenone and antimycin A at low concentrations. Since pyruvate was produced from L-serine and D- and L-alanine in whole cells, the respiratory activities with these amino acids as substrates occurred via pyruvate. Whole cells showed 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCIP)-reducing activities with D- and L-proline and D-alanine as substrates, suggesting that hydrogen removed from these amino acids also participated in oxygen uptake by the whole cells. High amounts of L-proline, D- and L-alanine, and L-serine were present in H. pylori cells, and these amino acids also predominated in samples of human gastric juice. H. pylori seems to utilize D- and L-proline, D-alanine and L-serine as important energy sources in its habitat of the mucous layer of the stomach.
    Microbiology 09/2003; 149(Pt 8):2023-30. · 2.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

91 Citations
38.65 Total Impact Points


  • 2003–2014
    • Nihon University
      • • Department of Materials and Applied Chemistry
      • • Department of Applied Chemistry
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2008–2010
    • University of Hyogo
      • • Graduate School of Life Science
      • • Department of Life Science
      Akō, Hyogo-ken, Japan