Kazuyuki Yanai

University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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Publications (21)75.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Renin, a major regulatory component of the renin-angiotensin system, plays a pivotal role in regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis and is predominantly expressed in the kidney. Several cAMP-responsive elements have been identified within renin gene promoters. Here, we study how 2 such elements, renin proximal promoter element-2 (RP-2) and overlapping cAMP and negative regulatory elements (CNRE), affect the transcriptional regulation of renin. We generated Tg mice (TgM) bearing BACs containing either WT or mutant RP-2 or CNRE, integrated at single chromosomal loci. Analysis of the TgM revealed that RP-2 was essential to basal promoter activity in the kidney, while renin mRNA levels did not significantly change in any tissues tested in the CNRE mutant TgM. To evaluate the physiological significance of these mutations, we used the BAC Tg to rescue hypotensive Renin-null mutant mice. As predicted, no renin expression was observed in the kidneys of RP-2 mutant/Renin-null compound mice, whereas renin expression in CNRE mutant compound mice was indistinguishable from that in control mice. Consistent with this, RP-2 mutant animals were hypotensive, while CNRE mutants had normal blood pressure. Thus, transcriptional regulation of renin expression via RP-2 but not CNRE is critical for blood pressure regulation by this gene.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2008; 118(3):1006-16. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurochondrin is a brain and bone specific leucine-rich protein. We previously cloned the two types of mRNAs (neurochondrin-1; 729 amino acids and neurochondrin-2; 712 amino acids) from mouse and human species. As a first step, to better understand the mechanism of the bone and brain specific and developmentally regulated expression of the neruochondrin gene, the genomic organization of murine neurochondrin was determined. It consists of 7 exons and spans about 10 kb; all splice junctions conform to the GT/AG rule. It codes for two alternatively spliced messenger RNAs, neurochondrin-1 containing all 7 exons and neurochondrin-2 lacking exon 1b but containing the other exons. Cap site analysis showed that the major transcription initiation occurs at 765 bp upstream of the ATG start codon of neurochondrin-1. The promoter region has no TATA and CAAT box-like sequence but contains potential AP-1 and SP-1 binding sites. The neurochondrin gene is localized to mouse chromosome 4D1 and rat chromosome 5q36.11.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 10/2004; 14(3):361-6. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously identified a regulatory element at the 3'-downstream region of the human angiotensinogen (hANG) gene. Using this element as a probe by the Southwestern screening, we isolated a cDNA clone, encoding Finb, a transcriptional activator with multiple zinc finger domains. The N-terminal zinc finger domain of Finb bound to the GGATGG sequence within the regulatory element. Unexpectedly, Finb repressed transcription dependent on the regulatory element. Inspection of the 5'-flanking region in the hANG promoter identified the GGATGG-like elements, which prompted us to examine the effect of Finb on the hANG promoter activity. We also found the two Finb binding elements in the 5'-flanking region of the hANG gene by the gel shift assay, both of which were necessary for transcriptional repression of the hANG promoter. These findings suggest that Finb functions as a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor of the hANG gene.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 06/2004; 13(5):637-42. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurochondrin is a cytoplasmic protein possibly involved in neurite outgrowth and chondrocyte differentiation. In the present study, we have identified 202 bp of the mouse neurochondrin minimal promoter sequences encompassing the transcriptional initiation site, and both of the activating and repressing regions in the first exon. These two regulatory regions in the first exon had a cell type dependent effect on the identified minimal promoter. In the regulatory region, the duplication of potential binding sites for GATA family transcriptional factors was observed. Prospective binding sites for sex determining region Y and c-Ets1 were also found in the minimal promoter region. These factors could be potential regulators for the mouse neurochondrin gene.
    Neuroscience Letters 03/2004; 356(2):107-10. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurochondrin/norbin is a cytoplasmic protein involved in dendrite outgrowth. The expression of the gene has been restricted to neural, bone, and chondral tissues. To identify the functions of the gene in vivo, we have generated mice with a disrupted mutation in the neurochondrin/norbin gene. Histological analysis of heterozygous mutant mice indicates the possibility of specific functions of neurochondrin/norbin in chondrocyte differentiation. We defined the expression patterns of neurochondrin/norbin-lacZ fusion protein in the central nervous system. In the developing olfactory bulb, beta-galactosidase activity was detected in the mantle layer at 12.5 dpc and the strongest activity was detected in the presumptive mitral or tufted cell layer at 15.5 dpc. beta-Galactosidase activity was also detected in the lateral choroid plexus. In homozygous (-/-) mutant mice, the disruption of the neurochondrin/norbin gene leads to early embryonic death between 3.5 and 6.5 dpc. This result indicates that neurochondrin/norbin gene function is essential for the early embryogenesis.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2003; 310(4):1219-26. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitous basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor USFs encoded by two distinct genes (USF1 and USF2) recognize a core motif, CACGTG, termed E box and regulate the expression of a variety of genes. USF1 and USF2 proteins form homo- and heterodimers to bind the target core motif DNA. Here, we report the molecular cloning and functional characterization of a novel alternative splicing variant of human USF1 (hUSF1), termed USF1/BD. Compared with USF1 wild-type (wt), USF1/BD lacks the N-terminal transactivation domain. Cloning and characterization of the hUSF1 genomic region revealed that USF1/BD is generated by excising the sequence corresponding to a part of exon 4. In transiently transfected cells, USF1/BD was localized in the nucleus and repressed the promoter activity of the human angiotensinogen gene. In vitro translated USF1/BD possessed DNA binding activity as a homodimer and a heterodimer with USF1 (wt). These results suggest that USF1/BD plays a role as a modulator of USF1 to control the expression of target genes.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 09/2003; 12(2):161-7. · 1.96 Impact Factor
  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2000; 1490(3):367-8. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Gene Structure and Expression 02/2000; 1490(3):367–368. · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renin plays a key role in controlling blood pressure through its specific cleavage of angiotensinogen to generate angiotensin I (AI). Although possible existence of the other angiotensin forming enzymes has been discussed to date, its in vivo function remains to be elucidated. To address the contribution of renin, we generated renin knockout mice. Homozygous mutant mice show neither detectable levels of plasma renin activity nor plasma AI, lowered blood pressure 20–30 mm Hg less than normal, increased urine and drinking volume, and altered renal morphology as those observed in angiotensinogen-deficient mice. We recently found the decreased density in granular layer cells of hippocampus and the impaired blood-brain barrier function in angiotensinogen-deficient mice. Surprisingly, however, such brain phenotypes were not observed in renin-deficient mice. Our results demonstrate an indispensable role for renin in the circulating angiotensin generation and in the maintenance of blood pressure, but suggest a dispensable role for renin in the blood-brain barrier function.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2000; 275(1):5-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have implicated acetylation of several nuclear proteins such as histones and p53 on their epsilon-portion of lysine residues in eukaryotic transcription. Here we raised a specific polyclonal antibody against epsilon-acetylated lysine. Using the antibody, we detected hypernuclear acetylation (HNA) in atherosclerotic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Thrombin, a humoral factor known to cause activation and proliferation of VSMCs, strongly potentiated HNA in cultured VSMCs. MAP kinase pathway and a signal coactivator CREB binding protein (CBP) were involved in thrombin-induced HNA of VSMCs. Our results suggest that coactivators cooperating with signal-dependent transcription activators play an important role in atherosclerogenesis via HNA in VSMCs.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2000; 266(2):417-24. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously identified various upstream and downstream regulatory elements and factors important for hepatic expression of the human angiotensinogen (ANG) gene, the precursor of vasoactive octapeptide angiotensin II. In the present study, to further investigate the molecular mechanism of human ANG transcriptional regulation, we generated transgenic mice carrying the fusion gene composed of the 1. 3-kilobase promoter of the human ANG gene, its downstream enhancer, and the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene. Because expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene was observed strongly in the liver and weakly in the kidney, we suspected that hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 4 with a tissue expression pattern similar to that of the reporter gene would regulate ANG transcription. In vitro assays indicated that HNF4 bound to the promoter elements and strongly activated the ANG transcription, but that chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor (COUP-TF), a transcriptional repressor, dramatically repressed human ANG transcription through the promoter elements and the downstream enhancer core elements. Furthermore, COUP-TF dramatically decreased the human ANG transcription in the mouse liver by the Helios Gene Gun system in vivo. These results suggest that an interplay between HNF4 and COUP-TF could be important in hepatic human ANG transcription.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2000; 274(49):34605-12. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-gene Structure and Expression - BBA-GENE STRUCT EXPRESS. 01/2000; 1490(3):367-368.
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    ABSTRACT: We previously identified various upstream and downstream regulatory elements and factors important for hepatic expression of the human angiotensinogen (ANG) gene, the precursor of vasoactive octapeptide angiotensin II. In the present study, to further investigate the molecular mechanism of human ANG transcriptional regulation, we generated transgenic mice carrying the fusion gene composed of the 1.3-kilobase promoter of the human ANG gene, its downstream enhancer, and the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene. Because expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene was observed strongly in the liver and weakly in the kidney, we suspected that hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 4 with a tissue expression pattern similar to that of the reporter gene would regulate ANG transcription. In vitro assays indicated that HNF4 bound to the promoter elements and strongly activated the ANG transcription, but that chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor (COUP-TF), a transcriptional repressor, dramatically repressed human ANG transcription through the promoter elements and the downstream enhancer core elements. Furthermore, COUP-TF dramatically decreased the human ANG transcription in the mouse liver by the Helios Gene Gun system in vivo. These results suggest that an interplay between HNF4 and COUP-TF could be important in hepatic human ANG transcription.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/1999; 274(49):34605-34612. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human neurochondrins have been cloned from a brain cDNA library. The human neurochondrin-1 and -2 predict leucine-rich (15.8 and 15.9%) proteins of 729 and 712 amino acid residues, with molecular weights of 78.9 and 77.2 kDa, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence indicates 98% identity among human, mouse and rat species. Northern analysis indicates that about 4 kb human neurochondrin mRNAs are abundant in the fetal and the adult brain.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/1999; 1446(3):397-402. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human neurochondrins have been cloned from a brain cDNA library. The human neurochondrin-1 and -2 predict leucine-rich (15.8 and 15.9%) proteins of 729 and 712 amino acid residues, with molecular weights of 78.9 and 77.2 kDa, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence indicates 98% identity among human, mouse and rat species. Northern analysis indicates that about 4 kb human neurochondrin mRNAs are abundant in the fetal and the adult brain.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Gene Structure and Expression 09/1999; 1446(3):397-402. · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone, one of the favored sites for tumor metastasis, is a dynamic organ undergoing formation and resorption. We found bone metastasis with osteolytic lesion in the bone marrow of the femur by injecting BW5147 T-lymphoma cells into the tail vein of AKR mice. To understand this bone destruction, we constructed a cDNA library from BW5147 with a cloning vector that allowed in vitro synthesis of mRNAs, and then identified a particular cDNA clone by adding the conditioned medium from Xenopus oocytes following injection of the mRNA synthesized in vitro to primary bone marrow heterogeneous cell populations on hydroxyapatite thin films. By means of this method, we isolated a factor with 16% leucine residues, termed neurochondrin, that induces hydroxyapatite resorptive activity in bone marrow cells resistant to bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of macrophage- and osteoclast-mediated resorption. Expression of the gene was localized to chondrocyte, osteoblast, and osteocyte in the bone and to the hippocampus and Purkinje cell layer of cerebellum in the brain. This may provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying bone resorption with potential implications for the activation of cells other than macrophages and osteoclasts in bone marrow cells.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/1999; 1450(1):92-8. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genetic studies indicate that several molecular variants discovered in angiotensinogen (AG), the precursor of vasoactive octapeptide angiotensin II, could potentially be responsible for inherited predisposition to human blood pressure variation. We have previously shown that a ubiquitously expressed nuclear factor, AGCF1, bound to AGCE1 (AG core promoter element 1 including the core nucleotides, CTCGTG, CTC-type) located between the TATA box and transcription initiation site (positions -25 to -1) is an authentic regulator of human AG transcription. In the present study, we showed that AGCF1 has biologically and immunologically similar properties to those of a helix-loop-helix nuclear factor USF1 and examined the effects of two other naturally occurring molecular variants (ATCGTG, ATC-type and ATTGTG, ATT-type) found in the AGCE1 position on the human AG transcriptional activity. Competitive gel-shift and transfection experiments demonstrated that the transcriptional activity for the CTC- and ATC-type promoters was 2.5 times higher than that for the ATT-type through the alteration of AGCF1-binding affinity. These results suggest the possible involvement of USF1 as a component in AGCF1 formation and the potential importance of AGCE1 variation in blood pressure regulation through human AG expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/1997; 272(48):30558-62. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiotensinogen is the precursor protein of angiotensin II that is involved in regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis, and it is mainly synthesized in the liver. In the present study, we analyzed the human angiotensinogen proximal promoter region by means of Chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assays, and suggested that the region from -106 to +44 is sufficient for hepatoma cell line (HepG2)-specific expression. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays using ALE (ATF-like element, -102 to -87) fragment identified CREB/ATF family nuclear factors and novel ones, ALF (ALE-binding factor). The deletion and in vivo competition of ALE decreased the human angiotensinogen promoter activity. Furthermore, the heterologous promoter analysis demonstrated that ALE acts as a HepG2-dependent activating element. These results indicate that ALE plays an important role in hepatic expression of human angiotensinogen gene.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/1997; 237(1):158-62. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of human angiotensinogen (ANG) gene expression in the brain, we analyzed the 1.3-kb promoter by transfection studies and gel shift assays. The region from -106 to +44 was sufficient for promoter activity in glioblastoma cells, and multiple nuclear factors including AGCF2 (human ANG core promoter binding factor 2) bound within this 150-bp region. The mutations within AGCF2-binding elements decreased the transcriptional activity in glioblastoma cells but rather increased it in hepatoma cells. These results indicate that AGCF2 has a differential function between these cells and contributes to the glia-dependent angiotensinogen promoter activity.
    FEBS Letters 08/1997; 412(2):285-9. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The promoter of the human angiotensinogen (hAG) gene functioned in its own core promoter context but not when replaced with simian virus 40 (SV40) core promoter, suggesting the presence of a transcriptionally important cis-acting sequence. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that a ubiquitously expressed nuclear factor, AGCF1, bound to AGCE1 (hAG core promoter element 1; positions -25 to -1) located between the TATA box and transcription initiation site. Substitution mutation in AGCE1 which disrupted AGCF1 binding affected the promoter activity more severely than a nonsense mutation of the hAG TATA sequences did. When AGCE1 was placed at the downstream of SV40 core promoter, the responsiveness to hAG upstream region was significantly restored. Furthermore, mutation and in vivo competition experiments suggested that AGCF1 acts as a critical regulator of hAG transcription by mediating the activity of the hAG upstream and downstream enhancer elements. DNase I footprinting and UV cross-linking analyses showed that AGCF1 with apparent molecular masses of 31, 33, and 43 kDa as the components protected the region from -26 to -9 which partially overlapped with the TATA box consensus sequences. These findings indicate that AGCE1 in addition to the TATA box plays a key role in mediating the hAG regulatory elements.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/1996; 271(27):15981-6. · 4.65 Impact Factor