Kazunori Imaizumi

Hiroshima University, Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan

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Publications (134)496.84 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Type II collagen is a major component of cartilage. Heterozygous mutations in the type II collagen gene (COL2A1) result in a group of skeletal dysplasias known as Type II collagenopathy (COL2pathy). The understanding of COL2pathy is limited by difficulties in obtaining live chondrocytes. In the present study, we converted COL2pathy patients' fibroblasts directly into induced chondrogenic (iChon) cells. The COL2pathy-iChon cells showed suppressed expression of COL2A1 and significant apoptosis. A distended endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was detected, thus suggesting the adaptation of gene expression and cell death caused by excess ER stress. Chondrogenic supplementation adversely affected the chondrogenesis due to forced elevation of COL2A1 expression, suggesting that the application of chondrogenic drugs would worsen the disease condition. The application of a chemical chaperone increased the secretion of type II collagen, and partially rescued COL2pathy-iChon cells from apoptosis, suggesting that molecular chaperons serve as therapeutic drug candidates. We next generated induced pluripotent stem cells from COL2pathy fibroblasts. Chondrogenically-differentiated COL2pathy-iPS cells showed apoptosis and increased expression of ER stress-markers. Finally, we generated teratomas by transplanting COL2pathy iPS cells into immunodeficient mice. The cartilage in the teratomas showed accumulation of type II collagen within cells, a distended ER, and sparse matrix, recapitulating the patient's cartilage. These COL2pathy models will be useful for pathophysiological studies and drug screening.
    Human Molecular Genetics 09/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer, box B-binding factor 2 human homolog on chromosome 7 (BBF2H7), is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transmembrane transcription factor. This molecule is activated in response to ER stress during chondrogenesis. The activated BBF2H7 accelerates cartilage matrix protein secretion through the up-regulation of Sec23a, which is responsible for protein transport from the ER to the Golgi apparatus and is a target of BBF2H7. In the present study, we elucidated the mechanisms of the transcriptional activation of BBF2H7 in chondrocytes. The transcription of Bbf2h7 is regulated by Sex determining region Y-related high-mobility group box 9 (Sox9), a critical factor for chondrocyte differentiation that facilitates the expression of one of the major cartilage matrix proteins Type II collagen (Col2), through binding to the Sox DNA-binding motif in the Bbf2h7 promoter. BBF2H7 is activated as a transcription factor in response to physiological ER stress caused by abundant synthesis of cartilage matrix proteins, and consequently regulates the secretion of cartilage matrix proteins. Taken together, our findings demonstrate novel regulatory mechanisms of Sox9 for controlling the secretion of cartilage matrix proteins through the activation of BBF2H7-Sec23a signaling during chondrogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OASIS, a basic leucine zipper transcription factor of the cAMP response element binding/Activating transcription factor family, is induced in reactive astrocytes in vivo and has important roles in quality control of protein synthesis at the endoplasmic reticulum. Reactive astrocytes produce a non-permissive environment for regenerating axons by up-regulating chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). In this study, we focus on the potential role of OASIS in CSPG production in the adult mouse cerebral cortex. CS-C immunoreactivity, which represents chondroitin sulfate moieties, was significantly attenuated in the stab-injured cortices of OASIS-knockout mice compared to those of wild type mice. We next examined expression of the CSPG-synthesizing enzymes and core proteins of CSPGs in the stab-injured cortices of OASIS-knockout and wild type mice. The levels of chondroitin 6-O-sulfotransferase 1 (C6ST1, one of the major enzymes involved in sulfation of CSPGs) mRNA and protein increased after cortical stab injury of wild type, but not of OASIS-knockout, mice. A C-terminal deletion mutant OASIS overexpressed in rat C6 glioma cells increased C6ST1 transcription by interacting with the first intron region. Neurite outgrowth of cultured hippocampal neurons was inhibited on culture dishes coated with membrane fractions of EGF-treated astrocytes derived from wild type but not from OASIS-knockout mice. These results suggest that OASIS regulates the transcription of C6ST1 and thereby promotes CSPG sulfation in astrocytes. Through these mechanisms, OASIS may modulate axonal regeneration in the injured cerebral cortex.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2014; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induces sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) expression through the PERK pathway, which is one of the cell's responses to ER stress. In addition, it has been demonstrated that induction of Sig-1R can repress cell death signaling. Fluvoxamine (Flv) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) with a high affinity for Sig-1R. In the present study, we show that treatment of neuroblastoma cells with Flv induces Sig-1R expression by increasing ATF4 translation directly, through its own activation, without involvement of the PERK pathway. The Flv-mediated induction of Sig-1R prevents neuronal cell death resulting from ER stress. Moreover, Flv-induced ER stress resistance reduces the infarct area in mice after focal cerebral ischemia. Thus, Flv, which is used frequently in clinical practice, can alleviate ER stress. This suggests that Flv could be a feasible therapy for cerebral diseases caused by ER stress.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2014; 5:e1332. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OASIS is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transmembrane transcription factor that is activated in response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Previously, we showed that OASIS regulates final maturation of goblet cells in the large intestine. In the present study, to elucidate the roles of OASIS under pathophysiological conditions, we examined the stress response and inflammatory responses in Oasis deficient (Oasis-/-) mice exposed to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to induce colitis. A significant loss of body weight and an increase of mortality were observed in Oasis-/- mice with DSS-induced colitis compared with those in WT mice. The mucosa of the large intestine in Oasis-/- mice exhibited severe damage involving inflammatory cell infiltration. The expression levels of ER stress and apoptosis markers in intestinal epithelial cells were upregulated in Oasis-/- mice. These abnormalities were improved by treatment with tauroursodeoxycholic acid, a chemical chaperone that facilitates protein folding. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that OASIS plays important roles in protection of the large intestinal mucosa in DSS-induced colitis through attenuation of ER stress and inflammation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e88048. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer BBF2H7/CREB3L2 is an ER-resident transmembrane transcription factor. In response to physiological ER stress, it is processed at the transmembrane region to generate a cytoplasmic N terminus, which contains a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain, and luminal C terminus. The BBF2H7 N terminus functions as a transcription factor to promote the expression of ER-Golgi trafficking-related genes and plays crucial roles in chondrocyte differentiation. Here, we found that the BBF2H7 C terminus is secreted into the extracellular space as a signaling molecule for cell-to-cell communication. The secreted BBF2H7 C terminus directly binds to both Indian hedgehog and its receptor Patched-1, followed by activation of Hedgehog signaling, resulting in promoting the proliferation of neighboring chondrocytes. The dual N- and C-terminal functions of BBF2H7 triggered by physiological ER stress may allow chondrocytes to simultaneously regulate distinct cellular events for differentiation and proliferation in developing cartilage.
    Molecular cell 12/2013; · 14.61 Impact Factor
  • Atsushi Saito, Kazunori Imaizumi
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    ABSTRACT: Various cellular conditions such as synthesis of abundant proteins, expressions of mutant proteins and oxidative stress lead to accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. This type of stress is called ER stress. The excessive ER stress causes cellular damages followed by apoptosis. When ER stress occurs, cells are activated ER stress response (unfolded protein response) to avoid cellular damages. Recently, it has been clear that ER stress response plays crucial roles not only in cell survival after ER stress but also in regulating various cellular functions and tissue formations. In particular, ER stress and ER stress response regulate protein quality control, secretory protein production, and smooth secretion of proteins in the cells such as osteoblasts which synthesize and secrete enormous matrix proteins.
    Clinical calcium 11/2013; 23(11):1569-75.
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    ABSTRACT: Although identification of substrates for an enzyme is a key step in elucidation of its biological functions, detection of the interaction between enzymes and substrates remains challenging. We recently developed a new approach, termed DiPIUS (differential proteomics-based identification of ubiquitylation substrates), for the discovery of substrates of ubiquitin ligases. We have now applied DiPIUS to Fbxw7, the F-box protein component of an SCF-type ubiquitin ligase, and thereby identified two similar transcription factors, OASIS and BBF2H7, as candidate substrates. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis confirmed that the α and γ isoforms of Fbxw7 interact with OASIS and BBF2H7 in vivo. Sustained overexpression of Fbxw7 resulted in marked down-regulation of OASIS and BBF2H7, whereas RNAi-mediated Fbxw7 depletion stabilized both proteins. Mutation of a putative Cdc4 phosphodegron in OASIS and BBF2H7 attenuated their association with Fbxw7 and resulted in their stabilization. Depletion of Fbxw7 promoted the differentiation of mouse C2C12 mesenchymal cells into osteoblasts in association with the accumulation of OASIS. Conversely, overexpression of Fbxw7 in C2C12 cells resulted in down-regulation of Col1A1 mRNA, a target of OASIS. Conditional ablation of Fbxw7 in primary mouse mesenchymal cells promoted chondrogenesis in association with up-regulation of BBF2H7, whereas overexpression of Fbxw7 inhibited chondrogenesis in ATDC5 cells. Collectively, our results suggest that OASIS and BBF2H7 are bona fide substrates of Fbxw7, and that Fbxw7 controls osteogenesis and chondrogenesis by targeting OASIS and BBF2H7, respectively, for degradation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA) is the main mediator of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis plays important roles not only in many physiological processes, but also in the pathophysiology of many diseases. VEGFA is one of the therapeutic targets of treatment for ocular diseases with neovascularization. Therefore, elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms for VEGFA expression is important for the development of pharmaceutical drugs. Recent studies have demonstrated that the unfolded protein response is involved in the transcriptional regulation of VEGFA. However, the precise regulation of VEGFA in the human retina is not fully understood. When human retinal pigment epithelial cells, ARPE-19, were exposed to endoplasmic reticulum stressors, VEGFA mRNA was significantly upregulated. The unfolded protein response-related transcription factors XBP1, ATF4, ATF6, and OASIS were expressed in ARPE-19 cells. To determine which transcription factors preferentially contribute to the induction of VEGFA expression after endoplasmic reticulum stress, we carried out reporter assays using an approximately 6-kbp 5'-upstream region of the human VEGFA gene. Among these transcription factors, OASIS acted most effectively on the VEGFA promoter in ARPE-19 cells. Based on data obtained for certain deleted and mutated reporter constructs, we determined that OASIS promoted VEGFA expression by acting on a cyclic AMP-responsive element-like site located at around -500 bp relative to the VEGFA transcription start site. Furthermore, we confirmed that OASIS directly bound to the promoter region containing this site by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. We have demonstrated a novel regulatory mechanism for VEGFA transcription by OASIS in human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Chemical compounds that regulate the binding of OASIS to the promoter region of the VEGFA gene may have potential as therapeutic agents for ocular diseases with neovascularization.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e55155. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tauopathy is a pathological condition with an abnormal intracellular accumulation of tau protein in neurons and glias, which is a feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as frontotemporal lobar degenerations (FTLD). Recent reports showed that tauopathy occupies an important position for pathological process of dementia generally. Previously, we reported that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has an influence on the onset of AD. In addition, some reports on brain autopsy findings suggest that ER stress is associated with AD and tauopathy. However, the mechanism underlying the association between ER stress and tauopathy is still unknown. Here, we show that ER stress, induced by glucose deprivation or chemicals, increases total endogenous tau protein in cultured neurons and primary cultured neurons. Under ER stress, no significant differences were observed in the transcription of tau, and no differences were observed in the translation of tau with or without the 5'-untranslated region (5'UTR) of tau. In contrast, the degradation rate of tau was decreased by 20% under ER stress. ER stress reduced the binding between tau and carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP), ubiquitin E3 ligase for tau. These results suggest that ER stress increases total tau protein and its mechanism is due to the decrease in the binding between tau and CHIP, which delays the degradation of tau protein through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. This mechanism may provide clue to treatment for tauopathy.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2012; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BBF2H7 (box B-binding factor 2 human homolog on chromosome 7) is a basic leucine zipper transmembrane transcription factor that belongs to the cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB)/activating transcription factor (ATF) family. This novel endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer is localized in the ER and is cleaved in its transmembrane region in response to ER stress. BBF2H7 has been shown to be expressed in proliferating chondrocytes in cartilage during the development of long bones. The target of BBF2H7 is Sec23a, one of the coat protein complex II components. Bbf2h7-deficient (Bbf2h7(-/-)) mice exhibit severe chondrodysplasia, with expansion of the rough ER in proliferating chondrocytes caused by impaired secretion of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. We observed a decrease in the number of proliferating chondrocytes in the cartilage of Bbf2h7(-/-) mice. TUNEL staining of the cartilage showed that apoptosis was promoted in Bbf2h7(-/-) chondrocytes. Atf5 (activating transcription factor 5), another member of the CREB/ATF family and an antiapoptotic factor, was also found to be a target of BBF2H7 in chondrocytes. ATF5 activated the transcription of Mcl1 (myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1), which belongs to the antiapoptotic B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 family, to suppress apoptosis. Finally, we found that the BBF2H7-ATF5-MCL1 pathway specifically suppressed ER stress-induced apoptosis in chondrocytes. Taken together, our findings indicate that BBF2H7 is activated in response to ER stress caused by synthesis of abundant ECM proteins and plays crucial roles as a bifunctional regulator to accelerate ECM protein secretion and suppress ER stress-induced apoptosis by activating the ATF5-MCL1 pathway during chondrogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2012; 287(43):36190-200. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OASIS is a member of the CREB/ATF family of transcription factors and modulates cell- or tissue-specific unfolded protein response signalling. Here we show that this modulation has a critical role in the differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes. Cerebral cortices of mice specifically deficient in OASIS (Oasis(-/-)) contain fewer astrocytes and more neural precursor cells than those of wild-type mice during embryonic development. Furthermore, astrocyte differentiation is delayed in primary cultured Oasis(-/-) neural precursor cells. The transcription factor Gcm1, which is necessary for astrocyte differentiation in Drosophila, is revealed to be a target of OASIS. Introduction of Gcm1 into Oasis(-/-) neural precursor cells improves the delayed differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes by accelerating demethylation of the Gfap promoter. Gcm1 expression is temporally controlled by the unfolded protein response through interactions between OASIS family members during astrocyte differentiation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which OASIS and its associated family members are modulated by the unfolded protein response to finely control astrocyte differentiation.
    Nature Communications 07/2012; 3:967. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducers transduce signals from the ER to the cytoplasm and nucleus when unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER. BBF2 human homolog on chromosome 7 (BBF2H7) and old astrocyte specifically induced substance (OASIS), ER-resident transmembrane proteins, have recently been identified as novel ER stress transducers that have roles in chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the activation of BBF2H7 and OASIS under ER stress conditions remain unresolved. Here, we showed that BBF2H7 and OASIS are notably unstable proteins that are easily degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway under normal conditions. ER stress conditions enhanced the stability of BBF2H7 and OASIS, and promoted transcription of their target genes. HMG-CoA reductase degradation 1 (HRD1), an ER-resident E3 ubiquitin ligase, ubiquitinated BBF2H7 and OASIS under normal conditions, whereas ER stress conditions dissociated the interaction between HRD1 and BBF2H7 or OASIS. The stabilization of OASIS in Hrd1(-/-) cells enhanced the expression of collagen fibers during osteoblast differentiation, whereas a knockdown of OASIS in Hrd1(-/-) cells suppressed the production of collagen fibers. These findings suggest that ER stress stabilizes OASIS family members and this is a novel molecular mechanism for the activation of ER stress transducers.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 15 June 2012; doi:10.1038/cdd.2012.77.
    Cell death and differentiation 06/2012; 19(12):1939-49. · 8.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OASIS is a basic leucine zipper transmembrane transcription factor localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that is cleaved in its transmembrane region in response to ER stress. This novel ER stress transducer has been demonstrated to express in osteoblasts and astrocytes and promote terminal maturation of these cells. Additionally, OASIS is highly expressed in goblet cells of the large intestine. In this study, we investigated the roles of OASIS in goblet cell differentiation in the large intestine. To analyze the functions of OASIS in goblet cells, we examined morphological changes and the expression of goblet cell differentiation markers in the large intestine of Oasis(-/-) mice. By disrupting the Oasis gene, the number of goblet cells and production of mucus were decreased in the large intestine. Oasis(-/-) goblet cells showed abnormal morphology of mucous vesicles and rough ER. The expression levels of mature goblet cell markers were lower, and conversely those of early goblet cell markers were higher in Oasis(-/-) mice, indicating that differentiation from early to mature goblet cells is impaired in Oasis(-/-) mice. To determine the association of OASIS with other factors involved in goblet cell differentiation, in vitro experiments using a cell culture model were performed. We found that OASIS was activated in response to mild ER stress that is induced in differentiating goblet cells. Knockdown of the Oasis transcript perturbed goblet cell terminal differentiation. Together, our data indicate that OASIS plays crucial roles in promoting the differentiation of early goblet cells to mature goblet cells in the large intestine.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287(11):8144-53. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue plays a central role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis under normal conditions. Metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes are often accompanied by chronic inflammation and adipose tissue dysfunction. In this study, we observed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the inflammatory response occurred in adipose tissue of mice fed a high-fat diet for a period of 16 weeks. After 16 weeks of feeding, ER stress markers increased and chronic inflammation occurred in adipose tissue. We found that ER stress is induced by free fatty acid (FFA)-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and up-regulated gene expression of inflammatory cytokines in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Oral administration to obese mice of chemical chaperons, which alleviate ER stress, improved chronic inflammation in adipose tissue, followed by the suppression of increased body weight and improved insulin signaling. These results indicate that ER stress plays important pathophysiological roles in obesity-induced adipose tissue dysfunction.
    Scientific Reports 01/2012; 2:799. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new type of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer, Old Astrocyte Specifically Induced Substance (OASIS), which is induced by bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2), has been reported to activate the transcription of type I collagen and contribute to the secretion of bone matrix proteins in osteoblasts. Here, we examined the role of OASIS in fracture healing using the fracture models in wild-type (WT) and OASIS(-/-) mice. We found that the expression of OASIS mRNA was induced after fracture. Micro-computed tomography indicated that the callus density of OASIS(-/-) mice was less than that of WT mice, and the newly formed bone in OASIS(-/-) mice exhibited a decrease of the bone volume by bone morphometric analysis. Biomechanically, the callus bone strength of OASIS(-/-) mice was inferior to that of WT mice. Based on RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical, and electrophoretic analyses, it was clarified that the synthesis of type I collagen was impaired in OASIS(-/-) mice. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that OASIS(-/-) osteoblasts in the fracture callus contained the abnormal expansion of the ERs, similar to OASIS(-/-) osteoblasts in the normal skeletal development. Thus, OASIS may play a role in bone formation through the expression of type I collagen and the secretion of bone matrix proteins in fracture healing.
    Bone 06/2011; 49(4):724-32. · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The COL2A1 gene encodes the α1(II) chain of the homotrimeric type II collagen, the most abundant protein in cartilage. In humans, COL2A1 mutations create many clinical phenotypes collectively termed type II collagenopathies; however, the genetic basis of the phenotypic diversity is not well elucidated. Therefore, animal models corresponding to multiple type II collagenopathies are required. In this study we identified a novel Col2a1 missense mutation--c.44406A>C (p.D1469A)--produced by large-scale N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis in a mouse line. This mutation was located in the C-propeptide coding region of Col2a1 and in the positions corresponding to a human COL2A1 mutation responsible for platyspondylic lethal skeletal dysplasia, Torrance type (PLSD-T). The phenotype was inherited as a semidominant trait. The heterozygotes were mildly but significantly smaller than wild-type mice. The homozygotes exhibited lethal skeletal dysplasias, including extremely short limbs, severe spondylar dysplasia, severe pelvic hypoplasia, and brachydactyly. As expected, these skeletal defects in the homozygotes were similar to those in PLSD-T patients. The secretion of the mutant proteins into the extracellular space was disrupted, accompanied by abnormally expanded rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and upregulation of ER stress-related genes, such as Grp94 and Chop, in chondrocytes. These findings suggested that the accumulation of mutant type II collagen in the ER and subsequent induction of ER stress are involved, at least in part in the PLSD-T-like phenotypes of the mutants. This mutant should serve as a good model for studying PLSD-T pathogenesis and the mechanisms that create the great diversity of type II collagenopathies.
    Mammalian Genome 06/2011; 22(5-6):318-28. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic cells can adapt to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction by producing diverse signals from the ER to the cytosol or nucleus. These signalling pathways are collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). The canonical branches of the UPR are mediated by three ER membrane-bound proteins: PERK, IRE1 and ATF6. These ER stress transducers basically play important roles in cell survival after ER stress. Recently, novel types of ER stress transducers that share a region of high sequence similarity with ATF6 have been identified. They have a transmembrane domain, which allows them to associate with the ER, and possess a transcription-activation domain and a bZIP domain. These membrane-bound bZIP transcription factors include Luman, OASIS, BBF2H7, CREBH and CREB4. Despite their structural similarities with ATF6, differences in activating stimuli, tissue distribution and response element binding indicate specialized functions of each member on regulating the UPR in specific organs and tissues. Here, we summarize our current understanding of the biochemical characteristics and physiological functions of the ER-resident bZIP transcription factors.
    Journal of Biochemistry 03/2011; 149(5):507-18. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays role in the maintenance of numerous aspects of cellular and organismal homeostasis by folding, modifying, and exporting nascent secretory and transmembrane proteins. Failure of the ER's adaptive capacity results in accumulation of unfolded or malfolded proteins in the ER lumen (ER stress). To avoid cellular damage, mammalian cells activate the specific signals from the ER to the cytosol or nucleus to enhance the capacity for protein folding, attenuate the synthesis of proteins, and degrade unfolded proteins. These signaling pathways are collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). The canonical branches of the UPR are mediated by three ER membrane-bound proteins, PERK, IRE1, and ATF6. These ER stress transducers basically play important roles in cell survival after ER stress. Recently, novel types of ER stress transducers, OASIS family members that share a region of high sequence similarity with ATF6 have been identified. They have a transmembrane domain, which allows them to associate with the ER, and possess a transcription-activation domain and a bZIP domain. OASIS family proteins include OASIS, BBF2H7, CREBH, AIbZIP, and Luman. Despite the structural similarities among OASIS family proteins and ATF6, differences in activating stimuli, tissue distribution, and response element binding indicate specialized functions of each member on regulating the UPR in the specific organs and tissues. Here, we summarize our current understanding of biochemical characteristics and in vivo functions of OASIS family proteins, particularly focusing on OASIS and BBF2H7. A growing body of new works suggests that the UPR branches regulated by OASIS family members play essential roles in cell differentiation and maturation or maintenance of basal cellular homeostasis in mammals.
    International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life 03/2011; 63(4):233-9. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To avoid excess accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), eukaryotic cells have signaling pathways from the ER to the cytosol or nucleus. These processes are collectively termed the ER stress response. Double stranded RNA activated protein kinase (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) is a major transducer of the ER stress response and directly phosphorylates eIF2α, resulting in translational attenuation. Phosphorylated eIF2α specifically promotes the translation of the transcription factor ATF4. ATF4 plays important roles in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Perk(-/-) mice are reported to exhibit severe osteopenia, and the phenotypes observed in bone tissues are very similar to those of Atf4(-/-) mice. However, the involvement of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling pathway in osteogenesis is unclear. Phosphorylated eIF2α and ATF4 protein levels were attenuated in Perk(-/-) calvariae, and the gene expression levels of osteocalcin (Ocn) and bone sialoprotein (Bsp), which are targets for ATF4, were also down-regulated. Treatment of wild-type primary osteoblasts with BMP2, which is required for osteoblast differentiation, induced ER stress, leading to an increase in ATF4 protein expression levels. In contrast, the level of ATF4 in Perk(-/-) osteoblasts was severely diminished. The results indicate that PERK signaling is required for ATF4 activation during osteoblast differentiation. Perk(-/-) osteoblasts exhibited decreased alkaline phosphatase activities and delayed mineralized nodule formation relative to wild-type cultures. These abnormalities were almost completely restored by the introduction of ATF4 into Perk(-/-) osteoblasts. Taken together, ER stress occurs during osteoblast differentiation and activates the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling pathway followed by the promotion of gene expression essential for osteogenesis, such as Ocn and Bsp.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2011; 286(6):4809-18. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
496.84 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2014
    • Hiroshima University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 2000–2012
    • Osaka City University
      • • Department of Neurosurgery
      • • Graduate School of Medicine
      Ōsaka, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 2007–2010
    • Gifu Pharmaceutical University
      • • Department of Biofunctional Evaluation
      • • Department of Biofunctional Molecules
      Gihu, Gifu, Japan
  • 2005–2010
    • Miyazaki University
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Faculty of Agriculture
      Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki-ken, Japan
  • 2001–2007
    • Nara Institute of Science and Technology
      • Graduate School of Biological Sciences
      Ikuma, Nara, Japan
  • 1997–2004
    • Osaka University
      • • Division of Neuroscience
      • • Department of Integrated Medicine
      • • Division of Molecular Neurobiology
      Ōsaka-shi, Osaka-fu, Japan
  • 2002
    • Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan