Kumiko Nakahira

Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Izumi, Ōsaka, Japan

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Publications (14)35.61 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ureaplasma spp. are members of the family Mycoplasmataceae and have been considered to be associated with chorioamnionitis and preterm delivery. However, it is unclear whether Ureaplasma spp. have virulence factors related to these manifestations. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the immunogenic protein multiple-banded antigen (MBA) from Ureaplasma parvum is a virulence factor for preterm delivery. We partially purified MBA from a type strain and clinical isolates of U. parvum, and also synthesized a diacylated lipopeptide derived from U. parvum, UPM-1. Using luciferase assays, both MBA-rich fraction MRF and UPM-1 activated the NF-κB pathway via TLR2. UPM-1 upregulated IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12p35, TNF-α, MIP2, LIX, and iNOS in mouse peritoneal macrophage. MRF or UPM-1 was injected into uteri on day 15 of gestation on pregnant C3H/HeN mice. The intrauterine MRF injection group had a significantly higher incidence of intrauterine fetal death (IUFD; 38.5%) than the control group (14.0%). Interestingly, intrauterine injection of UPM-1 caused preterm deliveries at high concentration (80.0%). In contrast, a low concentration of UPM-1 induced a significantly higher rate of fetal deaths (55.2%) than the control group (14.0%). The placentas of the UPM-1 injection group showed neutrophil infiltration and increased iNOS protein expression. Our data indicate that MBA from the clinical isolate of U. parvum is a potential virulence factor for IUFD and preterm delivery in mice and that the N-terminal diacylated lipopeptide is essential for the initiation of inflammation.
    Journal of Reproductive Immunology 10/2013; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Forkhead Box P3 (FOXP3) is a member of the forkhead/winged helix family of the transcription factors and plays an important role not only as a master gene in T-regulatory cells, but also as a tumor suppressor. In this study, we identified lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (LCK), which correlates with cancer malignancy, as a binding partner of FOXP3. FOXP3 downregulated LCK-induced MMP9, SKP2, and VEGF-A expression. We observed that LCK phosphorylated Tyr-342 of FOXP3 by immunoprecipitation and in vitro kinase assay, and the replacement of Tyr-342 with phenylalanine (Y342F) abolished the ability to suppress MMP9 expression. Although FOXP3 decreased the invasive ability induced by LCK in MCF-7 cells, Y342F mutation in FOXP3 diminished this suppressive effect. Thus we demonstrate for the first time that LCK upregulates FOXP3 by tyrosine phosphorylation, resulting in decreased MMP9, SKP2, and VEGF-A expression, and suppressed cellular invasion. We consider that further clarification of transcriptional mechanism of FOXP3 may facilitate the development of novel therapeutic approaches to suppress cancer malignancy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77099. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Roberts syndrome and SC phocomelia (RBS/SC) are genetic autosomal recessive syndromes caused by establishment of cohesion 1 homolog 2 ( ESCO 2) mutation. RBS/SC appear to have a variety of clinical features, even with the same mutation of the ESCO2 gene. Here, we established and genetically characterized a medaka model of RBS/SC by reverse genetics. The RBS/SC model was screened from a mutant medaka library produced by the Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes method. The medaka mutant carrying the homozygous mutation at R80S in the conserved region of ESCO2 exhibited clinical variety (i.e. developmental arrest with craniofacial and chromosomal abnormalities and embryonic lethality) as characterized in RBS/SC. Moreover, widespread apoptosis and downregulation of some gene expression, including notch1a, were detected in the R80S mutant. The R80S mutant is the animal model for RBS/SC and a valuable resource that provides the opportunity to extend knowledge of ESCO2. Downregulation of some gene expression in the R80S mutant is an important clue explaining non-correlation between genotype and phenotype in RBS/SC.
    Embryologia 06/2012; 54(5):588-604. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 34-year-old parous woman developed high fever and threatened preterm labor after a 1-day trip, for which she was receiving prenatal care at a hospital. Three days after onset, at 24 4/7 weeks of gestation, she was transferred to our hospital in an emergency. Soon after the woman's arrival at our hospital, the infant was spontaneously stillborn via a transvaginal delivery. Laboratory tests revealed severe maternal disseminated intravascular coagulation with renal and liver insufficiency. Histopathologic examination of the placenta revealed vast fibrin deposition and remarkable neutrophilic infiltration in the intervillous space, suggesting a rare bacterial infection caused by Arthrobacter spp. The bacteria were predominantly detected in the placenta and maternal blood serum by common bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing after polymerase chain reaction amplification. We report the first case, to our knowledge, of bacteremia with Arthrobacter spp., which may lead to maternal disseminated intravascular coagulation and intrauterine fetal death.
    Fetal and pediatric pathology 04/2012; · 0.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of nonspecific ion channels by small oligomeric amyloid intermediates is toxic to the host's cellular membranes. Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and TDH-related hemolysin (TRH) are major virulence factors of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. We have previously reported the crystal structure of TDH tetramer with the central channel. We have also identified the molecular mechanism underlying the paradoxical responses to heat treatment of TDH, known as the Arrhenius effect, which is the reversible amyloidogenic property. In the present report, we describe the biophysical properties of TRH, which displays 67% amino acid similarity with TDH. Molecular modeling provided a good fit of the overall structure of TDH and TRH. Size-exclusion chromatography, ultracentrifugation, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that TRH formed tetramer in solution. These toxins showed similar hemolytic activity on red blood cells. However, TRH had less amyloid-like structure than TDH analyzed by thioflavin T-binding assay and far-UV circular dichroism spectra. These data indicated that amyloidogenicity upon heating is not essential for the membrane disruption of erythrocytes, but the maintenance of tetrameric structure is indispensable for the hemolytic activity of the TDH and TRH.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 02/2011; 318(1):10-7. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) is a major virulence factor of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that causes pandemic food-borne enterocolitis mediated by seafood. TDH exists as a tetramer in solution, and it possesses extreme hemolytic activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of the TDH tetramer at 1.5 Å resolution. The TDH tetramer forms a central pore with dimensions of 23 Å in diameter and ∼50 Å in depth. π-cation interactions between protomers comprising the tetramer were indispensable for hemolytic activity of TDH. The N-terminal region was intrinsically disordered outside the pore. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations suggested that water molecules permeate freely through the central and side channel pores. These findings imply a novel membrane attachment mechanism by a soluble tetrameric pore-forming toxin.
    Nihon Kessho Gakkaishi. 01/2011; 52(6):285-289.
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    ABSTRACT: Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) is a major virulence factor of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that causes pandemic foodborne enterocolitis mediated by seafood. TDH exists as a tetramer in solution, and it possesses extreme hemolytic activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of the TDH tetramer at 1.5 Å resolution. The TDH tetramer forms a central pore with dimensions of 23 Å in diameter and ∼50 Å in depth. π-Cation interactions between protomers comprising the tetramer were indispensable for hemolytic activity of TDH. The N-terminal region was intrinsically disordered outside of the pore. Molecular dynamic simulations suggested that water molecules permeate freely through the central and side channel pores. Electron micrographs showed that tetrameric TDH attached to liposomes, and some of the tetramer associated with liposome via one protomer. These findings imply a novel membrane attachment mechanism by a soluble tetrameric pore-forming toxin.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2010; 285(21):16267-16274. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) is a major virulence factor of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that causes pandemic foodborne enterocolitis mediated by seafood. TDH exists as a tetramer in solution, and it possesses extreme hemolytic activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of the TDH tetramer at 1.5 A resolution. The TDH tetramer forms a central pore with dimensions of 23 A in diameter and approximately 50 A in depth. Pi-cation interactions between protomers comprising the tetramer were indispensable for hemolytic activity of TDH. The N-terminal region was intrinsically disordered outside of the pore. Molecular dynamic simulations suggested that water molecules permeate freely through the central and side channel pores. Electron micrographs showed that tetrameric TDH attached to liposomes, and some of the tetramer associated with liposome via one protomer. These findings imply a novel membrane attachment mechanism by a soluble tetrameric pore-forming toxin.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(21):16267-74. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcriptional regulation of human establishment of cohesion 1 homolog 2 (ESCO2), the causative gene of Roberts syndrome, was investigated. Deletion and mutation analyses of the ESCO2 promoter indicated that the selenocysteine tRNA-activating factor (Staf) binding site (SBS) is an essential element for transcriptional activation of ESCO2. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed that the zinc finger protein 143 (ZNF143), a human homolog of Xenopus Staf, bound to the ESCO2 promoter. The ACTACAN submotif, adjacent to SBS, also contributed to transcriptional activation of ESCO2. EMSA indicated that the ACTACAN submotif was not involved in binding of ZNF143 to SBS. S phase-specific expression of the ESCO2 gene was confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), but EMSA revealed binding of ZNF143 to SBS in G1/S and G2/M phases. These results demonstrated that SBS functioned as the basal transcriptional activator of the S phase-specific gene ESCO2, but other mechanisms are required for cell cycle-dependent expression.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2010; 393(1):111-7. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ureaplasma spp. is detected in the urogenital tract, including the vagina, cervix, chorioamnion, and placenta. Their colonization is associated with histologic chorioamnionitis (CAM), often observed in placentas from preterm delivery. We isolated Ureaplasma spp. from 63 preterm placentas among 151 specimens, which were delivered at <32 wk of gestation. Of the 63 placentas, 52 (83%) revealed CAM in cultures positive for Ureaplasma spp., however, CAM was observed only in 30% (26/88) of cultures negative for Ureaplasma spp. (p < 0.01). Colonization by Ureaplasma spp. was an independent risk factor for CAM (OR, 11.27; 95% CI, 5.09-24.98). Characteristic neutrophil infiltration was observed in the amnion and subchorion (bistratified pattern) in cultures positive for Ureaplasma spp. FISH analysis of CAM placenta with male infant pregnancy indicated that bistratified infiltrated neutrophils showed the XX karyotype and umbilical vein infiltrated neutrophils showed XY karyotype. The distribution of sulfoglycolipid, the receptor of Ureaplasma spp., was mainly detected in the amnion. Ureaplasmal urease D protein and ureB gene were both detected in the amnion, indicating direct colonization by Ureaplasma spp.
    Pediatric Research 10/2009; 67(2):166-72. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is often misfolded into nonfluorescent states when an aggregatable sequence is attached to its N-terminus. However, GFP fusions with highly aggregatable, prion-determining, and highly charged sequences from yeast prions, such as Sup35 and Ure2p, form green fibrils with properly folded GFP. To gain further insight into the general effect of an aggregatable sequence attached to fluorescent protein, we designed eight fusion proteins of a yellow variant of GFP (YFP) containing an aggregation-prone amyloidogenic sequence derived from human medin, attached via different lengths of linker sequence. Seven fusion proteins formed white fibrils lacking native YFP function. However, the fusion with an 18-residue medin sequence and a 50 amino acid linker formed fibrils with yellow color of folded YFP. Deconvolution analysis of infrared spectra also supports the presence of properly folded YFP in the fibrils formed by this protein. These results suggest that, the presence of an amyloidogenic sequence to a folded protein can promote the formation of fibrils and disrupt the native structures whereas the structure of the folded region is retained by optimizing sequences of amyloidogenic and linker regions.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 09/2008; 72(3):811-21. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An excessive accumulation of anandamide (N-archidonoylethanolamine, AEA) is associated with septic shock. Results of previous studies have suggested that mRNA coding for the AEA degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which converts AEA into arachidonic acid and ethanolamine, might be down-regulated in septic shock. We used real-time reverse transcription PCR assays to measure relative FAAH mRNA concentrations in the whole blood of 30 healthy donors and eight sepsis patients to ascertain whether such down-regulation takes place. Our results suggest that concentrations of FAAH mRNA in male and female samples from healthy donors are similar, but that concentrations are significantly lower in sepsis patients. These findings indicate that mRNA expression of FAAH in human whole blood correlates with sepsis, and may be an interesting biomarker for predicting the onset of septic shock.
    Journal of Endotoxin Research 02/2007; 13(1):35-8. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Annexin A2, a Ca2+-dependent phospholipid binding protein, is abundantly expressed in various human organs, which exists as either a membrane-associated, cytosolic or soluble form in serum. We constructed expression systems for recombinant human annexin A2 (rhA2) using Pichia pastoris. The systems are designed to secrete rhA2 as either the N- or C-terminally His6-tagged form to facilitate purification. Both types of rhA2 were overexpressed, but in the N-terminal-truncated form as revealed from the results of N-terminal amino acid sequencing and Western blotting. Therefore, further purification of N-terminally His6-tagged rhA2 was not feasible because of the removal of the N-terminal His6-tag sequence. C-terminally His6-tagged rhA2 was expressed as either a glycosylated or a nonglycosylated form, and the nonglycosylated form was purified using the combination of nickel-immobilized affinity, concanavalin A and cation exchanged column chromatographies. The solid-phase binding of rhA2 was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which revealed the specific reactivity of rhA2 against an anti-annexin A2 monoclonal antibody. These results suggest that the expression system using P. pastoris is useful for the preparation of rhA2 that is applicable to the ELISA detection of the anti-annexin A2 antibody.
    Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 03/2006; 101(2):190-7. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Saposins (SAPs) are small glycoproteins required for activation of sphingolipid hydrolysis by lysosomal enzymes. Four SAPs, SAP-A, -B, -C, and -D, are proteolytically cleaved from a single gene product termed prosaposin. The mature coding sequence of human SAP-A tagged with 6-histidine was expressed in Pichia pastoris and the recombinant protein was purified from the culture supernatant by simple purification steps with an immobilized metal ion affinity column, a Concanavalin A column, and reversed-phase HPLC. Secreted SAP-A contained both glycosylated and nonglycosylated forms. Both forms of SAP-A activated galactocerebroside and 4-methylumbelliferyl beta-d-glucoside hydrolysis by galactocerebrosidase and glucocerebrosidase. SAP-A expressed in P. pastoris should be useful for further structural and functional analysis of this protein.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2004; 318(2):588-93. · 2.41 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

55 Citations
35.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health
      Izumi, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 2012
    • Kansai Rosai Hospital
      Itan, Hyōgo, Japan
  • 2008
    • Osaka University
      • Institute for Protein Research
      Ōsaka-shi, Osaka-fu, Japan