Jun Kuwahara

Doshisha University, Kioto, Kyōto, Japan

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Publications (9)19.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Transcription factor Sp1 is localized in the nucleus and regulates the expression of many cellular genes, but the nuclear transport mechanism of Sp1 is not well understood. In this study, we revealed that GST-fused Sp1 protein bound to endogenous importin α in HeLa cells via the Sp1 zinc finger domains, which comprise the DNA binding domain of Sp1. It was found that the Sp1 zinc finger domains directly interacted with a wide range of importin α including the armadillo (arm) repeat domain and the C-terminal acidic domain. Furthermore, it turned out that all three zinc fingers of Sp1 are essential for binding to importin α. Taken together, these results suggest that the Sp1 zinc finger domains play an essential role as a NLS and Sp1 can be transported into the nucleus in an importin-dependent manner even though it possesses no classical NLSs.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2010; 403(2):161-6. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcription factor Sp1 is localized in the nucleus and regulates gene expression. Our previous study demonstrated that the carboxyl terminal region of Sp1 containing 3-zinc finger region as DNA binding domain can also serve as nuclear localization signal (NLS). However, the nuclear transport mechanism of Sp1 has not been well understood. In this study, we performed a gene expression study on mutant Sp1 genes causing a set of amino acid substitutions in zinc finger domains to elucidate nuclear import activity. Nuclear localization of the GFP-fused mutant Sp1 proteins bearing concomitant substitutions in the first and third zinc fingers was highly inhibited. These mutant Sp1 proteins had also lost the binding ability as to the GC box sequence. The results suggest that the overall tertiary structure formed by the three zinc fingers is essential for nuclear localization of Sp1 as well as dispersed basic amino acids within the zinc fingers region.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2009; 380(1):28-32. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sialidosis and galactosialidosis are lysosomal storage diseases caused by the genetic defects of lysosomal sialidase (neuraminidase-1; NEU1) and lysosomal protective protein/cathepsin A (PPCA), respectively, associated with a NEU1 deficiency, excessive accumulation of sialylglycoconjugates, and development of progressive neurosomatic manifestations; in addition, the latter disorder is accompanied by simultaneous deficiencies of beta-galactosidase and cathepsin A. We demonstrated that a few soluble N-glycosylated proteins carrying sialyloligosaccharides sensitive to glycopeptidase F (GPF) can be specifically detected in cultured fibroblasts from sialidosis and galactosialidosis cases by blotting with a Maackia amurensis (MAM) lectin. We also examined the therapeutic effects of normal gene transfer and enzyme replacement by evaluating the decreases in sialylglycoconjugates accumulated in fibroblasts with these NEU1 deficiencies. The specific N-glycosylated proteins detected on MAM lectin blotting as well as the granular lysosomal fluorescence due to an avidin-FITC/biotinylated MAM lectin conjugate in sialidosis and galactosialidosis fibroblasts disappeared in parallel with the restoration of the intracellular NEU1 activity after transfection of the recombinant NEU1 fused to HA tag sequence and the wild-type PPCA cDNA as well as administration of the recombinant PPCA precursor protein. The detection method for the abnormal sialylglycoproteins in cultured cells involving MAM lectin was demonstrated to be useful not only for biochemical and diagnostic analyses of NEU1 deficiencies but also for therapeutic evaluation of these conditions.
    Glycobiology 05/2006; 16(4):271-80. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human GLB1 gene encodes a lysosomal beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) and an elastin-binding protein (EBP). Defect of the EBP as a chaperon for tropoelastin and a component of receptor complex among neuraminidase-1 (NEU1) and protective protein/cathepsin A (PPCA) is suggested responsible for impaired elastogenesis in autosomal recessive beta-Gal, PPCA and NEU1 deficiencies. The purpose of this study is to determine effects of GLB1, PPCA and NEU1 gene mutations on elastogenesis in skin fibroblasts. Elastic fiber formation and the EBP mRNA expression were examined by immunofluorescence with an anti-tropoelastin antibody and RT-PCR selective for EBP in skin fibroblasts with these lysosomal enzyme deficiencies. Apparently normal elastogenesis and EBP mRNA expression were observed for fibroblasts from Morquio B disease cases with the GLB1 gene alleles (W273L/W273L, W273L/R482H and W273L/W509C substitutions, respectively), a galactosialidosis case with the PPCA allele (IVS7+3A/IVS7+3A) and a sialidosis case with the NEU1 allele (V217M/G243R) as well as normal subject. In this study, the W273L substitution in the EBP could impossibly cause the proposed defect of elastogenesis, and the typical PPCA splicing mutation and the V217M/G243R substitutions in the NEU1 might hardly have effects on elastic fiber formation in the dermal fibroblasts.
    The Journal of Medical Investigation 03/2006; 53(1-2):103-12.
  • The Journal of Medical Investigation 01/2006; 53(1):103-112.
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    ABSTRACT: Sandhoff disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by simultaneous deficiencies of beta-hexosaminidase A (HexA; alphabeta) and B (HexB; betabeta), due to a primary defect of the beta-subunit gene (HEXB) associated with excessive accumulation of GM2 ganglioside (GM2) and oligosaccharides with N-acetylhexosamine residues at their non-reducing termini, and with neurosomatic manifestations. To elucidate the neuroinflammatory mechanisms involved in its pathogenesis, we analyzed the expression of chemokines in Sandhoff disease model mice (SD mice) produced by disruption of the murine Hex beta-subunit gene allele (Hexb-/-). We demonstrated that chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1alpha) was induced in brain regions, including the cerebral cortex, brain stem and cerebellum, of SD mice from an early stage of the pathogenesis but not in other systemic organs. On the other hand, little changes in other chemokine mRNAs, including those of RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T expressed and secreted), MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1), SLC (secondary lymphoid-tissue chemokine), fractalkine and SDF-1 (stromal derived factor-1), were detected. Significant up-regulation of MIP-1alpha mRNA and protein in the above-mentioned brain regions was observed in parallel with the accumulation of natural substrates of HexA and HexB. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that MIP-1alpha-immunoreactivity (IR) in the above-mentioned brain regions of SD mice was co-localized in Iba1-IR-positive microglial cells and partly in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-IR-positive astrocytes, in which marked accumulation of N-acetylglucosaminyl (GlcNAc)-oligosaccharides was observed from the presymptomatic stage of the disease. In contrast, little MIP-1alpha-IR was observed in neurons in which GM2 accumulated predominantly. These results suggest that specific induction of MIP-1alpha might coincide with the accumulation of GlcNAc-oligosaccharides due to a HexB deficiency in resident microglia and astrocytes in the brains of SD mice causing their activation and acceleration of the progressive neurodegeneration in SD mice.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2005; 92(6):1497-507. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The actions of peptidase inhibitors derived from Streptomycete on human cathepsin A (hCath A), yeast carboxypeptidase Y (CPY), and wheat carboxypeptidase II (CPW) were analyzed comparatively. Lactacystin and omuralide (clasto-lactacystin beta-lactone), well-known cytoplasmic proteasome inhibitors, both had a potent and non-competitive inhibitory effect on these homologous serine carboxypeptidases, although they inhibited CPW and hCath A more effectively than CPY in vitro. Ebelactone B exhibited a mixed non-competitive inhibitory effect and selectivity for CPY. Piperastatin A showed competitive inhibition of CPY and hCath A but had little effect on CPW. In contrast, chymostatin inhibited CPW efficiently, while it had less effect on hCath A and CPY. In cell culture system, lactacystin was the most potent as to inactivation of the intralysosomal recombinant hCath A activity expressed in a genetically engineered fibroblastic cell line with galactosialidosis (hCath A deficiency). These results suggest that the specific inhibitory effects of lactacystin and its derivatives on hCath A might be applicable to elucidate the pathophysiological roles in the human deficinecy.
    The Journal of Antibiotics 06/2004; 57(5):316-25. · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human neuroblastoma GOTO cell lines were established that stably express recombinant human lysosomal protective protein/cathepsin A (PPCA) cDNA by transfection. Intracellular cathepsin A (acid serine carboxypeptidase) activity increased four-fold compared with in those of the parent and mock-transfected cell lines. The immunoreactive 54 kDa precursor/zymogen and mature 32/20 kDa two-chain forms were produced in the cells. The amount of the latter form expressed in the GOTO cells was significantly larger than those in the PPCA-overexpressing CHO cell lines previously established. The intracellular proteins showed a typical lysosomal granular distribution and the glycosylated 54 kDa precursor was secreted into the culture medium without the addition of an alkalizing agent. The PPCA-overexpressing cell lines also retained the ability to differentiate bi-directionally as well as the parent cells; into neuronal cells on induction by dibutyryl cAMP in serum-free medium and into Schwannian cells on induction by bromodeoxyuridine. During the course of differentiation into neuronal and Schwannian cells, the intracellular cathepsin A activity further increased two and five times, respectively, which was associated with an increase in the expression of the 32/20 kDa two-chain form. The glycosylated precursor proteins were taken up via the mannose 6-phosphate receptors, and the cathepsin A, alpha-neuraminidase and beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) activities deficient in the fibroblasts derived from a patient with PPCA deficiency (galactosialidosis) were restored. These results suggest that the bi-directional differentiation of GOTO cell lines stably expressing the recombinant human PPCA gene could be a model system for analyzing the functions of PPCA in peripheral neuronal cells and Schwannian cells as well as the recombinant PPCA could be a useful source for enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for galactosialidosis patients.
    Neurochemistry International 06/2004; 44(6):447-57. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Synthetic intermediates of alkaloid halichlorine with the azaspiro core structure have been found to induce apoptosis of cultured human cells including an acute monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1) at micromolar concentrations. The novel biological activity of the intermediates was suggested to depend on the skeletal structure and silyloxymethyl functionality on the five-membered ring.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 09/2002; 12(16):2069-72. · 2.34 Impact Factor