Kagoshima University
  • Kagoshima, Japan
Recent publications
Understanding the flowering process is essential for developing methods to shorten the breeding period and regulate the yield of tree fruits, such as Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.). In the flowering network system in Arabidopsis, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) acts as a transmissible floral inducer. In this study, a citrus ortholog of the transcription factor (TF) VASCULAR PLANT ONE-ZINC FINGER1 (VOZ1)-like gene, CuVOZ1, and two FT-like genes, CuFT1 and CuFT3, were isolated from the Satsuma mandarin ‘Aoshima’. Protein-protein interaction between CuVOZ1 and CuFTs was confirmed in vitro with a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) system. N-terminal 400 amino acids of CuVOZ1, consisting of three motifs, namely, domain of unknown function 4749 (DUF4749), no apical meristem (NAM), and a zinc coordination motif, were assumed to be involved in the CuVOZ1–CuFT1 and CuVOZ1–CuFT3 complexes. Docking simulation suggested that only the zinc coordination motif of CuVOZ1 was possibly involved in the CuVOZ1–CuFT3 interaction and that the phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein (PBP) motif in exon 4 of CuFTs was predicted to be crucial for the interaction between CuVOZ1 and CuFTs. The distance between the amino acid residues involved in docking was predicted to be from 2.69 to 3.37 Å, suggesting that the forces between CuVOZ1 and CuFTs in the CuVOZ1–CuFT complexes were weak Van der Waals forces. Constitutive expression of CuVOZ1 in Arabidopsis affected the flowering time, plant size, morphology of inflorescence, number of flowers and siliques, and formation of flower buds on the elongated stem. It was suggested that CuVOZ1 might act as a trigger for early flowering and might be involved in the elongation and branching of the inflorescence. The CuVOZ1–CuFT complexes might regulate cellular proliferation and the formation of new tissues and affect both vegetative and reproductive development.
Background: Cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) is a common complication of cancer and has received increasing attention; the Khorana Risk Score (KRS) is a recommended but insufficient risk assessment model for CAT. We propose a novel Kagoshima-DVT score (KDS) to predict preoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This scoring method scores D-dimer ≥1.5 μg/mL, age ≥60 years, female sex, ongoing glucocorticoids, cancer with high risk of DVT, and prolonged immobility. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of the KDS and KRS in predicting CAT in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Methods and Results: In all, 250 patients without a history of thrombosis who received their first chemotherapy for gastrointestinal cancer were divided into low- (48.0%), intermediate- (38.8%), and high-risk (13.2%) groups for CAT development by the KDS. The patients’ median age was 67 years and 63.2% were men. In all, 61 (27.1%) patients developed CAT (17.6%, 35.3%, and 36.4% of patients in the low-, intermediate, and high-risk groups, respectively; log-rank P=0.006). The area under the time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve for CAT occurrence within 1 year was larger for the KDS than KRS (0.653 vs. 0.494). Conclusions: A high KDS at the start of first chemotherapy is a risk indicator for CAT development during chemotherapy. Moreover, the KDS is more useful than the KRS in predicting CAT risk.
IntroductionGenetic factors are recognized as the major reason for patients with periodic paralysis. The goal of this study was to determine the genetic causes of periodic paralysis in Japan.Methods We obtained a Japanese nationwide case series of 119 index patients (108 men and 11 women) clinically suspected of periodic paralysis, and a gene panel analysis, targeting CACNA1S, SCN4A, and KCNJ2 genes, was conducted.ResultsFrom 34 cases, 25 pathogenic/likely pathogenic/unknown significance variants were detected in CACNA1S (nine cases), SCN4A (19 cases), or KCNJ2 (six cases), generating a molecular diagnostic rate of 28.6%. In total, seven variants have yet been found linked to periodic paralysis previously. The diagnostic yield of patients with hypokalemic and hyperkalemic periodic paralyzes was 26.2 (17/65) and 32.7% (17/52), respectively. A considerably higher yield was procured from patients with than without positive family history (18/25 vs. 16/94), onset age ≤20 years (24/57 vs. 9/59), or recurrent paralytic attacks (31/94 vs. 3/25).DiscussionThe low molecular diagnostic rate and specific genetic proportion of the present study highlight the etiological complexity of patients with periodic paralysis in Japan.
This paper describes the author's recent work on the preparation and properties of thermally stable ionic liquids (ILs) containing siloxane frameworks. Quaternary ammonium and imidazolium salt‐type ILs containing random oligosilsesquioxane frameworks were successfully prepared via the hydrolytic condensation of the corresponding organotrialkoxysilanes by using an aqueous superacid bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (HNTf2) solution as a catalyst and solvent. Imidazolium salt‐type ILs containing polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) frameworks were also prepared through a reaction similar to that described above by using a water/methanol mixed solution of HNTf2. In addition, amorphous POSSs with two types of ionic groups randomly distributed in the side chain were prepared. These POSSs were ILs exhibiting fluidity at relatively low temperatures. Furthermore, imidazolium and ammonium salt‐type ILs containing cyclic oligosiloxane frameworks were prepared through a reaction similar to that of the corresponding organodialkoxysilanes. The thermal decomposition temperatures of the above ILs containing siloxane frameworks were higher than those of general ILs. Ammonium and imidazolium salt‐type ionic liquids (ILs) containing siloxane frameworks, such as random oligosilsesquioxanes (oligoSQs), POSSs, and cyclic oligosiloxanes were prepared. The thermal decomposition temperatures of these ILs containing siloxane frameworks were higher than those of general ILs with the same structures as the side chains of the above siloxane framework‐containing ILs.
A multi-functional sensing system based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) phenomenon using a square glass rod with two gold-deposited adjacent faces was developed in this work. This sensor system consists of a unpolarized light-emitting diode, a gold-deposited square glass rod, a polarizing beam splitter, and two photodiodes. The SPR responses of two adjacent faces are independently and simultaneously measured with a polarizing beam splitter and two PDs. The response property of the gold-deposited face was confirmed using methanol solutions of ethylene glycol. The response curve of the sensor of the 45 nm gold-deposited face was compared with the theoretical curve calculated using multi-layer Fresnel equations. It was confirmed that the experimental curve is similar to the theoretical one. An evaluation was carried out on the square glass rod, which has an unmodified face and Teflon AF2400 coated gold-deposited face as multi-functional sensor. It was confirmed that this sensor can simultaneously measure the ethanol concentration in the glucose mix solution and refractive index of the sample from the calibration curve. Since this sensor can measure multiple components simultaneously, expected applications to various fields include medical diagnosis, food analysis, and environmental monitoring.
Patient: The patient was a 63-year-old woman who complained of difficulty in chewing due to defective molars. Occlusal support of the molars was lost; occlusal support was provided by only two premolars. After performing right maxillary sinus floor elevation, prosthodontic treatment with dental implants was performed on both sides of the maxilla and on the left side of the mandible. Discussion: It is considered that root fracture had been caused by overload due to the inability to obtain appropriate occlusal force support in the molar parts. By establishing molar occlusion by implant treatment, a good course was obtained three years after treatment, and it is considered that the loss of residual teeth can be prevented in the future. Conclusion: Prosthodontic treatment with implants combined with maxillary sinus floor elevation was performed, and occlusal support by the molars was restored, resulting in improvement of masticatory disturbance.
Background: Data on the role of immunogenicity following the third vaccine dose against Omicron infection and COVID-19-compatible symptoms of infection are limited. Methods: First we examined vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the third-dose against the second dose during the Omicron wave among the staff at a tertiary hospital in Tokyo. In a case-control study of third vaccine recipients, we compared the pre-infection live-virus neutralizing antibodies (NAb) against Omicron between breakthrough cases and their controls, who had close contact with COVID-19 patients. Among these cases, we examined the association between NAb levels and the number of COVID-19-compatible symptoms. Results: Among the 1456 participants for VE analysis, 60 breakthrough infections occurred during the Omicron wave. The third-dose VE for infection was 54.6%. Among the third-dose recipients, NAb levels against Omicron did not differ between the cases (n=22) and controls (n=21). Among the cases, those who experienced COVID-19-compatible symptoms had lower NAb levels against Omicron than those who did not. Conclusions: The third vaccine dose was effective in decreasing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection during Omicron wave compared with the second dose. Among third-dose recipients, higher pre-infection NAb levels may not be associated with a lower risk of Omicron infection. Contrarily, they may be associated with fewer symptoms of infection.
Japanese universities often rely on overseas study to foster global talent. The COVID pandemic restricted travel, canceling many overseas programs. This paper examines the shift from a short-term study abroad program for Japanese STEM graduate students, to a ‘virtual study abroad’ experience with a partner institution in Australia. The real-world and virtual iterations of this program are considered in relation to the three official aims of fostering ‘global jinzai’ : developing communication ability in a foreign language (English) ; gaining an understanding and appreciation of other cultures; becoming active members of society. This study examines TOEIC results and exit surveys from real-world and virtual iterations of the program, to clarify how virtual study abroad supports the development of global talent in STEM.
Aim of the Study: We conducted a nationwide survey of persistent cloaca (PC) to determine its current status in Japan. This study clarifies the potential risk factors for defecation problems in patients with PC. Methods: Patient information was obtained via questionnaire, and a total of 213 PC patients who responded to a questionnaire on defecation problems and their bowel functions were enrolled in this study. We evaluated the constipation, incontinence, and soiling as bowel functions. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a logistic regression analysis to clarify the risk factors for defecation problems. Results: Of 213 patients with PC, 55 (25.8%) had defecation problems. A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that sacral agenesis, as an associated anomaly, was significantly associated with defecation problems (odds ratio [OR] 3.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–9.16, p = 0.03). The other multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the PC patients who underwent antegrade continence enema and regularly took laxatives after anorectoplasty had defecation problems (OR 12.4, 95% CI 2.35–65.6, p = 0.003, OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.24–6.55, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Sacral agenesis is the potential risk factor of defecation problems in the patients with PC who underwent anorectoplasty. Those patients require vigorous defecation management.
Glutamate (L‐Glu), an animal neurotransmitter, plays an essential role in plant signalling and regulates various plant physiological responses. We previously showed that L‐Glu regulates stomatal closure in Arabidopsis via the glutamate receptor‐like 3.5 gene (GLR3.5). Here, we showed that L‐Glu activates salicylic acid (SA) signalling in Arabidopsis. L‐Glu not only promoted stomatal closure but also triggered the expression of the PR1 gene via GLR3.5. These L‐Glu‐dependent actions were strongly suppressed in SA‐insensitive npr1‐1 and ‐deficient sid2‐2 mutants, indicating that SA is involved in L‐Glu signalling. A loss‐of‐function mutant of the gene encoding the SRK2E/OST1 kinase, which plays a pivotal role in abscisic acid signalling, was insensitive to both L‐Glu‐induced stomatal closure and PR1 expression. The glr3.5 mutants did not alleviate SA‐induced stomatal closure, indicating that SA may function downstream of GLR3.5. These results indicate that L‐Glu activates SA signalling, and that SRK2E/OST1 may play pivotal roles in such signalling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Background: Academic Research Consortium for High Bleeding Risk (ARC-HBR) criteria have been used to identify high-risk patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in current clinical practice. This study aimed to evaluate the association between the number of ARC-HBR criteria and clinical outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) after an emergent PCI. Methods: We assessed 338 consecutive patients with ACS who underwent successful emergent PCI between January 2017 and December 2020. The ARC-HBR score was calculated by assigning 1 point to each major criterion and 0.5 points to each minor criterion. The patients were classified into low (ARC-HBR score < 1), intermediate (1 ≤ ARC-HBR score < 2), and high (ARC-HBR score ≥ 2) bleeding risk groups. We investigated the association between the ARC-HBR score and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs), defined as a composite of all-cause death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke. We also compared the diagnostic ability of the ARC-HBR score and Controlled Abciximab and Device Investigation and Lower Late Angiography Complications (CADILLAC) risk score. Results: The mean age of the patients was 67.6 ± 12.4 years, and 78.4 % were men. During the median follow-up of 864 (557-1309) days, 70 patients developed MACEs. Kaplan-Meier curves showed that the cumulative incidence of MACE was significantly higher as the ARC-HBR score increased in a stepwise manner (log-rank p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for predicting MACE within two years after an emergent PCI between the ARC-HBR and CADILLAC risk scores (AUC: 0.763 vs. 0.777). Conclusions: ARC-HBR score was independently associated with an increased risk of MACE in patients with ACS after an emergent PCI. Moreover, it had a similar diagnostic ability for predicting MACE within two years compared to the CADILLAC risk score.
Background: Early prediction of outcomes after cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) is important for considering the best support. Our purpose was to evaluate predictors of the 30-day mortality in patients with CPA after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and to assess an equation for calculating the 30-day mortality using clinical parameters. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data of 194 consecutive patients with CPA and ROSC in a derivation study (2015-2022). We compared clinical parameters between the survived (n = 78) and dead (n = 116) patients. We derived an equation for estimated probability of death based on clinical parameters, using multivariate logistic regression analysis. The reliability of the equation was validated in 80 additional patients with CPA. Results: The 30-day mortality was associated with sex, witnessed cardiac arrest, bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), CPA due to acute myocardial infarction, pupil diameter, Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS), presence of light reflex, arterial or venous pH, lactate levels, initial ventricular fibrillation (VF), CPA time, and age. The derived logistic regression equation was as follows: Estimated probability of death = 1 / (1 + e-x), x = (0.25 × bystander CPR) + (0.44 × pupil diameter) - (0.14 × GCS) + (0.09 × lactate) - (1.87 × initial VF) + (0.07 × CPA time) + (0.05 × age) - 7.03. The cut-off value for estimated probability of death calculated by this equation was 54.5 %, yielding a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 86.2 %, 80.8 %, and 84.5 %, respectively. In the validation model, these values were 81.8 %, 85.7 %, and 82.5 %, respectively. Conclusions: The 30-day mortality may be calculated after ROSC in patients with CPA using simple clinical parameters. This equation may facilitate further best support for patients with CPA.
Objective: Elizabethkingia anophelis causes meningitis, bloodstream infections, and respiratory infections in immunocompromised individuals. We examined two E. anophelis strains isolated from the first life-threatening cases caused by this species in Japan to determine the phylogenetic origin and genomic features of them. Methods: We performed whole genome-based analysis to clarify the genetic relationship for the two strains (EK0004 and EK0079) and Elizabethkingia sp. strains isolated from worldwide and to characterize the genomic features such as the prevalence of virulence- and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)-related genes. Patients: A 29-year-old man with hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma and a 52-year-old man with systemic lupus erythematosus developed fatal bacteremia and meningitis due to E. anophelis, respectively. Results: Two strains, EK0004 and EK0079, were genetically different but most closely related to the strains isolated from the largest outbreak in Wisconsin, USA from 2015 to 2016, and the strain isolated from cerebrospinal fluid of a patient in Florida, USA in 1982, respectively. The two strains contained AMR-related genes such as those encoding for an extended-spectrum β-lactamase and multiple metallo-β-lactamases and several virulence-related genes such as capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene clusters. Conclusions: Although further functional analyses are required to understand the virulence of these clones, these finding suggests that enough caution of E. anophelis infection in immunocompromised patients is required since the number of infections by this species is increasing outside Japan.
This study aimed to elucidate the distribution of enrofloxacin (ERFX) within the bronchoalveolar region of pigs. Six clinically healthy pigs were allocated to intramuscular treatments with either a single dose of 5 mg/kg or 7.5 mg/kg ERFX. Samples of plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were obtained from each pig 0 (before administration), 3, 8, and 24 hr after ERFX administration. The ERFX concentrations in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and BALF cells showed a similar pattern during the experimental period, whereby ERFX concentrations in both ELF and BALF cells were higher than those in the plasma. These results suggest that intramuscularly injected ERFX is well-distributed in the bronchoalveolar region.
For older patients with decreased reserve function, traumatic cervical spine injuries frequently lead to early mortality. However, the prognostic factors for early mortality remain unclear. This study included patients aged ≥65 years and hospitalized for treatment of traumatic cervical spine injuries in 78 hospitals between 2010 and 2020. Early mortality was defined as death within 90 days after injury. We evaluated the relationship between early mortality and the following factors: age, sex, body mass index, history of drinking and smoking, injury mechanisms, presence of a cervical spine fracture and dislocation, cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale, concomitant injury, pre-existing comorbidities, steroid administration, and treatment plan. Overall, 1512 patients (mean age, 75.8 ± 6.9 years) were included in the study. The early mortality rate was 4.0%. Multivariate analysis identified older age (OR = 1.1, p < 0.001), male sex (OR = 3.7, p = 0.009), cervical spine fracture (OR = 4.2, p < 0.001), complete motor paralysis (OR = 8.4, p < 0.001), and chronic kidney disease (OR = 5.3, p < 0.001) as risk factors for early mortality. Older age, male sex, cervical spine fracture, complete motor paralysis, and chronic kidney disease are prognostic factors for early mortality in older patients with traumatic cervical spine injuries.
Starch is comprised of very large α-glucan molecules composed primarily of linear amylose and highly branched amylopectin. Most methods for analyses of starch structure use hydrolytic enzymes to cleave starch. When undegraded, whole starch structures can be analyzed by gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), but this typically yields a single peak each for amylopectin and amylose. The objective of this study was to stably separate amylopectins in whole starch based on their molecular weight using GPC, and to determine the structure of each peak. When alkali-gelatinized whole starch was applied to GPC columns (Toyopearl HW75S×2, HW65S and HW55S), it was separated into three peaks. Iodine staining and chain length distribution analyses of debranched samples showed that peaks were mainly composed of high-molecular weight (MW) amylopectin consisting of many clusters, low-MW amylopectin consisting of a small number of clusters, and amylose.
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1,099 members
Hiroyuki Okuno
  • Department of Biochemistry II
Hiroshi Takashima
  • Department of Neurology and Geriatrics
Masakazu Ito
  • Integrated Arts and Sciences
Teruaki Nomiyama
  • Graduate School of Science and Engineering
Md. Mosaddequr Rahman
  • Graduate School of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries
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Kagoshima, Japan
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http://www.kagoshima-u.ac.jp/