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  1. Kawai M, Nagao N, Tajima N, Niwa C, Matsuyama T, Toda T
    Bioresour. Technol., 2014 Apr;157:174-80.
    PMID: 24556370 DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.01.018
    Influence of the labile organic fraction (LOF) on anaerobic digestion of food waste was investigated in different S/I ratio of 0.33, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0g-VSsubstrate/g-VSinoculum. Two types of substrate, standard food waste (Substrate 1) and standard food waste with the supernatant (containing LOF) removed (Substrate 2) were used. Highest methane yield of 435ml-CH4g-VS(-1) in Substrate 1 was observed in the lowest S/I ratio, while the methane yield of the other S/I ratios were 38-73% lower than the highest yield due to acidification. The methane yields in Substrate 2 were relatively stable in all S/I conditions, although the maximum methane yield was low compared with Substrate 1. These results showed that LOF in food waste causes acidification, but also contributes to high methane yields, suggesting that low S/I ratio (<0.33) is required to obtain a reliable methane yield from food waste compared to other organic substrates.
  2. Kawai M, Nagao N, Kawasaki N, Imai A, Toda T
    J. Environ. Manage., 2016 Oct 01;181:838-846.
    PMID: 27449962 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.06.057
    The recalcitrant landfill leachate was anaerobically digested at various mixing ratios with labile synthetic wastewater to evaluate the degradation properties of recalcitrant wastewater. The proportion of leachate to the digestion system was increased in three equal steps, starting from 0% to 100%, and later decreased back to 0% with the same steps. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) for organic carbon and other components were calculated by analyzing the COD and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and the removal efficiencies of COD carbon and COD others were evaluated separately. The degradation properties of COD carbon and COD others shifted owing to changing of substrate degradability, and the removal efficiencies of COD carbon and COD others were improved after supplying 100% recalcitrant wastewater. The UV absorptive property and total organic carbon (TOC) of each molecular size using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-size exclusion chromatography (SEC) with UVA and TOC detectors were also investigated, and the degradability of different molecular sizes was determined. Although the SEC system detected extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which are produced by microbes in stressful environments, during early stages of the experiment, EPS were not detected after feeding 100% recalcitrant wastewater. These results suggest that the microbes had acclimatized to the recalcitrant wastewater degradation. The high removal rates of both COD carbon and COD others were sustained when the proportion of labile wastewater in the substrate was 33%, indicating that the effective removal of recalcitrant COD might be controlled by changing the substrate's degradability.
  3. Kurimoto E, Suzuki M, Amemiya E, Yamaguchi Y, Nirasawa S, Shimba N, et al.
    J. Biol. Chem., 2007 Nov 16;282(46):33252-6.
    PMID: 17895249
    Curculin isolated from Curculigo latifolia, a plant grown in Malaysia, has an intriguing property of modifying sour taste into sweet taste. In addition to this taste-modifying activity, curculin itself elicits a sweet taste. Although these activities have been attributed to the heterodimeric isoform and not homodimers of curculin, the underlying mechanisms for the dual action of this protein have been largely unknown. To identify critical sites for these activities, we performed a mutational and structural study of recombinant curculin. Based on the comparison of crystal structures of curculin homo- and heterodimers, a series of mutants was designed and subjected to tasting assays. Mapping of amino acid residues on the three-dimensional structure according to their mutational effects revealed that the curculin heterodimer exhibits sweet-tasting and taste-modifying activities through its partially overlapping but distinct molecular surfaces. These findings suggest that the two activities of the curculin heterodimer are expressed through its two different modes of interactions with the T1R2-T1R3 heterodimeric sweet taste receptor.
  4. Ishiura H, Shibata S, Yoshimura J, Suzuki Y, Qu W, Doi K, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2019 08;51(8):1222-1232.
    PMID: 31332380 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0458-z
    Noncoding repeat expansions cause various neuromuscular diseases, including myotonic dystrophies, fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome, some spinocerebellar ataxias, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsies. Inspired by the striking similarities in the clinical and neuroimaging findings between neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) and fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome caused by noncoding CGG repeat expansions in FMR1, we directly searched for repeat expansion mutations and identified noncoding CGG repeat expansions in NBPF19 (NOTCH2NLC) as the causative mutations for NIID. Further prompted by the similarities in the clinical and neuroimaging findings with NIID, we identified similar noncoding CGG repeat expansions in two other diseases: oculopharyngeal myopathy with leukoencephalopathy and oculopharyngodistal myopathy, in LOC642361/NUTM2B-AS1 and LRP12, respectively. These findings expand our knowledge of the clinical spectra of diseases caused by expansions of the same repeat motif, and further highlight how directly searching for expanded repeats can help identify mutations underlying diseases.
  5. Sekiguchi F, Tsurusaki Y, Okamoto N, Teik KW, Mizuno S, Suzumura H, et al.
    J. Hum. Genet., 2019 Dec;64(12):1173-1186.
    PMID: 31530938 DOI: 10.1038/s10038-019-0667-4
    Coffin-Siris syndrome (CSS, MIM#135900) is a congenital disorder characterized by coarse facial features, intellectual disability, and hypoplasia of the fifth digit and nails. Pathogenic variants for CSS have been found in genes encoding proteins in the BAF (BRG1-associated factor) chromatin-remodeling complex. To date, more than 150 CSS patients with pathogenic variants in nine BAF-related genes have been reported. We previously reported 71 patients of whom 39 had pathogenic variants. Since then, we have recruited an additional 182 CSS-suspected patients. We performed comprehensive genetic analysis on these 182 patients and on the previously unresolved 32 patients, targeting pathogenic single nucleotide variants, short insertions/deletions and copy number variations (CNVs). We confirmed 78 pathogenic variations in 78 patients. Pathogenic variations in ARID1B, SMARCB1, SMARCA4, ARID1A, SOX11, SMARCE1, and PHF6 were identified in 48, 8, 7, 6, 4, 1, and 1 patients, respectively. In addition, we found three CNVs including SMARCA2. Of particular note, we found a partial deletion of SMARCB1 in one CSS patient and we thoroughly investigated the resulting abnormal transcripts.
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