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Articles by A Nagai
Total Records ( 2 ) for A Nagai
  E Ito , S Obayashi , A Nagai , M Imamura and H. Azuma

There has been little information demonstrating the roles of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), which is the hydrolyzing enzyme of endogenous nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and, in turn, modulates the intracellular concentrations of NOS inhibitors, in the myometrium during the course of pregnancy. Therefore, the present experiments were designed to investigate whether or not DDAH activity, protein and mRNA expression levels are altered during gestation of the rat and, if altered, those changes reflect on the levels of endogenous inhibitors and endothelin-1 (ET-1), and NO-dependent cyclic GMP generation in the myometrium. The up-regulated changes in DDAH activity, DDAH-2 protein and DDAH-2 mRNA expression at mid-gestation were accompanied by the reduced monomethylarginine and asymmetric dimethylarginine as NOS inhibitors, and ET-1 levels, and by the enhanced NO-dependent cyclic GMP production. At term gestation, on the other hand, down-regulated changes in DDAH activity, DDAH-2 protein and DDAH-2 mRNA expression were accompanied by the increased NOS inhibitors and ET-1 levels, and decreased NO-dependent cyclic GMP generation. These results suggest that alterations in DDAH/NOS inhibitors/NO-dependent cyclic GMP/ET-1 pathway are possibly involved in maintaining myometrial quiescence during gestation and controlling delivery at term.

  A Sato , M Mishima , A Nagai , S. Y Kim , Y Ito , T Hakoshima , J. G Jee and K. Kitano

Bloom syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe growth retardation and cancer predisposition. The disease is caused by a loss of function of the Bloom syndrome protein (BLM), a member of the RecQ family of DNA helicases. Here we report on the first 3D structure of a BLM fragment, a solution structure of the C-terminal helicase-and-ribonuclease D-C-terminal (HRDC) domain from human BLM. The structure reveals unique features of BLM HRDC that are distinct from the HRDC domain of Werner syndrome protein. In particular, BLM HRDC retains many acidic residues exposed to the solvent, which makes the domain surface extensively electronegative. Consistent with this, fluorescence polarization assays showed an inability of isolated BLM HRDC to interact with DNA substrates. Analyses employing ultracentrifugation, gel-filtration, CD spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering showed that the BLM HRDC domain exists as a stable monomer in solution. The results show that BLM HRDC is a compact, robust and acidic motif which may play a distinct role apart from DNA binding.

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