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Articles by N Watanabe
Total Records ( 3 ) for N Watanabe
  S. i Kagami , T Owada , H Kanari , Y Saito , A Suto , K Ikeda , K Hirose , N Watanabe , I Iwamoto and H. Nakajima

Recent studies have suggested that statins, the inhibitors for 3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase in the mevalonate pathway, exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. However, the immune modulatory effects of statins on the differentiation of CD4+ T cells and their underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown. To address these issues, we examined the effect of simvastatin and inhibitors for protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation on the differentiation of IL-17-producing T cells (Th17 cells) and Foxp3+ CD4+ T cells. Simvastatin inhibited the differentiation of Th17 cells through the inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase activity but enhanced the differentiation of Foxp3+ CD4+ T cells. Geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor, GGTI-298, but not farnesyltransferase inhibitor, FTI-277, mimicked the effects of simvastatin, indicating that the inhibition of protein geranylgeranylation is responsible for the effects. Moreover, Foxp3+ CD4+ T cells developed in the presence of transforming growth factor-β and GGTI-298 functioned as regulatory T cells (Tregs) in in vitro T cell proliferation assay as well as in an autoimmune colitis model. Finally, GGTI-298 induced SOCS3 expression and inhibited IL-6-induced signal transducers and activators of transcription3 phosphorylation in CD4+ T cells. Taken together, these results indicate that protein geranylgeranylation enhances the differentiation of Th17 cells and inhibits the differentiation of Foxp3+ Tregs partly via the inhibition of SOCS3 expression.

  C Luo , B. G Durgin , N Watanabe and E. Lam

Development of ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq technologies has allowed genome-wide high-resolution profiling of chromatin-associated marks and binding sites for epigenetic regulators. However, signals for directing epigenetic modifiers to their target sites are not understood. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that genome location can affect the involvement of epigenetic regulators using Chromatin Charting (CC) Lines, which have an identical transgene construct inserted at different locations in the Arabidopsis genome. Four CC lines that showed evidence for epigenetic silencing of the luciferase reporter gene were transformed with RNAi vectors individually targeting epigenetic regulators LHP1, MOM1, CMT3, DRD1, DRM2, SUVH2, CLF, and HD1. Involvement of a particular epigenetic regulator in silencing the transgene locus in a CC line was determined by significant alterations in luciferase expression after suppression of the regulator's expression. Our results suggest that the targeting of epigenetic regulators can be influenced by genome location as well as sequence context. In addition, the relative importance of an epigenetic regulator can be influenced by tissue identity. We also report a novel approach to predict interactions between epigenetic regulators through clustering analysis of the regulators using alterations in gene expression of putative downstream targets, including endogenous loci and transgenes, in epigenetic mutants or RNAi lines. Our data support the existence of a complex and dynamic network of epigenetic regulators that serves to coordinate and control global gene expression in higher plants.

  K Sarai , K Shikata , Y Shikata , K Omori , N Watanabe , M Sasaki , S Nishishita , J Wada , N Goda , N Kataoka and H. Makino

Recently, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has been highlighted as an endothelial barrier-stabilizing mediator. FTY720 is a S1P analog originally developed as a novel immunosuppressant. The phosphorylated form of FTY720 binds to S1P receptors to exert S1P-like biological effects, suggesting endothelial barrier promotion by FTY720. To elucidate whether FTY720 induces signaling events related to endothelial barrier enhancement under hyperglycemic conditions, human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) preincubated with hyperglycemic (30 mM) medium were treated with 100 nM FTY720 for 3 h. Immunofluorescent microscopy and coprecipitation study revealed FTY720-induced focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-associated adherens junction (AJ) assembly at cell-cell contacts coincident with formation of a prominent cortical actin ring. FTY720 also induced transmonolayer electrical resistance (TER) augmentation in HMVEC monolayers in both normoglycemic and hyperglycemic conditions, implying endothelial barrier enhancement. Similar to S1P, site-specific FAK tyrosine phosphorylation analysis revealed FTY720-induced FAK [Y576] phosphorylation without phosphorylation of FAK [Y397/Y925]. Furthermore, FTY720 conditioned the phosphorylation profile of FAK [Y397/Y576/Y925] in hyperglycemic medium to the same pattern observed in normoglycemic medium. FTY720 challenge resulted in small GTPase Rac activation under hyperglycemic conditions, whereas increased Rho activity in hyperglycemic medium was restored to the basal level. Rac protein depletion by small interfering RNA (siRNA) technique completely abolished FTY720-induced FAK [Y576] phosphorylation. These findings strongly suggest the barrier protective effect of FTY720 on HMVEC monolayers in hyperglycemic medium via S1P signaling, further implying the possibility of FTY720 as a therapeutic agent of diabetic vascular disorder.

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