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K. Ichikawa, K. Hashizume, Y. Nishii, T. Takeda, M. Kobayashi, S. Suzuki, and T. Yamada


Human thyroid hormone receptor (c-erb A protein) produced by Escherichia coli expression vector plasmid was purified sequentially using polyethylenimine precipitation of DNA, hydroxylapatite column chromatography, ammonium sulphate precipitation, Sephacryl S-300 gel filtration and mono Q-Sepharose column chromatography. These column procedures resulted in 41.3-fold purification of 3,5,3′-tri-iodo-l-thyronine (T3) binding activity over the initial E. coli extract. Purified protein as well as crude preparation showed high-affinity binding to T3. The c-erb A protein enriched by column purification was further purified by electroelution after electrophoresis. Rabbit antibody against the c-erb A protein was prepared and used for the Western blotting analysis. The antibody recognized c-erb A protein but not the bacterial proteins in crude E. coli extract. When partially purified rat hepatic nuclear thyroid hormone receptor was analysed, a 56kDa receptor was specifically recognized by the antibody.

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H Wang, Y Horikawa, L Jin, T Narita, S Yamada, N Shihara, K Tatemoto, M Muramatsu, T Mune, and J Takeda

To clarify tissue-specificity of pancreatic β cells, comparison of mRNA expression in various conditions of the tissue of multiple organisms is important. Although the developed methodologies for mRNA monitoring such as microarray, rely on the growth of dbEST (database of expressed sequence tag), a large number of unknown genes in the genome, especially in the rat, have not been shown to be expressed. In this study, we have established the first database of ESTs from rat pancreatic islet and RINm5F cells. Two cDNA libraries were constructed using mRNAs from rat pancreatic islet and RINm5F cells to cover a wider spectrum of expressed genes. Over 40 000 clones were randomly selected from the two libraries and partially sequenced. The sequences obtained were subjected to BLAST database analyses. This large-scale sequencing generated 40 710 3′-ESTs. Clustering analysis and homology search of nucleotide and peptide databases using both 3′- and 5′-ESTs revealed 10 406 non-redundant transcripts representing 4078 known genes or homologs and 6328 unknown genes. To confirm actual expression, the unknown sequences were further subjected to dbEST search, resulting in the identification of 5432 significant matches to those from other sources. Interestingly, of the remaining sequences showing no match, 779 were found to be encoded by exon–intron organization in the corresponding genomic sequences, suggesting that these are newly found as actually expressed in this study. Since many genes are up- or down-regulated in differing conditions, applications of the expression profile should facilitate identification of the genes involved in cell-specific functions in normal and disease states.

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L Jin, H Wang, T Narita, R Kikuno, O Ohara, N Shihara, T Nishigori, Y Horikawa, and J Takeda

In order to understand the tIssue specificity of the endocrine pancreas, it is important to clarify the expression profile of mRNAs in various states of the tIssue. A total of approximately 9000 non-redundant expressed genes from human pancreatic islets and insulinoma have so far been determined as expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and deposited in public databases. In the present study towards the identification of a complete set of genes expressed in human pancreatic islets, we have determined 3'-ESTs of 21267 clones randomly selected from a cDNA library of human pancreatic islet tumors. Clustering analysis generated 6157 non-redundant sequences comprising 2323 groups and 3834 singletons. Nucleotide and peptide database searches show that 3103 of them represent known human sequences or homologs of genes identified in other species and 58 are new members of structurally related families. The sequences were classified on the basis of the putative protein functions encoded, and were assigned to the respective chromosome by database analysis. The sequences were also compared with the EST databases (dbEST and EPConDB) including ESTs from normal pancreatic islet, insulinoma, and fetal pancreas. Since 3384 genes were newly found to be expressed in human pancreatic islets and 587 of them were unique to the islets, this study has considerably expanded the catalog of genes expressed in the endocrine pancreas. The larger collection of pancreatic islet-related ESTs should provide a better genome source for molecular studies of differentiation, tIssue-specific functions, and tumorigenesis of the endocrine pancreas as well as for genetic studies of diabetes mellitus.