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Bikunin, which is an inhibitor of serine proteases, is widely distributed in human tissues, including liver, kidney, and mucous membranes of the stomach and colon. The aim of this study was to clarify whether bikunin is expressed in human epidermis and its appendages. Immunoblot analysis using a specific polyclonal antibody to bikunin revealed that a single(More)
Exposure to lead early in life may be a risk factor for fetal growth, but little is known about the effects of low-level prenatal lead exposure on birth outcomes. We measured maternal and cord blood lead levels and examined their associations with birth outcomes. Mother-infant pairs (n = 252) were recruited from a rural area located on the south coast of(More)
Lesions in the anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (EDA) gene cause the recessive human genetic disorder X-linked anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, which is characterized by the poor development of ectoderm-derived structures. Ectodysplasin-A, the protein encoded by the EDA gene, is a member of the tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily that forms a collagen(More)
Because it has been suggested that the majority of the activity hydrolysing [N-methyl-14C] sphingomyelin is due to sphingomyelin acylase in the lesional skins of atopic dermatitis (AD), in this study we used immunologic techniques to localize and quantitate sphingomyelinase in AD lesional and normal skin. A polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic(More)
In the skin of atopic dermatitis patients, the amount of ceramides in the stratum corneum is decreased. Although the cause of this decrease may be due to the higher activity of acylase, a decrease in the activity of sphingolipid activator proteins may also be the cause. A polyclonal antibody to saposin D, elicited by immunizing rabbits with the synthetic(More)
The casein digestible proteases in human plantar stratum corneum were determined to be about 75-kDa, 30-kDa and 25-kDa in molecular weight by zymography. The enzymatic activity of the 75-kDa and 25-kDa proteases was specifically inhibited by chymostatin, which is an inhibitor of chymotrypsin-like serine proteases, and the proteases around 30-kDa were(More)
Adrenomedullin (AM) is a newly discovered hypotensive peptide which is believed to play an important role for blood pressure control in the adult. Although it has been well established that a major production site of AM is vascular endothelial cells, we now show that AM is most highly expressed in trophoblast giant cells, which are derived from the(More)
Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous heavy metal that can negatively affect human health; however, few studies have examined the impact of prenatal low-level Hg exposure on fetal growth. We investigated prenatal exposure levels of Hg and the relationship between Hg levels and neonatal anthropometrics, including birth weight, length, and head circumference. A total(More)
While a conserved tyrosine (Tyr) is found in oxidases, the roles of phenol ring pKa and reduction potential in O2 reduction have not been defined despite many years of research on numerous oxidases and their models. These issues represent major challenges in our understanding of O2 reduction mechanism in bioenergetics. Through genetic incorporation of(More)
We performed immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and DNA ladder studies of apoptosis in nine cases of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). None of the cases showed spontaneous regression as has been reported in several MCCs. Neuron-specific enolase was demonstrated by(More)