Katsumi Higaki

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Lipid movement between organelles is a critical component of eukaryotic membrane homeostasis. Niemann Pick type C (NP-C) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder typified by lysosomal accumulation of cholesterol and sphingolipids. Expression of yeast NP-C-related gene 1 (NCR1), the orthologue of the human NP-C gene 1 (NPC1) defective in the disease, in(More)
G(M1)-gangliosidosis is an autosomal recessive lysosomal lipid storage disorder, caused by mutations of the lysosomal beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) and results in the accumulation of G(M1). The underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate increased autophagy in beta-gal-deficient (beta-gal(-/-)) mouse brains as(More)
Niemann-Pick type C (NP-C) disease is a fatal lysosomal lipid storage disorder for which no effective therapy exists. A genome-wide, conditional synthetic lethality screen was performed using the yeast model of NP-C disease during anaerobiosis, an auxotrophic condition that requires yeast to utilize exogenous sterol. We identified 12 pathways and 13 genes(More)
Human artificial chromosome (HAC) has several advantages as a gene therapy vector, including stable episomal maintenance that avoids insertional mutations and the ability to carry large gene inserts including the regulatory elements. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have great potential for gene therapy, as such cells can be generated from the(More)
We synthesized a galactose derivative, N-octyl-4-epi-beta-valienamine (NOEV), for a molecular therapy (chemical chaperone therapy) of a human neurogenetic disease, beta-galactosidosis (GM1-gangliosidosis and Morquio B disease). It is a potent inhibitor of lysosomal beta-galactosidase in vitro. Addition of NOEV in the culture medium restored mutant enzyme(More)
Episomal vector with the capacity to deliver a large gene containing all the critical regulatory elements is ideal for gene therapy. Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) have the capacity to deliver an extremely large genetic region to host cells without integration into the host genome, thus preventing possible insertional mutagenesis and genomic(More)
We performed screening of beta-galactosidase-deficient fibroblasts for possible chemical chaperone therapy using N-octyl-4-epi-beta-valienamine (NOEV) in patients with GM1-gangliosidosis and Morquio B disease (beta-galactosidosis). Fibroblasts were cultured with NOEV for 4 days and beta-galactosidase activity was measured. Mutation analysis was performed(More)
Gaucher disease (GD), caused by a defect of acid β-glucosidase (β-Glu), is one of the most common sphingolipidoses. Recently, ambroxol, an FDA-approved drug used to treat airway mucus hypersecretion and hyaline membrane disease in newborns, was identified as a chemical chaperone for GD. In the present study, we investigated the chaperone activity and(More)
Complementary and genomic DNAs isolated from the fibroblasts of 10 Japanese (7 late infantile, 2 juvenile, and 1 adult form of the disease) and one Caucasian patient with Niemann-Pick disease type C were analyzed for mutations in the NPC1 gene. Fourteen novel mutations were found including small deletions and point mutations. A one-base deletion and a point(More)
Gaucher disease (GD) is the most common form of sphingolipidosis and is caused by a defect of beta-glucosidase (beta-Glu). A carbohydrate mimic N-octyl-beta-valienamine (NOV) is an inhibitor of beta-Glu. When applied to cultured GD fibroblasts with F213I beta-Glu mutation, NOV increased the protein level of the mutant enzyme and up-regulated cellular enzyme(More)