Kenji Kurokawa

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The beta subunit of DNA polymerase III is essential for negative regulation of the initiator protein, DnaA. DnaA inactivation occurs through accelerated hydrolysis of ATP bound to DnaA; the resulting ADP-DnaA fails to initiate replication. The ability of beta subunit to promote DnaA inactivation depends on its assembly as a sliding clamp on DNA and must be(More)
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is one of two anionic polymers on the surface of the gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. LTA is critical for the bacterium-host cell interaction and has recently been shown to be required for cell growth and division. To determine additional biological roles of LTA, we found it necessary to identify permissive conditions(More)
The injection of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia) or true fungi (Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis) that are pathogenic to humans into the silkworm hemolymph leads to death of the larvae within 2 days. Antibiotics used for clinical purposes have therapeutic effects on silkworms infected with these pathogens. The 50%(More)
In Drosophila, the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides in response to microbial infections is under the control of the Toll and immune deficiency (Imd) signaling pathway. The Toll signaling pathway responds mainly to the lysine-type peptidoglycan of Gram-positive bacteria and fungal β-1,3-glucan, whereas the Imd pathway responds to the meso-diaminopimelic(More)
Lysylphosphatidylglycerol (LPG) is a basic phospholipid in which L-lysine from lysyl-tRNA is transferred to phosphatidylglycerol (PG). This study examined whether the Staphylococcus aureus mprF gene encodes LPG synthetase. A crude membrane fraction prepared from wild-type S. aureus cells had LPG synthetase activity that depended on PG and lysyl-tRNA,(More)
Pathogenic bacteria mitigate host immunity to establish infections, but the mechanism of this bacterial action has not been fully elucidated. To search for cell wall components that modulate innate immune responses in host organisms, we examined Staphylococcus aureus mutants, which were deficient in components of the cell wall, for pathogenicity in(More)
The biochemical characterization of novel antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and the determination of ligand molecules that induce AMP production are essential for understanding the host innate immune response in insects. Here, we purified a new 14-kDa AMP, named tenecin 4, from the larval hemolymph of the beetle Tenebrio molitor. Tenecin 4 contains 14% glycine(More)
The DnaD protein in Gram-positive bacteria is thought to be essential for the initiation step in DNA replication. In the present study, we characterized two Staphylococcus aureus mutants whose temperature-sensitive growth phenotype could be complemented by a plasmid carrying the dnaD gene. These mutants each had a single amino acid substitution in the DnaD(More)
Innate immunity is the first line of host defense against invading pathogens, and it is recognized by a variety of pattern recognition molecules, including mannose-binding lectin (MBL). MBL binds to mannose and N-acetylglucosamine residues present on the glycopolymers of microorganisms. Human serum MBL functions as an opsonin and activates the lectin(More)
Some synthetic lipopeptides, in addition to native lipoproteins derived from both Gram-negative bacteria and mycoplasmas, are known to activate TLR2 (Toll-like receptor 2). However, the native lipoproteins inherent to Gram-positive bacteria, which function as TLR2 ligands, have not been characterized. Here, we have purified a native lipoprotein to(More)