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ABA is a major phytohormone that regulates a broad range of plant traits and is especially important for adaptation to environmental conditions. Our understanding of the molecular basis of ABA responses in plants improved dramatically in 2009 and 2010, banner years for ABA research. There are three major components; PYR/PYL/ RCAR (an ABA receptor), type 2C(More)
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) mediates the adaptation of plants to environmental stresses such as drought and regulates developmental signals such as seed maturation. Within plants, the PYR/PYL/RCAR family of START proteins receives ABA to inhibit the phosphatase activity of the group-A protein phosphatases 2C (PP2Cs), which are major negative(More)
BACKGROUND Aging results in a progressive loss of skeletal muscle, a condition known as sarcopenia. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations accumulate with aging in skeletal muscle and correlate with muscle loss, although no causal relationship has been established. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We investigated the relationship between mtDNA mutations and(More)
BACKGROUND Mefloquine is widely used for the treatment of malaria. However, this drug is known to induce neurological side effects including depression, anxiety, balance disorder, and sensorineural hearing loss. Yet, there is currently no treatment for these side effects. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS In this study, we show that the coenzyme NAD(+), known to play a(More)
Muscle contraction results from an attachment-detachment cycle between the myosin heads extending from myosin filaments and the sites on actin filaments. The myosin head first attaches to actin together with the products of ATP hydrolysis, performs a power stroke associated with release of hydrolysis products, and detaches from actin upon binding with new(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionally conserved posttranscriptional gene-silencing mechanism whereby small interfering RNA (siRNA) triggers sequence-specific cleavage of its cognate mRNA. Dicer, Argonaute (Ago), and either TAR-RNA binding protein (TRBP) or a protein activator of PKR (PACT) are the primary components of the RNAi pathway, and they(More)
Conjugated polyketone reductase C2 (CPR-C2) from Candida parapsilosis IFO 0708, identified as a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-dependent ketopantoyl lactone reductase, belongs to the aldo-keto reductase superfamily. This enzyme reduces ketopantoyl lactone to d-pantoyl lactone in a strictly stereospecific manner. To elucidate the(More)
Muscle contraction results from attachment-detachment cycles between myosin heads extending from myosin filaments and actin filaments. It is generally believed that a myosin head first attaches to actin, undergoes conformational changes to produce force and motion in muscle, and then detaches from actin. Despite extensive studies, the molecular mechanism of(More)
Only two polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET)-degrading enzymes have been reported, and their mechanism for the biochemical degradation of PET remains unclear. To identify a novel PET-degrading enzyme, a putative cutinase gene (cut190) was cloned from the thermophile Saccharomonospora viridis AHK190 and expressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta-gami B (DE3).(More)
Chiral molecule (R)-3-quinuclidinol, a valuable compound for the production of various pharmaceuticals, is efficiently synthesized from 3-quinuclidinone by using NADPH-dependent 3-quinuclidinone reductase (RrQR) from Rhodotorula rubra. Here, we report the crystal structure of RrQR and the structure-based mutational analysis. The enzyme forms a tetramer, in(More)