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Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are light-gated cation channels derived from algae that have shown experimental utility in optogenetics; for example, neurons expressing ChRs can be optically controlled with high temporal precision within systems as complex as freely moving mammals. Although ChRs have been broadly applied to neuroscience research, little is known(More)
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is the most potent mitogen for mature parenchymal hepatocytes in primary culture, and seems to be a hepatotrophic factor that acts as a trigger for liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy and liver injury. The partial purification and characterization of HGF have been reported. We have demonstrated that pure HGF from rat(More)
Ca(2+)/cation antiporters catalyze the exchange of Ca(2+) with various cations across biological membranes to regulate cytosolic calcium levels. The recently reported structure of a prokaryotic Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX_Mj) revealed its overall architecture in an outward-facing state. Here, we report the crystal structure of a H(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger from(More)
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) silence transposons to maintain genome integrity in animal germ lines. piRNAs are classified as primary and secondary piRNAs, depending on their biogenesis machinery. Primary piRNAs are processed from long non-coding RNA precursors transcribed from piRNA clusters in the genome through the primary processing pathway. Although(More)
Tight junctions are cell-cell adhesion structures in epithelial cell sheets that surround organ compartments in multicellular organisms and regulate the permeation of ions through the intercellular space. Claudins are the major constituents of tight junctions and form strands that mediate cell adhesion and function as paracellular barriers. We report the(More)
The cellular distribution of parchorin, a new chloride intracellular channel family member, was investigated in rabbit tissues by immunohistochemistry using an antibody recognizing the sequence containing a parchorin-specific repeat. Parchorin preferentially resides in the epithelium of the ducts of the lacrymal, parotid, submandibular, and mammary glands(More)
Krokinobacter eikastus rhodopsin 2 (KR2) is the first light-driven Na(+) pump discovered, and is viewed as a potential next-generation optogenetics tool. Since the positively charged Schiff base proton, located within the ion-conducting pathway of all light-driven ion pumps, was thought to prohibit the transport of a non-proton cation, the discovery of KR2(More)
Magnesium is the most abundant divalent cation in living cells and is crucial to several biological processes. MgtE is a Mg(2+) channel distributed in all domains of life that contributes to the maintenance of cellular Mg(2+) homeostasis. Here we report the high-resolution crystal structures of the transmembrane domain of MgtE, bound to Mg(2+), Mn(2+) and(More)
Endothelin, a 21-amino-acid peptide, participates in various physiological processes, such as regulation of vascular tone, humoral homeostasis, neural crest cell development and neurotransmission. Endothelin and its G-protein-coupled receptor are involved in the development of various diseases, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, and thus are important(More)
YidC, a member of the YidC/Oxa1/Alb3 family, inserts proteins into the membrane and facilitates membrane-protein folding in bacteria. YidC plays key roles in both Sec-mediated integration and Sec-independent insertion of membrane proteins. Here, Bacillus halodurans YidC2, which has five transmembrane helices conserved among the other family members, was(More)