Publications by authors named "Masashi Tatsumi"

35 Publications

Full genome-based characterization of G4P[6] rotavirus strains from diarrheic patients in Thailand: Evidence for independent porcine-to-human interspecies transmission events.

Virus Genes 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Virology and Parasitology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi, 470-1192, Japan.

The exact evolutionary patterns of human G4P[6] rotavirus strains remain to be elucidated. Such strains possess unique and strain-specific genotype constellations, raising the question of whether G4P[6] strains are primarily transmitted via independent interspecies transmission or human-to-human transmission after interspecies transmission. Two G4P[6] rotavirus strains were identified in fecal specimens from hospitalized patients with severe diarrhea in Thailand, namely, DU2014-259 (RVA/Human-wt/THA/DU2014-259/2014/G4P[6]) and PK2015-1-0001 (RVA/Human-wt/THA/PK2015-1-0001/2015/G4P[6]). Here, we analyzed the full genomes of the two human G4P[6] strains, which provided the opportunity to study and confirm their evolutionary origin. On whole genome analysis, both strains exhibited a unique Wa-like genotype constellation of G4-P[6]-I1-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1-E1-H1. The NSP1 genotype A8 is commonly found in porcine rotavirus strains. Furthermore, on phylogenetic analysis, each of the 11 genes of strains DU2014-259 and PK2015-1-0001 appeared to be of porcine origin. On the other hand, the two study strains consistently formed distinct clusters for nine of the 11 gene segments (VP4, VP6, VP1-VP3, and NSP2-NSP5), strongly indicating the occurrence of independent porcine-to-human interspecies transmission events. Our observations provide important insights into the origin of zoonotic G4P[6] strains, and into the dynamic interaction between porcine and human rotavirus strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11262-021-01851-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Identification of GII.14[P7] norovirus and its genomic mutations from a case of long-term infection in a post-symptomatic individual.

Infect Genet Evol 2020 12 1;86:104612. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections, Nonthaburi, Thailand. Electronic address:

Norovirus is a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide. Norovirus shedding typically lasts one week to one month after the onset of diarrhea in immunocompetent hosts. The occurrence of mutations in the genome during infection has contributed to the evolution of norovirus. It has been suggested that genomic mutations in the P2-domain of capsid protein VP1, the major antigenic site for virus clearance, are involved in the evasion of host immunity and prolonged shedding of norovirus. In our previous study, we found a case of long-term shedding of GII.14 norovirus in a post-symptomatic immunocompetent individual that lasted about three months. In this study, we characterized the genomic sequence of the GII.14 strain to gain insight into the context of long-term shedding. By sequencing a 4.8 kb region of the genome corresponding to half of ORF1 and the entire ORF2 and ORF3, which encode several non-structural proteins and the structural proteins VP1 and VP2, the GII.14 strain was found to be classified as recombinant GII.14[P7]. Six point-mutations occurred during the three-month period of infection in a time-dependent manner in the genomic regions encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, VP1, and VP2. Three of the six mutations were sense mutations, but no amino acid substitution was identified in the P2-domain of VP1. These results suggest that there is a mechanism by which long-term shedding of norovirus occurs in immunocompetent individuals independent of P2-domain mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2020.104612DOI Listing
December 2020

Norovirus transmission mediated by asymptomatic family members in households.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(7):e0236502. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The transmission of human norovirus excreted from infected persons occasionally causes sporadic infections and outbreaks. Both symptomatic patients and asymptomatic carriers have been reported to contribute to norovirus transmission, but little is known about the magnitude of the contribution of asymptomatic carriers. We carried out a 1-year survey of residents of a district of Bangkok, Thailand to determine the percentage of norovirus transmissions originating from asymptomatic individuals. We screened 38 individuals recruited from 16 families from May 2018 to April 2019 for GI and GII genotypes. Norovirus was detected every month, and 101 of 716 stool samples (14.1%) from individuals with no symptoms of acute gastroenteritis were norovirus-positive. The average infection frequency was 2.4 times per person per year. Fourteen genotypes were identified from the positive samples, with GII.4 being detected most frequently. Notably, 89.1% of the norovirus-positive samples were provided by individuals with no diarrhea episode. Similar to cases of symptomatic infections in Thailand, asymptomatic infections were observed most frequently in December. We detected 4 cases of NV infection caused by household transmission, and 3 of the 4 transmissions originated from asymptomatic individuals. We also identified a case in which norovirus derived from an asymptomatic individual caused diarrhea in a family member. These results suggest that asymptomatic individuals play a substantial role in both the maintenance and spreading of norovirus in a community through household transmission.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0236502PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377487PMC
September 2020

Anti-Chikungunya Virus Monoclonal Antibody That Inhibits Viral Fusion and Release.

J Virol 2020 09 15;94(19). Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections (RCC-ERI), Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand

Chikungunya fever, a mosquito-borne disease manifested by fever, rash, myalgia, and arthralgia, is caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which belongs to the genus of the family Anti-CHIKV IgG from convalescent patients is known to directly neutralize CHIKV, and the state of immunity lasts throughout life. Here, we examined the epitope of a neutralizing mouse monoclonal antibody against CHIKV, CHE19, which inhibits viral fusion and release. docking analysis showed that the epitope of CHE19 was localized in the viral E2 envelope and consisted of two separate segments, an N-linker and a β-ribbon connector, and that its bound Fab fragment on E2 overlapped the position that the E3 glycoprotein originally occupied. We showed that CHIKV-E2 is lost during the viral internalization and that CHE19 inhibits the elimination of CHIKV-E2. These findings suggested that CHE19 stabilizes the E2-E1 heterodimer instead of E3 and inhibits the protrusion of the E1 fusion loop and subsequent membrane fusion. In addition, the antigen-bound Fab fragment configuration showed that CHE19 connects to the CHIKV spikes existing on the two individual virions, leading us to conclude that the CHE19-CHIKV complex was responsible for the large virus aggregations. In our subsequent filtration experiments, large viral aggregations by CHE19 were trapped by a 0.45-μm filter. This virion-connecting characteristic of CHE19 could explain the inhibition of viral release from infected cells by the tethering effect of the virion itself. These findings provide clues toward the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies against the infection. Recent outbreaks of chikungunya fever have increased its clinical importance. Neither a specific antiviral drug nor a commercial vaccine for CHIKV infection are available. Here, we show a detailed model of the docking between the envelope glycoprotein of CHIKV and our unique anti-CHIKV-neutralizing monoclonal antibody (CHE19), which inhibits CHIKV membrane fusion and virion release from CHIKV-infected cells. Homology modeling of the neutralizing antibody CHE19 and protein-protein docking analysis of the CHIKV envelope glycoprotein and CHE19 suggested that CHE19 inhibits the viral membrane fusion by stabilizing the E2-E1 heterodimer and inhibits virion release by facilitating the formation of virus aggregation due to the connecting virions, and these predictions were confirmed by experiments. Sequence information of CHE19 and the CHIKV envelope glycoprotein and their docking model will contribute to future development of an effective prophylactic and therapeutic agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00252-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495367PMC
September 2020

Full genome characterization of novel DS-1-like G9P[8] rotavirus strains that have emerged in Thailand.

PLoS One 2020 22;15(4):e0231099. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Department of Virology and Parasitology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan.

The emergence and rapid spread of unusual DS-1-like intergenogroup reassortant rotaviruses having G1/3/8 genotypes have been recently reported from major parts of the world (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas). During rotavirus surveillance in Thailand, three novel intergenogroup reassortant strains possessing the G9P[8] genotype (DBM2017-016, DBM2017-203, and DBM2018-291) were identified in three stool specimens from diarrheic children. In the present study, we determined and analyzed the full genomes of these three strains. On full-genomic analysis, all three strains were found to share a unique genotype constellation comprising both genogroup 1 and 2 genes: G9-P[8]-I2-R2-C2-M2-A2-N2-T2-E2-H2. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that each of the 11 genes of the three strains was closely related to that of emerging DS-1-like intergenogroup reassortant, human, and/or locally circulating human strains. Thus, the three strains were suggested to be multiple reassortants that had acquired the G9-VP7 genes from co-circulating Wa-like G9P[8] rotaviruses in the genetic background of DS-1-like intergenogroup reassortant (likely equine-like G3P[8]) strains. To our knowledge, this is the first description of emerging DS-1-like intergenogroup reassortant strains having the G9P[8] genotype. Our observations will add to the growing insights into the dynamic evolution of emerging DS-1-like intergenogroup reassortant rotaviruses through reassortment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231099PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7176146PMC
July 2020

High prevalence of equine-like G3P[8] rotavirus in children and adults with acute gastroenteritis in Thailand.

J Med Virol 2020 02 19;92(2):174-186. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Department of Pediatrics, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan.

Group A rotavirus (RVA) is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. This study aims to clarify the distribution of G/P types and genetic characteristics of RVAs circulating in Thailand. Between January 2014 and September 2016, 1867 stool specimens were collected from children and adults with acute gastroenteritis in six provinces in Thailand. RVAs were detected in 514/1867 (27.5%) stool specimens. G1P[8] (44.7%) was the most predominant genotype, followed by G3P[8] (33.7%), G2P[4] (11.5%), G8P[8] (7.0%), and G9P[8] (1.3%). Unusual G3P[9] (0.8%), G3P[10] (0.4%), G4P[6] (0.4%), and G10P[14] (0.2%) were also detected at low frequencies. The predominant genotype, G1P[8] (64.4%), in 2014 decreased to 6.1% in 2016. In contrast, the frequency of G3P[8] markedly increased from 5.5% in 2014 to 65.3% in 2015 and 89.8% in 2016. On polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, most (135/140; 96.4%) of the G3P[8] strains exhibited a short RNA profile. Successful determination of the nucleotide sequences of the VP7 genes of 98 G3P[8] strains with a short RNA profile showed that they are all equine-like G3P[8] strains. On phylogenetic analysis of genome segments of two representative Thai equine-like G3P[8] strains, it was noteworthy that they possessed distinct NSP4 genes, one bovine-like and the other human-like. Thus, we found that characteristic equine-like G3P[8] strains with a short RNA electropherotype are becoming highly prevalent in children and adults in Thailand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25591DOI Listing
February 2020

The use of green fluorescent protein-tagged virus-like particles as a tracer in the early phase of chikungunya infection.

Virus Res 2019 10 21;272:197732. Epub 2019 Aug 21.

Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections (RCC-ERI), Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand; Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD), Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan. Electronic address:

To visually examine the early phase of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection in target cells, we constructed a virus-like particle (VLP) in which the envelope protein E1 is fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP). This chikungunya VLP-GFP (CHIK-VLP-EGFP), purified by density gradient fractionation, was observed as 60-70 nm-dia. particles and was detected as tiny puncta of fluorescence in the cells. CHIK-VLP-EGFP showed binding properties similar to those of the wild-type viruses. Most of the fluorescence signals that had bound on Vero cells disappeared within 30 min at 37 °C, but not in the presence of anti-CHIKV neutralizing serum or an endosomal acidification inhibitor (bafilomycin A1), suggesting that the loss of fluorescence signals is due to the disassembly of the viral envelope following the internalization of CHIK-VLP-EGFP. In addition to these results, the fluorescence signals disappeared in highly susceptible Vero and U251MG cells but not in poorly susceptible A549 cells. Thus, CHIK-VLP-EGFP is a useful tool to examine the effects of the CHIKV neutralizing antibodies and antiviral compounds that are effective in the entry phase of CHIKV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2019.197732DOI Listing
October 2019

The dynamics of norovirus genotypes and genetic analysis of a novel recombinant GII.P12-GII.3 among infants and children in Bangkok, Thailand between 2014 and 2016.

Infect Genet Evol 2018 06 20;60:133-139. Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections (RCC-ERI), Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand; Research Institute of Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0781, Japan; Osaka Institute of Public Health, Osaka 537-0025, Japan. Electronic address:

Norovirus (NoV) is the leading cause of viral acute gastroenteritis among all age groups in the world. We performed a molecular epidemiological study of the NoVs prevalent in Bangkok between November 2014 and July 2016 to investigate the emergence of new NoV variants in Thailand. A total of 332 stool specimens were collected from hospitalized pediatric patients with acute gastroenteritis in Bangkok, Thailand. NoVs were detected by real-time PCR. The genome of the N-terminal/shell domain was amplified, the nucleotide sequence was determined, and phylogenetic analyses were performed. GII NoV was detected in 58 (17.5%) of the 332 specimens. GII.17, a genotype strain prevalent from 2014 to mid-2015, was hardly detected and replaced by the GII.3 genotype strain. Entire genome sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis of the GII.3 genotype strains indicated that they are new recombinant viruses, because the genome encoding ORF1 is derived from a GII.12 genotype strain, whereas that encoding ORF2-3 is from a GII.3 genotype strain. The putative recombination breakpoints with the highest statistical significance were located around the border of 3D and ORF2. The change in the prevalent strain of NoV seems to be linked to the emergence of new forms of recombinant viruses. These findings suggested that the swapping of the structural and non-structural proteins of NoV is a common mechanism by which new epidemic variants are generated in nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.02.028DOI Listing
June 2018

An Outbreak of Acute Hepatitis Caused by Genotype IB Hepatitis A Viruses Contaminating the Water Supply in Thailand.

Intervirology 2016 17;59(4):197-203. Epub 2017 Feb 17.

National Institute of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

Background: In 2000, an outbreak of acute hepatitis A was reported in a province adjacent to Bangkok, Thailand.

Aims: To investigate the cause of the 2000 hepatitis A outbreaks in Thailand using molecular epidemiological analysis.

Methods: Serum and stool specimens were collected from patients who were clinically diagnosed with acute viral hepatitis. Water samples from drinking water and deep-drilled wells were also collected. These specimens were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of the VP1/2A region of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) genome. The entire genome sequence of one of the fecal specimens was determined and phylogenetically analyzed with those of known HAV sequences.

Results And Conclusions: Eleven of 24 fecal specimens collected from acute viral hepatitis patients were positive as determined by semi- nested reverse transcription PCR targeting the VP1/2A region of HAV. The nucleotide sequence of these samples had an identical genotype IB sequence, suggesting that the same causative agent was present. The complete nucleotide sequence derived from one of the samples indicated that the Thai genotype IB strain should be classified in a unique phylogenetic cluster. The analysis using an adjusted odds ratio showed that the consumption of groundwater was the most likely risk factor associated with the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000455856DOI Listing
April 2017

A cell-free enzymatic activity assay for the evaluation of HIV-1 drug resistance to protease inhibitors.

Front Microbiol 2015 31;6:1220. Epub 2015 Oct 31.

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Yokohama City University Yokohama, Japan.

Due to their high frequency of genomic mutations, human retroviruses often develop resistance to antiretroviral drugs. The emergence of drug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a significant obstacle to the effective long-term treatment of HIV infection. The development of a rapid and versatile drug-susceptibility assay would enable acquisition of phenotypic information and facilitate determination of the appropriate choice of antiretroviral agents. In this study, we developed a novel in vitro method, termed the Cell-free drug susceptibility assay (CFDSA), for monitoring phenotypic information regarding the drug resistance of HIV-1 protease (PR). The CFDSA utilizes a wheat germ cell-free protein production system to synthesize enzymatically active HIV-1 PRs directly from PCR products amplified from HIV-1 molecular clones or clinical isolates in a rapid one-step procedure. Enzymatic activity of PRs can be readily measured by AlphaScreen (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay Screen) in the presence or absence of clinically used protease inhibitors (PIs). CFDSA measurement of drug resistance was based on the fold resistance to the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of various PIs. The CFDSA could serve as a non-infectious, rapid, accessible, and reliable alternative to infectious cell-based phenotypic assays for evaluation of PI-resistant HIV-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4628118PMC
November 2015

Japanese external quality assessment program to standardize HIV-1 drug-resistance testing (JEQS2010 program) using in vitro transcribed RNA as reference material.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2015 Mar 3;31(3):318-25. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

1 Faculty of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University , Sapporo, Japan .

To design appropriate antiretroviral therapy regimens and avoid the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 variants with reduced susceptibility to antiretroviral drugs, genotypic drug-resistance testing (HIV genotyping) is strongly recommended. To monitor the quality of HIV genotyping in Japan, we performed an external quality assessment (EQA), named the Japanese external quality assessment program, to standardize HIV genotyping (JEQS). To accurately evaluate the quality of HIV genotyping, we employed as reference material (RM) a well-characterized sample, in vitro transcribed RNA (trRNA) that includes the HIV gag-pol sequence, and created a JEQS2010 panel consisting of three single variant and three mixed trRNA samples. All 11 participating laboratories showed high concordance rates (>96%) for the single variant samples. Eight laboratories also showed good rates of detecting minor variants, but three laboratories failed to detect the variants comprising one-half of the sample. These three laboratories used a common primer that had four internal mismatches to the minor trRNA clone. This program showed the usefulness of trRNA as RM, the high quality of HIV genotyping, and extensive interlaboratory variation in the ability to detect minor variants. These results suggest that improving the quality of HIV genotyping in Japan requires regularly implementing the EQA program and improving the HIV genotyping protocol in each laboratory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/aid.2014.0059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347889PMC
March 2015

DNA damage enhances integration of HIV-1 into macrophages by overcoming integrase inhibition.

Retrovirology 2013 Feb 21;10:21. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Department of Intractable Diseases, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, 1-21-1 Toyama, 162-8655, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: The prevention of persistent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection requires the clarification of the mode of viral transduction into resting macrophages. Recently, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) were shown to enhance infection by D64A virus, which has a defective integrase catalytic activity (IN-CA). However, the mechanism by which DSBs upregulate viral transduction was unclear. Here we analyzed the roles of DSBs during IN-CA-independent viral transduction into macrophages.

Results: We used cellular systems with rare-cutting endonucleases and found that D64A virus integrated efficiently into the sites of artificially induced DSBs. This IN-CA-independent viral transduction was blocked by an inhibitor of ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM) but was resistant to raltegravir (RAL), an inhibitor of integrase activity during strand transfer. Moreover, Vpr, an accessory gene product of HIV-1, induced DSBs in resting macrophages and significantly enhanced the rate of IN-CA-independent viral transduction into macrophages with concomitant production of secondary viruses.

Conclusion: DSBs contribute to the IN-CA-independent viral infection of macrophages, which is resistant to RAL. Thus, the ATM-dependent cellular pathway and Vpr-induced DNA damage are novel targets for preventing persistent HIV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-10-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3605128PMC
February 2013

Lack of the trans-receptor mechanism of HIV-1 infection: CD4- and coreceptor-independent incorporation of HIV-1-resistant cells into syncytia induced by HIV-1.

Microbes Infect 2012 Apr 3;14(4):357-68. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Department of Virology and Preventive Medicine, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infects cells through an interaction of HIV-1 envelope protein with CD4 and an appropriate coreceptor on target cells. This interaction often leads to cell fusion, and formation of syncytia. HIV-1-resistant cells expressing either CD4 or a coreceptor are often surrounding HIV-1-susceptible cells, expressing both CD4 and a compatible coreceptor, in vivo. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate whether these HIV-1-resistant cells could cooperate in HIV-1 infection or cell fusion leading to their incorporation into syncytia. When CD4-positive, coreceptor-negative cells were co-cultured with CD4-negative, coreceptor-positive cells and exposed to HIV-1, HIV-1 infection was not established, indicating that CD4 and the coreceptor expressed on different cell surfaces could not cooperate in HIV-1 entry. However, when HIV-1-resistant cells expressing CD4 or a coreceptor or lacking both were mixed with HIV-1-susceptible cells and inoculated with HIV-1, all these HIV-1-resistant cells were similarly incorporated into syncytia induced by HIV-1, indicating a CD4- and coreceptor-independent incorporation of HIV-1-resistant cells into syncytia. This incorporation was impaired by the transfection of these cells with siRNAs for adhesion molecules. Our study demonstrates that HIV-1-resistant cells can be incorporated into syncytia induced by HIV-1 and this incorporation may partially be mediated through adhesion molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2011.11.005DOI Listing
April 2012

Elimination of hepatitis C virus from hepatocytes by a selective activation of therapeutic molecules.

PLoS One 2011 Jan 6;6(1):e15967. Epub 2011 Jan 6.

Department of Molecular Virology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.

To eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) from infected hepatocytes, we generated two therapeutic molecules specifically activated in cells infected with HCV. A dominant active mutant of interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) and a negative regulator of HCV replication, VAP-C (Vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein subtype C), were fused with the C-terminal region of IPS-1 (IFNβ promoter stimulator-1), which includes an HCV protease cleavage site that was modified to be localized on the ER membrane, and designated cIRF7 and cVAP-C, respectively. In cells expressing the HCV protease, cIRF7 was cleaved and the processed fragment was migrated into the nucleus, where it activated various IFN promoters, including promoters of IFNα6, IFNβ, and IFN stimulated response element. Activation of the IFN promoters and suppression of viral RNA replication were observed in the HCV replicon cells and in cells infected with the JFH1 strain of HCV (HCVcc) by expression of cIRF7. Suppression of viral RNA replication was observed even in the IFN-resistant replicon cells by the expression of cIRF7. Expression of the cVAP-C also resulted in suppression of HCV replication in both the replicon and HCVcc infected cells. These results suggest that delivery of the therapeutic molecules into the liver of hepatitis C patients, followed by selective activation of the molecules in HCV-infected hepatocytes, is a feasible method for eliminating HCV.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0015967PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017098PMC
January 2011

Differential anti-APOBEC3G activity of HIV-1 Vif proteins derived from different subtypes.

J Biol Chem 2010 Nov 10;285(46):35350-8. Epub 2010 Sep 10.

Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.

Antiretroviral cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G, which is abundantly expressed in peripheral blood lymphocytes and macrophages, strongly protects these cells against HIV-1 infection. The HIV-1 Vif protein overcomes this antiviral effect by enhancing proteasome-mediated APOBEC3G degradation and is key for maintaining viral infectivity. The 579-bp-long vif gene displays high genetic diversity among HIV-1 subtypes. Therefore, it is intriguing to address whether Vif proteins derived from different subtypes differ in their viral defense activity against APOBEC3G. Expression plasmids encoding Vif proteins derived from subtypes A, B, C, CRF01_AE, and CRF02_AG isolates were created, and their anti-APOBEC3G activities were compared. Viruses produced from cells expressing APOBEC3G and Vif proteins from different subtypes showed relatively different viral infectivities. Notably, subtype C-derived Vif proteins tested had the highest activity against APOBEC3G that was ascribed to its increased binding activity, for which the N-terminal domain of the Vif protein sequences was responsible. These results suggest that the biological differences of Vif proteins belonging to different subtypes might affect viral fitness and quasispecies in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.173286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2975159PMC
November 2010

Heparin identification test and purity test for OSCS in heparin sodium and heparin calcium by weak anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography.

Biologicals 2010 Sep 7;38(5):539-43. Epub 2010 May 7.

Division of Biological Chemistry and Biologicals, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan.

Heparin sodium and heparin calcium, which are widely used as anti-coagulants, are known to potentially contain the natural impurity dermatan sulfate (DS). Recently serious adverse events occurred in patients receiving heparin sodium in the US, and a contaminant oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS) was found to be a cause of the events. To ensure the quality and safety of pharmaceutical heparins, there is need of a physicochemical identification test that can discriminate heparin from the heparin-related substances as well as a sensitive purity test for OSCS. Recently, HPLC with a strong-anion exchange column was proposed as the methods for identifying heparin and determination of OSCS in heparin sodium. Although this method is convenient and easy to perform, the only column suitable for this purpose is the Dionex IonPac AS11-HC column. In this study, we developed alternative identification test and test for OSCS in both heparin sodium and heparin calcium using a weak anion-exchange column. The identification test allowed for separation of heparin from the impurity DS and contaminant OSCS in a shorter time. The purity test provided enough sensitivity, specificity, linearity, recovery and repeatability for OSCS. We believe that our methods will be useful for quality control of pharmaceutical heparins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biologicals.2010.04.002DOI Listing
September 2010

Establishment of an indicator cell system for hepatitis C virus.

Microbiol Immunol 2010 Apr;54(4):206-20

Department of Molecular Virology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.

Although a cell culture system for HCV JFH-1 strain has been developed, no robust cell culture system for serum-derived HCV is available. In this study, we have established systems capable of monitoring infection with JFH-1 virus based on specific reporter gene expression through proteolysis of chimeric transcription factors by HCV NS3/4A protease. We utilized a transcriptional factor Gal4-TBP that synergistically enhances transcription of the GAL4UAS and HIV-1 LTR tandem promoter with the Tat protein. We constructed chimeric Tat and Gal4-TBP transcription factors containing the HCV NS3/4A cleavage sequence of a mitochondria-resident IPS-1, but not those of the HCV polyprotein, and manipulated them to localize in the ER. Upon infection with JFH-1 virus, the transcription factors were efficiently cleaved by HCV protease, migrated into the nucleus and activated the reporter gene under the tandem promoter. Upon infection with JFH-1 virus, the Huh7OK1/TG-Luc cell line carrying the transcription factors and a luciferase gene under the promoter expressed luciferase in a dose-dependent manner in close correlation with HCV RNA replication. Huh7OK1/TG-LNGFR cells carrying the transcription factors and a cDNA of human low affinity nerve growth factor receptor under the promoter were selectively concentrated by immunomagnetic cell sorting upon infection with JFH-1 virus. These results indicate that the chimeric constructs bearing the ER-resident IPS-1 sequence are specifically recognized and efficiently cleaved by HCV protease and are harnessed for detection of HCV replication and for recovery of HCV-infected cells. This strategy may be applicable for the establishment of cell culture systems for the isolation of serum-derived HCV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1348-0421.2010.00209.xDOI Listing
April 2010

Development of a real-time PCR assay for detection and quantification of Francisella tularensis.

Jpn J Infect Dis 2006 Feb;59(1):46-51

Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.

The facultative intracellular bacterium, Francisella tularensis, is an etiological agent of tularemia and is also considered to be a potential biological threat agent due to its extreme infectivity. We established a real-time PCR assay using the LightCycler (LC) system to detect a Francisella-specific sequence of the outer membrane protein (fopA) gene. Twenty-five F. tularensis strains including 16 Japanese isolates were subjected to this LC-PCR assay, and were tested positive, whereas Francisella philomiragia and other bacteria species did not show any specific fluorescent signal. A linear response was observed using F. tularensis genomic DNAs of between 20 fg and 2 ng, corresponding to 1.2 to 1.2 x 10(5) bacteria. The newly established real-time PCR allows the detection of the F. tularensis genome specifically, sensitively, and rapidly. This assay may contribute to the standardization of the laboratory diagnosis of tularemia.
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February 2006

A novel small molecular weight compound with a carbazole structure that demonstrates potent human immunodeficiency virus type-1 integrase inhibitory activity.

Antivir Chem Chemother 2005 ;16(6):363-73

AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.

The integration of reverse transcribed proviral DNA into a host genome is an essential event in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication life cycle. Therefore, the viral enzyme integrase (IN), which plays a crucial role in the integration event, has been an attractive target of anti-retroviral drugs. Several IN inhibitory compounds have been reported previously, yet none has been successful in clinical use. To find a new, more successful IN inhibitor, we screened a diverse library of 12 000 small molecular weight compounds randomly by in vitro strand-transfer assay. We identified a series of substituted carbazoles that exhibit strand-transfer inhibitory activity at low micromolar concentrations. Of these, the most potent compound exhibited an IC50 of 5.00+/-3.31 microM (CA-0). To analyse the structural determinants of strand-transfer inhibitory activity of the carbazole derivatives, we selected 23 such derivatives from our compound library and performed further analyses. Of these 23 compounds, six showed strong strand-transfer inhibition. The inhibition kinetics analyses and ethidium bromide displacement assays indicated that the carbazole derivatives are competitive inhibitors and not intercalators. An HeLa4.5/LTR-nEGFP cell line was employed to evaluate in vitro virus replication inhibition of the carbazole derivatives, and IC50 levels ranged from 0.48-1.52 microM. Thus, it is possible that carbazole derivatives, which possess structures different from previously-reported IN inhibitors, may become novel lead compounds in the development of IN inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/095632020501600603DOI Listing
April 2006

Construction and characterization of an infectious molecular clone of HIV-1 subtype A of Indian origin.

Virology 2006 Feb 9;345(2):328-36. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 426 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, PA 15261, USA.

India has the second highest number of HIV-1 infected people next to South Africa. The predominant proportion of HIV-1 circulating in India is of subtype C origin, with a small fraction made up of subtypes A and B. In this report, we describe the construction and characterization of the first full-length infectious molecular clone p1579A-1 HIV-1, from an HIV-1 subtype A infected person from India, using long PCR and successive ligation of the amplimers. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence of the entire proviral DNA and LTR confirmed p1579A-1 to be an HIV-1 subtype A. Analysis of the env gene of p1579A-1 showed a conserved GPGQ motif and the absence of basic amino acids at positions 11 and 25 suggesting CCR5 coreceptor usage. Analysis of env N-linked glycosylation sites revealed fewer sites in the V1 region of envelope compared to other subtype A. Transcription factor binding site analysis of the LTR sequences identified conserved as well as unique transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in p1579A-1. This infectious clone of HIV-1 can be useful to study the molecular mechanism of dominance of subtype C in India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2005.09.053DOI Listing
February 2006

[Study on the stability of SARS coronavirus].

Kansenshogaku Zasshi 2004 Nov;78(11):991-2

Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.11150/kansenshogakuzasshi1970.78.991DOI Listing
November 2004

Specific reactions between purified HIV-1 particles and CD4+ cell membrane fragments in a cell-free system of virus fusion or entry.

Microbes Infect 2004 Apr;6(5):421-8

Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.

The initial step of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection has been studied by Env-mediated fusion or entry assays with appropriate cells expressing CD4 or CXCR4/CCR5 receptors in cultures, where many factors underlying cellular activities likely regulate the fusion/entry efficiency. Here we attempted to develop a more simplified in vitro cell-free fusion/entry reaction that mimics HIV-1 infection in cultures. Membrane fragments of target cells and intact infectious HIV-1 particles were purified, mixed and incubated. The core p24 protein was released from the purified virions and detected by ELISA without detergents in the supernatant of the reaction mixtures. This release reaction proceeded temperature-dependently and in a dose-dependent manner between the virion and membrane fractions, and was specific for HIV-1 Env and CD4. Env-deleted or VSV-G-pseudotyped HIV-1 released little p24, if any. Pretreatment of the membrane fragments with anti-CD4 antibodies inhibited the p24 induction from both X4-tropic and R5-tropic HIV-1. Furthermore, X4 but not R5 HIV-1 reacted with the membrane prepared from intrinsically CXCR4-positive HeLa-CD4 cells, whereas both viruses reacted with that prepared from CCR5-transduced HeLa-CD4 cells, indicating that this cell-free reaction mimics coreceptor usage of HIV-1 infection. Therefore, a potent entry inhibitor of X4 HIV-1, SDF-1alpha, blocked the release from X4 but not R5 HIV-1. Inversely, a weak entry inhibitor of R5 HIV-1, MIP-1beta, partially affected only the release from R5 HIV-1. These results suggest that this cell-free reaction system provides a useful tool to study biochemical fusion/entry mechanisms of HIV-1 and its inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2004.02.002DOI Listing
April 2004

Identification of a novel isoform of ZAP-70, truncated ZAP kinase.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2004 Mar;315(4):935-41

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Aging and Developmental Science, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.

We identified a novel cDNA encoding truncated ZAP-70, which lacked the SH2 domain and a part of interdomain B, and named it truncated ZAP kinase (TZK). TZK was expressed in the thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes with ZAP-70. TZK was expressed in CD44+CD25- thymocytes up to mature T cells, but ZAP-70 was not expressed in CD44+CD25- or CD44+CD25+ thymocytes. ZAP-70 or TZK was transfected into P116 cells derived from a Jurkat T-cell line deficient in ZAP-70. The P116 cells with ZAP-70 induced the T-cell receptor-mediated signal transduction, but the cells expressing TZK did not. While ZAP-70 was accumulated at the immune synapse, TZK was not. Meanwhile, impaired phosphorylation of SLP-76, one of the substrates of ZAP-70, in P116 cells upon pervanadate stimulation was rescued in the cells expressing TZK. These findings show that TZK is a novel isoform of ZAP-70, which is expressed in pre-T-cell receptor-minus thymocytes and functions as a kinase not associated with T-cell receptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.01.127DOI Listing
March 2004

Regulation of osteoclastogenesis by three human RANKL isoforms expressed in NIH3T3 cells.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2004 Feb;314(4):1021-7

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Aging and Developmental Science, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 113-8519, Tokyo, Japan.

Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) induces osteoclastogenesis by binding with the receptor, receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB in the presence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Three human RANKL isoforms, hRANKL1, hRANKL2, and hRANKL3, were identified. hRANKL1 was identical to previously reported RANKL and possessed intracellular, transmembrane, and extracellular domains, hRANKL2 did not have the intracellular domain, and hRANKL3 did not have the intracellular and transmembrane domains. When bone marrow macrophages were cultured with NIH3T3 cells expressing hRANKL1, osteoclasts were formed, but when cultured with NIH3T3 cells expressing hRANKL2 or hRANKL3, no tartrate resistant acid phosphatase-positive cell was observed. In the coculture system, coexpression of hRANKL3 with hRANKL1 significantly inhibited the formation of osteoclasts by hRANKL1, but coexpression of hRANKL2 with hRANKL1 did not affect the osteoclastogenesis by hRANKL1 significantly. These results suggest that the activity of osteoclastogenesis by hRANKL1 is regulated by the attenuator, hRANKL3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2003.12.191DOI Listing
February 2004

High prevalence of diverse forms of HIV-1 intersubtype recombinants in Central Myanmar: geographical hot spot of extensive recombination.

AIDS 2003 Sep;17(14):2077-87

Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Epidemiology, AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.

Objectives: To investigate the molecular epidemiology and genetic structure of HIV-1s causing the epidemic in Central Myanmar and to explore the genesis of HIV epidemic in this area.

Design: A molecular epidemiological investigation was conducted in 1999-2000 in the city of Mandalay among high-risk populations and the structural features of circulating HIV-1s were analyzed.

Methods: HIV-1 genotypes of 59 specimens were screened based on gag (p17) and env (C2/V3) regions. Near full-length nucleotide sequences of HIV-1 isolates with subtype discordance were determined and their recombinant structures were characterized.

Results: Three lineages of HIV-1 strains, including CRF01_AE (27, 45.8%), subtype B' (Thailand variant of subtype B) (15, 25.4%) and subtype C (8, 13.6%), were distributed in Mandalay, while substantial portions (9, 15.3%) of specimens showed various patterns of subtype discordance in different regions of HIV-1 genomes. The study on six HIV-1 isolates with subtype discordance revealed that they were highly diverse types of unique recombinant forms (URFs) comprised of various combinations of three circulating subtypes. One URF was a particularly complex mosaic that contained 13 recombination breakpoints between three HIV-1 subtypes. Approximately half of recombinants showed 'pseudotype' virion structures, in which the external portions of envelope glycoproteins were exchanged with different lineages of HIV-1 strains, suggesting the potential selective advantage of 'pseudotype' viruses over parental strains.

Conclusion: The study revealed the unique geographical hot spot in Central Myanmar where extensive recombination events appeared to be taking place continually. This reflects the presence of highly exposed individuals and social networks of HIV-1 transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00002030-200309260-00009DOI Listing
September 2003

"All-in-One Assay", a direct phenotypic anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 drug resistance assay for three-drug combination therapies that takes into consideration in vivo drug concentrations.

J Virol Methods 2003 Jul;111(1):43-53

AIDS Clinical Center, International Medical Center of Japan, 1-21-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8655, Japan.

A novel phenotypic anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) drug resistance assay is described. Three drugs at concentrations equivalent to those determined in in vivo pharmacokinetics, were mixed in a well, serially diluted by 10-folds, and added to incubations of clinical HIV-1 isolates and CCR-5 expressing HeLa/CD4+ cells which was previously reported as the MAGIC-5 cells (Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45 (2001) 495) to determine the 95% inhibitory dilution (ID(95)) of the combination regimens. The ID(95) of efavirenz (EFV)-containing regimens was ten-times lower than that of nevirapine (NVP)-containing regimens against HIV-1 isolated from antiviral therapy naive patients. However, the difference was not apparent by the conventional fold resistance measurement based on the 50% inhibitory concentration. Furthermore, the synergistic effects of drug combinations against clinical HIV-1 isolates can be evaluated by our assay. The ID(95)s of EFV- and nelfinavir (NFV)- containing regimens against HIV-1 from naive patients were less than 0.01 whereas those against resistant viruses were over 0.05, although the clinical cut-off values are to be determined in larger clinical studies. Our assay, designated "All-in-One Assay", that can examine resistance to three drugs simultaneously under consideration of in vivo drug concentrations described above might be useful in practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0166-0934(03)00150-2DOI Listing
July 2003

Processing of the HTLV-II envelope precursor glycoprotein gp63 by furin is essential for cell fusion activity.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2002 Nov;18(17):1253-60

Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.

To investigate the relationship between the fusogenic properties of HTLV-II and the processing of the envelope precursor glycoprotein gp63, recombinant cowpox virus expressing this protein was used to infect a range of cell lines derived from different species. Syncytium formation and gp63 processing were observed in all cells with the exception of LoVo cells, which are known to have a dysfunctional form of the endoprotease, furin. Furin has been shown to be necessary for the processing of a number of viral envelope glycoproteins, and gp63 contains a consensus sequence (305)Arg-Arg-Arg-Arg, which is a furin substrate motif. Pulse-chase studies demonstrated gp63 processing in Vero but not in LoVo cells. In addition it could be shown that expression of recombinant furin restored the processing of gp63 to gp46 in LoVo cells, and this resulted in syncytium formation. Our findings suggest that furin plays a pivotal role in cleavage of the HTLV-II envelope gp63, which in turn is a prerequisite for the fusogenic properties of the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/088922202320886299DOI Listing
November 2002

Isolation and characterization of an infectious HIV type 1 molecular clone from a patient with primary infection.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2002 Oct;18(15):1127-33

Department of Virology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.

We isolated a subtype B infectious DNA clone of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) from a seronegative patient with acute infection and determined the entire nucleotide sequence. All the reading frames encoding the structural proteins (Gag, Pol, and Env) and nonstructural proteins (Tat, Rev, Vpr, Vif, and Nef) were found. Although moat functional domains in these proteins were conserved, we identified a duplication of the T cell factor lei (TCF-1alpha) element in the long terminal repeat and many variations in the N-linked glycosylation sites in the V4-V5 region but not in the V1-V3 loop of Env, compared with prototype subtype B clones. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of the entire nucleotide sequence indicated that this HIV-1 was distinct from the prototype subtype B clones, suggesting that transmitted viruses can be variants. This HIV-1 DNA done will be a useful prototype for investigating the mechanism of HIV-1 transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/088922202320567860DOI Listing
October 2002

Construction and characterization of an infectious molecular clone derived from the CRF01_AE primary isolate of HIV type 1.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2002 May;18(8):585-9

Department of Virology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

An infectious molecular clone (named p95TNIH022) was constructed using long-range polymerase chain reaction products derived from a clinical isolate (95TNIH022) of HIV-1 CRF01_AE obtained from an asymptomatic Thai carrier in 1995. The virus in the supernatant from p95TNIH022-transfected 293T cells showed infectivity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as well as in MAGIC5 cells, which express CD4 and CCR5, but not in the original MAGI cells, indicating that p95TNIH022 is an infectious molecular clone with CCR5 tropism. Interestingly, p95TNIH022-derived virus induced profound cell killing in infected PBMCs, as in cells infected with the parental isolate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/088922202753747932DOI Listing
May 2002