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In eutherian mammals, the placenta plays a critical role in embryo development by supplying nutrients and hormones and mediating interaction with the mother. To establish the fine connection between mother and embryo, the placenta needs to be formed normally, but the mechanism of placental differentiation is not fully understood. We previously revealed that mouse prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) plays a role in trophoblast stem cell (TSC) differentiation into two placental cell types, spongiotrophoblasts (SpT) and trophoblast giant cells. Here, we focused on SpT differentiation and attempted to elucidate a molecular mechanism. For Ascl2, Arnt, and Egfr genes that are indispensable for SpT formation, we found that a POP-specific inhibitor, SUAM-14746, significantly decreased Ascl2 expression, which was consistent with a significant decrease in expression of Flt1, a gene downstream of Ascl2. Although this downregulation was unlikely to be mediated by the PI3K-Akt pathway, our results indicated that POP controls TSC differentiation into SpT by regulating the Ascl2 gene.
The mechanism for the precipitation of multilayer graphene was investigated with respect to the use of an Al2O3 barrier layer and Au capping layer. The Al2O3 barrier layer suppresses the dissolution of carbon into the catalyst, especially at low temperature, and assists a decrease in the density of graphene nuclei. On the other hand, the Au capping layer is beneficial to weaken the strong binding between the catalyst and the graphene carbon atoms, and enhances the surface migration of precipitated carbon adatoms. A combination of the Al2O3 barrier layer and Au capping layer is useful for the synthesis of high-quality graphene with large grains. On a sample with both layers annealed for 60 min, the area of 5-layer graphene islands is as large as 10 μm, and covers 60% of the entire surface. The Raman D/G band intensity ratio of 0.024 indicates the precipitated graphene is high quality.
We have developed new gene expression-regulating polymer that can activate transgene expression in response to target intracellular signals. Here, we tried applying sonoporation system to this gene regulation system to enhance the gene expression efficacy. Sonoporation is the method for effective gene transfection in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, the method might enhance the transfection efficiency in our polymer and realize an efficient and safe gene delivery system. Results suggested that the combination of our polymer and sonoporation could improve the gene expression compared to the system using only our polymer that transfers genes into cells via endocytosis. It also kept the ability of the gene regulation responding to cellular signals.
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