Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Papers
Greggory John Wroblewski Last modified date:2021.08.18

Associate Professor / Department of Linguistic Environment / Faculty of Languages and Cultures

1. Bumbulis, MJ; Wroblewski, G; McKean D; Setzer, DR, Genetic analysis of Xenopus transcription factor IIIA, The Journal of Molecular Biology,, 284, 5, 1307-1322, The Journal of Molecular Biology 284(5): 1307-1322, 1998.12, [URL], We describe a method for the genetic analysis of the DNA-binding properties of Xenopus transcription factor IIIA (TFIIIA). In this approach, a transcriptional activator with the DNA-binding specificity of Xenopus TFIIIA is expressed in yeast cells, where it specifically activates expression of a β-galactosidase reporter gene containing one or more Xenopus 5 S rRNA genes that function as upstream activator sequences. This transcription-promoting activity was used as the basis for a genetic assay of Xenopus TFIIIA’s DNA-binding function in yeast, an assay that we show can be calibrated quantitatively to allow the affinity of the Xenopus TFIIIA-5 S rRNA gene interaction to be deduced from measurements of β-galactosidase activity. We have combined this genetic assay with a simple and efficient method of mutagenesis that makes use of error-prone PCR and homologous recombination to generate and screen large numbers of TFIIIA mutants for those with altered 5 S rRNA gene-binding affinity. Over 30 such mutants have been identified and partially characterized. The mutants we have obtained provide strong support for the application to intact TFIIIA of recent structural models of the N-terminal zinc fingers of the protein bound to fragments of the 5 S rRNA gene. Other mutants permit identification of important residues in more C-terminal zinc fingers of TFIIIA for which high-resolution structural information is not currently available. Finally, our results have interesting implications with respect to the mechanism of activation of transcription by RNA polymerase II in yeast..
2. Wroblewski, G, “Eccentric” or “strange”: Using online corpora to navigate connotation, The Language Teacher, 42, 3, 18-19, The Language Teacher 42(3): 18-19, 2018.05, [URL], Navigating the connotations of English words with similar semantic meanings can be extremely difficult for learners, as words’ associations can be culturally determined and their most natural collocates frequently selected by referencing an “internal corpus” that is much more extensive in a fluent speaker. The current activity is designed to highlight how distinctions between adjective pairs with similar denotations can be gleaned by examining their collocates and familiarize learners with online resources to hone this particular pragmatic competence..
3. Wroblewski, G, Analysis of Johnston's "Funeral Address for Victims of the Atomic Bomb" From his English Translation of Nagai's Nagasaki No Kane, Studies in Languages and Cultures, 44, 39-46, 2020.04.
4. Han, JQ; Wroblewski, G; Xu Z; Silverman, RH; Barton, DJ, Sensitivity of hepatitis C virus RNA to the antiviral enzyme ribonuclease L is determined by a subset of efficient cleavage sites, Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research,, 24, 11, 664-676, Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research 24(11): 664-676, 2004.11, [URL], Ribonuclease L (RNase L) cleaves RNA predominantly at single-stranded UA and UU dinucleotides. In- triguingly, hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNAs have a paucity of UA and UU dinucleotides, and relatively inter- feron (IFN)-resistant strains have fewer UA and UU dinucleotides than do more IFN-sensitive strains. In this study, we found that contextual features of UA and UU dinucleotides dramatically affected the efficiency of RNase L cleavage in HCV RNA. HCV genotype 1a RNA was cleaved by RNase L into fragments 200–1000 bases in length, consistent with 10–50 RNase L cleavage sites within the 9650-base long viral RNA. Using primer extension, we found that HCV RNA structures with multiple single-stranded UA and UU dinucleotides were cleaved most efficiently by RNase L. UA and UU dinucleotides with 3' proximal C or G residues were cleaved infrequently, whereas UA and UU dinucleotides within dsRNA structures were not cleaved. 5'-GUAC- 3' and 5'-CUUC-3' were particularly unfavorable contexts for cleavage by RNase L. More than 60% of the UA and UU dinucleotides in HCV 1a RNA were not cleaved by RNase L because of these contextual features. The 10–30 most efficiently cleaved sites were responsible for ~50%–85% of all RNase L cleavage events. Our data indicate that a relatively small number of the UA and UU dinucleotides in HCV RNA mediate the over- all sensitivity of HCV RNA to cleavage by RNase L..
5. Wroblewski, G., “Mouth” of “mouse?”: A novel activity to aid the production and recognition of minimal pairs, The School House (JALT Teachers of Younger Learners SIG), 20, The School House 20: 19-22, 2012.04.
6. Wroblewski, G, Using computer-based flashcards to introduce and review new vocabulary, The Language Teacher, 37, 1, 32-33, The Language Teacher 37(1): 32-33, 2013.01, [URL].
7. Wroblewski, G, A guest from overseas, Between the Keys (JALT Material Writers SIG), 21, 1, 30-38, Between the Keys 21(1): 30-38, 2013.01.
8. Wroblewski, G; Wroblewski, J; Matsumoto, T; Nozaki, I; Kamura, T; Kumashiro, R; Shinoda, K, Factors dissuading Japanese doctors from presenting more frequently at international conferences: More than just the usual suspect(s)? , Journal of Medical English Education, 13, 3, 55-64, Journal of Medical English Education 13(3): 55-64, 2014.10, Despite the quantity and quality of the country’s biomedical research and innovation, Japanese doctors seem to present their findings infrequently via poster and oral presentations at international conferences. While anecdotal accounts suggest that self-consciousness over their English ability may lead to reticence in presenting, until now a study to examine the veracity of this claim has been lacking. For this reason, 200 staff at three separate medical facilities in Western Japan were surveyed by paper questionnaire to identify factors that precluded more frequent participation. Here, results indicated that lack of confidence in their ability to communicate their findings and field questions in English seemed to be the strongest precluding factor, but it was not the only one. Travel costs and job-related time constraints were also strong factors overall, with men and those respondents over 40 identifying both at higher rates than their female counterparts and those under 40, respectively. Additionally, surgeons were more likely than their non-surgeon and “lab work focus” colleagues to implicate excessive work as a factor. The overall findings suggest that varied educational and cultural considerations must be considered concurrently in any attempt to increase the number of presentations by Japanese doctors at international conferences. As implications for English instructors specifically, providing increased exposure to the target context through English journal clubs and similar contexts is a feasible short- term goal for addressing this issue with Japanese medical students and physician-researchers interested in sharing their research with an international audience..
9. Jahan, MR; Kokubu, K; Islam, MN; Matsuo, C; Yanai, A; Wroblewski, G; Fujinaga, R; Shinoda, K, Species differences in androgen receptor expression in the medial preoptic and anterior hypothalamic areas of adult male and female rodents, Neuroscience,, 284, 943-961, Neuroscience 284 (January): 943-961, 2015.02, [URL], The medial preoptic and anterior hypothalamic areas (MPO/AH) are important androgen targets regulating homeostasis, neuroendocrinology and circadian rhythm as well as instinctive and sociosexual behaviors. Although species differences between rats and mice have been pointed out in terms of morphology and physiology, detailed distributions of androgen receptor (AR) have never been compared between the two rodents. In the present study, AR distribution was examined immunohistochemically in serial sections of the MPO/AH and compared for adult rats and mice. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry clearly demonstrated that AR expression in the brain was stronger in mice than in rats and was stronger in males than in females. In addition, we found (1) an “obliquely elongated calbindin-ir cell island” in mice medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) expressed AR intensely, as well as the sexually dimorphic nucleus in the MPN (SDN–MPN) in rats, strongly supporting a “putative SDN–MPN” previously proposed in mice; (2) AR expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) was much more prominent in mice than in rats and differed in localization between the two species; (3) a mouse-specific AR-ir cell cluster was newly identified as the “tear drop nucleus (TDN)”, with male-dominant sexual dimorphism; and (4) two rat-specific AR-ir cell clusters were also newly identified as the “rostral and caudal nebular islands”, with male-dominant sexual dimorphism. The present results may provide basic morphological evidence underlying species differences in androgen-modified psychological, physiological and endocrinergic responses. Above all, the findings of the mouse-specific TDN and differing AR expression in the SCN might explain not only species difference in gonadal modification of circadian rhythm, but also distinct structural bases in the context of transduction of SCN oscillation. The current study could also serve as a caution that data on androgen-sensitive functions obtained from one species should not always be directly applied to others among rodents..
10. Wroblewski, J; Kawagoe, H; Nasu, H; Kawamura, K; Tashiro, Y; Wroblewski, G; Okura, N, Overtreatment by misdiagnosis of pseudoinvasion in TLH, CRSLS (Case Reports from the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons), DOI: 10.4293/CRSLS.2015.00103, CRSLS e2015.00103, 2016.02, [URL], Introduction: Despite reports of pseudo lymphovascular space involvement (LVSI) in total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) in recent years, we recently experienced a misdiagnosis of pseudo-LVSI after TLH for uterine myoma, having observed irregularities in excised specimens. Additional surgery found no abnormalities, resulting in an unfortunate case of overtreatment. For this reason, we reviewed cases of TLH for benign uterine disorders performed at our hospital for the presence of similar pseudoinvasion.

Case Description: We re-examined 53 cases for the presence of intravascular endometrial tissue from patients who had undergone TLH for benign uterine disorders. In a 42-year-old patient who had undergone TLH for uterine myoma, we found a small amount of complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia and observed intravascular agglomerations of atypical endometrial cells at multiple sites, leading to a diagnosis of LVSI. We performed additional surgery (laparotomy), but findings were unremarkable. Pseudo-LVSI was identified in 8 of 53 cases (15.1%): in 2 of 21 (9.5%) operations performed with the ClearView uterine manipulator and in 6 of 32 (18.8%) performed with the Vcare uterine manipulator.

Discussion: Differentiation between “true” LVSI and grossing artifacts remains difficult, and a noteworthy case of overtreatment such as this highlights the need to reinstitute differentiation as a salient topic of discussion among surgeons and pathologists. Similarly, the existence of pseudoinvasion in a significant number of the retrospectively reviewed cases, in light of its still-undetermined clinical significance, is an interesting finding that warrants additional investigation to avoid both overtreatment and undertreatment of such cases..
11. Islam, MN; Takeshita, Y; Yanai, A; Imagawa, A; Jahan, MR; Wroblewski, G; Nemoto, J; Fujinaga, R; Shinoda, K, Immunohistochemical analysis of huntingtin-associated protein 1 in adult rat spinal cord and its regional relationship with androgen receptor, Neuroscience ,, 340, January, 201-217, Neuroscience 340 (January): 201-217, 2017.01, [URL], Huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1) is a neuronal interactor with causatively polyglutamine (polyQ)-expanded huntingtin in Huntington’s disease and also associated with pathologically polyQ-expanded androgen receptor (AR) in spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), being considered as a protective factor against neurodegenerative apoptosis. In normal brains, it is abundantly expressed particularly in the limbic-hypothalamic regions that tend to be spared from neurodegeneration, whereas the areas with little HAP1 expression, including the striatum, thalamus, cerebral neocortex and cerebellum, are targets in several neurodegenerative diseases. While the spinal cord is another major neurodegenerative target, HAP1-immunoreactive (ir) structures have yet to be determined there. In the current study, HAP1 expression was immunohistochemically evaluated in light and electron microscopy through the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spinal cords of the adult male rat. Our results showed that HAP1 is specifically expressed in neurons through the spinal segments and that more than 90% of neurons expressed HAP1 in lamina I–II, lamina X, and autonomic preganglionic regions. Double-immunostaining for HAP1 and AR demonstrated that more than 80% of neurons expressed both in laminae I-II and X. In contrast, HAP1 was specifically lacking in the lamina IX motoneurons with or without AR expression. The present study first demonstrated that HAP1 is abundantly expressed in spinal neurons of the somatosensory, viscerosensory, and autonomic regions but absent in somatomotor neurons, suggesting that the spinal motoneurons are, due to lack of putative HAP1 protectivity, more vulnerable to stresses in neurodegenerative diseases than other HAP1-expressing neurons probably involved in spinal sensory and autonomic functions..
12. Wroblewski, G; Matuso, K; Hirata, K; Matsubara, T; Harada, K; Watanabe, Y; Shinoda, K, Effects of task language and second-language proficiency on the neural correlates of phonemic fluency in native Japanese speakers: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study, NeuroReport, doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000852, 28, 14, 884-889, NeuroReport 28(14): 884-889, 2017.09, [URL], Data collected during a phonemic fluency task (or ‘FAS test’), a standard component of neuropsychological batteries for assessment of cognitive deficits, may be language-dependent and may differ depending on second-language proficiency. The unique orthographic/phonological system of the task language, and the reported cognitive advantages inherent to bilinguals, may each influence the task’s neural correlates. However, language background is not currently assessed in most studies testing phonemic fluency. Here, we used 52-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy in college-aged native-Japanese subjects to examine functional changes in oxygenated hemoglobin elicited during a phonemic fluency task performed in Japanese and in English. We found activity differences that were related to task language and second-language proficiency. Besides loci activated in the Japanese test, bilateral precentral channels were specifically recruited in the English test. Furthermore, the higher-proficiency group showed almost no increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in either language context, whereas participants with lower proficiency showed widespread increases for both contexts. We interpret precentral increases as the consequence of additional articulatory resource recruitment in a second-language context. As for the lack of such variation in the higher-proficiency group, it may reflect an advantage in nonverbal executive control in this group. Together, our results point to language background and proficiency as confounding variables in neuroimaging studies of phonemic fluency and that the adequacy of such measures in populations with varying language backgrounds needs to be considered in future studies..
13. Wroblewski, G; Islam, MN; Yanai, A; Jahan, MR; Matsumoto, K; Shinoda, K, Distribution of HAP1-immunoreactive cells in the retrosplenial–retrohippocampal area of adult rat brain and its application to a refined neuroanatomical understanding of the region, Neuroscience,, 394, 2018, 109-126, Neuroscience 394 (2018) 109–126, 2018.12, Huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1) is a neural interactor of huntingtin in Huntington’s disease and interacts with gene products in a number of other neurodegenerative diseases. In normal brains, HAP1 is expressed abundantly in the hypothalamus and limbic-associated regions. These areas tend to be spared from neurodegeneration while those with little HAP1 are frequently neurodegenerative targets, suggesting its role as a protective factor against apoptosis. In light of the relationship between neurodegenerative diseases and dete- rioration of higher nervous activity, it is important to definitively clarify HAP1 expression in a cognitively impor- tant brain region, the retrosplenial–retrohippocampal area. Here, HAP1 expression was evaluated immunohistochemically over the retrosplenial cortex, the subicular complex, and the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices. HAP1-immunoreactive (ir) cells were classified into five discrete groups: (1) a distinct retrosplenial cell cluster exclusive to the superficial layers of the granular cortex, (2) a conspicuous, thin line of cells in layers IV/V of the ‘‘subiculum-backing cortex,” (3) a group of highly immunoreactive cells associated with the medial entorhi- nal–subicular corner, (4) pericallosal cells just below layer VI and adjacent to the white matter, and (5) other spo- radic, widely-disseminated HAP1-immunoreactive cells. HAP1 was found to be the first marker for the complex subiculum-backing cortex and a precise marker for several subfields in the retrosplenial–retrohippocampal area, verified through comparative staining with other neurochemicals. HAP1 may play an important role in protecting these cortical structures and functions for higher nervous activity by increasing the threshold to neurodegener- ation and decreasing vulnerability to stress or aging. .