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"One-in-a-Trillion" TruthNEW

D-Amino acid analysis technology was developed.
This led to a discovery that will re-write textbooks.

The Clue to the Future.
What is the Chiral Amino Acid?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that make up human bones and muscles.
There are 20 kinds of amino acids in the human body. 19 kinds, except glycine, have two tertiary structures (optical isomers) that are mirror images of each other, like one’s right and left hands.
Left-handed amino acids are referred to as L-amino acids (L-form), and their right-handed mirror images are D-amino acids (D-form). An amino acid that has both the D-form and the L-form identified is called "chiral amino acid".

D- and L-forms of aspartate

D- and L-forms of aspartate

Shiseido Among the First to Focus on "Chiral Amino Acid Research"

For a long time, it had been thought that only L-amino acids affected human physiological activity, hence D-amino acids were neglected in life sciences research.
In 1990s, the existence of D-amino acids was discovered in mammals by researchers around the world, and their functions were becoming clear little by little.
However, the studies were limited to the D-amino acids available for analysis.

Function of D-Serine in cerebral cortex / Function of D-aspartate in pituitary gland and pineal gland / Function of D-aspartate in the testes

Shiseido realized that "a chiral amino acid study to differentiate D-amino acids and L-amino acids may provide new value in life sciences" and developed a technology to analyze the D- and L-form of all 20 kinds of amino acids. It has succeeded in the world's first practical application.
Based on this technology, research accelerated to elucidate the functions of D-amino acids. The results will be applied not only in cosmetics but also in food industry and medicine.

Development of an Innovative Device for Chiral Amino Acids Analysis

Shiseido's chemical analysis techniques (chromatographic technology) were fused with the Kyushu University's bio-analytical chemistry techniques.
In addition, through the industry-academia-government collaboration with the support of NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), "two-dimensional high-performance liquid chromatography (2D-HPLC) system" (patent JP4291628) has been developed (Figure 1).
This system can simultaneously separate all of D-amino acids and L-amino acids and measure their respective amounts. (Figure 2).
So now we are able to promote research tracing chiral amino acids in biological samples (blood, urine, tissue) which was impossible by conventional methods.

Y. Miyoshi, K. Hamase, Y. Tojo, M. Mita, et al, J. Chromatography B, 877, 2506-2512 (2009)
K. Hamase, Y. Miyoshi, M. Mita,et al, J. Chromatography A, 1217, 1056-1062 (2010)
Y. Miyoshi, K. Hamase, et al, J.Chromatography B, 879, 3184-3189 (2011)

Two-dimensional HPLC system
Target amino acids

Next, to the Medical Field

It was found that the balance of the internal D- and L-amino acids differs in healthy and sick organisms. Shiseido proposed to use this phenomenon as an index (biomarker) in diagnosis and treatment.

Examples of Biomarkers

●ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Through chiral amino acid metabolomic profiling, we elucidated for the first time that an intractable disease "Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)", which is a neurodegenerative disorder of selective motoneuronal death, has a mechanism that causes imbalance of D-serine in the spinal cord.

J. Sasabe, Y. Miyoshi, M. Mita, K. Hamase, S. Aiso, et al Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109, 627-632 (2012)

Relationship between the progress of ALS and the quantity of D-serine

●Kidney disease

We could detect acute kidney injury (AKI) caused by ischemia through chiral amino acid metabolomic profiling in blood or urine samples earlier than the conventional test marker.

J. Sasabe, Y. Miyoshi, Y. Tojo, M. Mita, K. Hamase, S. Aiso, et al, PLoS ONE, 9(1):e86504 (2014)

Relationship between the progress of AKI and D/L- serine ratio
The technology of chiral amino acid analysis advances various fields of clinical research and development – from the identification of disease-causing agents to diagnostic methods. Once established, the unprecedentedly accurate medical examination through chiral amino acid profiling will open doors to a new era of medical treatment tailored to individual patients. This may lead to the improvement of the QOL (Quality Of Life) and the reduction of financial burden caused by medical expenses.