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1.  A Real-Time PCR Assay to Identify and Discriminate Among Wild-Type and Vaccine Strains of Varicella-Zoster Virus and Herpes Simplex Virus in Clinical Specimens, and Comparison With the Clinical Diagnoses 
Journal of medical virology  2009;81(7):1310-1322.
A real-time PCR assay was developed to identify varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in clinical specimens from subjects with suspected herpes zoster (HZ; shingles). Three sets of primers and probes were used in separate PCR reactions to detect and discriminate among wild-type VZV (VZV-WT), Oka vaccine strain VZV (VZV-Oka), and HSV DNA, and the reaction for each virus DNA was multiplexed with primers and probe specific for the human ╬▓-globin gene to assess specimen adequacy. Discrimination of all VZV-WT strains, including Japanese isolates and the Oka parent strain, from VZV-Oka was based upon a single nucleotide polymorphism at position 106262 in ORF 62, resulting in preferential amplification by the homologous primer pair. The assay was highly sensitive and specific for the target virus DNA, and no cross-reactions were detected with any other infectious agent. With the PCR assay as the gold standard, the sensitivity of virus culture was 53% for VZV and 77% for HSV. There was 92% agreement between the clinical diagnosis of HZ by the Clinical Evaluation Committee and the PCR assay results.
doi:10.1002/jmv.21506
PMCID: PMC4217208  PMID: 19475609
zoster vaccine; Shingles Prevention Study; clinical trial; diagnosis of herpes zoster; VZV ORF 62
2.  Distinct expression profiles of Notch-1 protein in human solid tumors: Implications for development of targeted therapeutic monoclonal antibodies 
Biological therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that target tumor-associated antigens have been considered an effective therapeutic approach in oncology. In considering Notch-1 receptor as a potential target, we performed immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays to determine 1) whether the receptor is overexpressed in tumor cells as compared to their corresponding normal tissues and 2) the clinical significance of its expression levels in human breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers. We found that the expression of Notch-1 protein was overexpressed in primary colorectal adenocarcinoma and nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), but not in primary ductal breast carcinoma or prostate adenocarcinoma. Further analysis revealed that higher levels of Notch-1 protein expression were significantly associated with poorer differentiation of breast and prostate tumors. Strikingly, for NSCLC, the expression levels of Notch-1 protein were found to be inversely correlated with tumor differentiation and progression. For colorectal tumors, however, no correlation of Notch-1 protein expression was found with any tumor clinicopathological parameters, in spite of its overexpression in tumor cells. Our data demonstrated the complexity of Notch-1 protein expression in human solid tumors and further supported the notion that the roles of Notch-1 expression in tumorigenesis are highly context-dependent. The findings could provide the basis for development of distinct therapeutic strategies of Notch-1 mAbs for its applications in the treatment of suitable types of human cancers.
PMCID: PMC2898104  PMID: 20631820
Notch-1; target therapy; tissue microarray; immunohistochemistry

Results 1-2 (2)