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1.  CCDC39 is required for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex and for normal ciliary motility in humans and dogs 
Nature genetics  2010;43(1):72-78.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, reduced fertility in males and situs inversus in about 50% of affected individuals (Kartagener syndrome). It is caused by motility defects in the respiratory cilia that are responsible for airway clearance, the flagella that propel sperm cells and the nodal monocilia that determine left-right asymmetry1. Recessive mutations that cause PCD have been identified in genes encoding components of the outer dynein arms, radial spokes and cytoplasmic pre-assembly factors of axonemal dyneins, but these mutations account for only about 50% of cases of PCD. We exploited the unique properties of dog populations to positionally clone a new PCD gene, CCDC39. We found that loss-of-function mutations in the human ortholog underlie a substantial fraction of PCD cases with axonemal disorganization and abnormal ciliary beating. Functional analyses indicated that CCDC39 localizes to ciliary axonemes and is essential for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex.
PMCID: PMC3509786  PMID: 21131972
3.  Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis for Longitudinal Survey of Sources of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection in Cystic Fibrosis Patients▿ † 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(10):3175-3183.
In order to identify the source of infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), systematic genotyping of isolates is necessary. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) was used to survey the sources of P. aeruginosa infections in a French (Paris, France) pediatric CF center. Between January 2004 and December 2006, 108 patients ages 2 to 21 years who were regularly monitored at the center provided sputum for culture. P. aeruginosa was detected in 46 children, 17 of whom had primary colonization. A total of 163 isolates were recovered. MLVA was improved from a previously published method by the addition of new, informative, and easily typeable markers. Upon genotyping with 15 VNTRs, a total of 39 lineages composed of indistinguishable or closely related isolates, were observed. One of them corresponds to “clone C,” which is widely distributed in Europe, and another corresponds to reference strain PA14. Six patients were colonized with two different strains, and the remaining 40 patients were colonized with a single strain. Strains from seven lineages were shared by at least two and up to four patients among a total of 20 patients. The study demonstrates that MLVA is an efficient, easy, and rapid molecular method for epidemiological surveillance for P. aeruginosa infection. The resulting data and strain genetic profiles can be queried on
PMCID: PMC2045346  PMID: 17699654
4.  Neutrophils in Cystic Fibrosis Display a Distinct Gene Expression Pattern 
Molecular Medicine  2008;14(1-2):36-44.
We compared gene expression in blood neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes, or PMNs) collected from healthy subjects with those of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients devoid of bacterial colonization. Macroarray analysis of 1050 genes revealed upregulation of 62 genes and downregulation expression of 27 genes in CF blood PMNs. Among upregulated genes were those coding for vitronectin, some chemokines (particularly CCL17 and CCL18), some interleukin (IL) receptors (IL-3, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12), all three colony-stimulating factors (G-, M-, GM-CSF), numerous genes coding for molecules involved in signal transduction, and a few genes under the control of γ-interferon. In contrast, none of the genes coding for adhesion molecules were modulated. The upregulation of six genes in CF PMNs (coding for thrombospondin-1, G-CSF, CXCL10, CCL17, IKKɛ, IL-10Ra) was further confirmed by qPCR. In addition, the increased presence of G-CSF, CCL17, and CXCL10 was confirmed by ELISA in supernatants of neutrophils from CF patients. When comparison was performed between blood and airway PMNs of CF patients, there was a limited difference in terms of gene expression. Only the mRNA expression of amphiregulin and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor p55 were significantly higher in airway PMNs. The presence of amphiregulin was confirmed by ELISA in the sputum of CF patients, suggesting for the first time a role of amphiregulin in cystic fibrosis. Altogether, this study clearly demonstrates that blood PMNs from CF patients display a profound modification of gene expression profile associated with the disease, suggesting a state of activation of these cells.
PMCID: PMC2078559  PMID: 18026571
5.  Impaired cortical processing of inspiratory loads in children with chronic respiratory defects 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):61.
Inspiratory occlusion evoked cortical potentials (the respiratory related-evoked potentials, RREPs) bear witness of the processing of changes in respiratory mechanics by the brain. Their impairment in children having suffered near-fatal asthma supports the hypothesis that relates asthma severity with the ability of the patients to perceive respiratory changes. It is not known whether or not chronic respiratory defects are associated with an alteration in brain processing of inspiratory loads. The aim of the present study was to compare the presence, the latencies and the amplitudes of the P1, N1, P2, and N2 components of the RREPs in children with chronic lung or neuromuscular disease.
RREPs were recorded in patients with stable asthma (n = 21), cystic fibrosis (n = 32), and neuromuscular disease (n = 16) and in healthy controls (n = 11).
The 4 RREP components were significantly less frequently observed in the 3 groups of patients than in the controls. Within the patient groups, the N1 and the P2 components were significantly less frequently observed in the patients with asthma (16/21 for both components) and cystic fibrosis (20/32 and 14/32) than in the patients with neuromuscular disease (15/16 and 16/16). When present, the latencies and amplitudes of the 4 components were similar in the patients and controls.
Chronic ventilatory defects in children are associated with an impaired cortical processing of afferent respiratory signals.
PMCID: PMC2020473  PMID: 17822538
6.  Burkholderia cepacia Is Associated with Pulmonary Hypertension and Increased Mortality among Cystic Fibrosis Patients 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(12):5537-5541.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of Burkholderia cepacia on cardiovascular status and mortality in cystic fibrosis. Seven patients infected with B. cepacia were matched with 31 patients not infected with this organism for gender, age, height, weight, genotype, and percent predicted forced expiratory volume in one second, partial arterial oxygen pressure, and pancreatic sufficiency status. The pulmonary artery systolic pressure, as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography, was significantly higher in patients infected with B. cepacia (61.3 ± 17.2 mm Hg) than in controls (37.3 ± 13.9 mm Hg; P = 0.02), and the mean acceleration time was significantly lower (77 ± 33 ms versus 108 ± 25 ms; P = 0.02). The 6-month mortality was significantly higher in patients infected with B. cepacia (57% versus 16%; P = 0.02). Six of the seven patients infected with B. cepacia harbored the same ribotype (genomovar II, B. multivorans). Pulmonary hypertension was significantly more frequent in patients infected by B. cepacia and could contribute to the increased mortality rate.
PMCID: PMC535237  PMID: 15583278

Results 1-6 (6)