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1.  Intraspinal bone-marrow cell therapy at pre- and symptomatic phases in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disease that selectively affects the motor neurons. The details of the mechanisms of selective motor-neuron death remain unknown and no effective therapy has been developed. We investigated the therapy with bone-marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC) in a mouse model of ALS (SOD1G93A mice).
We injected 106 BMMC into the lumbar portion of the spinal cord of SOD1G93A mice in presymptomatic (9 weeks old) and symptomatic (14 weeks old) phases. In each condition, we analyzed the progression of disease and the lifespan of the animals.
We observed a mild transitory delay in the disease progression in the animals injected with BMMC in the presymptomatic phase. However, we observed no increase in the lifespan. When we injected BMMC in the symptomatic phase, we observed no difference in the animals’ lifespan or in the disease progression. Immunohistochemistry for NeuN showed a decrease in the number of motor neurons during the course of the disease, and this decrease was not affected by either treatment. Using different strategies to track the BMMC, we noted that few cells remained in the spinal cord after transplantation. This observation could explain why the BMMC therapy had only a transitory effect.
This is the first report of intraspinal BMMC therapy in a mouse model of ALS. We conclude this cellular therapy has only a mild transitory effect when performed in the presymptomatic phase of the disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13287-016-0293-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4791786  PMID: 26979533
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Bone marrow cell therapy; Neuronal degeneration
2.  Determination of Cancer Risk Associated with Germ Line BRCA1 Missense Variants by Functional Analysis 
Cancer research  2007;67(4):1494-1501.
Germ line inactivating mutations in BRCA1 confer susceptibility for breast and ovarian cancer. However, the relevance of the many missense changes in the gene for which the effect on protein function is unknown remains unclear. Determination of which variants are causally associated with cancer is important for assessment of individual risk. We used a functional assay that measures the transactivation activity of BRCA1 in combination with analysis of protein modeling based on the structure of BRCA1 BRCT domains. In addition, the information generated was interpreted in light of genetic data. We determined the predicted cancer association of 22 BRCA1 variants and verified that the common polymorphism S1613G has no effect on BRCA1 function, even when combined with other rare variants. We estimated the specificity and sensitivity of the assay, and by meta-analysis of 47 variants, we show that variants with <45% of wild-type activity can be classified as deleterious whereas variants with >50% can be classified as neutral. In conclusion, we did functional and structure-based analyses on a large series of BRCA1 missense variants and defined a tentative threshold activity for the classification missense variants. By interpreting the validated functional data in light of additional clinical and structural evidence, we conclude that it is possible to classify all missense variants in the BRCA1 COOH-terminal region. These results bring functional assays for BRCA1 closer to clinical applicability.
PMCID: PMC2936786  PMID: 17308087
3.  Swine and Poultry Pathogens: the Complete Genome Sequences of Two Strains of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a Strain of Mycoplasma synoviae†  
Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R. | Ferreira, Henrique B. | Bizarro, Cristiano V. | Bonatto, Sandro L. | Carvalho, Marcos O. | Pinto, Paulo M. | Almeida, Darcy F. | Almeida, Luiz G. P. | Almeida, Rosana | Alves-Filho, Leonardo | Assunção, Enedina N. | Azevedo, Vasco A. C. | Bogo, Maurício R. | Brigido, Marcelo M. | Brocchi, Marcelo | Burity, Helio A. | Camargo, Anamaria A. | Camargo, Sandro S. | Carepo, Marta S. | Carraro, Dirce M. | de Mattos Cascardo, Júlio C. | Castro, Luiza A. | Cavalcanti, Gisele | Chemale, Gustavo | Collevatti, Rosane G. | Cunha, Cristina W. | Dallagiovanna, Bruno | Dambrós, Bibiana P. | Dellagostin, Odir A. | Falcão, Clarissa | Fantinatti-Garboggini, Fabiana | Felipe, Maria S. S. | Fiorentin, Laurimar | Franco, Gloria R. | Freitas, Nara S. A. | Frías, Diego | Grangeiro, Thalles B. | Grisard, Edmundo C. | Guimarães, Claudia T. | Hungria, Mariangela | Jardim, Sílvia N. | Krieger, Marco A. | Laurino, Jomar P. | Lima, Lucymara F. A. | Lopes, Maryellen I. | Loreto, Élgion L. S. | Madeira, Humberto M. F. | Manfio, Gilson P. | Maranhão, Andrea Q. | Martinkovics, Christyanne T. | Medeiros, Sílvia R. B. | Moreira, Miguel A. M. | Neiva, Márcia | Ramalho-Neto, Cicero E. | Nicolás, Marisa F. | Oliveira, Sergio C. | Paixão, Roger F. C. | Pedrosa, Fábio O. | Pena, Sérgio D. J. | Pereira, Maristela | Pereira-Ferrari, Lilian | Piffer, Itamar | Pinto, Luciano S. | Potrich, Deise P. | Salim, Anna C. M. | Santos, Fabrício R. | Schmitt, Renata | Schneider, Maria P. C. | Schrank, Augusto | Schrank, Irene S. | Schuck, Adriana F. | Seuanez, Hector N. | Silva, Denise W. | Silva, Rosane | Silva, Sérgio C. | Soares, Célia M. A. | Souza, Kelly R. L. | Souza, Rangel C. | Staats, Charley C. | Steffens, Maria B. R. | Teixeira, Santuza M. R. | Urmenyi, Turan P. | Vainstein, Marilene H. | Zuccherato, Luciana W. | Simpson, Andrew J. G. | Zaha, Arnaldo
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(16):5568-5577.
This work reports the results of analyses of three complete mycoplasma genomes, a pathogenic (7448) and a nonpathogenic (J) strain of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a strain of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma synoviae; the genome sizes of the three strains were 920,079 bp, 897,405 bp, and 799,476 bp, respectively. These genomes were compared with other sequenced mycoplasma genomes reported in the literature to examine several aspects of mycoplasma evolution. Strain-specific regions, including integrative and conjugal elements, and genome rearrangements and alterations in adhesin sequences were observed in the M. hyopneumoniae strains, and all of these were potentially related to pathogenicity. Genomic comparisons revealed that reduction in genome size implied loss of redundant metabolic pathways, with maintenance of alternative routes in different species. Horizontal gene transfer was consistently observed between M. synoviae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Our analyses indicated a likely transfer event of hemagglutinin-coding DNA sequences from M. gallisepticum to M. synoviae.
PMCID: PMC1196056  PMID: 16077101
4.  Gene Discovery through Expressed Sequence Tag Sequencing in Trypanosoma cruzi 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(11):5393-5398.
Analysis of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) constitutes a useful approach for gene identification that, in the case of human pathogens, might result in the identification of new targets for chemotherapy and vaccine development. As part of the Trypanosoma cruzi genome project, we have partially sequenced the 5′ ends of 1,949 clones to generate ESTs. The clones were randomly selected from a normalized CL Brener epimastigote cDNA library. A total of 14.6% of the clones were homologous to previously identified T. cruzi genes, while 18.4% had significant matches to genes from other organisms in the database. A total of 67% of the ESTs had no matches in the database, and thus, some of them might be T. cruzi-specific genes. Functional groups of those sequences with matches in the database were constructed according to their putative biological functions. The two largest categories were protein synthesis (23.3%) and cell surface molecules (10.8%). The information reported in this paper should be useful for researchers in the field to analyze genes and proteins of their own interest.
PMCID: PMC108675  PMID: 9784549

Results 1-4 (4)