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1.  DNA electroporation in rabbits as a method for generation of high-titer neutralizing antisera 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2013;9(10):2147-2156.
Raising high titer antibodies in animals is usually performed by protein immunization, which requires the long and sometimes difficult step of production of the recombinant protein. DNA immunization is an alternative to recombinant proteins, only requiring the building of an eukaryotic expression plasmid. Thanks to efficient DNA delivery techniques such as in vivo electroporation, DNA vaccination has proven useful the last few years. In this work, we have shown that it is possible to raise very high antibody titers in rabbit by DNA electroporation of an antigen encoding plasmid in the skeletal muscle with the right set of electrodes and rabbit strain. In a model of botulinum toxins types A and E, the neutralizing titers obtained after three treatments were high enough to fit the European Pharmacopeia, while it did not for type B toxin. Furthermore, the raised antibodies have high avidity and are suitable for in vitro and in vivo immunodetection of proteins.
PMCID: PMC3906399  PMID: 23877030
DNA immunization; electroporation; botulinum neurotoxin; antiserum; neutralizing antibodies
4.  Housekeeping while brain's storming Validation of normalizing factors for gene expression studies in a murine model of traumatic brain injury 
Traumatic brain injury models are widely studied, especially through gene expression, either to further understand implied biological mechanisms or to assess the efficiency of potential therapies. A large number of biological pathways are affected in brain trauma models, whose elucidation might greatly benefit from transcriptomic studies. However the suitability of reference genes needed for quantitative RT-PCR experiments is missing for these models.
We have compared five potential reference genes as well as total cDNA level monitored using Oligreen reagent in order to determine the best normalizing factors for quantitative RT-PCR expression studies in the early phase (0–48 h post-trauma (PT)) of a murine model of diffuse brain injury. The levels of 18S rRNA, and of transcripts of β-actin, glyceraldehyde-3P-dehydrogenase (GAPDH), β-microtubulin and S100β were determined in the injured brain region of traumatized mice sacrificed at 30 min, 3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h and 48 h post-trauma.
The stability of the reference genes candidates and of total cDNA was evaluated by three different methods, leading to the following rankings as normalization factors, from the most suitable to the less: by using geNorm VBA applet, we obtained the following sequence: cDNA(Oligreen); GAPDH > 18S rRNA > S100β > β-microtubulin > β-actin; by using NormFinder Excel Spreadsheet, we obtained the following sequence: GAPDH > cDNA(Oligreen) > S100β > 18S rRNA > β-actin > β-microtubulin; by using a Confidence-Interval calculation, we obtained the following sequence: cDNA(Oligreen) > 18S rRNA; GAPDH > S100β > β-microtubulin > β-actin.
This work suggests that Oligreen cDNA measurements, 18S rRNA and GAPDH or a combination of them may be used to efficiently normalize qRT-PCR gene expression in mouse brain trauma injury, and that β-actin and β-microtubulin should be avoided.
The potential of total cDNA as measured by Oligreen as a first-intention normalizing factor with a broad field of applications is highlighted. Pros and cons of the three methods of normalization factors selection are discussed. A generic time- and cost-effective procedure for normalization factor validation is proposed.
PMCID: PMC2500043  PMID: 18611280
5.  Coupling of importin beta binding peptide on plasmid DNA: transfection efficiency is increased by modification of lipoplex's physico-chemical properties 
BMC Biotechnology  2003;3:14.
Non-viral vectors for gene transfer are less immunogenic than viral vectors but also less efficient. Significant effort has focused on enhancing non-viral gene transfer efficiency by increasing nuclear import of plasmid DNA, particularly by coupling nuclear localization peptidic sequences to plasmid DNA.
We have coupled a 62-aminoacid peptide derived from hSRP1α importin beta binding domain, called the IBB peptide to plasmid DNA by using the heterobifunctional linker N-(4-azido-2,3,5,6 tetrafluorobenzyl)-6-maleimidyl hexanamide (TFPAM-6). When covalently coupled to plasmid DNA, IBB peptide did not increase the efficiency of cationic lipid mediated transfection. The IBB peptide was still able to interact with its nuclear import receptor, importin β, but non-specifically. However, we observed a 20-fold increase in reporter gene expression with plasmid DNA / IBB peptide complexes under conditions of inefficient transfection. In which case, IBB was associated with plasmid DNA through self assembling ionic interaction.
The improvement of transfection activity was not due to an improved nuclear import of DNA, but rather by the modification of physicochemical properties of IBB peptide / plasmid complexes. IBB peptide increased lipoplex size and these larger complexes were more efficient for gene transfer.
PMCID: PMC212318  PMID: 12969505

Results 1-5 (5)