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1.  Complementation of mitochondrial electron transport chain by manipulation of the NAD+/NADH ratio 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2016;352(6282):231-235.
A decline in electron transport chain (ETC) activity is associated with many human diseases. Although diminished mitochondrial ATP production is recognized as a source of pathology, the contribution of the associated reduction in the ratio of the amount of oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) to that of its reduced form (NADH) is less clear. We used a water-forming NADH oxidase from L. brevis (LbNOX) as a genetic tool for inducing a compartment-specific increase of the NAD+/NADH ratio in human cells. We used LbNOX to demonstrate the dependence of key metabolic fluxes, gluconeogenesis, and signaling on the cytosolic or mitochondrial NAD+/NADH ratios. Expression of LbNOX in the cytosol or mitochondria ameliorated proliferative and metabolic defects caused by an impaired ETC. The results underscore the role of reductive stress in mitochondrial pathogenesis and demonstrate the utility of targeted LbNOX for direct, compartment-specific manipulation of redox state.
One Sentence Summary
We developed a genetically encoded tool for raising NAD+/NADH ratios and showed it can complement an impaired electron transport chain in human cells.
PMCID: PMC4850741  PMID: 27124460
2.  Clinical Genetic Testing in Gastroenterology 
Rapid advances in genetics have led to an increased understanding of the genetic determinants of human disease, including many gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Coupled with a proliferation of genetic testing services, this has resulted in a clinical landscape where commercially available genetic tests for GI disorders are now widely available. In this review, we discuss the current status of clinical genetic testing for GI illnesses, review the available testing options, and briefly discuss indications for and practical aspects of such testing. Our goal is to familiarize the practicing gastroenterologist with this rapidly changing and important aspect of clinical care.
PMCID: PMC4855164  PMID: 27124700
3.  Trichomonasvirus: a new genus of protozoan viruses in the family Totiviridae 
Archives of virology  2010;156(1):171-179.
The family Totiviridae includes a number of viruses with monosegmented dsRNA genomes and isometric virions that infect either fungi or a number of medically important protozoan parasites such as Leishmania and Giardia. A new genus, Trichomonasvirus, was recently proposed for this family. Its name is based on the genus of its host organism, Trichomonas vaginalis, a protozoan parasite that colonizes the human genitourinary mucosa and is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection in the world. The type species of this new genus is Trichomonas vaginalis virus 1. Distinguishing characteristics of the new genus include infection of a human sexually transmitted parasite, stable mixed infection with more than one distinct Trichomonasvirus species, and sequence-based phylogenetic divergence that distinguishes it from all other family members.
PMCID: PMC3659425  PMID: 20976609
4.  Endobiont Viruses Sensed by the Human Host – Beyond Conventional Antiparasitic Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48418.
Wide-spread protozoan parasites carry endosymbiotic dsRNA viruses with uncharted implications to the human host. Among them, Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite adapted to the human genitourinary tract, infects globally ∼250 million each year rendering them more susceptible to devastating pregnancy complications (especially preterm birth), HIV infection and HPV-related cancer. While first-line antibiotic treatment (metronidazole) commonly kills the protozoan pathogen, it fails to improve reproductive outcome. We show that endosymbiotic Trichomonasvirus, highly prevalent in T. vaginalis clinical isolates, is sensed by the human epithelial cells via Toll-like receptor 3, triggering Interferon Regulating Factor -3, interferon type I and proinflammatory cascades previously implicated in preterm birth and HIV-1 susceptibility. Metronidazole treatment amplified these proinflammatory responses. Thus, a new paradigm targeting the protozoan viruses along with the protozoan host may prevent trichomoniasis-attributable inflammatory sequelae.
PMCID: PMC3492353  PMID: 23144878
5.  Virion Structure of Baboon Reovirus, a Fusogenic Orthoreovirus That Lacks an Adhesion Fiber ▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(15):7483-7495.
Baboon reovirus (BRV) is a member of the fusogenic subgroup of orthoreoviruses. Unlike most other members of its genus, BRV lacks S-segment coding sequences for the outer fiber protein that binds to cell surface receptors. It shares this lack with aquareoviruses, which constitute a related genus and are also fusogenic. We used electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction to determine the BRV virion structure at 9.0-Å resolution. The results show that BRV lacks a protruding fiber at its icosahedral 5-fold axes or elsewhere. The results also show that BRV is like nonfusogenic mammalian and fusogenic avian orthoreoviruses in having 150 copies of the core clamp protein, not 120 as in aquareoviruses. On the other hand, there are no hub-and-spoke complexes attributable to the outer shell protein in the P2 and P3 solvent channels of BRV, which makes BRV like fusogenic avian orthoreoviruses and aquareoviruses but unlike nonfusogenic mammalian orthoreoviruses. The outermost “flap” domains of the BRV core turret protein appear capable of conformational variability within the virion, a trait previously unseen among other ortho- and aquareoviruses. New cDNA sequence determinations for the BRV L1 and M2 genome segments, encoding the core turret and outer shell proteins, were helpful for interpreting the structural features of those proteins. Based on these findings, we conclude that the evolution of ortho- and aquareoviruses has included a series of discrete gains or losses of particular components, several of which cross taxonomic boundaries. Gain or loss of adhesion fibers is one of several common themes in double-stranded RNA virus evolution.
PMCID: PMC3147939  PMID: 21593159
6.  Clinical Isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis Concurrently Infected by Strains of Up to Four Trichomonasvirus Species (Family Totiviridae)▿† 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(9):4258-4270.
Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes the most common nonviral sexually transmitted disease worldwide, is itself commonly infected by nonsegmented double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses from the genus Trichomonasvirus, family Totiviridae. To date, cDNA sequences of one or more strains of each of three trichomonasvirus species have been reported, and gel electrophoresis showing several different dsRNA molecules obtained from a few T. vaginalis isolates has suggested that more than one virus strain might concurrently infect the same parasite cell. Here, we report the complete cDNA sequences of 3 trichomonasvirus strains, one from each of the 3 known species, infecting a single, agar-cloned clinical isolate of T. vaginalis, confirming the natural capacity for concurrent (in this case, triple) infections in this system. We furthermore report the complete cDNA sequences of 11 additional trichomonasvirus strains, from 4 other clinical isolates of T. vaginalis. These additional strains represent the three known trichomonasvirus species, as well as a newly identified fourth species. Moreover, 2 of these other T. vaginalis isolates are concurrently infected by strains of all 4 trichomonasvirus species (i.e., quadruple infections). In sum, the full-length cDNA sequences of these 14 new trichomonasviruses greatly expand the existing data set for members of this genus and substantiate our understanding of their genome organizations, protein-coding and replication signals, diversity, and phylogenetics. The complexity of this virus-host system is greater than has been previously well recognized and suggests a number of important questions relating to the pathogenesis and disease outcomes of T. vaginalis infections of the human genital mucosa.
PMCID: PMC3126235  PMID: 21345965

Results 1-6 (6)