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1.  The RhoD to centrosomal duplication 
Small GTPases  2013;4(2):116-122.
The main functional roles attributed to the centrosome, the major microtubule organizing center (MTOC) of metazoans, are related to cell locomotion, sensory perception and division. The role of vesicular trafficking in the regulation of the centrosome cycle has been largely unexplored. Recently, however, several studies have indicated the involvement of molecules and/or complexes of the trafficking routes in centrosome positioning, duplication and regulation. Functional screens have revealed communication between the outer nuclear envelope, the Golgi apparatus, the endosomal recycling compartment and centrosomes, while other studies underline the involvement of the ESCRT complex proteins in centrosome function. In this commentary, we discuss our recent study, which shows the involvement of an endosomal Rho protein, namely RhoD, in centrosome duplication and possible links between the centrosome’s structural and functional integrity to vesicular trafficking.
PMCID: PMC3747252  PMID: 23422264
Rho GTPase; RhoD; centrosome; recycling endosome; trafficking
2.  A new metastatic lymph node ratio system reduces stage migration in patients undergoing D1 lymphadenectomy for gastric adenocarcinoma: analysis of 257 consecutive cases at a single Western institution 
Annals of surgical oncology  2010;17(5):1267-1277.
The AJCC/UICC staging system for gastric cancer incorporates the absolute number of metastatic lymph nodes (N status) and is optimally used when ≥15 nodes are examined. The ratio of metastatic to examined nodes (N ratio) is an effective prognostic tool, but has not been examined in Western patients undergoing primarily D1 lymphadenectomy.
257 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent gastric resection between 1995 and 2005 at our institution were examined. Novel N ratio intervals were determined using the best cutoff approach (Nr0: N ratio=0 and ≥15 nodes examined; Nr1: 0 ≤ N ratio ≤ 0.3, Nr2: 0.3 < N ratio ≤ 0.7, and Nr3: N ratio > 0.7). Overall survival was examined according to N status and N ratio.
83% of patients underwent D1 lymphadenectomy with a median of 14 lymph nodes examined. Overall survival stratified by N status was significantly different in patients with <15 nodes examined compared to those with ≥15 nodes examined. When we stratified N ratio intervals, there was no significant difference in overall survival in patients with <15 vs. ≥15 nodes examined. On multivariate analysis, N ratio but not N status was retained as an independent prognostic factor.
The use of N status for staging patients undergoing primarily D1 lymphadenectomy results in significant stage migration due to varying numbers of nodes examined. Use of N ratio reduces stage migration and may be a more reliable method of staging such patients.
PMCID: PMC3785005  PMID: 20099040
3.  Rab18 Binds to Hepatitis C Virus NS5A and Promotes Interaction between Sites of Viral Replication and Lipid Droplets 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003513.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a single-stranded RNA virus that replicates on endoplasmic reticulum-derived membranes. HCV particle assembly is dependent on the association of core protein with cellular lipid droplets (LDs). However, it remains uncertain whether HCV assembly occurs at the LD membrane itself or at closely associated ER membranes. Furthermore, it is not known how the HCV replication complex and progeny genomes physically associate with the presumed sites of virion assembly at or near LDs. Using an unbiased proteomic strategy, we have found that Rab18 interacts with the HCV nonstructural protein NS5A. Rab18 associates with LDs and is believed to promote physical interaction between LDs and ER membranes. Active (GTP-bound) forms of Rab18 bind more strongly to NS5A than a constitutively GDP-bound mutant. NS5A colocalizes with Rab18-positive LDs in HCV-infected cells, and Rab18 appears to promote the physical association of NS5A and other replicase components with LDs. Modulation of Rab18 affects genome replication and possibly also the production of infectious virions. Our results support a model in which specific interactions between viral and cellular proteins may promote the physical interaction between membranous HCV replication foci and lipid droplets.
Author Summary
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronically infects about 170 million people worldwide and can ultimately lead to liver failure and liver cancer. HCV, like other RNA viruses, exploits cellular proteins and membranes to promote their own replication and virion production. In particular, HCV replication occurs at membranes derived from the endoplasmic reticulum, while HCV virion assembly is believed to occur at or near cellular lipid droplets. In this work, we report that Rab18, a lipid droplet-associated cellular protein, binds to the viral protein NS5A, and that the silencing of Rab18 reduces the association of other HCV replication complex components with lipid droplets. These data are consistent with a model in which Rab18 promotes the physical interaction between sites of viral replication to lipid droplets. We also speculate that Rab18 may help to link sites of viral replication to sites of virion assembly. Understanding how viruses exploit cellular proteins may result in new methods of disrupting viral infection.
PMCID: PMC3731246  PMID: 23935497
4.  Mutations in mouse Ift144 model the craniofacial, limb and rib defects in skeletal ciliopathies 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(8):1808-1823.
Mutations in components of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) machinery required for assembly and function of the primary cilium cause a subset of human ciliopathies characterized primarily by skeletal dysplasia. Recently, mutations in the IFT-A gene IFT144 have been described in patients with Sensenbrenner and Jeune syndromes, which are associated with short ribs and limbs, polydactyly and craniofacial defects. Here, we describe an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-derived mouse mutant with a hypomorphic missense mutation in the Ift144 gene. The mutant twinkle-toes (Ift144twt) phenocopies a number of the skeletal and craniofacial anomalies seen in patients with human skeletal ciliopathies. Like other IFT-A mouse mutants, Ift144 mutant embryos display a generalized ligand-independent expansion of hedgehog (Hh) signalling, in spite of defective ciliogenesis and an attenuation of the ability of mutant cells to respond to upstream stimulation of the pathway. This enhanced Hh signalling is consistent with cleft palate and polydactyly phenotypes in the Ift144twt mutant, although extensive rib branching, fusion and truncation phenotypes correlate with defects in early somite patterning and may reflect contributions from multiple signalling pathways. Analysis of embryos harbouring a second allele of Ift144 which represents a functional null, revealed a dose-dependent effect on limb outgrowth consistent with the short-limb phenotypes characteristic of these ciliopathies. This allelic series of mouse mutants provides a unique opportunity to uncover the underlying mechanistic basis of this intriguing subset of ciliopathies.
PMCID: PMC3313797  PMID: 22228095
6.  Endosome-to-cytosol transport of viral nucleocapsids 
Nature Cell Biology  2005;7(7):653-664.
During viral infection, fusion of the viral envelope with endosomal membranes and nucleocapsid release were thought to be concomitant events. We show here that for the vesicular stomatitis virus, they occur sequentially, at two successive steps of the endocytic pathway. Fusion already occurs in transport intermediates between early and late endosomes, presumably releasing the nucleocapsid within the lumen of intra-endosomal vesicles, where it remains hidden. Transport to late endosomes is then required for the nucleocapsid to be delivered to the cytoplasm. The latter step, which initiates infection, depends on the late endosomal lipid lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) and its putative effector Alix/AIP1 and is regulated by PI3P signaling via the PI3P-binding protein SNX16. We conclude that the nucleocapsid is exported into the cytoplasm after the back-fusion of internal vesicles with the limiting membrane of late endosomes, and that this process is controlled by the phospholipids LBPA and PI3P, and by their effectors.
PMCID: PMC3360589  PMID: 15951806
Animals; Biological Transport; physiology; Cattle; Cell Line; Cricetinae; Cytosol; metabolism; ultrastructure; Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport; Endosomes; metabolism; ultrastructure; Epithelial Cells; virology; Fibroblasts; virology; Hela Cells; Humans; Lysophospholipids; physiology; Membrane Fusion; drug effects; physiology; Microscopy, Electron; Microscopy, Fluorescence; Monoglycerides; Nucleocapsid; metabolism; Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates; physiology; Phosphoproteins; genetics; physiology; RNA, Viral; biosynthesis; metabolism; Signal Transduction; physiology; Sorting Nexins; Time Factors; Transport Vesicles; metabolism; ultrastructure; Vesicular Transport Proteins; genetics; physiology; Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus; physiology; Virus Replication; genetics
7.  A Role for Phosphatidic Acid in the Formation of “Supersized” Lipid Droplets 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(7):e1002201.
Lipid droplets (LDs) are important cellular organelles that govern the storage and turnover of lipids. Little is known about how the size of LDs is controlled, although LDs of diverse sizes have been observed in different tissues and under different (patho)physiological conditions. Recent studies have indicated that the size of LDs may influence adipogenesis, the rate of lipolysis and the oxidation of fatty acids. Here, a genome-wide screen identifies ten yeast mutants producing “supersized” LDs that are up to 50 times the volume of those in wild-type cells. The mutated genes include: FLD1, which encodes a homologue of mammalian seipin; five genes (CDS1, INO2, INO4, CHO2, and OPI3) that are known to regulate phospholipid metabolism; two genes (CKB1 and CKB2) encoding subunits of the casein kinase 2; and two genes (MRPS35 and RTC2) of unknown function. Biochemical and genetic analyses reveal that a common feature of these mutants is an increase in the level of cellular phosphatidic acid (PA). Results from in vivo and in vitro analyses indicate that PA may facilitate the coalescence of contacting LDs, resulting in the formation of “supersized” LDs. In summary, our results provide important insights into how the size of LDs is determined and identify novel gene products that regulate phospholipid metabolism.
Author Summary
Lipid droplets (LD) are primary lipid storage structures that also function in membrane and lipid trafficking, protein turnover, and the reproduction of deadly viruses. Increased LD accumulation in liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue is a hallmark of the metabolic syndrome. Enlarged LDs are often found in these tissues under disease conditions. However, little is known about how the size of LDs is controlled in eukaryotic cells. In this study, we use genetic and biochemical methods to identify important gene products that regulate the size of the LDs. Notably, a common feature among these mutants with “supersized” LDs is an increased level of phosphatidic acid (PA). We also show that a small amount of PA can increase the size of artificial LDs in vitro. Overall, our study identifies important lipids and proteins in determining LD size. These results provide valuable insights into how human cells/tissues handle abnormal influx of lipids in today's obesogenic environment.
PMCID: PMC3145623  PMID: 21829381
8.  Inflammatory bowel disease in pregnancy 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;337(7662):170-173.
Active maternal inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy carries a greater risk to the fetus than appropriate treatment. Careful management is essential to achieve good obstetric outcome
PMCID: PMC2483894  PMID: 18599468
9.  A role for oxysterol-binding protein–related protein 5 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2011;192(1):121-135.
ORP5 works together with Niemann Pick C-1 to facilitate exit of cholesterol from endosomes and lysosomes.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and its related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large and evolutionarily conserved family of lipid-binding proteins that target organelle membranes to mediate sterol signaling and/or transport. Here we characterize ORP5, a tail-anchored ORP protein that localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum. Knocking down ORP5 causes cholesterol accumulation in late endosomes and lysosomes, which is reminiscent of the cholesterol trafficking defect in Niemann Pick C (NPC) fibroblasts. Cholesterol appears to accumulate in the limiting membranes of endosomal compartments in ORP5-depleted cells, whereas depletion of NPC1 or both ORP5 and NPC1 results in luminal accumulation of cholesterol. Moreover, trans-Golgi resident proteins mislocalize to endosomal compartments upon ORP5 depletion, which depends on a functional NPC1. Our results establish the first link between NPC1 and a cytoplasmic sterol carrier, and suggest that ORP5 may cooperate with NPC1 to mediate the exit of cholesterol from endosomes/lysosomes.
PMCID: PMC3019559  PMID: 21220512
10.  Segregation of sphingolipids and sterols during formation of secretory vesicles at the trans-Golgi network 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(4):601-612.
The trans-Golgi network (TGN) is the major sorting station in the secretory pathway of all eukaryotic cells. How the TGN sorts proteins and lipids to generate the enrichment of sphingolipids and sterols at the plasma membrane is poorly understood. To address this fundamental question in membrane trafficking, we devised an immunoisolation procedure for specific recovery of post-Golgi secretory vesicles transporting a transmembrane raft protein from the TGN to the cell surface in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using a novel quantitative shotgun lipidomics approach, we could demonstrate that TGN sorting selectively enriched ergosterol and sphingolipid species in the immunoisolated secretory vesicles. This finding, for the first time, indicates that the TGN exhibits the capacity to sort membrane lipids. Furthermore, the observation that the immunoisolated vesicles exhibited a higher membrane order than the late Golgi membrane, as measured by C-Laurdan spectrophotometry, strongly suggests that lipid rafts play a role in the TGN-sorting machinery.
PMCID: PMC2711577  PMID: 19433450
11.  Late Endosomal Cholesterol Accumulation Leads to Impaired Intra-Endosomal Trafficking 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(9):e851.
Pathological accumulation of cholesterol in late endosomes is observed in lysosomal storage diseases such as Niemann-Pick type C. We here analyzed the effects of cholesterol accumulation in NPC cells, or as phenocopied by the drug U18666A, on late endosomes membrane organization and dynamics.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Cholesterol accumulation did not lead to an increase in the raft to non-raft membrane ratio as anticipated. Strikingly, we observed a 2–3 fold increase in the size of the compartment. Most importantly, properties and dynamics of late endosomal intralumenal vesicles were altered as revealed by reduced late endosomal vacuolation induced by the mutant pore-forming toxin ASSP, reduced intoxication by the anthrax lethal toxin and inhibition of infection by the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus.
These results suggest that back fusion of intralumenal vesicles with the limiting membrane of late endosomes is dramatically perturbed upon cholesterol accumulation.
PMCID: PMC1952175  PMID: 17786222
12.  Cholesterol and Fatty Acids Regulate Dynamic Caveolin Trafficking through the Golgi Complex and between the Cell Surface and Lipid BodiesV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2005;16(4):2091-2105.
Caveolins are a crucial component of plasma membrane (PM) caveolae but have also been localized to intracellular compartments, including the Golgi complex and lipid bodies. Mutant caveolins associated with human disease show aberrant trafficking to the PM and Golgi accumulation. We now show that the Golgi pool of mainly newly synthesized protein is detergent-soluble and predominantly in a monomeric state, in contrast to the surface pool. Caveolin at the PM is not recognized by specific caveolin antibodies unless PM cholesterol is depleted. Exit from the Golgi complex of wild-type caveolin-1 or -3, but not vesicular stomatitis virus-G protein, is modulated by changing cellular cholesterol levels. In contrast, a muscular dystrophy-associated mutant of caveolin-3, Cav3P104L, showed increased accumulation in the Golgi complex upon cholesterol treatment. In addition, we demonstrate that in response to fatty acid treatment caveolin can follow a previously undescribed pathway from the PM to lipid bodies and can move from lipid bodies to the PM in response to removal of fatty acids. The results suggest that cholesterol is a rate-limiting component for caveolin trafficking. Changes in caveolin flux through the exocytic pathway can therefore be an indicator of cellular cholesterol and fatty acid levels.
PMCID: PMC1073686  PMID: 15689493
13.  Dynamic and Regulated Association of Caveolin with Lipid Bodies: Modulation of Lipid Body Motility and Function by a Dominant Negative MutantV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(1):99-110.
Caveolins are a crucial component of caveolae but have also been localized to the Golgi complex, and, under some experimental conditions, to lipid bodies (LBs). The physiological relevance and dynamics of LB association remain unclear. We now show that endogenous caveolin-1 and caveolin-2 redistribute to LBs in lipid loaded A431 and FRT cells. Association with LBs is regulated and reversible; removal of fatty acids causes caveolin to rapidly leave the lipid body. We also show by subcellular fractionation, light and electron microscopy that during the first hours of liver regeneration, caveolins show a dramatic redistribution from the cell surface to the newly formed LBs. At later stages of the regeneration process (when LBs are still abundant), the levels of caveolins in LBs decrease dramatically. As a model system to study association of caveolins with LBs we have used brefeldin A (BFA). BFA causes rapid redistribution of endogenous caveolins to LBs and this association was reversed upon BFA washout. Finally, we have used a dominant negative LB-associated caveolin mutant (cavDGV) to study LB formation and to examine its effect on LB function. We now show that the cavDGV mutant inhibits microtubule-dependent LB motility and blocks the reversal of lipid accumulation in LBs.
PMCID: PMC307531  PMID: 14528016
14.  The battered child syndrome 
The experience of the Children's Hospital of Winnipeg from 1957 to 1971 with abused infants and children is presented with statistical data on 132 children. Details as to incidence, source and types of abuse are presented along with a discussion of the management of the problem. A follow-up study on a group of the abused children is also presented with comments directed towards some preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC1941323  PMID: 4707233

Results 1-14 (14)