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1.  Fatp1 Deficiency Affects Retinal Light Response and Dark Adaptation, and Induces Age-Related Alterations 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50231.
FATP1 is involved in lipid transport into cells and in intracellular lipid metabolism. We showed previously that this protein interacts with and inhibits the limiting-step isomerase of the visual cycle RPE65. Here, we aimed to analyze the effect of Fatp1-deficiency in vivo on the visual cycle, structure and function, and on retinal aging. Among the Fatp family members, we observed that only Fatp1 and 4 are expressed in the control retina, in both the neuroretina and the retinal pigment epithelium. In the neuroretina, Fatp1 is mostly expressed in photoreceptors. In young adult Fatp1−/− mice, Fatp4 expression was unchanged in retinal pigment epithelium and reduced two-fold in the neuroretina as compared to Fatp1+/+ mice. The Fatp1−/− mice had a preserved retinal structure but a decreased electroretinogram response to light. These mice also displayed a delayed recovery of the b-wave amplitude after bleaching, however, visual cycle speed was unchanged, and both retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors presented the same fatty acid pattern compared to controls. In 2 year-old Fatp1−/− mice, transmission electron microscopy studies showed specific abnormalities in the retinas comprising choroid vascularization anomalies and thickening of the Bruch membrane with material deposits, and sometimes local disorganization of the photoreceptor outer segments. These anomalies lead us to speculate that the absence of FATP1 accelerates the aging process.
PMCID: PMC3500375  PMID: 23166839
2.  Caspase-dependent immunogenicity of doxorubicin-induced tumor cell death 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(12):1691-1701.
Systemic anticancer chemotherapy is immunosuppressive and mostly induces nonimmunogenic tumor cell death. Here, we show that even in the absence of any adjuvant, tumor cells dying in response to anthracyclins can elicit an effective antitumor immune response that suppresses the growth of inoculated tumors or leads to the regression of established neoplasia. Although both antracyclins and mitomycin C induced apoptosis with caspase activation, only anthracyclin-induced immunogenic cell death was immunogenic. Caspase inhibition by Z-VAD-fmk or transfection with the baculovirus inhibitor p35 did not inhibit doxorubicin (DX)-induced cell death, yet suppressed the immunogenicity of dying tumor cells in several rodent models of neoplasia. Depletion of dendritic cells (DCs) or CD8+T cells abolished the immune response against DX-treated apoptotic tumor cells in vivo. Caspase inhibition suppressed the capacity of DX-killed cells to be phagocytosed by DCs, yet had no effect on their capacity to elicit DC maturation. Freshly excised tumors became immunogenic upon DX treatment in vitro, and intratumoral inoculation of DX could trigger the regression of established tumors in immunocompetent mice. These results delineate a procedure for the generation of cancer vaccines and the stimulation of anti-neoplastic immune responses in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2212968  PMID: 16365148
3.  Intralysosomal Cystine Accumulation in Mice Lacking Cystinosin, the Protein Defective in Cystinosis 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(21):7622-7632.
Cystinosis is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by an accumulation of intralysosomal cystine. The causative gene, CTNS, encodes cystinosin, a seven-transmembrane-domain protein, which we recently showed to be a lysosomal cystine transporter. The most severe and frequent form of cystinosis, the infantile form, appears around 6 to 12 months, with a proximal tubulopathy (de Toni-Debré-Fanconi syndrome) and ocular damage. End-stage renal failure is reached by 10 years of age. Accumulation of cystine in all tissues eventually leads to multisystemic disease. Treatment with cysteamine, which reduces the concentration of intracellular cystine, delays disease progression but has undesirable side effects. We report the first Ctns knockout mouse model generated using a promoter trap approach. We replaced the last four Ctns exons by an internal ribosome entry site-βgal-neo cassette and showed that the truncated protein was mislocalized and nonfunctional. Ctns−/− mice accumulated cystine in all organs tested, and cystine crystals, pathognomonic of cystinosis, were observed. Ctns−/− mice developed ocular changes similar to those observed in affected individuals, bone defects and behavioral anomalies. Interestingly, Ctns−/− mice did not develop signs of a proximal tubulopathy, or renal failure. A preliminary therapeutic trial using an oral administration of cysteamine was carried out and demonstrated the efficiency of this treatment for cystine clearance in Ctns−/− mice. This animal model will prove an invaluable and unique tool for testing emerging therapeutics for cystinosis.
PMCID: PMC135682  PMID: 12370309

Results 1-3 (3)