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author:("Philip, nish")
1.  Translocation of sickle cell erythrocyte microRNAs into Plasmodium falciparum inhibits parasite translation and contributes to malaria resistance 
Cell host & microbe  2012;12(2):187-199.
SUMMARY
Erythrocytes carrying a variant hemoglobin allele (HbS), which causes sickle cell disease, resist infection by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The molecular basis of this resistance, which has long been recognized as multifactorial, remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the dysregulated microRNA composition, of either heterozygous HbAS or homozygous HbSS erythrocytes, contributes to resistance against P. falciparum. During the intraerythrocytic lifecycle of P. falciparum, a subset of erythrocyte microRNAs translocate into the parasite. Two microRNAs, miR-451 and let-7i, were highly enriched in HbAS and HbSS erythrocytes and these miRNAs, along with miR-223, negatively regulated parasite growth. Surprisingly, we found that miR-451 and let-7i integrated into essential parasite mRNAs and, via impaired ribosomal loading, resulted in translational inhibition. Hence, sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit cell-intrinsic resistance to malaria in part through an atypical microRNA activity which may represent a unique host defense strategy against complex eukaryotic pathogens.
doi:10.1016/j.chom.2012.06.007
PMCID: PMC3442262  PMID: 22901539
2.  Delayed Access and Survival in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is often initially misdiagnosed. Delays in accessing subspecialty care could lead to worse outcomes among those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: To examine the association between delayed access to subspecialty care and survival time in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of 129 adults who met American Thoracic Society criteria for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis evaluated at a tertiary care center. Delay was defined as the time from the onset of dyspnea to the date of initial evaluation at a tertiary care center. We used competing risk survival methods to examine survival time and time to transplantation.
Measurements and Main Results: The mean age was 63 years and 76% were men. The median delay was 2.2 years (interquartile range 1.0–3.8 yr), and the median follow-up time was 1.1 years. Age and lung function at the time of evaluation did not vary by delay. A longer delay was associated with an increased risk of death independent of age, sex, forced vital capacity, third-party payer, and educational attainment (adjusted hazard ratio per doubling of delay was 1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.6). Longer delay was not associated with a lower likelihood of undergoing lung transplantation.
Conclusions: Delayed access to a tertiary care center is associated with a higher mortality rate in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis independent of disease severity. Early referral to a specialty center should be considered for those with known or suspected interstitial lung disease.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201104-0668OC
PMCID: PMC3208648  PMID: 21719755
access to healthcare; healthcare disparities; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; interstitial lung disease; survival
3.  A Unique Kelch Domain Phosphatase in Plasmodium Regulates Ookinete Morphology, Motility and Invasion 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44617.
Signalling through post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins is a process central to cell homeostasis, development and responses to external stimuli. The best characterised PTM is protein phosphorylation which is reversibly catalysed at specific residues through the action of protein kinases (addition) and phosphatases (removal). Here, we report characterisation of an orphan protein phosphatase that possesses a domain architecture previously only described in Plantae. Through gene disruption and the production of active site mutants, the enzymatically active Protein Phosphatase containing Kelch-Like domains (PPKL, PBANKA_132950) is shown to play an essential role in the development of an infectious ookinete. PPKL is produced in schizonts and female gametocytes, is maternally inherited where its absence leads to the development of a malformed, immotile, non-infectious ookinete with an extended apical protrusion. The distribution of PPKL includes focussed localization at the ookinete apical tip implying a link between its activity and the correct deployment of the apical complex and microtubule cytoskeleton. Unlike wild type parasites, ppkl– ookinetes do not have a pronounced apical distribution of their micronemes yet secretion of microneme cargo is unaffected in the mutant implying that release of microneme cargo is either highly efficient at the malformed apical prominence or secretion may also occur from other points of the parasite, possibly the pellicular pores.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044617
PMCID: PMC3434153  PMID: 22957089
4.  Improved negative selection protocol for Plasmodium berghei in the rodent malarial model 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:103.
An improved methodology is presented here for transgenic Plasmodium berghei lines that express the negative selectable marker yFCU (a bifunctional protein that combines yeast cytosine deaminase and uridyl phosphoribosyl transferase (UPRT)) and substitutes delivery of selection drug 5-fluorocytosine (5FC) by intraperitoneal injection for administration via the drinking water of the mice. The improved methodology is shown to be as effective, less labour-intensive, reduces animal handling and animal numbers required for successful selection thereby contributing to two of the "three Rs" of animal experimentation, namely refinement and reduction.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-103
PMCID: PMC3364864  PMID: 22463060
Plasmodium berghei; Negative selection; Transfection; Selectable marker; Malaria
5.  Altered blood pressure responses and normal cardiac phenotype in ACE2-null mice 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2006;116(8):2218-2225.
The carboxypeptidase ACE2 is a homologue of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). To clarify the physiological roles of ACE2, we generated mice with targeted disruption of the Ace2 gene. ACE2-deficient mice were viable, fertile, and lacked any gross structural abnormalities. We found normal cardiac dimensions and function in ACE2-deficient animals with mixed or inbred genetic backgrounds. On the C57BL/6 background, ACE2 deficiency was associated with a modest increase in blood pressure, whereas the absence of ACE2 had no effect on baseline blood pressures in 129/SvEv mice. After acute Ang II infusion, plasma concentrations of Ang II increased almost 3-fold higher in ACE2-deficient mice than in controls. In a model of Ang II–dependent hypertension, blood pressures were substantially higher in the ACE2-deficient mice than in WT. Severe hypertension in ACE2-deficient mice was associated with exaggerated accumulation of Ang II in the kidney, as determined by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Although the absence of functional ACE2 causes enhanced susceptibility to Ang II–induced hypertension, we found no evidence for a role of ACE2 in the regulation of cardiac structure or function. Our data suggest that ACE2 is a functional component of the renin-angiotensin system, metabolizing Ang II and thereby contributing to regulation of blood pressure.
doi:10.1172/JCI16980
PMCID: PMC1518789  PMID: 16878172

Results 1-5 (5)