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1.  Impact on the Endoplasmic Reticulum and Golgi Apparatus of Turnip Mosaic Virus Infection 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(17):9255-9265.
The impact of turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) infection on the endomembranes of the host early secretory pathway was investigated using an infectious clone that has been engineered for tagging viral membrane structures with a fluorescent protein fused to the viral protein 6K2. TuMV infection led to the amalgamation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus, COPII coatamers, and chloroplasts into a perinuclear globular structure that also contained viral proteins. One consequence of TuMV infection was that protein secretion was blocked at the ER-Golgi interface. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments indicated that the perinuclear structure cannot be restocked in viral components but was dynamically connected to the bulk of the Golgi apparatus and the ER. Experiments with 6K2 fused to photoactivable green fluorescent protein (GFP) showed that production of motile peripheral 6K2 vesicles was functionally linked to the perinuclear structure. Disruption of the early secretory pathway did not prevent the formation of the perinuclear globular structure, enhanced the clustering of peripheral 6K2 vesicles with COPII coatamers, and led to inhibition of cell-to-cell virus movement. This suggests that a functional secretory pathway is not required for the formation of the TuMV perinuclear globular structure and peripheral vesicles but is needed for successful viral intercellular propagation.
PMCID: PMC3416146  PMID: 22718813
2.  Infection of Polarized Airway Epithelial Cells by Normal and Small-Colony Variant Strains of Staphylococcus aureus Is Increased in Cells with Abnormal Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Function and Is Influenced by NF-κB ▿  
Infection and Immunity  2011;79(9):3541-3551.
The infection of nonphagocytic host cells by Staphylococcus aureus and more particularly by small-colony variants (SCVs) may contribute to the persistence of this pathogen in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. The development of chronic infections is also thought to be facilitated by the proinflammatory status of CF airways induced by an activation of NF-κB. The aim of this study was to compare the infection of non-CF and CF-like airway epithelial cells by S. aureus strains (normal and SCVs) and to determine the impact of the interaction between cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and NF-κB on the infection level of these cells by S. aureus. We developed an S. aureus infection model using polarized airway epithelial cells grown at the air-liquid interface and expressing short hairpin RNAs directed against CFTR to mimic the CF condition. A pair of genetically related CF coisolates with the normal and SCV phenotypes was characterized and used. Infection of both cell lines (non-CF and CF-like) was more productive with the SCV strain than with its normal counterpart. However, both normal and SCV strains infected more CF-like than non-CF cells. Accordingly, inhibition of CFTR function by CFTRinh-172 increased the S. aureus infection level. Experimental activation of NF-κB also increased the level of infection of polarized pulmonary epithelial cells by S. aureus, an event that could be associated with that observed when CFTR function is inhibited or impaired. This study supports the hypothesis that the proinflammatory status of CF tissues facilitates the infection of pulmonary epithelial cells by S. aureus.
PMCID: PMC3165485  PMID: 21708986
3.  Tomatidine Inhibits Replication of Staphylococcus aureus Small-Colony Variants in Cystic Fibrosis Airway Epithelial Cells▿ 
Small-colony variants (SCVs) often are associated with chronic Staphylococcus aureus infections, such as those encountered by cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. We report here that tomatidine, the aglycon form of the plant secondary metabolite tomatine, has a potent growth inhibitory activity against SCVs (MIC of 0.12 μg/ml), whereas the growth of normal S. aureus strains was not significantly altered by tomatidine (MIC, >16 μg/ml). The specific action of tomatidine was bacteriostatic for SCVs and was clearly associated with their dysfunctional electron transport system, as the presence of the electron transport inhibitor 4-hydroxy-2-heptylquinoline-N-oxide (HQNO) caused normal S. aureus strains to become susceptible to tomatidine. Inversely, the complementation of SCVs' respiratory deficiency conferred resistance to tomatidine. Tomatidine provoked a general reduction of macromolecular biosynthesis but more specifically affected the incorporation of radiolabeled leucine in proteins of HQNO-treated S. aureus at a concentration corresponding to the MIC against SCVs. Furthermore, tomatidine inhibited the intracellular replication of a clinical SCV in polarized CF-like epithelial cells. Our results suggest that tomatidine eventually will find some use in combination therapy with other traditional antibiotics to eliminate persistent forms of S. aureus.
PMCID: PMC3088192  PMID: 21357296
4.  Habituation to thaxtomin A in hybrid poplar cell suspensions provides enhanced and durable resistance to inhibitors of cellulose synthesis 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:272.
Thaxtomin A (TA), a phytotoxin produced by the phytopathogen Streptomyces scabies, is essential for the development of potato common scab disease. TA inhibits cellulose synthesis but its actual mode of action is unknown. Addition of TA to hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa x Populus deltoides) cell suspensions can activate a cellular program leading to cell death. In contrast, it is possible to habituate hybrid poplar cell cultures to grow in the presence of TA levels that would normally induce cell death. The purpose of this study is to characterize TA-habituated cells and the mechanisms that may be involved in enhancing resistance to TA.
Habituation to TA was performed by adding increasing levels of TA to cell cultures at the time of subculture over a period of 12 months. TA-habituated cells were then cultured in the absence of TA for more than three years. These cells displayed a reduced size and growth compared to control cells and had fragmented vacuoles filled with electron-dense material. Habituation to TA was associated with changes in the cell wall composition, with a reduction in cellulose and an increase in pectin levels. Remarkably, high level of resistance to TA was maintained in TA-habituated cells even after being cultured in the absence of TA. Moreover, these cells exhibited enhanced resistance to two other inhibitors of cellulose biosynthesis, dichlobenil and isoxaben. Analysis of gene expression in TA-habituated cells using an Affymetrix GeneChip Poplar Genome Array revealed that durable resistance to TA is associated with a major and complex reprogramming of gene expression implicating processes such as cell wall synthesis and modification, lignin and flavonoid synthesis, as well as DNA and chromatin modifications.
We have shown that habituation to TA induced durable resistance to the bacterial toxin in poplar cells. TA-habituation also enhanced resistance to two other structurally different inhibitors of cellulose synthesis that were found to target different proteins. Enhanced resistance was associated with major changes in the expression of numerous genes, including some genes that are involved in DNA and chromatin modifications, suggesting that epigenetic changes might be involved in this process.
PMCID: PMC3016406  PMID: 21143977
5.  Plastination: a modern approach to chiropractic teaching 
Plastination is a unique method for the preservation of biological material for teaching and research. The plastinated specimens are dry, odorless, non-toxic and durable. They can be manipulated by teachers and students without protective equipment like gloves.
Invented in 1978 by Doctor Gunther von Hagens from the University of Heidelberg, this technique, that involves the replacement of water by a curable polymer, has spread rapidly all around the world and is actually used in over 250 universities and colleges. To our knowledge, the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, is the first institution to use plastinated specimens for teaching anatomy, neuroanatomy, pathology and radiology to students in chiropractic.
This paper describes the various steps of the method (fixation, dehydration, impregnation and curing) and presents some examples of the utilization of plastinated specimens.
PMCID: PMC2485200
plastination; anatomy; pathology; teaching; research

Results 1-5 (5)