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1.  A Novel In Vitro Model for Studying Quiescence and Activation of Primary Isolated Human Myoblasts 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64067.
Skeletal muscle stem cells, satellite cells, are normally quiescent but become activated upon muscle injury. Recruitment of resident satellite cells may be a useful strategy for treatment of muscle disorders, but little is known about gene expression in quiescent human satellite cells or the mechanisms involved in their early activation. We have developed a method to induce quiescence in purified primary human myoblasts isolated from healthy individuals. Analysis of the resting state showed absence of BrdU incorporation and lack of KI67 expression, as well as the extended kinetics during synchronous reactivation into the cell cycle, confirming arrest in the G0 phase. Reactivation studies showed that the majority (>95%) of the G0 arrested cells were able to re-enter the cell cycle, confirming reversibility of arrest. Furthermore, a panel of important myogenic factors showed expression patterns similar to those reported for mouse satellite cells in G0, reactivated and differentiated cultures, supporting the applicability of the human model. In addition, gene expression profiling showed that a large number of genes (4598) were differentially expressed in cells activated from G0 compared to long term exponentially proliferating cultures normally used for in vitro studies. Human myoblasts cultured through many passages inevitably consist of a mixture of proliferating and non-proliferating cells, while cells activated from G0 are in a synchronously proliferating phase, and therefore may be a better model for in vivo proliferating satellite cells. Furthermore, the temporal propagation of proliferation in these synchronized cultures resembles the pattern seen in vivo during regeneration. We therefore present this culture model as a useful and novel condition for molecular analysis of quiescence and reactivation of human myoblasts.
PMCID: PMC3662676  PMID: 23717533
2.  Loss of Function of Slc20a2 Associated with Familial Idiopathic Basal Ganglia Calcification in Humans Causes Brain Calcifications in Mice 
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience  2013;51(3):994-999.
Familial idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (FIBGC) is a neurodegenerative disorder with neuropsychiatric and motor symptoms. Deleterious mutations in SLC20A2, encoding the type III sodium-dependent phosphate transporter 2 (PiT2), were recently linked to FIBGC in almost 50 % of the families reported worldwide. Here, we show that knockout of Slc20a2 in mice causes calcifications in the thalamus, basal ganglia, and cortex, demonstrating that reduced PiT2 expression alone can cause brain calcifications.
PMCID: PMC3824575  PMID: 23934451
SLC20A2; Brain calcification; Phosphate transporter; PiT2
3.  A comparative clinical, pathological, biochemical and genetic study of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies 
Brain  2011;134(9):2548-2564.
Neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease and atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration are rare diseases characterized by ubiquitin-positive inclusions lacking transactive response DNA-binding protein-43 and tau. Recently, mutations in the fused in sarcoma gene have been shown to cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and fused in sarcoma-positive neuronal inclusions have subsequently been demonstrated in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease and atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions. Here we provide clinical, imaging, morphological findings, as well as genetic and biochemical data in 14 fused in sarcoma proteinopathy cases. In this cohort, the age of onset was variable but included cases of young-onset disease. Patients with atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions all presented with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, while the clinical presentation in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease was more heterogeneous, including cases with motor neuron disease and extrapyramidal syndromes. Neuroimaging revealed atrophy of the frontal and anterior temporal lobes as well as the caudate in the cases with atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions, but was more heterogeneous in the cases with neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease, often being normal to visual inspection early on in the disease. The distribution and severity of fused in sarcoma-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, neuronal intranuclear inclusions and neurites were recorded and fused in sarcoma was biochemically analysed in both subgroups. Fused in sarcoma-positive neuronal cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions were found in the hippocampal granule cell layer in variable numbers. Cortical fused in sarcoma-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions were often ‘Pick body-like’ in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease, and annular and crescent-shaped inclusions were seen in both conditions. Motor neurons contained variable numbers of compact, granular or skein-like cytoplasmic inclusions in all fused in sarcoma-positive cases in which brainstem and spinal cord motor neurons were available for study (five and four cases, respectively). No fused in sarcoma mutations were found in any cases. Biochemically, two major fused in sarcoma species were found and shown to be more insoluble in the atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions subgroup compared with neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease. There is considerable overlap and also significant differences in fused in sarcoma-positive pathology between the two subgroups, suggesting they may represent a spectrum of the same disease. The co-existence of fused in sarcoma-positive inclusions in both motor neurons and extramotor cerebral structures is a characteristic finding in sporadic fused in sarcoma proteinopathies, indicating a multisystem disorder.
PMCID: PMC3170529  PMID: 21752791
frontotemporal lobar degeneration; FUS; clinical presentation; neuropathology; biochemistry
4.  Depletion of Acyl-Coenzyme A-Binding Protein Affects Sphingolipid Synthesis and Causes Vesicle Accumulation and Membrane Defects in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(4):1147-1160.
Deletion of the yeast gene ACB1 encoding Acb1p, the yeast homologue of the acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP), resulted in a slower growing phenotype that adapted into a faster growing phenotype with a frequency >1:105. A conditional knockout strain (Y700pGAL1-ACB1) with the ACB1 gene under control of the GAL1 promoter exhibited an altered acyl-CoA profile with a threefold increase in the relative content of C18:0-CoA, without affecting total acyl-CoA level as previously reported for an adapted acb1Δ strain. Depletion of Acb1p did not affect the general phospholipid pattern, the rate of phospholipid synthesis, or the turnover of individual phospholipid classes, indicating that Acb1p is not required for general glycerolipid synthesis. In contrast, cells depleted for Acb1p showed a dramatically reduced content of C26:0 in total fatty acids and the sphingolipid synthesis was reduced by 50–70%. The reduced incorporation of [3H]myo-inositol into sphingolipids was due to a reduced incorporation into inositol-phosphoceramide and mannose-inositol-phosphoceramide only, a pattern that is characteristic for cells with aberrant endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi transport. The plasma membrane of the Acb1p-depleted strain contained increased levels of inositol-phosphoceramide and mannose-inositol-phosphoceramide and lysophospholipids. Acb1p-depleted cells accumulated 50- to 60-nm vesicles and autophagocytotic like bodies and showed strongly perturbed plasma membrane structures. The present results strongly suggest that Acb1p plays an important role in fatty acid elongation and membrane assembly and organization.
PMCID: PMC32293  PMID: 11294913

Results 1-4 (4)