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Toronto, Canada

Tempel W.,101 College Street | Dimov S.,101 College Street | Tong Y.,101 College Street | Park H.-W.,101 College Street | And 2 more authors.
Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics | Year: 2013

Overexpression of multiple copies in T-cell lymphoma-1 (MCT-1) oncogene accompanies malignant phenotypic changes in human lymphoma cells. Specific disruption of MCT-1 results in reduced tumorigenesis, suggesting a potential for MCT-1-targeted therapeutic strategy. MCT-1 is known as a cap-binding protein and has a putative RNA-binding motif, the PUA-domain, at its C-terminus. We determined the crystal structure of apo MCT-1 at 1.7 Å resolution using the surface entropy reduction method. Notwithstanding limited sequence identity to its homologs, the C-terminus of MCT-1 adopted a typical PUA-domain fold that includes secondary structural elements essential for RNA recognition. The surface of the N-terminal domain contained positively charged patches that are predicted to contribute to RNA-binding. Proteins 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Seriola A.,Research Group Reproduction and Genetics REGE | Spits C.,Research Group Reproduction and Genetics REGE | Simard J.P.,101 College Street | Hilven P.,Research Group Reproduction and Genetics REGE | And 5 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Huntington's disease (HD) and myotonic dystrophy (DM1) are caused by trinucleotide repeat expansions. The repeats show different instability patterns according to the disorder, cell type and developmental stage. Here we studied the behavior of these repeats in DM1- and HD-derived human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) before and after differentiation, and its relationship to the DNA mismatch repair (MMR). The relatively small (CAG)44 HD expansion was stable in undifferentiated and differentiated HD hESCs. In contrast, the DM1 repeat showed instability from the earliest passages onwards in DM1 hESCs with (CTG)250 or (CTG)1800. Upon differentiation the DM1 repeat was stabilized. MMR genes, including hMSH2, hMSH3 and hMSH6 were assessed at the transcript and protein levels in differentiated cells. The coincidence of differentiation-induced down-regulated MMR expression with reduced instability of the long expanded repeats in hESCs is consistent with a known requirement of MMR proteins for repeat instability in transgenic mice. This is the first demonstration of a correlation between altered repeat instability of an endogenous DM1 locus and natural MMR down-regulation, in contrast to the commonly used murine knock-down systems. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source


Yu C.,Emory University | Ali S.,Kings College | St-Germain J.,101 College Street | Liu Y.,Kings College | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Immunological Methods | Year: 2012

Variable lymphocyte receptor (VLR) B antibodies of the evolutionary distant sea lamprey are structurally distinct from conventional mammalian antibodies. The different protein architecture and large evolutionary distance of jawless vertebrates suggest that VLR antibodies may represent promising tools for biomarker discovery. Here we report the generation of panels of monoclonal VLR antibodies from lamprey larvae immunized with human T cells and the use of a recombinant monoclonal VLR antibody for antigen purification and mass spectrometric identification. We demonstrate that despite predicted low affinity of individual VLR antigen binding units to the antigen, the high avidity resulting from decameric assembly of secreted VLR antibodies allows for efficient antigen capture and subsequent identification by mass spectometry. We show that VLR antibodies detect their antigens with high specificity and can be used in various standard laboratory application techniques. The lamprey antibodies are novel reagents that can complement conventional monoclonal antibodies in multiple scientific research disciplines. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Greenwood C.M.T.,McGill University | Paterson A.D.,101 College Street | Paterson A.D.,University of Toronto | Linton L.,The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute | And 19 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Introduction: Mammographic breast density is a highly heritable (h 2> 0.6) and strong risk factor for breast cancer. We conducted a genome-wide linkage study to identify loci influencing mammographic breast density (MD).Methods: Epidemiological data were assembled on 1,415 families from the Australia, Northern California and Ontario sites of the Breast Cancer Family Registry, and additional families recruited in Australia and Ontario. Families consisted of sister pairs with age-matched mammograms and data on factors known to influence MD. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed on 3,952 individuals using the Illumina Infinium 6K linkage panel.Results: Using a variance components method, genome-wide linkage analysis was performed using quantitative traits obtained by adjusting MD measurements for known covariates. Our primary trait was formed by fitting a linear model to the square root of the percentage of the breast area that was dense (PMD), adjusting for age at mammogram, number of live births, menopausal status, weight, height, weight squared, and menopausal hormone therapy. The maximum logarithm of odds (LOD) score from the genome-wide scan was on chromosome 7p14.1-p13 (LOD = 2.69; 63.5 cM) for covariate-adjusted PMD, with a 1-LOD interval spanning 8.6 cM. A similar signal was seen for the covariate adjusted area of the breast that was dense (DA) phenotype. Simulations showed that the complete sample had adequate power to detect LOD scores of 3 or 3.5 for a locus accounting for 20% of phenotypic variance. A modest peak initially seen on chromosome 7q32.3-q34 increased in strength when only the 513 families with at least two sisters below 50 years of age were included in the analysis (LOD 3.2; 140.7 cM, 1-LOD interval spanning 9.6 cM). In a subgroup analysis, we also found a LOD score of 3.3 for DA phenotype on chromosome 12.11.22-q13.11 (60.8 cM, 1-LOD interval spanning 9.3 cM), overlapping a region identified in a previous study.Conclusions: The suggestive peaks and the larger linkage signal seen in the subset of pedigrees with younger participants highlight regions of interest for further study to identify genes that determine MD, with the goal of understanding mammographic density and its involvement in susceptibility to breast cancer. © 2011 Greenwood et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Barde I.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Laurenti E.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Laurenti E.,101 College Street | Verp S.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | And 7 more authors.
Gene Therapy | Year: 2011

Insertional mutagenesis represents a serious adverse effect of gene therapy with integrating vectors. However, although uncontrolled activation of growth-promoting genes in stem cells can predictably lead to oncological processes, this is far less likely if vector transcriptional activity can be restricted to fully differentiated cells. Diseases requiring phenotypic correction only in mature cells offer such an opportunity, provided that lineage/stage-restricted systems can be properly tailored. In this study, we followed this reasoning to design lentiviral vectors for the gene therapy of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), an immune deficiency due a loss of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase in phagocytes, most often secondary to mutations in gp91 phox. Using self-inactivating HIV1-derived vectors as background, we first expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) from a minimal gp91 phox promoter, adding various natural or synthetic transcriptional regulatory elements to foster both specificity and potency. The resulting vectors were assessed either by transplantation or by lentiviral transgenesis, searching for combinations conferring strong and specific expression into mature phagocytic cells. The most promising vector was modified to express gp91 phox and used to treat CGD mice. High-level restoration of NADPH activity was documented in granulocytes from the treated animals. We propose that this lineage-specific lentiviral vector is a suitable candidate for the gene therapy of CGD. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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