All Publications

  • Vascular Ensheathment Reflects Characteristic Migratory Behavior of Paragangliomas. JCEM case reports Needleman, L., Holsinger, F. C., Annes, J. P. 2024; 2 (4): luae064

    View details for DOI 10.1210/jcemcr/luae064

    View details for PubMedID 38623531

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC11017112

  • A Case of Cribriform-Morular Thyroid Carcinoma Presenting Without Thyroid Nodule. JCEM case reports Rao, A., Needleman, L., Lalakea, M. L., Hsu, E. 2024; 2 (4): luae062


    Cribriform-morular thyroid carcinoma is a rare type of thyroid cancer. It has a strong association with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a hereditary genetic disorder that predisposes individuals to the development of numerous polyps in the colon and rectum. We describe the case of a young female patient who presented with an enlarging goiter, notably without detectable thyroid nodules or masses on ultrasound, who after total thyroidectomy was found to have cribriform-morular thyroid carcinoma. This diagnosis led to genetic testing and diagnosis of FAP syndrome. We demonstrate that this rare thyroid carcinoma may present with nonsuspicious findings on sonographic evaluation while being a valuable harbinger in the diagnosis of FAP syndrome.

    View details for DOI 10.1210/jcemcr/luae062

    View details for PubMedID 38638335

  • Caution on the Use of 68Ga-DOTATATE for the Diagnosis of Pheochromocytoma: A Report of 2 Cases. JCEM case reports Needleman, L., Enamandram, S., Annes, J. P. 2023; 1 (6): luad149


    Pheochromocytomas are intra-adrenal sympathetic neuroendocrine tumors that arise from chromaffin cells. Paragangliomas similarly arise from chromaffin cells, although at extra-adrenal sites such as sympathetic paraganglia in the abdomen/thorax, or parasympathetic paraganglia in the head/neck. Collectively, pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are important to diagnose and resect because they may secrete harmful levels of catecholamines, have mass effects, hemorrhage, and/or metastasize. Anatomic imaging of pheochromocytomas is usually completed with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging; however, functional imaging may be used to provide additional localization, staging, and/or biologic information. Accordingly, selection of the proper functional imaging modality can be critical to developing the optimal therapeutic strategy. 68Gallium- and 64Copper-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-octreotate positron emission tomography computed tomography (68Ga- and 64Cu-DOTATATE) are widely used in evaluating pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, although data regarding the sensitivity for diagnosing pheochromocytoma are limited. We report 2 cases of pheochromocytoma that showed nondiagnostic 68Ga-DOTATATE uptake but were subsequently visualized using alternative functional imaging modalities. Additionally, we provide a review of the literature to highlight the underappreciated limitations of functional adrenal imaging with somatostatin-based compounds.

    View details for DOI 10.1210/jcemcr/luad149

    View details for PubMedID 38045868

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10690848

  • Dynamic ploidy changes drive fluconazole resistance in human cryptococcal meningitis. The Journal of clinical investigation Stone, N. R., Rhodes, J., Fisher, M. C., Mfinanga, S., Kivuyo, S., Rugemalila, J., Segal, E. S., Needleman, L., Molloy, S. F., Kwon-Chung, J., Harrison, T. S., Hope, W., Berman, J., Bicanic, T. 2019; 129 (3): 999-1014


    Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) causes an estimated 180,000 deaths annually, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa, where most patients receive fluconazole (FLC) monotherapy. While relapse after FLC monotherapy with resistant strains is frequently observed, the mechanisms and impact of emergence of FLC resistance in human CM are poorly understood. Heteroresistance (HetR) - a resistant subpopulation within a susceptible strain - is a recently described phenomenon in Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) and Cryptococcus gattii (Cg), the significance of which has not previously been studied in humans.A cohort of 20 patients with HIV-associated CM in Tanzania was prospectively observed during therapy with either FLC monotherapy or in combination with flucytosine (5FC). Total and resistant subpopulations of Cryptococcus spp. were quantified directly from patient cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Stored isolates underwent whole genome sequencing and phenotypic characterization.Heteroresistance was detectable in Cryptococcus spp. in the CSF of all patients at baseline (i.e., prior to initiation of therapy). During FLC monotherapy, the proportion of resistant colonies in the CSF increased during the first 2 weeks of treatment. In contrast, no resistant subpopulation was detectable in CSF by day 14 in those receiving a combination of FLC and 5FC. Genomic analysis revealed high rates of aneuploidy in heteroresistant colonies as well as in relapse isolates, with chromosome 1 (Chr1) disomy predominating. This is apparently due to the presence on Chr1 of ERG11, which is the FLC drug target, and AFR1, which encodes a drug efflux pump. In vitro efflux levels positively correlated with the level of heteroresistance.Our findings demonstrate for what we believe is the first time the presence and emergence of aneuploidy-driven FLC heteroresistance in human CM, association of efflux levels with heteroresistance, and the successful suppression of heteroresistance with 5FC/FLC combination therapy.This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology 097377/Z/11/Z and the Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI124516

    View details for PubMedID 30688656

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6391087

  • A Novel Assay Reveals a Maturation Process during Ascospore Wall Formation. Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland) Zhang, K., Needleman, L., Zhou, S., Neiman, A. M. 2017; 3 (4)


    The ascospore wall of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of inner layers of similar composition to the vegetative cell wall and outer layers made of spore-specific components that confer increased stress resistance on the spore. The primary constituents of the outer spore wall are chitosan, dityrosine, and a third component termed Chi that has been identified by spectrometry but whose chemical structure is not known. The lipophilic dye monodansylpentane readily stains lipid droplets inside of newly formed ascospores but, over the course of several days, the spores become impermeable to the dye. The generation of this permeability barrier requires the chitosan layer, but not dityrosine layer, of the spore wall. Screening of a set of mutants with different outer spore wall defects reveals that impermeability to the dye requires not just the presence of chitosan, but another factor as well, possibly Chi, and suggests that the OSW2 gene product is required for synthesis of this factor. Testing of mutants that block synthesis of specific aromatic amino acids indicates that de novo synthesis of tyrosine contributes not only to formation of the dityrosine layer but to impermeability of the wall as well, suggesting a second role for aromatic amino acids in spore wall synthesis.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/jof3040054

    View details for PubMedID 29371570

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5753156

  • A visual screen of protein localization during sporulation identifies new components of prospore membrane-associated complexes in budding yeast. Eukaryotic cell Lam, C., Santore, E., Lavoie, E., Needleman, L., Fiacco, N., Kim, C., Neiman, A. M. 2014; 13 (3): 383-91


    During ascospore formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the secretory pathway is reorganized to create new intracellular compartments, termed prospore membranes. Prospore membranes engulf the nuclei produced by the meiotic divisions, giving rise to individual spores. The shape and growth of prospore membranes are constrained by cytoskeletal structures, such as septin proteins, that associate with the membranes. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions to various proteins that associate with septins at the bud neck during vegetative growth as well as to proteins encoded by genes that are transcriptionally induced during sporulation were examined for their cellular localization during prospore membrane growth. We report localizations for over 100 different GFP fusions, including over 30 proteins localized to the prospore membrane compartment. In particular, the screen identified IRC10 as a new component of the leading-edge protein complex (LEP), a ring structure localized to the lip of the prospore membrane. Localization of Irc10 to the leading edge is dependent on SSP1, but not ADY3. Loss of IRC10 caused no obvious phenotype, but an ady3 irc10 mutant was completely defective in sporulation and displayed prospore membrane morphologies similar to those of an ssp1 strain. These results reveal the architecture of the LEP and provide insight into the evolution of this membrane-organizing complex.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/EC.00333-13

    View details for PubMedID 24390141

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3957589