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Ariano Irpino, Italy

Forzati F.,University of Naples Federico II | Federico A.,University of Naples Federico II | Federico A.,CEINGE Centro Biotecnologie Avanzate | Pallante P.,University of Naples Federico II | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2012

The CBX7 gene encodes a polycomb group protein that is known to be downregulated in many types of human cancers, although the role of this protein in carcinogenesis remains unclear. To shed light on this issue, we generated mice null for Cbx7. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from these mice had a higher growth rate and reduced susceptibility to senescence compared with their WT counterparts. This was associated with upregulated expression of multiple cell cycle components, including cyclin E, which is known to play a key role in lung carcinogenesis in humans. Adult Cbx7-KO mice developed liver and lung adenomas and carcinomas. In in vivo and in vitro experiments, we demonstrated that CBX7 bound to the CCNE1 promoter in a complex that included HDAC2 and negatively regulated CCNE1 expression. Finally, we found that the lack of CBX7 protein expression in human lung carcinomas correlated with CCNE1 overexpression. These data suggest that CBX7 is a tumor suppressor and that its loss plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cancer. Source


Natalicchio A.,University of Bari | Biondi G.,University of Bari | Marrano N.,University of Bari | Labarbuta R.,University of Bari | And 9 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2016

The effects of prolonged exposure of pancreatic β-cells to high saturated fatty acids on glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) action were investigated. Murine islets, human pancreatic 1.1B4 cells, and rat INS-1E cells were exposed to palmitate for 24 hours. mRNA and protein expression/phosphorylation were measured by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblotting, respectively. Specific short interfering RNAs were used to knockdown expression of the GLP-1 receptor (Glp1r) and Srebf1. Insulin release was assessed with a specific ELISA. Exposure of murine islets, as well as of human and INS-1E β-cells, to palmitate reduced the ability of exendin-4 to augment insulin mRNA levels, protein content, and release. In addition, palmitate blocked exendin-4-stimulated cAMP-response element-binding protein and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog phosphorylation, whereas phosphorylation of MAPK-ERK kinase-1/2 and ERK-1/2 was not altered. Similarly, RNA interference-mediated suppression of Glp1r expression prevented exendin-4-induced cAMP-response element-binding protein and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog phosphorylation, but did not impair exendin-4 stimulation of MAPK-ERK kinase-1/2 and ERK-1/2. Both islets from mice fed a high fat diet and human and INS-1E β-cells exposed to palmitate showed reduced GLP-1 receptor and pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1) and increased sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP-1C) mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, suppression of SREBP-1C protein expression prevented the reduction of PDX-1 and GLP-1 receptor levels and restored exendin-4 signaling and action. Finally, treatment of INS-1E cells with metformin for 24 h resulted in inhibition of SREBP-1C expression, increased PDX-1 and GLP-1 receptor levels, consequently, enhancement of exendin-4-induced insulin release. Palmitate impairs exendin-4 effects on β-cells by reducing PDX-1 and GLP-1 receptor expression and signaling inaSREBP-1C-dependent manner. Metformin counteracts the impairment of GLP-1 receptor signaling induced by palmitate. Copyright © 2016 by the Endocrine Society. Source


Nitsch R.,National Research Council Italy | Di Dato V.,University of Naples Federico II | di Gennaro A.,IRGS Biogem | de Cristofaro T.,National Research Council Italy | And 4 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: The molecular mechanisms leading to a fully differentiated thyrocite are still object of intense study even if it is well known that thyroglobulin, thyroperoxidase, NIS and TSHr are the marker genes of thyroid differentiation. It is also well known that Pax8, TTF-1, Foxe1 and Hhex are the thyroid-enriched transcription factors responsible for the expression of the above genes, thus are responsible for the differentiated thyroid phenotype. In particular, the role of Pax8 in the fully developed thyroid gland was studied in depth and it was established that it plays a key role in thyroid development and differentiation. However, to date the bases for the thyroid-enriched expression of this transcription factor have not been unraveled yet. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a functional thyroid-specific enhancer element located far upstream of the Pax8 gene.Results: We hypothesized that regulatory cis-acting elements are conserved among mammalian genes. Comparison of a genomic region extending for about 100 kb at the 5'-flanking region of the mouse and human Pax8 gene revealed several conserved regions that were tested for enhancer activity in thyroid and non-thyroid cells. Using this approach we identified one putative thyroid-specific regulatory element located 84.6 kb upstream of the Pax8 transcription start site. The in silico data were verified by promoter-reporter assays in thyroid and non-thyroid cells. Interestingly, the identified far upstream element manifested a very high transcriptional activity in the thyroid cell line PC Cl3, but showed no activity in HeLa cells. In addition, the data here reported indicate that the thyroid-enriched transcription factor TTF-1 is able to bind in vitro and in vivo the Pax8 far upstream element, and is capable to activate transcription from it.Conclusions: Results of this study reveal the presence of a thyroid-specific regulatory element in the 5' upstream region of the Pax8 gene. The identification of this regulatory element represents the first step in the investigation of upstream regulatory mechanisms that control Pax8 transcription during thyroid differentiation and are relevant to further studies on Pax8 as a candidate gene for thyroid dysgenesis. © 2010 Nitsch et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Venza I.,Messina University | Visalli M.,Messina University | Parrillo L.,IRGS Biogem | de Felice M.,IRGS Biogem | And 2 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

FOXE1 mutations cause the Bamforth-Lazarus syndrome characterized by thyroid and craniofacial defects. Although a pioneer activity of FOXE1 in thyroid development has been reported, FOXE1 regulation in other contexts remains unexplored. We pointed to: (i) a role of FOXE1 in controlling the expression of MSX1 and TGF-β3 relevant in craniofacial development and (ii) a causative part of FOXE1 mutations or mice Foxe1-/- genotype in the pathogenesis of cleft palate in the Bamforth-Lazarus syndrome. The MSX1 and TGF-β3 up-regulation in response to FOXE1 at both transcriptional and translational levels and the recruitment of FOXE1 to specific binding motifs, together with the transactivation of the promoters of these genes, indicate that MSX1 and TGF-β3 are direct FOXE1 targets. Moreover, we showed that all the known forkhead-domain mutations, but not the polyalanine-stretch polymorphisms, affect the FOXE1 ability to bind to and transactivate MSX1 and TGF-β3 promoters. In 14-day Foxe1-/- mice embryos, Tgf-β3 and Msx1 mRNAs were almost absent in palatal shelves compared with Foxe1+/- embryos. Our findings give new insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying the Bamforth-Lazarus syndrome-associated facial defects. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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