Biotechnology Research Laboratories

Pavia, Italy

Biotechnology Research Laboratories

Pavia, Italy
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Lachmann H.J.,University College London | Papa R.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini | Gerhold K.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Obici L.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | And 21 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2014

Objective: To evaluate the genetic findings, demographic features and clinical presentation of tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated autoinflammatory syndrome (TRAPS) in patients from the Eurofever/EUROTRAPS international registry. Methods: A web-based registry collected retrospective data on patients with TNFRSF1A sequence variants and inflammatory symptoms. Participating hospitals included paediatric rheumatology centres and adult centres with a specific interest in autoinflammatory diseases. Cases were independently validated by experts in the disease. Results: Complete information on 158 validated patients was available. The most common TNFRSF1A variant was R92Q (34% of cases), followed by T50M (10%). Cysteine residues were disrupted in 27% of cases, accounting for 39% of sequence variants. A family history was present in 19% of patients with R92Q and 64% of those with other variants. The median age at which symptoms began was 4.3 years but 9.1% of patients presented after 30 years of age. Attacks were recurrent in 88% and the commonest features associated with the pathogenic variants were fever (88%), limb pain (85%), abdominal pain (74%), rash (63%) and eye manifestations (45%). Disease associated with R92Q presented slightly later at a median of 5.7 years with significantly less rash or eye signs and more headaches. Children were more likely than adults to present with lymphadenopathy, periorbital oedema and abdominal pains. AA amyloidosis has developed in 16 (10%) patients at a median age of 43 years. Conclusions: In this, the largest reported case series to date, the genetic heterogeneity of TRAPS is accompanied by a variable phenotype at presentation. Patients had a median 70 symptomatic days a year, with fever, limb and abdominal pain and rash the commonest symptoms. Overall, there is little evidence of a significant effect of age or genotype on disease features at presentation. © 2014, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Galliera Hospital, University of Rome La Sapienza, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, University of Pavia and 14 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2015

Duplications in the ~2Mb desert region upstream of SOX9 at 17q24.3 may result in familial 46,XX disorders of sex development (DSD) without any effects on the XY background. A balanced translocation with its breakpoint falling within the same region has also been described in one XX DSD subject. We analyzed, by conventional and molecular cytogenetics, 19 novel SRY-negative unrelated 46,XX subjects both familial and sporadic, with isolated DSD. One of them had a de novo reciprocal t(11;17) translocation. Two cases carried partially overlapping 17q24.3 duplications ~500kb upstream of SOX9, both inherited from their normal fathers. Breakpoints cloning showed that both duplications were in tandem, whereas the 17q in the reciprocal translocation was broken at ~800kb upstream of SOX9, which is not only close to a previously described 46,XX DSD translocation, but also to translocations without any effects on the gonadal development. A further XX male, ascertained because of intellectual disability, carried a de novo cryptic duplication at Xq27.1, involving SOX3. CNVs involving SOX3 or its flanking regions have been reported in four XX DSD subjects. Collectively in our cohort of 19 novel cases of SRY-negative 46,XX DSD, the duplications upstream of SOX9 account for ~10.5% of the cases, and are responsible for the disease phenotype, even when inherited from a normal father. Translocations interrupting this region may also affect the gonadal development, possibly depending on the chromatin context of the recipient chromosome. SOX3 duplications may substitute SRY in some XX subjects.


PubMed | Fondazione Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Irccs Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Biotechnology Research Laboratories and Anatomic Pathology Section
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Leukemia | Year: 2016

A quarter of patients with essential thrombocythemia or primary myelofibrosis carry a driver mutation of CALR, the calreticulin gene. A 52-bp deletion (type 1) and a 5-bp insertion (type 2 mutation) are the most frequent variants. These indels might differentially impair the calcium binding activity of mutant calreticulin. We studied the relationship between mutation subtype and biological/clinical features of the disease. Thirty-two different types of CALR variants were identified in 311 patients. Based on their predicted effect on calreticulin C-terminal, mutations were classified as: (i) type 1-like (65%); (ii) type 2-like (32%); and (iii) other types (3%). Corresponding CALR mutants had significantly different estimated isoelectric points. Patients with type 1 mutation, but not those with type 2, showed abnormal cytosolic calcium signals in cultured megakaryocytes. Type 1-like mutations were mainly associated with a myelofibrosis phenotype and a significantly higher risk of myelofibrotic transformation in essential thrombocythemia. Type 2-like CALR mutations were preferentially associated with an essential thrombocythemia phenotype, low risk of thrombosis despite very-high platelet counts and indolent clinical course. Thus, mutation subtype contributes to determining clinical phenotype and outcomes in CALR-mutant myeloproliferative neoplasms. CALR variants that markedly impair the calcium binding activity of mutant calreticulin are mainly associated with a myelofibrosis phenotype.


Rossi E.,University of Pavia | Radi O.,University of Pavia | De Lorenzi L.,University of Milan | Vetro A.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Sexual development in mammals is based on a complicated and delicate network of genes and hormones that have to collaborate in a precise manner. The dark side of this pathway is represented by pathological conditions, wherein sexual development does not occur properly either in the XX and the XY background. Among them a conundrum is represented by the XX individuals with at least a partial testis differentiation even in absence of SRY. This particular condition is present in various mammals including the dog. Seven dogs characterized by XX karyotype, absence of SRY gene, and testicular tissue development were analysed by Array-CGH. In two cases the array-CGH analysis detected an interstitial heterozygous duplication of chromosome 9. The duplication contained the SOX9 coding region. In this work we provide for the first time a causative mutation for the XXSR condition in the dog. Moreover this report supports the idea that the dog represents a good animal model for the study of XXSR condition caused by abnormalities in the SOX9 locus. © 2014 Rossi et al.


Malara A.,University of Pavia | Malara A.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | Currao M.,University of Pavia | Currao M.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2014

Megakaryocytes associate with the bone marrow vasculature where they convert their cytoplasm into proplatelets that protrude through the vascular endothelium into the lumen and release platelets. The extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment plays a critical role in regulating these processes. In this work we demonstrate that, among bone marrow ECM components, fibronectin, type IV collagen, and laminin are the most abundant around bone marrow sinusoids and constitute a pericellular matrix surrounding megakaryocytes. Most importantly, we report, for the first time, that megakaryocytes express components of the basement membrane and that these molecules contribute to the regulation of megakaryocyte development and bone marrow ECM homeostasis both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, fibronectin induced a threefold increase in the proliferation rate of mouse hematopoietic stem cells leading to higher megakaryocyte output with respect to cells treated only with thrombopoietin or other matrices. However, megakaryocyte ploidy level in fibronectin-treated cultures was significantly reduced. Stimulation with type IV collagen resulted in a 1.4-fold increase in megakaryocyte output, while all tested matrices supported proplatelet formation to a similar extent in megakaryocytes derived from fetal liver progenitor cells. In vivo, megakaryocyte expression of fibronectin and basement membrane components was upregulated during bone marrow reconstitution upon 5-fluorouracil induced myelosuppression, while only type IV collagen resulted upregulated upon induced thrombocytopenia. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that ECM components impact megakaryocyte behavior differently during their differentiation and highlights a new role for megakaryocyte as ECM-producing cells for the establishment of cell niches during bone marrow regeneration. © AlphaMed Press 2013.


Balduini A.,University of Pavia | Balduini A.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | Balduini A.,Tufts University | Di Buduo C.A.,University of Pavia | And 2 more authors.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2016

Platelets, which are released by megakaryocytes, play key roles in haemostasis, angiogenesis, immunity, tissue regeneration and wound healing. The scarcity of clinical cures for life threatening platelet diseases is in a large part due to limited insight into the mechanisms that control the developmental process of megakaryocytes and the mechanisms that govern the production of platelets within the bone marrow. To overcome these limitations, functional human tissue models have been developed and studied to extrapolate ex vivo outcomes for new insight on bone marrow functions in vivo. There are many challenges that these models must overcome, from faithfully mimicking the physiological composition and functions of bone marrow, to the collection of the platelets generated and validation of their viability and function for human use. The overall goal is to identify innovative instruments to study mechanisms of platelet release, diseases related to platelet production and new therapeutic targets starting from human progenitor cells. © Schattauer 2016.


Barnidge D.R.,Mayo Medical School | Dispenzieri A.,Mayo Medical School | Merlini G.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | Katzmann J.A.,Mayo Medical School | Murray D.L.,Mayo Medical School
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2016

Background: Serum immunoglobulin free light chains (FLC) are secreted into circulation by plasma cells as a by-product of immunoglobulin production. In a healthy individual the population of FLC is polyclonal as no single cell is secreting more FLC than the total immunoglobulin secreting cell population. In a person with a plasma cell dyscrasia, such as multiple myeloma (MM) or light chain amyloidosis (AL), a clonal population of plasma cells secretes a monoclonal light chain at a concentration above the normal polyclonal background. Methods: We recently showed that monoclonal immunoglobulin rapid accurate mass measurement (miRAMM) can be used to identify and quantify a monoclonal light chain (LC) in serum and urine above the polyclonal background. This was accomplished by reducing immunoglobulin disulfide bonds releasing the LC to be analyzed by microLC-ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry. Here we demonstrate that the methodology can also be applied to the detection and quantification of FLC by analyzing a non-reduced sample. Results: Proof of concept experiments were performed using purified FLC spiked into normal serum to assess linearity and precision. In addition, a cohort of 27 patients with AL was analyzed and miRAMM was able to detect a monoclonal FLC in 23 of the 27 patients that had abnormal FLC values by immunonephelometry. Conclusions: The high resolution and high mass measurement accuracy provided by the mass spectrometry based methodology eliminates the need for κ/λ ratios as the method can quantitatively monitor the abundance of the κ and λ polyclonal background at the same time it measures the monoclonal FLC. © 2016 by De Gruyter 2016.


Gomaraschi M.,University of Milan | Obici L.,Biotechnology Research Laboratories | Simonelli S.,University of Milan | Gregorini G.,Spedali Civili | And 4 more authors.
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2011

Background: Hereditary amyloidosis due to mutations of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is a rare disease characterized by the deposition of amyloid fibrils constituted by the N-terminal fragment of apoA-I in several organs. L75P is a variant of apoA-I associated with systemic amyloidosis predominantly involving the liver, kidneys, and testis, identified in a large number of unrelated subjects. Objective of the present paper was to evaluate the impact of the L75P apoA-I variant on HDL subpopulations and cholesterol esterification in carriers. Methods and results: Plasma samples were collected from 30 carriers of the amyloidogenic L75P apoA-I (Carriers) and from 15 non affected relatives (Controls). Carriers displayed significantly reduced plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol, apoA-I, and apoA-II compared to Controls. Plasma levels of LpA-I, but not LpA-I:A-II, were significantly reduced in Carriers. HDL subclass distribution was not affected by the presence of the variant. The unesterified to total cholesterol ratio was higher, and cholesterol esterification rate and LCAT activity were lower in Carriers than in Controls. Conclusions: The L75P apoA-I variant is associated with hypoalphalipoproteinemia, a selective reduction of LpA-I particles, and a partial defect in cholesterol esterification. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Biotechnology Research Laboratories
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Human mutation | Year: 2015

The diagnosis of VACTERL syndrome can be elusive, especially in the prenatal life, due to the presence of malformations that overlap those present in other genetic conditions, including the Fanconi anemia (FA). We report on three VACTERL cases within two families, where the two who arrived to be born died shortly after birth due to severe organs malformations. The suspicion of VACTERL association was based on prenatal ultrasound assessment and postnatal features. Subsequent chromosome breakage analysis suggested the diagnosis of FA. Finally, by next-generation sequencing based on the analysis of the exome in one family and of a panel of Fanconi genes in the second one, we identified novel FANCL truncating mutations in both families. We used ectopic expression of wild-type FANCL to functionally correct the cellular FA phenotype for both mutations. Our study emphasizes that the diagnosis of FA should be considered when VACTERL association is suspected. Furthermore, we show that loss-of-function mutations in FANCL result in a severe clinical phenotype characterized by early postnatal death.


PubMed | Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, University of Pavia, University of Yazd and Biotechnology Research Laboratories
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Iranian journal of reproductive medicine | Year: 2014

In most mammals, sex is determined at the beginning of gestation by the constitution of the sex chromosomes, XY in males and XX in females.Here we report an interesting case characterized by ambiguous genitalia and ovotestis in a newborn carrying an apparently female karyotype (46 XX). Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (Array-CGH) revealed an unbalanced rearrangement resulting in the deletion of the distal Xp and the duplication of the proximal Xp contiguous region with presence of the Y chromosome from Ypter to Yq11. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that this portion of the Y was translocated to the tip of the abnormal X and that the duplicated portion of chromosome X was inverted. Altogether, the abnormal chromosome was a dicentric one with the centromere of the Y chromosome apparently inactivated.The presence within the translocated Y chromosome of the SRY gene explains the devolopment of testes although it is not clear the reason for the genitalia ambiguity.

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