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De Falco L.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Totaro F.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Nai A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Pagani A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 12 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2010

Mutations leading to abrogation of matriptase-2 proteolytic activity in humans are associated with an iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia (IRIDA) due to elevated hepcidin levels. In this paper we describe 12 IRIDA patients belonging to 7 unrelated families and identify 10 (9 novel) TMPRSS6 mutations spread along the gene sequence: 5 missense, 1 non sense and 4 frameshift. The frameshift and non sense mutations are predict to result in truncated protein lacking the catalytic domain. The causal role of missense mutations (Y141C, I212T, R271Q, S304L and C510S) is demonstrated by in silico analysis, their absence in 100 control chromosomes and the high conservation of the involved residues. The C510S mutation in the LDLRA domain in silico model causes an intra-molecular structural imbalance that impairs matriptase-2 activation. We also assessed the in vitro effect on hepcidin promoter and the proteolytic activity of I212T and R271Q variants demonstrating a reduced inhibitory effect for the former mutation, but surprisingly a normal function for R271Q which appears a silent mutation in vitro. Based on mRNA expression studies I212T could also decrease the total amount of protein produced, likely interfering with mRNA stability. Collectively, our results extend the pattern of TMPRSS6 mutations associated with IRIDA and propose a model of causality for some of the novel missense mutation. ©2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Cimmino F.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Cimmino F.,University of Naples Federico II | Scoppettuolo M.N.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Scoppettuolo M.N.,University of Naples Federico II | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology | Year: 2012

Medulloblastoma is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in pediatric cancer. Wnt-active tumors, an independent molecular subgroup in medulloblastoma, are characterized by a distinct pattern of genomic aberrations. We assessed the anticancer activity of cantharidin and norcantharidin against medulloblastoma, as cell lines in vitro and in athymic nude mice in vivo. Cantharidin and norcantharidin treatment impaired the growth of DAOY and UW228 medulloblastoma cells and promoted the loss of β-catenin activation and the β-catenin nuclearization linked to N-cadherin impairment in vitro. Intra-peritoneal administration of norcantharidin inhibited the growth of intra-cerebellum tumors in orthotopic xenograft nude mice. Analysis of the xenograft tissues revealed enhanced neuronal differentiation and reduced β-catenin expression. Our findings suggest that norcantharidin has potential therapeutic applications in the treatment of medulloblastoma as a result of its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and its impairment of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Zollo M.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Zollo M.,University of Naples Federico II | Di Dato V.,Centro Of Ingegneria Genetica | Di Dato V.,University of Naples Federico II | And 15 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Metastasis | Year: 2012

Prostate and breast cancer are major causes of death worldwide, mainly due to patient relapse upon disease recurrence through formation of metastases. Chemo-kines are small proteins with crucial roles in the immune system, and their regulation is finely tuned in early inflammatory responses. They are key molecules during inflammatory processes, and many studies are focusing on their regulatory functions in tumor growth and angiogen-esis during metastatic cell seeding and spreading. Bindarit is an anti-inflammatory indazolic derivative that can inhibit the synthesis of MCP-1/CCL2, with a potential inhibitory function in tumor progression and metastasis formation. We show here that in vitro, bindarit can modulate cancer-cell proliferation and migration, mainly through negative regulation of TGF-β and AKT signaling, and it can impair the NF-κB signaling pathway through enhancing the expression of the NF-κB inhibitor IkB-α. In vivo administration of bindarit results in impaired metastatic disease in prostate cancer xenograft mice (PC-3M-Luc2 cells injected intra-cardially) and impairment of local tumorigenesis in syngeneic Balb/c mice injected under the mammary gland with murine breast cancer cells (4T1-Luc cells). In addition, bindarit treatment significantly decreases the infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in 4T1-Luc primary tumors. Overall, our data indicate that bindarit is a good candidate for new therapies against prostate and breast tumorigenesis, with an action through impairment of inflammatory cell responses during formation of the tumor-stroma niche microenvironment. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

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