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Martinelli M.,University of Bologna | Martinelli M.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | Pacilli A.M.G.,University of Bologna | Rivetti S.,University of Bologna | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2011

In idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients the presence of missense polymorphisms (SNP) in members of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family or their genetic association could influence the binding affinity of natural ligands, modifying the expression and the behavior of the correlated genes. EGFR family members are particularly involved in the epithelial injury and fibrotic process in IPF. Genetic variations in HER family of receptors may alter the possible therapeutic efficacy of EGFR inhibitors. This study aimed to analyze the relationships between IPF and specific EGF receptor family functional polymorphisms. We tested the presence of common EGFR, HER2 and HER3 non-synonymous SNPs in the peripheral blood of 20 Italian IPF patients and their association with the disease. Our data indicated that the HER2 variant allele frequency was significantly lower in patients than in controls, with an odds ratio of 0.31 (95% CI 0.080, 0.98). Our finding suggests that HER2 variant could be a protective factor against IPF onset. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Lauriola M.,University of Bologna | Lauriola M.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | Ugolini G.,University of Bologna | Rosati G.,University of Bologna | And 14 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2010

Evidence from the literature widely supports the efficacy of screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) in reducing mortality. A blood-based assay, potentially, represents a more accessible early detection tool for the identification of circulating tumour cells originating from a primary tumour site in the body. The present work aimed at identifying a set of specific mRNAs expressed in colon tissue but not in blood cells. These mRNAs may represent useful markers for early detection of circulating colon cancer cells by a simple, qualitative RT-PCR assay, following RNA extraction from peripheral blood samples. Using a data-mining tool called cDNA digital gene expression displayer (DGED), based on serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) from the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project (CGAP) database, 4-colon and 14-blood cDNA libraries were analyzed. We selected 7 genes expressed in colon tissue but not in blood and were able to test 6 of them by RT-PCR in peripheral blood of CRC patients and healthy controls. We present a relatively easy and highly reproducible technique for the detection of mRNA expression of genes as candidate markers of malignancy in blood samples of patients with colon cancer. SAGE DGED provided a list of the best candidate mRNAs predicted to detect colon cells in the blood, namely those encoding the following proteins: hypothetical protein LOC644844 (LOC644844, whose cDNA was not amplifiable), fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1), carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5 (CEACAM5), mucin 13 cell surface associated (MUC13), guanylate cyclase activator 2A (GUCA2A), amiloride binding protein 1 (ABP1), galactoside-binding, solute carrier family 26, member 3 (SLC26A3). The mRNA expression of these genes was evaluated in 8 samples from subjects diagnosed with CRC and 9 from healthy controls. We observed the expression of 2 of the 6 investigated genes in the blood samples of the vast majority of patients considered, but also in a subset of the controls. Our data confirm the extreme sensitivity of RT-PCR, making this technique able to detect minimal amounts of mRNA expressed in a non-tissue-specific manner. Moreover, DGED remains a powerful tool to identify candidate epithelial markers in blood, such as colon related mRNAs. However, to date, none of these qualified as tumour markers.

Rivetti S.,University of Bologna | Rivetti S.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | Lauriola M.,University of Bologna | Lauriola M.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology | Year: 2011

Cross-Reacting Material 197 (CRM197) is a diphtheria toxin non-toxic mutant that has shown anti-tumor activity in mice and humans. It is still unclear whether this anti-tumorigenic effect depends on its strong inflammatory- immunological property, its ability to inhibit heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF), or even its possible weak toxicity. CRM197 is utilized as a specific inhibitor of HB-EGF that competes for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed in colorectal cancer and implicated in its progression. In this study we evaluate the effects of CRM197 on HT-29 human colon cancer cell line behaviour and, for CRM197 recognized ability to inhibit HB-EGF, its possible influence on EGFR activation. In particular, while HT-29 does not show any reduction of viability after CRM197 treatment (MTT modified assay), or changes in cell cycle distribution (flow cytometry), in EGFR localization, phospho-EGFR detected signals (immunohistochemistry) or in morphology (scanning electron microscopy, SEM) they show a change in the gene expression profile by microarray analysis (cDNA microarray SS-H19k8). The overexpression of genes like protein phosphatase 2, catalytic subunit, alpha isozyme (PPP2CA), guanine nucleotide-binding protein G subunit alpha-1(GNAI1) and butyrophilin, subfamily 2, member A1 (BTN2A1) has been confirmed with real-time-qPCR. This is the first study where the CRM197 treatment on HT-29 shows a possible scarce implication of endogenous HB-EGF on EGFR expression and cancer cell development. At the same time, our results show the alteration of a specific and selected number of genes. Copyright © by BIOLIFE, s.a.s.

Martinelli M.,University of Bologna | Martinelli M.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | Scapoli L.,University of Bologna | Scapoli L.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | And 8 more authors.
Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Objectives: This study aims to determine the possible association between folate pathway gene polymorphisms and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This represents the first study carried out on folate pathway gene polymorphisms as possible risk factors in this kind of pathology. The premise is that several polymorphisms mapping on genes responsible for folate uptake are associated with the risk of numerous diseases occurring between pregnancy and old age, and that too little is currently known about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Design and methods: We genotyped 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 1 polymorphic insertion in 7 essential genes belonging to the folate pathway in 32 Italian idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients and 81 control subjects. This was done by PCR and restriction analysis. Results: Allelic and genotypic association tests indicated that for all the analysed polymorphisms there were no significant differences between patients and controls. Nevertheless, the haplotype association analysis revealed a significant association between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and transcobalamin II gene polymorphisms: specifically the haplotype 776G (rs1801198)-c.1026-394G (rs7286680)-444C (rs10418) (OR = 2.84; 95% C.I. 1.36-5.93, P value = 0.004). Conclusions: This small-scale preliminary study would suggest the importance of further research focusing on the role of folate in the onset of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. © 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists.

Martinelli M.,University of Bologna | Martinelli M.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | Scapoli L.,University of Bologna | Scapoli L.,Centro Of Ricerca In Genetica Molecolare Fondazione Carisbo | And 8 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

The risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) may be influenced by aberrant DNA methylation and altered nucleotide synthesis and repair, possibly caused by impaired dietary folate intake as well as by polymorphic variants in one-carbon metabolism genes. A case-control study using seventy-one CRC patients and eighty unrelated healthy controls was carried out to assess the genetic association of fifteen SNP and one insertion in nine genes belonging to the folate pathway. Polymorphism selection was based on literature data, and included those which have a known or suspected functional impact on cancer and missense polymorphisms that are most likely to alter protein function. Genotyping was performed by real-time PCR and PCR followed by restriction analysis. The likelihood ratio statistic indicated that most of the polymorphisms were not associated with the risk of CRC. However, an increased risk of CRC was observed for two variant alleles of SNP mapping on the transcobalamin 2 gene (TCN2): C776G (rs1801198) and c.1026-394T>G (rs7286680). Considering the crucial biological function played by one-carbon metabolism genes, further investigations with larger cohorts of CRC patients are needed in order to confirm our preliminary results. These preliminary results indicate that TCN2 polymorphisms can be a susceptibility factor for CRC. © 2012 The Authors.

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