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Veljkovic M.,Sveti Sava Hospital | Branch D.R.,7 College Street | Dopsaj V.,Institute of Medical Biochemistry | Veljkovic V.,Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2011

Objectives: The incidence of non-AIDS-defining cancer is remarkably higher in HIV-infected than in the general population. In contrast, breast cancer risk is significantly reduced in the HIV-infected population. The molecular mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of suppression of breast cancer in the HIV-infected population may serve as a basis for development of a new platform for prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Hypothesis: Various evidences indicate that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) plays an important role in growth, and differentiation of breast cancer. We previously showed (i) that natural antibodies recognizing VIP and the gp120-derived peptide NTM significantly contribute to the control of HIV disease progression by suppression of VIP-like activity of HIV-1 gp120 and (ii) that physical exercise stimulates production of these natural antibodies. These findings suggest that natural anti-VIP/NTM antibodies could contribute to a decrease of breast cancer in the HIV-infected population by suppression of VIP, which may play a pro/oncogenic function. Aerobic exercise which stimulates production of anti-VIP/NTM antibodies could be used as prevention and supportive treatment of breast cancer. Impact: Immunotherapy based on natural anti-VIP/NTM antibodies could serve as an effective adjunct therapy for the treatment of breast cancer. Similarly, aerobic exercise, which stimulates production of these antibodies, should be considered as an inexpensive and safe preventive and supportive breast cancer therapy. Natural anti-VIP/NTM antibodies also represent promising prognostic marker for breast cancer. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Veljkovic M.,Sveti Sava Hospital | Dopsaj V.,Institute of Medical Biochemistry | Dopsaj M.,University of Belgrade | Branch D.R.,Canadian Blood Services | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: There is convincing evidence from numerous clinical and epidemiological studies that physical activity can reduce the risk for breast and prostate cancer. The biological mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain elusive. Herein we suggest a role for naturally produced antibodies reactive with the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the suppression of breast and prostate cancer, which we believe could offer a possible molecular mechanism underlying control of these cancers by physical exercise. Methodology and Results: We found that sera from individuals having breast and prostate cancers have decreased titers of VIP natural antibodies as demonstrated by a lower reactivity against peptide NTM1, having similar informational and structural properties as VIP. In contrast, sera collected from elite athletes, exhibited titers of natural NTM1-reactive antibodies that are significantly increased, suggesting that physical activity boosts production of these antibodies. Significance: Presented results suggest that physical exercise stimulates production of natural anti-VIP antibodies and likely results in suppression of VIP. This, in turn, may play a protective role against breast and prostate cancers. Physical exercise should be further investigated as a potential tool in the treatment of these diseases. © 2011 Veljkovic et al.

Ronconi L.,University of Padua | Aldinucci D.,Centro Of Riferimento Oncologico Cro Irccs | Dou Q.P.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute | Fregona D.,University of Padua
Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

In this review paper we aim at giving a detailed overview on our research work devoted to the design of gold-based anticancer agents. In particular, during the last decade, we have been developing some gold(III)-dithiocarbamato derivates showing outstanding in vitro and in vivo antitumor properties and reduced, or even no, systemic and renal toxicity, compared to the reference clinically-established anticancer drug cisplatin. Starting from the rationale behind our investigations, we here summarize the results achieved so far, focusing on the latest in-depth mechanistic studies that have recently provided insights into their mechanism of action, thus opening up new prospects for further pharmacological testing and, hopefully, to enter clinical trials. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Veljkovic V.,Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences | Glisic S.,Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences | Veljkovic N.,Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences | Bojic T.,Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2014

Despite plausible evidence for beneficial effects of the vaccination against influenza in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) very limited studies have been carried out to explain the molecular mechanism of this phenomenon. Using the informational spectrum method (ISM), a virtual spectroscopy method for analysis of protein-protein interactions, the bradykinin 2 receptor (BKB2R) was identified as a principal host protein which could mediate molecular processes underlying the cardioprotective effect of influenza vaccines.Based on this finding we suggest that some antibodies elicited by influenza vaccines act as agonists, which activate a BKB2R-associated signaling pathway contributing to the protection against CVD. The ISM analysis of 14 influenza viruses, which were used as components of seasonal vaccines, revealed four vaccine viruses A/Beijing/262/95(H1N1), A/NewCaledonia/20/1999(H1N1), A/Christchurch/28/2003(H3N2) and A/Perth/16/2009(H3N2), which could be suited best for further studies on the cardioprotective effect of influenza vaccines. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Vaisitti T.,University of Turin | Audrito V.,University of Turin | Serra S.,University of Turin | Buonincontri R.,University of Turin | And 12 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2015

The ecto-enzyme CD38 is gaining momentum as a novel therapeutic target for patients with hematological malignancies, with several anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies in clinical trials with promising results. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) CD38 is a marker of unfavorable prognosis and a central factor in the pathogenetic network underlying the disease: activation of CD38 regulates genetic pathways involved in proliferation and movement. Here we show that CD38 is enzymatically active in primary CLL cells and that its forced expression increases disease aggressiveness in a xenograft model. The effect is completely lost when using an enzyme-deficient version of CD38 with a single amino-acid mutation. Through the enzymatic conversion of NAD into ADPR (ADP-ribose) and cADPR (cyclic ADP-ribose), CD38 increases cytoplasmic Ca 2+ concentrations, positively influencing proliferation and signaling mediated via chemokine receptors or integrins. Consistently, inhibition of the enzymatic activities of CD38 using the flavonoid kuromanin blocks CLL chemotaxis, adhesion and in vivo homing. In a short-term xenograft model using primary cells, kuromanin treatment traps CLL cells in the blood, thereby increasing responses to chemotherapy. These results suggest that monoclonal antibodies that block the enzymatic activities of CD38 or enzyme inhibitors may prove therapeutically useful. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved

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