Diagnostic Genetics Unit

Firenze, Italy

Diagnostic Genetics Unit

Firenze, Italy

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Paganini I.,University of Florence | Chang V.Y.,University of California at Los Angeles | Capone G.L.,University of Florence | Vitte J.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 7 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

Schwannomatosis is characterized by the development of multiple non-vestibular, non-intradermal schwannomas. Constitutional inactivating variants in two genes, SMARCB1 and, very recently, LZTR1, have been reported. We performed exome sequencing of 13 schwannomatosis patients from 11 families without SMARCB1 deleterious variants. We identified four individuals with heterozygous loss-of-function variants in LZTR1. Sequencing of the germline of 60 additional patients identified 18 additional heterozygous variants in LZTR1. We identified LZTR1 variants in 43% and 30% of familial (three of the seven families) and sporadic patients, respectively. In addition, we tested LZTR1 protein immunostaining in 22 tumors from nine unrelated patients with and without LZTR1 deleterious variants. Tumors from individuals with LZTR1 variants lost the protein expression in at least a subset of tumor cells, consistent with a tumor suppressor mechanism. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that molecular analysis of LZTR1 may contribute to the molecular characterization of schwannomatosis patients, in addition to NF2 mutational analysis and the detection of chromosome 22 losses in tumor tissue. It will be especially useful in differentiating schwannomatosis from mosaic Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). However, the role of LZTR1 in the pathogenesis of schwannomatosis needs further elucidation. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


PubMed | University of Padua, University of Florence, University of California at Los Angeles and Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2015

Schwannomatosis is characterized by the development of multiple non-vestibular, non-intradermal schwannomas. Constitutional inactivating variants in two genes, SMARCB1 and, very recently, LZTR1, have been reported. We performed exome sequencing of 13 schwannomatosis patients from 11 families without SMARCB1 deleterious variants. We identified four individuals with heterozygous loss-of-function variants in LZTR1. Sequencing of the germline of 60 additional patients identified 18 additional heterozygous variants in LZTR1. We identified LZTR1 variants in 43% and 30% of familial (three of the seven families) and sporadic patients, respectively. In addition, we tested LZTR1 protein immunostaining in 22 tumors from nine unrelated patients with and without LZTR1 deleterious variants. Tumors from individuals with LZTR1 variants lost the protein expression in at least a subset of tumor cells, consistent with a tumor suppressor mechanism. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that molecular analysis of LZTR1 may contribute to the molecular characterization of schwannomatosis patients, in addition to NF2 mutational analysis and the detection of chromosome 22 losses in tumor tissue. It will be especially useful in differentiating schwannomatosis from mosaic Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). However, the role of LZTR1 in the pathogenesis of schwannomatosis needs further elucidation.


PubMed | University of Florence and Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer medicine | Year: 2016

The major cause of failure in cancer chemotherapy is the development of multidrug resistance (MDR), and the characterization of biological factors involved in this response to therapy is particularly needed. A doxorubicin-resistant HCT-8/R clone was selected from sensitive parental cells and characterized analyzing several parameters (cell cycle phase distribution, apoptotic activity, expression, distribution and functionality of the P-gp efflux pump, the response to other chemotherapy agents, its ultrastructural features, invasiveness, and transcriptomic profile). HCT-8/R cells showed a peculiar S phase distribution, characterized by a single pulse of proliferation, resistance to drug-mediated apoptosis, increased expression and functionality of P-gp and overexpression of stem cell markers (CD44 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A2). At the ultrastructural level, HCT-8/R presented a greater cell volume and several intracytoplasmic vesicles respect to HCT-8. Moreover, the resistant clone was characterized by cross resistance to other cytotoxic drugs and a greater capacity for migration and invasion, compared to parental cells. Our data reinforce the concept that the MDR phenotype in HCT-8/R cells is multifactorial and involves multiple mechanisms, representing an interesting tool to understand the biological basis of MDR and to test strategies that overcome resistance to chemotherapy.


Carboni I.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Rapi S.,Central Laboratory | Ricci U.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Legal Medicine | Year: 2014

The unequivocal tissue identification in forensic casework samples is a key step for crime scene reconstruction. Just knowing the origin of a fluid can sometimes be enough to either prove or disprove a fact in court. Despite the importance of this test, very few data are available in literature concerning human saliva identification in old forensic caseworks. In this work the stability of human α-amylase activity in aged samples is described by using three different methods integrated with DNA profiling techniques. This analytical protocol was successfully applied on 26-years old samples coming from anonymous threat letters sent to prosecutors who were working on "the Monster of Florence", a case of serial murders happened around Florence (Italy) between 1968 and 1985. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Ricci U.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Carboni I.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Torricelli F.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2014

In a case of robbery in which the criminals passed through the garden adorned with calamondin trees (Citrus madurensis), the investigators found in the grass six calamondin fruits, some undamaged, while others apparently bitten. The fruits were collected and sent to the laboratory for DNA analysis to verify the presence of saliva and robbers' DNA profile. A specific immunochromatographic strip test for saliva confirmed the presence of human salivary α-amylase, but similar positive results were also observed for intact calamondin and other citrus fruits. Further analysis with a specific automated amylase test confirmed the absence of amylase activity. DNA quantification and typing using a specific forensic kit revealed no human DNA presence in any fruits. This case report demonstrates for the first time the occurrence of false positives when human saliva is sought on citrus fruits. © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Carboni I.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Iozzi S.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Nutini A.L.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Torricelli F.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Ricci U.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Electrophoresis | Year: 2014

In a standard paternity testing, mother, child, and alleged father are analyzed with STR markers using commercially available kits. Since Italian civil legislation does not have thresholds to confirm a paternity, paternity is practically proven when likelihood ratio increases prior probability of paternity to posterior, accepted by court as sufficient. However, in some cases the number of markers included in a commercial kit may be insufficient to conclusively prove or disprove a relationship between individuals, especially when complex family scenarios are suspected or indirect analyses are required. Additional genetic information can increase the values of the likelihood ratio regarding the detection of true parental relationships in a pedigree, while reducing the chances of false attributions (e.g. false paternities). In these cases the introduction of a 26Plex amplification system allows to examine 23-26 additional markers depending on the commercial kit used, thus increasing the statistical power of the kinship analysis. The PCR conditions were optimized for a multiplex amplification system and a new generation CE instrument. In order to demonstrate the utility of additional STRs markers, four complex kinship cases are presented. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Romani C.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Iozzi S.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Carboni I.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | Nutini A.L.,Diagnostic Genetics Unit | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2014

Allele frequencies for 26 short tandem repeats (STRs) were obtained from a sample of 203 unrelated individuals living in the area of Florence, Prato and Pistoia (Tuscany, Central Italy). These 26 loci are in addition to the existing 13 U.S. core loci and can help provide assistance in complex kinship testing when, for example, the alleged father is not available for testing. The results were compared with U.S. Caucasian, African American and Hispanic populations. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Electrophoresis | Year: 2014

In a standard paternity testing, mother, child, and alleged father are analyzed with STR markers using commercially available kits. Since Italian civil legislation does not have thresholds to confirm a paternity, paternity is practically proven when likelihood ratio increases prior probability of paternity to posterior, accepted by court as sufficient. However, in some cases the number of markers included in a commercial kit may be insufficient to conclusively prove or disprove a relationship between individuals, especially when complex family scenarios are suspected or indirect analyses are required. Additional genetic information can increase the values of the likelihood ratio regarding the detection of true parental relationships in a pedigree, while reducing the chances of false attributions (e.g. false paternities). In these cases the introduction of a 26Plex amplification system allows to examine 23-26 additional markers depending on the commercial kit used, thus increasing the statistical power of the kinship analysis. The PCR conditions were optimized for a multiplex amplification system and a new generation CE instrument. In order to demonstrate the utility of additional STRs markers, four complex kinship cases are presented.


PubMed | Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of forensic sciences | Year: 2014

In a case of robbery in which the criminals passed through the garden adorned with calamondin trees (Citrus madurensis), the investigators found in the grass six calamondin fruits, some undamaged, while others apparently bitten. The fruits were collected and sent to the laboratory for DNA analysis to verify the presence of saliva and robbers DNA profile. A specific immunochromatographic strip test for saliva confirmed the presence of human salivary -amylase, but similar positive results were also observed for intact calamondin and other citrus fruits. Further analysis with a specific automated amylase test confirmed the absence of amylase activity. DNA quantification and typing using a specific forensic kit revealed no human DNA presence in any fruits. This case report demonstrates for the first time the occurrence of false positives when human saliva is sought on citrus fruits.


PubMed | Diagnostic Genetics Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of legal medicine | Year: 2014

Allele frequencies for 26 short tandem repeats (STRs) were obtained from a sample of 203 unrelated individuals living in the area of Florence, Prato and Pistoia (Tuscany, Central Italy). These 26 loci are in addition to the existing 13 U.S. core loci and can help provide assistance in complex kinship testing when, for example, the alleged father is not available for testing. The results were compared with U.S. Caucasian, African American and Hispanic populations.

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