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Parri M.,Externautics | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence
Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2010

Rho GTPases represent a family of small GTP-binding proteins involved in cell cytoskeleton organization, migration, transcription, and proliferation. A common theme of these processes is a dynamic reorganization of actin cytoskeleton which has now emerged as a major switch control mainly carried out by Rho and Rac GTPase subfamilies, playing an acknowledged role in adaptation of cell motility to the microenvironment. Cells exhibit three distinct modes of migration when invading the 3 D environment. Collective motility leads to movement of cohorts of cells which maintain the adherens junctions and move by photolytic degradation of matrix barriers. Single cell mesenchymal-type movement is characterized by an elongated cellular shape and again requires extracellular proteolysis and integrin engagement. In addition it depends on Rac1-mediated cell polarization and lamellipodia formation. Conversely, in amoeboid movement cells have a rounded morphology, the movement is independent from proteases but requires high Rho GTPase to drive elevated levels of actomyosin contractility. These two modes of cell movement are interconvertible and several moving cells, including tumor cells, show an high degree of plasticity in motility styles shifting ad hoc between mesenchymal or amoeboid movements. This review will focus on the role of Rac and Rho small GTPases in cell motility and in the complex relationship driving the reciprocal control between Rac and Rho granting for the opportunistic motile behaviour of aggressive cancer cells. In addition we analyse the role of these GTPases in cancer progression and metastatic dissemination. © 2010 Parri and Chiarugi; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Patent
Externautics | Date: 2011-04-29

Newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of breast, colon, lung and ovary tumors, or as therapeutic targets for their treatment, affinity ligands capable of selectively interacting with the newly identified markers and methods for tumor diagnosis and therapy using such ligands.


Patent
Externautics | Date: 2014-12-05

Newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of prostate tumors, or as targets for their therapeutic treatment, affinity ligands capable of selectively interacting with said markers as well as methods for tumor diagnosis and therapy using the same.


Patent
Externautics | Date: 2011-11-02

Newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of breast, colon, lung and ovary tumors, or as therapeutic targets for their treatment, affinity ligands capable of selectively interacting with the newly identified markers and methods for tumor diagnosis and therapy using such ligands.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 8.06M | Year: 2014

A successful vaccine against cancer is most likely to work through the induction of potent CD8\ T cells that can successfully kill tumour cells. But achieving this has proved difficult and only low level responses are induced by current vaccine approaches. Nonetheless, two therapeutic immunisation strategies have shown partial success in targeting prostate cancer, and one recently reached licensure. Recently, advances in infectious disease vaccinology have identified an exceptionally potent heterologous prime-boost immunisation strategy that has repeatedly induced T cell responses far greater than those observed in cancer immunotherapy. We will test this simian adenovirus MVA approach for the first time in cancer immunotherapy, targeting prostate tumours. We will use an MVA vector encoding the oncofetal antigen 5T4, that has been used safely already in over 500 patients. We will add a priming immunisation with a simian adenovirus aiming to enhance immunogenicity to therapeutic levels. We will use a new accelerated clinical trial design aiming to detect efficacy in relatively early stage prostate cancer patients, exploiting sensitive histological, biochemical and magnetic resonance imaging measures of vaccine efficacy. We will combine this with detailed immunomonitoring, and assess a new predictor of vaccine performance. In parallel, we will undertake detailed pre-clinical comparisons of 5T4 to other leading prostate cancer antigens, including five newly identified prostate-specific antigens, using a well-characterised murine prostate tumour model, exploiting new technologies for maximising CD8\ T cell induction with viral vectors. This SME-led collaboration of two universities with exceptional expertise in vaccinology and immunotherapy, two SMEs with expertise in viral vectored prime-boost immunisation and antigen discovery, and a global pharmaceutical company, will provide complementary abilities to accelerate development of this promising vaccine therapy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-LS7 | Award Amount: 2.61M | Year: 2014

This proposal intends to apply Synthetic Biology to create a new bacterial species, Vaccinobacter, devoted to the production of multivalent, highly effective vaccines. The project originates from the evidence that Outer membrane Vesicles (OMVs) naturally produced by all Gram-negative bacteria can induce remarkable protective immunity, a property already exploited to develop anti-Neisseria vaccines now available for human use. OMV protection is mediated by the abundance of Pathogen-Associated-Molecular Patterns (PAMPs), known to play a key role in stimulating innate immunity. Moreover, OMVs can be engineered by delivering recombinant proteins to bacterial periplasm and outer membrane. Intrinsic adjuvanticity and propensity to be manipulated potentially make OMVs an ideal vaccine platform, particularly indicated when antigen combinations (for pathogens with genetic variability) and strong potentiation of immunity (for the elderly and cancer) are needed. However, full exploitation of OMVs as vaccines is prevented by: i) presence of potentially reactogenic compounds such as LPS, virulence factors, and toxins, ii) presence of several irrelevant proteins, which dilute immune responses, iii) lack of broadly applicable molecular tools to load OMVs with foreign antigens. Scope of the project is to provide novel solutions to solve these limitations and demonstrate the unique performance OMVs as vaccines by testing them on complex pathogens and cancer. Main project activities are: 1) remodelling of E. coli genome to create Vaccinobacter, a living factory of OMVs deprived of all unnecessary components but carrying the relevant immune potentiators, 2) characterization and optimization of the immune stimulatory properties of OMVs, 3) development of novel methods to incorporate foreign antigens into Vaccinobacter-derived OMVs, 4) loading of OMVs with selected pathogen- and cancer-derived antigens and demonstration of their protective efficacy in appropriate animal models.


Patent
Glaxosmithline Biological Sa and Externautics | Date: 2014-02-06

The invention relates to pharmaceutical compositions comprising animal vesicles and bacterial vesicles, and to methods for preparing and using them. Animal vesicles and bacterial vesicles fuse to form immunogenic pharmaceutical compositions. The animal vesicular component provides a specific adaptive immune response and the bacterial vesicular component provides adjuventicity.


Newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of colon, ovary, kidney, esophagus and prostate tumors, or as therapeutic targets for their treatment; affinity ligands and particularly antibodies capable of selectively interacting with the tumor markers and methods for tumor diagnosis and thereapy using such antibodies.


Patent
Externautics | Date: 2010-10-26

Newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of breast tumors, or as therapeutic targets for treatment thereof; affinity ligands capable of selectively interacting with the newly identified markers, as well as methods for tumor diagnosis and therapy using such ligands.


Patent
Externautics | Date: 2010-08-04

The invention provides newly identified proteins as markers for the detection of tumors, or as targets for their treatment, particularly of tumors affecting lung, colon, breast, ovary; affinity ligands capable of selectively interacting with the newly identified markers; methods of screening a tissue sample for malignancy, for determining the presence of a tumor in a subject and for screening a test compound as an antitumor candidate; a diagnostic kit.

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