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Napoli, Italy

Acunzo M.,Ohio State University | Visone R.,Ohio State University | Romano G.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Veronese A.,Ohio State University | And 9 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for ∼80% of all lung cancers. Although some advances in lung cancer therapy have been made, patient survival is still quite poor. Two microRNAs, miR-221 and miR-222, upregulated by the MET proto-oncogene, have been already described to enhance cell survival and to induce TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) resistance in NSCLC cell lines, through the downregulation of p27 kip1, PTEN and TIMP3. Here, we further investigated this pathway and showed that miR-130a, expressed at low level in lung cancer cell lines, by targeting MET was able to reduce TRAIL resistance in NSCLC cells through the c-Jun-mediated downregulation of miR-221 and miR-222. Moreover, we found that miR-130a reduced migratory capacity of NSCLC. A better understanding of MET-miR-221 and 222 axis regulation in drug resistance is the key in developing new strategies in NSCLC therapy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Quintavalle C.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Fiore D.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Donnarumma E.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Bianco A.,University of Naples Federico II | And 4 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND-: The role of statins in the prevention of contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CIAKI) is controversial. METHODS AND RESULTS-: First, we investigated the in vivo effects of atorvastatin on CIAKI. Patients with chronic kidney disease enrolled in the Novel Approaches for Preventing or Limiting Events (NAPLES) II trial were randomly assigned to (1) the atorvastatin group (80 mg within 24 hours before contrast media [CM] exposure; n=202) or (2) the control group (n=208). All patients received a high dose of N-acetylcysteine and sodium bicarbonate solution. Second, we investigated the in vitro effects of atorvastatin pretreatment on CM-mediated modifications of intracellular pathways leading to apoptosis or survival in renal tubular cells. CIAKI (ie, an increase >10% of serum cystatin C concentration within 24 hours after CM exposure) occurred in 9 of 202 patients in the atorvastatin group (4.5%) and in 37 of 208 patients in the control group (17.8%) (P=0.005; odds ratio=0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.07-0.69). CIAKI rate was lower in the atorvastatin group in both diabetics and nondiabetics and in patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 31-60 mL/min per 1.73 m). In the in vitro model, pretreatment with atorvastatin (1) prevented CM-induced renal cell apoptosis by reducing stress kinases activation and (2) restored the survival signals (mediated by Akt and ERK pathways). CONCLUSIONS-: A single high loading dose of atorvastatin administered within 24 hours before CM exposure is effective in reducing the rate of CIAKI. This beneficial effect is observed only in patients at low to medium risk. © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.

Garofalo M.,Ohio State University | Quintavalle C.,University of Naples Federico II | Romano G.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Croce C.M.,Ohio State University | Condorelli G.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs of ~24 nt that can block mRNA translation and/or negatively regulate its stability. There is a large body of evidence that dysregulation of miRNAs is a hallmark of cancer. miRNAs are often aberrantly expressed and their function is linked to the regulation of oncogenes and/or tumor suppressor genes involved in cell signaling pathway. miR-221 and miR-222 are two highly homologous microRNAs, whose upregulation has been recently described in several types of human tumors. miR-221/222 have been considered to act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, depending on tumor system. Silencing oncomiRs or gene therapy approaches, based on re-expression of miRNAs that are down-regulated in cancer cells, could represent a novel anti-tumor approach for integrated cancer therapy. Here we will review the role of miR-221/222 in cancer progression and their use as prognostic and therapeutic tools in cancer. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Hashim A.,University of Salerno | Rizzo F.,University of Salerno | Marchese G.,University of Salerno | Ravo M.,University of Salerno | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

PIWI-interacting small non-coding RNAs (piRNAs) are genetic and epigenetic regulatory factors in germline cells, where they maintain genome stability, are involved in RNA silencing and regulate gene expression. We found that the piRNA biogenesis and effector pathway are present in human breast cancer (BC) cells and, analyzing smallRNA-Seq data generated from BC cell lines and tumor biopsies, we identified >100 BC piRNAs, including some very abundant and/or differentially expressed in mammary epithelial compared to BC cells, where this was influenced by estrogen or estrogen receptor β, and in cancer respect to normal breast tissues. A search for mRNAs targeted by the BC piRNome revealed that eight piRNAs showing a specific expression pattern in breast tumors target key cancer cell pathways. Evidence of an active piRNA pathway in BC suggests that these small non-coding RNAs do exert transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulatory actions also in cancer cells.

Ferone G.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Ferone G.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Mollo M.R.,CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate | Thomason H.A.,University of Manchester | And 10 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Ankyloblepharon, ectodermal defects, cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome is a rare autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the p63 gene, essential for embryonic development of stratified epithelia. The most severe cutaneous manifestation of this disorder is the long-lasting skin fragility associated with severe skin erosions after birth. Using a knock-in mouse model for AEC syndrome, we found that skin fragility was associated with microscopic blistering between the basal and suprabasal compartments of the epidermis and reduced desmosomal contacts. Expression of desmosomal cadherins and desmoplakin was strongly reduced in AEC mutant keratinocytes and in newborn epidermis. A similar impairment in desmosome gene expression was observed in human keratinocytes isolated from AEC patients, in p63-depleted keratinocytes and in p63 null embryonic skin, indicating that p63 mutations causative of AEC syndrome have a dominant-negative effect on the wild-type p63 protein. Among the desmosomal components, desmocollin 3, desmoplakin and desmoglein 1 were the most significantly reduced by mutant p63 both at the RNA and protein levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments and transactivation assays revealed that p63 controls these genes at the transcriptional level. Consistent with reduced desmosome function, AEC mutant and p63-deficient keratinocytes had an impaired ability to withstand mechanical stress, which was alleviated by epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors known to stabilize desmosomes. Our study reveals that p63 is a crucial regulator of a subset of desmosomal genes and that this function is impaired in AEC syndrome. Reduced mechanical strength resulting from p63 mutations can be alleviated pharmacologically by increasing desmosome adhesion with possible therapeutic implications. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.

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