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De Vries L.,Jesse Z And Sara Lea Shafer Institute For Endocrinology And Diabetes | De Vries L.,Tel Aviv University | Gat-Yablonski G.,Jesse Z And Sara Lea Shafer Institute For Endocrinology And Diabetes | Gat-Yablonski G.,Tel Aviv University | And 6 more authors.
Human Reproduction | Year: 2014

Central precocious puberty may be familial in about a quarter of the idiopathic cases. However, little is known about the genetic causes responsible for the disorder. In this report we describe a family with central precocious puberty associated with a mutation in the makorin RING-finger protein 3 (MKRN3) gene. A novel missense mutation (p.H420Q) in the imprinted MKRN3 gene was identified in the four affected siblings, in their unaffected father and in his affected mother. An in silico mutant MKRN3 model predicts that the mutation p.H420Q leads to reduced zinc binding and, subsequently, impaired RNA binding. These findings support the fundamental role of the MKRN3 protein in determining pubertal timing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Source

Bocchio-Chiavetto L.,Neuropsychopharmacology Unit | Maffioletti E.,Neuropsychopharmacology Unit | Maffioletti E.,University of Brescia | Bettinsoli P.,Neuropsychopharmacology Unit | And 7 more authors.
European Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2013

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are potent modulators of protein expression that play key roles in brain pathways regulating neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. These small RNAs may be critical for the pathophysiology of mental disorders and may influence the effectiveness of psychotropic drugs. To investigate the possible involvement of miRNAs in the mechanism of action of antidepressants (AD), we conducted a whole-miRNome quantitative analysis with qRT-PCR of the changes in the blood of 10 depressed subjects after 12 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. Thirty miRNAs were differentially expressed after the AD treatment: 28 miRNAs were up-regulated, and 2 miRNAs were strongly down-regulated. miRNA target gene prediction and functional annotation analysis showed that there was a significant enrichment in several pathways associated with neuronal brain function (such as neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, axon guidance, long-term potentiation and depression), supporting the hypothesis that the differentially regulated miRNAs may be involved in the AD mechanism. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. Source

Cattaneo A.,University of Brescia | Gennarelli M.,University of Brescia | Gennarelli M.,Genetic Unit | Uher R.,Kings College London | And 9 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2013

To improve the 'personalized-medicine' approach to the treatment of depression, we need to identify biomarkers that, assessed before starting treatment, predict future response to antidepressants ('predictors'), as well as biomarkers that are targeted by antidepressants and change longitudinally during the treatment ('targets'). In this study, we tested the leukocyte mRNA expression levels of genes belonging to glucocorticoid receptor (GR) function (FKBP-4, FKBP-5, and GR), inflammation (interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, macrophage inhibiting factor (MIF), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α), and neuroplasticity (brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), p11 and VGF), in healthy controls (n=34) and depressed patients (n=74), before and after 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram or nortriptyline, as part of the Genome-based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression study. Non-responders had higher baseline mRNA levels of IL-1β (+33%), MIF (+48%), and TNF-α (+39%). Antidepressants reduced the levels of IL-1β (-6%) and MIF (-24%), and increased the levels of GR (+5%) and p11 (+8%), but these changes were not associated with treatment response. In contrast, successful antidepressant response was associated with a reduction in the levels of IL-6 (-9%) and of FKBP5 (-11%), and with an increase in the levels of BDNF (+48%) and VGF (+20%) - that is, response was associated with changes in genes that did not predict, at the baseline, the response. Our findings indicate a dissociation between 'predictors' and 'targets' of antidepressant responders. Indeed, while higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines predict lack of future response to antidepressants, changes in inflammation associated with antidepressant response are not reflected by all cytokines at the same time. In contrast, modulation of the GR complex and of neuroplasticity is needed to observe a therapeutic antidepressant effect. © 2013 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved. Source

Balca-Silva J.,Applied Molecular Biology Biochemistry Unit | Neves S.S.,Applied Molecular Biology Biochemistry Unit | Goncalves A.C.,Applied Molecular Biology Biochemistry Unit | Abrantes A.M.,Biophysics Unit | And 4 more authors.
Anticancer Research | Year: 2012

Background: The miR-34 family, under-expressed in-non small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), are effectors of p53 activation upon irradiation of cells. We evaluated whether the miR-34b overexpression modulates the NSCLCs response to radiation. Materials and Methods: NSCLC cell lines A549 with V-KI-RAS2 Kirsten Rat Sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) codon 12 mutation and with wild type p53, and H1299, not expressing p53, were irradiated after transfection with pre-miR-34b. Cell survival was assessed by clonogenic survival assays. The apoptosis and the cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry. Results: In the A549 cell line, overexpression of miR-34b significantly reduced cell survival at lower than 4 Gy radiation doses. There was a significant reduction in B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (BCL2) expression but no significant differences were observed in the apoptotic cell population or the cycle profile. No significant effect was recorded in the H1299 irradiated cells. Conclusion: In the p53 wild type, KRAS mutated NSCLC cells, the overexpression of miR-34b increases radiosensitivity at low doses of radiation. Source

Minelli A.,Genetic Unit | Bonvicini C.,Genetic Unit | Scassellati C.,Genetic Unit | Sartori R.,University of Verona | And 2 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Background: A genetic liability for anxiety-related personality traits in healthy subjects has been associated with the functional serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR), although the data are somewhat conflicting. Moreover, only one study has investigated the functional significance of the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 haplotypes in relation to anxiety traits in healthy subjects. We tested whether the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 haplotypes are linked to Harm Avoidance (HA) using an association study (STUDY I) and a meta-analytic approach (STUDY II).Methods: STUDY I: A total of 287 unrelated Italian volunteers were screened for DSM-IV Axis I disorders and genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR and rs25531 (A/G) polymorphisms. Different functional haplotype combinations were also analyzed. STUDY II: A total of 44 studies were chosen for a meta-analysis of the putative association between 5-HTTLPR and anxiety-related personality traits.Results: STUDY I: In the whole sample of 287 volunteers, we found that the SS genotype and S'S' haplotypes were associated with higher scores on HA. However, because the screening assessed by Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) showed the presence of 55 volunteers affected by depression or anxiety disorders, we analyzed the two groups ("disordered" and "healthy") separately. The data obtained did indeed confirm that in the "healthy" group, the significant effects of the SS genotype and S'S' haplotypes were lost, but they remained in the "disordered" group. STUDY II: The results of the 5-HTTLPR meta-analysis with anxiety-related traits in the whole sample confirmed the association of the SS genotype with higher anxiety-related traits scores in Caucasoids; however, when we analyzed only those studies that used structured psychiatric screening, no association was found.Conclusions: This study demonstrates the relevance to perform analyses on personality traits only in DSM-IV axis I disorder-free subjects. Furthermore, we did not find an association between functional serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and anxiety traits in healthy subjects screened through a structured psychiatric interview. © 2011 Minelli et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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