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Vinod P.K.,University of Oxford | Freire P.,University of Oxford | Freire P.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Rattani A.,University of Oxford | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2011

The operating principles of complex regulatory networks are best understood with the help of mathematical modelling rather than by intuitive reasoning. Hereby, we study the dynamics of the mitotic exit (ME) control system in budding yeast by further developing the Queralt's model. A comprehensive systems view of the network regulating ME is provided based on classical experiments in the literature. In this picture, Cdc20-APC is a critical node controlling both cyclin (Clb2 and Clb5) and phosphatase (Cdc14) branches of the regulatory network. On the basis of experimental situations ranging from single to quintuple mutants, the kinetic parameters of the network are estimated. Numerical analysis of the model quantifies the dependence of ME control on the proteolytic and non-proteolytic functions of separase. We show that the requirement of the non-proteolytic function of separase for ME depends on cyclin-dependent kinase activity. The model is also used for the systematic analysis of the recently discovered Cdc14 endocycles. The significance of Cdc14 endocycles in eukaryotic cell cycle control is discussed as well. © 2011 The Royal Society. Source


Signaroldi E.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Laise P.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Cristofanon S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Brancaccio A.,Italian National Cancer Institute | And 12 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2016

Malignant gliomas constitute one of the most significant areas of unmet medical need, owing to the invariable failure of surgical eradication and their marked molecular heterogeneity. Accumulating evidence has revealed a critical contribution by the Polycomb axis of epigenetic repression. However, a coherent understanding of the regulatory networks affected by Polycomb during gliomagenesis is still lacking. Here we integrate transcriptomic and epigenomic analyses to define Polycomb-dependent networks that promote gliomagenesis, validating them both in two independent mouse models and in a large cohort of human samples. We find that Polycomb dysregulation in gliomagenesis affects transcriptional networks associated with invasiveness and de-differentiation. The dissection of these networks uncovers Zfp423 as a critical Polycomb-dependent transcription factor whose silencing negatively impacts survival. The anti-gliomagenic activity of Zfp423 requires interaction with the SMAD proteins within the BMP signalling pathway, pointing to a novel synergic circuit through which Polycomb inhibits BMP signalling. Source


Morelli E.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Ginefra P.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Mastrodonato V.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Beznoussenko G.V.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | And 5 more authors.
Autophagy | Year: 2014

How autophagic degradation is linked to endosomal trafficking routes is little known. Here we screened a collection of uncharacterized Drosophila mutants affecting membrane transport to identify new genes that also have a role in autophagy. We isolated a loss of function mutant in Snap29 (Synaptosomal-associated protein 29 kDa), the gene encoding the Drosophila homolog of the human protein SNAP29 and have characterized its function in vivo. Snap29 contains 2 soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) domains and a asparagine-proline-phenylalanine (NPF motif) at its N terminus and rescue experiments indicate that both SNARE domains are required for function, whereas the NPF motif is in part dispensable. We find that Snap29 interacts with SNARE proteins, localizes to multiple trafficking organelles, and is required for protein trafficking and for proper Golgi apparatus morphology. Developing tissue lacking Snap29 displays distinctive epithelial architecture defects and accumulates large amounts of autophagosomes, highlighting a major role of Snap29 in autophagy and secretion. Mutants for autophagy genes do not display epithelial architecture or secretion defects, suggesting that the these alterations of the Snap29 mutant are unlikely to be caused by the impairment of autophagy. In contrast, we fi nd evidence of elevated levels of hop-Stat92E (hopscotch-signal transducer and activator of transcription protein at 92E) ligand, receptor, and associated signaling, which might underlie the epithelial defects. In summary, our findings support a role of Snap29 at key steps of membrane trafficking, and predict that signaling defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of cerebral dysgenesis, neuropathy, ichthyosis, and palmoplantar keratoderma (CEDNIK), a human congenital syndrome due to loss of Snap29. © Elena Morelli, Pierpaolo Ginefra, Valeria Mastrodonato, Galina V Beznoussenko, Tor Erik Rusten, David Bilder, Harald Stenmark, Alexandre A Mironov, and Thomas Vaccari. Source


Matafora V.,The Second University of Naples | Matafora V.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Matafora V.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Cuccurullo M.,The Second University of Naples | And 12 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2015

Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal hydrolase α-galactosidase A (α-GalA) that leads to the intra-lysosomal accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in various organ systems. As a consequence, a multisystems disorder develops, culminating in stroke, progressive renal and cardiac dysfunction. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) offers a specific treatment for patients affected by FD, though the monitoring of treatment is hindered by a lack of surrogate markers of response. Remarkably, due to the high heterogeneity of the Fabry phenotype, both diagnostic testing and treatment decisions are more challenging in females than in males; thus, reliable biomarkers for Fabry disease are needed, particularly for female patients. Here, we use a proteomic approach for the identification of disease-associated markers that can be used for the early diagnosis of FD as well as for monitoring the effectiveness of ERT. Our data show that the urinary proteome of Fabry naïve patients is different from that of normal subjects. In addition, biological pathways mainly affected by FD are related to immune response, inflammation, and energetic metabolism. In particular, the up-regulation of uromodulin, prostaglandin H2 d-isomerase and prosaposin in the urine of FD patients was demonstrated; these proteins might be involved in kidney damage at the tubular level, inflammation and immune response. Furthermore, comparing the expression of these proteins in Fabry patients before and after ERT treatment, a decrease of their concentration was observed, thus demonstrating the correlation between the identified markers and the effectiveness of the pharmacological treatment. © The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Zecchini S.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Bombardelli L.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | Decio A.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Bianchi M.,IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology | And 13 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) is an aggressive neoplasm, which mainly disseminates to organs of the peritoneal cavity, an event mediated by molecular mechanisms that remain elusive. Here, we investigated the expression and functional role of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), a cell surface glycoprotein involved in brain development and plasticity, in EOC. NCAM is absent from normal ovarian epithelium but becomes highly expressed in a subset of human EOC, in which NCAM expression is associated with high tumour grade, suggesting a causal role in cancer aggressiveness. We demonstrate that NCAM stimulates EOC cell migration and invasion in vitro and promotes metastatic dissemination in mice. This pro-malignant function of NCAM is mediated by its interaction with fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). Indeed, not only FGFR signalling is required for NCAM-induced EOC cell motility, but targeting the NCAM/FGFR interplay with a monoclonal antibody abolishes the metastatic dissemination of EOC in mice. Our results point to NCAM-mediated stimulation of FGFR as a novel mechanism underlying EOC malignancy and indicate that this interplay may represent a valuable therapeutic target. © 2011 EMBO Molecular Medicine. Source

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