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Meacci E.,University of Florence | Bini F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Battistini C.,University of Florence
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid regulator of numerous important physiological and pathological processes in mammalian and nonmammalian cells. There are emerging evidence that many cell types can produce and release S1P; therefore, the quantification of its intracellular and extracellular content as well as the activity of sphingosine kinase (SphK), the enzyme responsible of S1P synthesis, is crucial to attribute to the SphK/S1P axis a functional significance in response to many different stimuli and in physiopathological conditions. This chapter describes experimental procedures to measure intracellular S1P formation in skeletal muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers by using sphingolipid precursors. It also underlines the relevance of measuring S1P production in specific cellular compartments in order to attribute to S1P signaling a role in the biology of skeletal muscle cells. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source


Monti E.,University of Brescia | Fanzani A.,University of Brescia | Fanzani A.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology
Cell Cycle | Year: 2016

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a myogenic tumor classified as the most frequent soft tissue sarcoma affecting children and adolescents. The histopathological classification includes 5 different histotypes, with 2 most predominant referred as to embryonal and alveolar, the latter being characterized by adverse outcome. The current molecular classification identifies 2 major subsets, those harboring the fused Pax3-Foxo1 transcription factor generating from a recurrent specific translocation (fusion-positive RMS), and those lacking this signature but harboring mutations in the RAS/PI3K/AKT signaling axis (fusion-negative RMS). Since little attention has been devoted to RMS metabolism until now, in this review we summarize the “state of art” of metabolism and discuss how some of the molecular signatures found in this cancer, as observed in other more common tumors, can predict important metabolic challenges underlying continuous cell growth, oxidative stress resistance and metastasis, which could be the subject of future targeted therapies. © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Abruzzo P.M.,University of Bologna | Esposito F.,University of Milan | Marchionni C.,University of Bologna | Di Tullio S.,University of Bologna | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2013

Aim of the present work was the evaluation of the effects of moderate exercise training on 2 skeletal muscles differing in fibre-type composition, Tibialis Anterior (TA) and Soleus (SOL). Fibre adaptations, including their metabolic shift and mechanisms underlying proliferation and differentiation, oxidative stress markers, antioxidant and cytoprotective molecules, activity of Ca2+-handling molecules were examined. 6 male 2-month-old rats trained on a treadmill for 1 h/day, 3 days/week, for 14 weeks, reaching 30 m/min at the end of training. 6 age-matched sedentary rats served as controls. Rats were sacrificed 24 h after the last training session. Muscle regulatory factors increased in both muscles, activating satellite cell proliferation, which led to moderate hypertrophy in SOL and to moderate hyperplasia in TA, where the upregulation of desmin and TNFR2 expression suggests that myotube formation by proliferating myoblasts is somehow delayed. Changes leading to a more oxidative metabolism together with the upregulation of a number of antioxidant enzymes occurred in TA. HSP70i protein was upregulated in both SOL and TA, while oxidative stress markers increased in SOL alone. The status of ionic channels and pumps was preserved. We suggest that the increase in ROS, known to be associated with exercise, underlies most observed results. © 2013 Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York. Source


Cencetti F.,University of Florence | Cencetti F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Bernacchioni C.,University of Florence | Bernacchioni C.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | And 8 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2013

In view of its multiple detrimental effects, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) is recognized as critical negative regulator of skeletal muscle repair. Apoptosis of skeletal muscle precursor cells driven by TGFβ1 contributes to the negative role exerted by the cytokine in tissue repair, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are still elusive. Herein we report the identification of a new signaling pathway, relying on Rho kinase-2 stimulation, subsequent to SMAD-dependent S1P4 up-regulation and transactivation via sphingosine kinase (SK)-2, that accounts for TGFβ1-induced apoptosis in cultured myoblasts. S1P4-specific gene silencing reduced by almost 50% activation of caspase-3 and poly-ADP ribosyl transferase cleavage elicited by TGFβ1. Moreover, the selective S1P4 antagonist CYM50358 also reduced the TGFβ1 proapoptotic effects. By employing pharmacological and molecular biological approaches, the involvement of SK2 and ROCK2 in the transmission of the TGFβ1 apoptotic action was also demonstrated. These results reinforce the notion that the SK/S1P axis plays a fundamental role in TGFβ1 mode of action in skeletal muscle cells and, by disclosing a novel mechanism by which TGFβ1 exerts its harmful action, pinpoint new molecular targets that in principle could be beneficial in the treatment of several skeletal muscle disorders or aging-dependent muscle atrophy. © FASEB. Source


Berardi E.,University of Leuven | Berardi E.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Annibali D.,Vlaamse Institute voor Biotechnologie | Cassano M.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2014

Despite the advances achieved in understanding the molecular biology of muscle cells in the past decades, there is still need for effective treatments of muscular degeneration caused by muscular dystrophies and for counteracting the muscle wasting caused by cachexia or sarcopenia. The corticosteroid medications currently in use for dystrophic patients merely help to control the inflammatory state and only slightly delay the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, walkers and wheel chairs are the only options for such patients to maintain independence and walking capabilities until the respiratory muscles become weak and the mechanical ventilation is needed. On the other hand, myostatin inhibition, IL-6 antagonism and synthetic ghrelin administration are examples of promising treatments in cachexia animal models. In both dystrophies and cachectic syndrome the muscular degeneration is extremely relevant and the translational therapeutic attempts to find a possible cure are well defined. In particular, molecular-based therapies are common options to be explored in order to exploit beneficial treatments for cachexia, while gene/cell therapies are mostly used in the attempt to induce a substantial improvement of the dystrophic muscular phenotype. This review focuses on the description of the use of molecular administrations and gene/stem cell therapy to treat muscular degenerations. It reviews previous trials using cell delivery protocols in mice and patients starting with the use of donor myoblasts, outlining the likely causes for their poor results and briefly focusing on satellite cell studies that raise new hope. Then it proceeds to describe recently identified stem/progenitor cells, including pluripotent stem cells and in relationship to their ability to home within a dystrophic muscle and to differentiate into skeletal muscle cells. Different known features of various stem cells are compared in this perspective, and the few available examples of their use in animal models of muscular degeneration are reported. Since non coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), are emerging as prominent players in the regulation of stem cell fates we also provides an outline of the role of microRNAs in the control of myogenic commitment. Finally, based on our current knowledge and the rapid advance in stem cell biology, a prediction of clinical translation for cell therapy protocols combined with molecular treatments is discussed. © 2014 Berardi, Annibali, Cassano, Crippa and Sampaolesi. Source

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