Interuniversity Institute of Myology


Interuniversity Institute of Myology

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Rovetta F.,University of Brescia | Rovetta F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Stacchiotti A.,University of Brescia | Faggi F.,University of Brescia | And 7 more authors.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Severe poisoning has recently been diagnosed in humans having hip implants composed of cobalt-chrome alloys due to the release of particulate wear debris on polyethylene and ceramic implants which stimulates macrophagic infiltration and destroys bone and soft tissue, leading to neurological, sensorial and muscular impairments. Consistent with this premise, in this study, we focused on the mechanisms underlying the toxicity of Co(II) ions on skeletal muscle using mouse skeletal C2C12 myotubes as an in vitro model. As detected using propidium iodide incorporation, increasing CoCl2 doses (from 5 to 200μM) affected the viability of C2C12 myotubes, mainly by cell necrosis, which was attenuated by necrostatin-1, an inhibitor of the necroptotic branch of the death domain receptor signaling pathway. On the other hand, apoptosis was hardly detectable as supported by the lack of caspase-3 and -8 activation, the latter resulting in only faint activation after exposure to higher CoCl2 doses for prolonged time points. Furthermore, CoCl2 treatment resulted in atrophy of the C2C12 myotubes which was characterized by the increased expression of HSP25 and GRP94 stress proteins and other typical 'pro-atrophic molecular hallmarks, such as early activation of the NF-kB pathway and down-regulation of AKT phosphorylation, followed by the activation of the proteasome and autophagy systems. Overall, these results suggested that cobalt may impact skeletal muscle homeostasis as an inducer of cell necrosis and myofiber atrophy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Quattrocelli M.,Embryo and Stem Cell Biology Unit | Quattrocelli M.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Sampaolesi M.,Embryo and Stem Cell Biology Unit | Sampaolesi M.,University of Pavia | Sampaolesi M.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2015

microRNAs (miRs) are small non-protein-coding RNAs, able to post-transcriptionally regulate many genes and exert pleiotropic effects. Alteration of miR levels in tissues and in the circulation has been associated with various pathological and regenerative conditions. In this regard, tissue engineering of cardiac and skeletal muscles is a fascinating context for harnessing the complexity of miR-based circuitries and signals. In this review, we will focus on miR-driven regulation of cardiac and skeletal myogenic routes in homeostatic and challenging states. Furthermore, we will survey the intriguing perspective of exosomal and circulating miRs as novel paracrine players, potentially useful for current and future approaches of regenerative medicine for the striated muscles. © 2015.

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.

Penna F.,University of Turin | Penna F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Costamagna D.,University of Turin | Costamagna D.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | And 12 more authors.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2013

Muscle protein wasting in cancer cachexia is a critical problem. The underlying mechanisms are still unclear, although the ubiquitin-proteasome system has been involved in the degradation of bulk myofibrillar proteins. The present work has been aimed to investigate whether autophagic degradation also plays a role in the onset of muscle depletion in cancer-bearing animals and in glucocorticoid-induced atrophy and sarcopenia of aging. The results show that autophagy is induced in muscle in three different models of cancer cachexia and in glucocorticoid-treated mice. In contrast, autophagic degradation in the muscle of sarcopenic animals is impaired but can be reactivated by calorie restriction. These results further demonstrate that different mechanisms are involved in pathologic muscle wasting and that autophagy, either excessive or defective, contributes to the complicated network that leads to muscle atrophy. In this regard, particularly intriguing is the observation that in cancer hosts and tumor necrosis factor α-treated C2C12 myotubes, insulin can only partially blunt autophagy induction. This finding suggests that autophagy is triggered through mechanisms that cannot be circumvented by using classic upstream modulators, prompting us to identify more effective approaches to target this proteolytic system. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology.

Bernacchioni C.,University of Florence | Bernacchioni C.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Cencetti F.,University of Florence | Cencetti F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | And 5 more authors.
Skeletal Muscle | Year: 2012

Background: Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is the most important physiological regulator of skeletal muscle progenitor cells, which are responsible for adult skeletal muscle regeneration. The ability of IGF-1 to affect multiple aspects of skeletal muscle cell biology such as proliferation, differentiation, survival and motility is well recognized, although the molecular mechanisms implicated in its complex biological action are not fully defined. Since sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has recently emerged as a key player in skeletal muscle regeneration, we investigated the possible involvement of the sphingosine kinase (SK)/S1P receptor axis on the biological effects of IGF-1 in murine myoblasts.Methods: RNA interference, chemical inhibition and immunofluorescence approaches were used to assess the role of the SK/S1P axis on the myogenic and mitogenic effects of IGF-1 in C2C12 myoblasts.Results: We show that IGF-1 increases SK activity in mouse myoblasts. The effect of the growth factor does not involve transcriptional regulation of SK1 or SK2, since the protein content of both isoforms is not affected; rather, IGF-1 enhances the fraction of the active form of SK. Moreover, transactivation of the S1P2 receptor induced by IGF-1 via SK activation appears to be involved in the myogenic effect of the growth factor. Indeed, the pro-differentiating effect of IGF-1 in myoblasts is impaired when SK activity is pharmacologically inhibited, or SK1 or SK2 are specifically silenced, or the S1P2 receptor is downregulated. Furthermore, in this study we show that IGF-1 transactivates S1P1/S1P3 receptors via SK activation and that this molecular event negatively regulates the mitogenic effect elicited by the growth factor, since the specific silencing of S1P1 or S1P3 receptors increases cell proliferation induced by IGF-1.Conclusions: We demonstrate a dual role of the SK/S1P axis in response to myoblast challenge with IGF-1, that likely is important to regulate the biological effect of this growth factor. These findings add new information to the understanding of the mechanism by which IGF-1 regulates skeletal muscle regeneration. © 2012 Bernacchioni et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gangoiti P.,University of the Basque Country | Bernacchioni C.,University of Florence | Bernacchioni C.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Donati C.,University of Florence | And 7 more authors.
Biochimie | Year: 2012

Recent studies have established specific cellular functions for different bioactive sphingolipids in skeletal muscle cells. Ceramide 1-phosphate (C1P) is an important bioactive sphingolipid that has been involved in cell growth and survival. However its possible role in the regulation of muscle cell homeostasis has not been so far investigated. In this study, we show that C1P stimulates myoblast proliferation, as determined by measuring the incorporation of tritiated thymidine into DNA, and progression of the myoblasts through the cell cycle. C1P induced phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β and the product of retinoblastoma gene, and enhanced cyclin D1 protein levels. The mitogenic action of C1P also involved activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt, ERK1/2 and the mammalian target of rapamycin. These effects of C1P were independent of interaction with a putative G i-coupled C1P receptor as pertussis toxin, which maintains G i protein in the inactive form, did not affect C1P-stimulated myoblast proliferation. By contrast, C1P was unable to inhibit serum starvation- or staurosporine-induced apoptosis in the myoblasts, and did not affect myogenic differentiation. Collectively, these results add up to the current knowledge on cell types targeted by C1P, which so far has been mainly confined to fibroblasts and macrophages, and extend on the mechanisms by which C1P exerts its mitogenic effects. Moreover, the biological activities of C1P described in this report establish that this phosphosphingolipid may be a relevant cue in the regulation of skeletal muscle regeneration, and that C1P-metabolizing enzymes might be important targets for developing cellular therapies for treatment of skeletal muscle degenerative diseases, or tissue injury. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Chiappalupi S.,University of Perugia | Chiappalupi S.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | Riuzzi F.,University of Perugia | Riuzzi F.,Interuniversity Institute of Myology | And 5 more authors.
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2014

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a muscle-derived malignant tumor mainly affecting children. The most frequent variant, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) is characterized by overexpression of the transcription factor, PAX7 which prevents ERMS cells from exiting the cell cycle and terminally differentiating. However, a role for PAX7 in the invasive properties of ERMS cells has not been investigated in detail thus far. Here we show that ectopic expression of receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in human ERMS cells results in the activation of a RAGE/myogenin axis which downregulates PAX7 by transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms, as in normal myoblasts, and reduces metastasis formation. High PAX7 sustains migration and invasiveness in ERMS cells by upregulating EPHA3 and EFNA1 and downregulating NCAM1 thus decreasing the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)/polysialylated-NCAM ratio. Microarray gene expression analysis shows that compared with the RAGE(-ve) TE671/WT cells and similarly to primary human myoblasts, TE671/RAGE cells show upregulation of genes involved in muscle differentiation and cell adhesion, and downregulation of cell migration related and major histocompatibility complex class I genes. Our data reveal a link between PAX7 and metastasis occurrence in ERMSs, and support a role for the RAGE/myogenin axis in metastasis suppression. Thus, low RAGE expression in ERMS primary tumors may be predictive of metastatic behavior. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

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.

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.

Berardi E.,Catholic 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.

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