Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB

Trieste, Italy

Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB

Trieste, Italy
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Girardini J.E.,CONICET | Marotta C.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Marotta C.,University of Trieste | Del Sal G.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Del Sal G.,University of Trieste
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2014

In the last decade intensive research has confirmed the long standing hypothesis that some p53 point mutants acquire novel activities able to cooperate with oncogenic mechanisms. Particular attention has attracted the ability of several such mutants to actively promote the development of aggressive and metastatic tumors in vivo. This knowledge opens a new dimension on rational therapy design, suggesting novel strategies based on pharmacological manipulation of those neomorphic activities. P53 point mutants have several characteristics that make them attractive targets for anti-cancer therapies. Remarkably, mutant p53 has been found predominantly in tumor cells and may act pleiotropically by interfering with a variety of cellular processes. Therefore, drugs targeting mutant p53 may selectively affect tumor cells, inactivating simultaneously several mechanisms of tumor promotion. Moreover, the high frequency of missense mutations on the p53 gene suggests that interfering with mutant p53 function may provide a valuable approach for the development of efficient therapies able to target a wide range of tumor types. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Taccioli C.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Sorrentino G.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Sorrentino G.,University of Trieste | Zannini A.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Targeted anticancer therapies represent the most effective pharmacological strategies in terms of clinical responses. In this context, genetic alteration of several oncogenes represents an optimal predictor of response to targeted therapy. Integration of large-scale molecular and pharmacological data from cancer cell lines promises to be effective in the discovery of new genetic markers of drug sensitivity and of clinically relevant anticancer compounds. To define novel pharmacogenomic dependencies in cancer, we created the Mutations and Drugs Portal (MDP,, a web accessible database that combines the cell-based NCI60 screening of more than 50,000 compounds with genomic data extracted from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia and the NCI60 DTP projects. MDP can be queried for drugs active in cancer cell lines carrying mutations in specific cancer genes or for genetic markers associated to sensitivity or resistance to a given compound. As proof of performance, we interrogated MDP to identify both known and novel pharmacogenomics associations and unveiled an unpredicted combination of two FDA-approved compounds, namely statins and Dasatinib, as an effective strategy to potently inhibit YAP/TAZ in cancer cells.

Sardo F.L.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Forcato M.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Sacconi A.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Capaci V.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | And 8 more authors.
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2017

Lung cancer is the first cause of cancer death worldwide and the Hippo pathway transcriptional coactivators YAP/ TAZ have a pro-oncogenic role in this context. In order to understand the mechanisms through which YAP/TAZ elicit their oncogenic role in different systems, many studies are focused on YAP/TAZ target genes involved in the regulation of cell proliferation/survival and migration. However, there is scarce evidence on the role of YAP/TAZ in microRNA regulation while there is increasing evidence supporting the role of microRNAs in the main oncogenic processes. Here, we showed that YAP/TAZ were able to regulate several microRNAs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. In detail, we focused on a cluster of three oncogenic microRNAs (miR-25, 93 and 106b) hosted in the MCM7 gene that were overexpressed in lung tumors compared to normal tissues. In addition, similar behavior was observed in breast cancer and head and neck tumor casuistries, where they showed a prognostic role. In NSCLC cells, YAP/TAZ induced the transcription of the MCM7 gene and its hosted miRs, thereby promoting cell proliferation through the posttranscriptional inhibition of the p21 cell cycle regulator. Accordingly, p21 was maintained at low levels in lung tumors compared to normal tissues. Conversely, its expression was restored in NSCLC cells upon YAP/TAZ interference or upon treatment with the statin cerivastatin. In summary, we provide evidence for a novel mechanism of modulation supporting the protumorigenic functions of the YAP/TAZ factors through the modulation of a bioncogenic locus consisting of one gene and three hosted microRNAs. © The Author 2016.

Sorrentino G.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Sorrentino G.,University of Trieste | Ruggeri N.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Ruggeri N.,University of Trieste | And 13 more authors.
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2014

The YAP and TAZ mediators of the Hippo pathway (hereafter called YAP/TAZ) promote tissue proliferation and organ growth. However, how their biological properties intersect with cellular metabolism remains unexplained. Here, we show that YAP/TAZ activity is controlled by the SREBP/mevalonate pathway. Inhibition of the rate-limiting enzyme of this pathway (HMG-CoA reductase) by statins opposes YAP/TAZ nuclear localization and transcriptional responses. Mechanistically, the geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate produced by the mevalonate cascade is required for activation of Rho GTPases that, in turn, activate YAP/TAZ by inhibiting their phosphorylation and promoting their nuclear accumulation. The mevalonate-YAP/TAZ axis is required for proliferation and self-renewal of breast cancer cells. In Drosophila melanogaster, inhibition of mevalonate biosynthesis and geranylgeranylation blunts the eye overgrowth induced by Yorkie, the YAP/TAZ orthologue. In tumour cells, YAP/TAZ activation is promoted by increased levels of mevalonic acid produced by SREBP transcriptional activity, which is induced by its oncogenic cofactor mutant p53. These findings reveal an additional layer of YAP/TAZ regulation by metabolic cues. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Di Minin G.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Bellazzo A.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Bellazzo A.,University of Trieste | DalFerro M.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | And 14 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2014

Inflammation is a significant factor in cancer development, and a molecular understanding of the parameters dictating the impact of inflammation on cancers could significantly improve treatment. The tumor suppressor p53 is frequently mutated in cancer, and p53 missense mutants (mutp53) can acquire oncogenic properties. We report that cancer cells with mutp53 respond to inflammatory cytokines increasing their invasive behavior. Notably, this action is coupled to expression of chemokines that can expose the tumor to host immunity, potentially affecting response to therapy. Mechanistically, mutp53 fuels NF-κB activation while it dampens activation of ASK1/JNK by TNFα, and this action depends on mutp53 binding and inhibiting the tumor suppressor DAB2IP in the cytoplasm. Interfering with such interaction reduced aggressiveness of cancer cells in xenografts. This interaction is an unexplored mechanism by which mutant p53 can influence tumor evolution, with implications for our understanding of the complex role of inflammation in cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Girardini J.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Girardini J.,University of Trieste | Napoli M.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Napoli M.,University of Trieste | And 24 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2011

TP53 missense mutations dramatically influence tumor progression, however, their mechanism of action is still poorly understood. Here we demonstrate the fundamental role of the prolyl isomerase Pin1 in mutant p53 oncogenic functions. Pin1 enhances tumorigenesis in a Li-Fraumeni mouse model and cooperates with mutant p53 in Ras-dependent transformation. In breast cancer cells, Pin1 promotes mutant p53 dependent inhibition of the antimetastatic factor p63 and induction of a mutant p53 transcriptional program to increase aggressiveness. Furthermore, we identified a transcriptional signature associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer and, in a cohort of patients, Pin1 overexpression influenced the prognostic value of p53 mutation. These results define a Pin1/mutant p53 axis that conveys oncogenic signals to promote aggressiveness in human cancers. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Collavin L.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Collavin L.,University of Trieste | Lunardi A.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Lunardi A.,University of Trieste | And 3 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2010

The tumor suppressor p53 is a central hub in a molecular network controlling cell proliferation and death in response to potentially oncogenic conditions, and a wide array of covalent modifications and protein interactions modulate the nuclear and cytoplasmic activities of p53. The p53 relatives, p73 and p63, are entangled in the same regulatory network, being subject at least in part to the same modifications and interactions that convey signals on p53, and actively contributing to the resulting cellular output. The emerging picture is that of an interconnected pathway, in which all p53-family proteins are involved in the response to oncogenic stress and physiological inputs. Therefore, common and specific interactors of p53-family proteins can have a wide effect on function and dysfunction of this pathway. Many years of research have uncovered an impressive number of p53-interacting proteins, but much less is known about protein interactions of p63 and p73. Yet, many interactors may be shared by multiple p53-family proteins, with similar or different effects. In this study we review shared interactors of p53-family proteins with the aim to encourage research into this field; this knowledge promises to unveil regulatory elements that could be targeted by a new generation of molecules, and allow more efficient use of currently available drugs for cancer treatment. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Walerych D.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Napoli M.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Napoli M.,University of Trieste | Collavin L.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | And 3 more authors.
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2012

Breast cancer is the most frequent invasive tumor diagnosed in women, causing over 400 000 deaths yearly worldwide. Like other tumors, it is a disease with a complex, heterogeneous genetic and biochemical background. No single genomic or metabolic condition can be regarded as decisive for its formation and progression. However, a few key players can be pointed out and among them is the TP53 tumor suppressor gene, commonly mutated in breast cancer. In particular, TP53 mutations are exceptionally frequent and apparently among the key driving factors in triple negative breast cancer -the most aggressive breast cancer subgroup-whose management still represents a clinical challenge. The majority of TP53 mutations result in the substitution of single aminoacids in the central region of the p53 protein, generating a spectrum of variants ('mutant p53s', for short). These mutants lose the normal p53 oncosuppressive functions to various extents but can also acquire oncogenic properties by gain-of-function mechanisms. This review discusses the molecular processes translating gene mutations to the pathologic consequences of mutant p53 tumorigenic activity, reconciling cell and animal models with clinical outcomes in breast cancer. Existing and speculative therapeutic methods targeting mutant p53 are also discussed, taking into account the overlap of mutant and wild-type p53 regulatory mechanisms and the crosstalk between mutant p53 and other oncogenic pathways in breast cancer. The studies described here concern breast cancer models and patients-unless it is indicated otherwise and justified by the importance of data obtained in other models. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.

Comel A.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | Sorrentino G.,University of Trieste | Capaci V.,University of Trieste | Del Sal G.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB
FEBS Letters | Year: 2014

The tumor suppressor p53 is a transcription factor that in response to a plethora of stress stimuli activates a complex and context-dependent cellular response ultimately protecting genome integrity. In the last two decades, the discovery of cytoplasmic p53 localization has driven an intense research on its extra-nuclear functions. The ability to induce apoptosis acting directly at mitochondria and the related mechanisms of p53 localization and translocation in the cytoplasm and mitochondria have been dissected. However, recent works indicate the involvement of cytoplasmic p53 also in biological processes such as autophagy, metabolism, oxidative stress and drug response. This review will focus on the mechanisms of cytoplasmic p53 activation and the pathophysiological role of p53's transcription-independent functions, highlighting possible therapeutic implications. © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Pegoraro S.,University of Trieste | Ros G.,University of Trieste | Ciani Y.,University of Trieste | Ciani Y.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB LNCIB | And 3 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) is an architectural chromatin factor that promotes neoplastic transformation and progression. However, the mechanism by which HMGA1 exerts its oncogenic function is not fully understood. Here, we show that cyclin E2 (CCNE2) acts downstream of HMGA1 to regulate the motility and invasiveness of basal-like breast cancer cells by promoting the nuclear localization and activity of YAP, the downstream mediator of the Hippo pathway. Mechanistically, the activity of MST1/2 and LATS1/2, the core kinases of the Hippo pathway, are required for the HMGA1- and CCNE2-mediated regulation of YAP localization. In breast cancer patients, high levels of HMGA1 and CCNE2 expression are associated with the YAP/TAZ signature, supporting this connection. Moreover, we provide evidence that CDK inhibitors induce the translocation of YAP from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, resulting in a decrease in its activity. These findings reveal an association between HMGA1 and the Hippo pathway that is relevant to stem cell biology, tissue homeostasis, and cancer.

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