Laboratory of Cancer Genomics

Biella, Italy

Laboratory of Cancer Genomics

Biella, Italy
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Deaglio S.,University of Turin | Aydin S.,University of Turin | Grand M.M.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | Vaisitti T.,University of Turin | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Medicine | Year: 2010

Human CD38 is a pleiotropic glycoprotein belonging to a family of enzymes/receptors involved in the catabolism of extracellular nucleotides. CD38-receptor activities are regulated through binding to the nonsubstrate ligand CD31. CD38 expression above a critical threshold is a negative prognostic marker for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Activation of CD38 by means of agonistic monoclonal antibodies or the CD31 ligand induces proliferation and immunoblast differentiation of CLL cells. Here we define the genetic signature that follows long-term in vitrointeractions between CD38 + CLL lymphocytes and CD31+ cells. The emerging profile confirms that the CD31/CD38 axis activates genetic programs relevant for proliferative responses. It also indicates a contribution of this pathway to the processes mediating migration and homing. These results further support the notion that the CD31/CD38 axis is part of a network of accessory signals that modify the microenvironment, favoring localization of leukemic cells to growth-permissive sites. © 2010 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Lefort K.,University of Lausanne | Brooks Y.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Ostano P.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | Cario-Andre M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 7 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2013

Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are highly heterogeneous tumours, resulting from deranged expression of genes involved in squamous cell differentiation. Here we report that microRNA-34a (miR-34a) functions as a novel node in the squamous cell differentiation network, with SIRT6 as a critical target. miR-34a expression increases with keratinocyte differentiation, while it is suppressed in skin and oral SCCs, SCC cell lines, and aberrantly differentiating primary human keratinocytes (HKCs). Expression of this miRNA is restored in SCC cells, in parallel with differentiation, by reversion of genomic DNA methylation or wild-type p53 expression. In normal HKCs, the pro-differentiation effects of increased p53 activity or UVB exposure are miR-34a-dependent, and increased miR-34a levels are sufficient to induce differentiation of these cells both in vitro and in vivo. SIRT6, a sirtuin family member not previously connected with miR-34a function, is a direct target of this miRNA in HKCs, and SIRT6 down-modulation is sufficient to reproduce the miR-34a pro-differentiation effects. The findings are of likely biological significance, as SIRT6 is oppositely expressed to miR-34a in normal keratinocytes and keratinocyte-derived tumours. © 2013 European Molecular Biology Organization.

Peraldo-Neia C.,University of Turin | Peraldo-Neia C.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | Migliardi G.,University of Turin | Mello-Grand M.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | And 9 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: Activating mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) confer sensitivity to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKi), gefitinib and erlotinib. We analysed EGFR expression, EGFR mutation status and gene expression profiles of prostate cancer (PC) to supply a rationale for EGFR targeted therapies in this disease.Methods: Mutational analysis of EGFR TK domain (exons from 18 to 21) and immunohistochemistry for EGFR were performed on tumour tissues derived from radical prostatectomy from 100 PC patients. Gene expression profiling using oligo-microarrays was also carried out in 51 of the PC samples.Results: EGFR protein overexpression (EGFRhigh) was found in 36% of the tumour samples, and mutations were found in 13% of samples. Patients with EGFRhightumours experienced a significantly increased risk of biochemical relapse (hazard ratio-HR 2.52, p=0.02) compared with patients with tumours expressing low levels of EGFR (EGFRlow). Microarray analysis did not reveal any differences in gene expression between EGFRhighand EGFRlowtumours. Conversely, in EGFRhightumours, we were able to identify a 79 gene signature distinguishing mutated from non-mutated tumours. Additionally, 29 genes were found to be differentially expressed between mutated/EGFRhigh(n=3) and mutated/EGFRlowtumours (n=5). Four of the down-regulated genes, U19/EAF2, ABCC4, KLK3 and ANXA3 and one of the up-regulated genes, FOXC1, are involved in PC progression.Conclusions: Based on our findings, we hypothesize that accurate definition of the EGFR status could improve prognostic stratification and we suggest a possible role for EGFR-directed therapies in PC patients. Having been generated in a relatively small sample of patients, our results warrant confirmation in larger series. © 2011 Peraldo-Neia et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Cutrupi S.,University of Turin | Reineri S.,University of Turin | Panetto A.,University of Turin | Grosso E.,University of Turin | And 9 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Pharmacological resistance is a serious threat to the clinical success of hormone therapy for breast cancer. The antiproliferative response to antagonistic drugs such as tamoxifen (Tam) critically depends on the recruitment of NCoR/SMRT corepressors to estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) bound to estrogen target genes. Under certain circumstances, as demonstrated in the case of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) treatment, the protein Tab2 interacts with ERα/NCoR and causes dismissal of NCoR from these genes, leading to loss of the antiproliferative response. In Tam-resistant (TamR) ER-positive breast cancer cells, we observed that Tab2 presents a shift in mobility on sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE (SDS-PAGE) similar to that seen in MCF7 wt upon stimulation with IL-1β, suggesting constitutive activation. Accordingly, TamR treatment with Tab2-specific short interfering RNA, restored the antiproliferative response to Tam in these cells. As Tab2 is known to directly interact with the N-terminal domain of ERα, we synthesized a peptide composed of a 14-aa motif of this domain, which effectively competes with ERα/Tab2 interaction in pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments, fused to the carrier TAT peptide to allow internalization. Treatment of TamR cells with this peptide resulted in partial recovery of the antiproliferative response to Tam, suggesting a strategy to revert pharmacological resistance in breast cancer. Silencing of Tab2 in TamR cells by siRNA caused modulation of a gene set related to the control of cell cycle and extensively connected to BRCA1 in a functional network. These genes were able to discern two groups of patients, from a published data set of Tam-treated breast cancer profiles, with significantly different disease-free survival. Altogether, our data implicate Tab2 as a mediator of resistance to endocrine therapy and as a potential new target to reverse pharmacological resistance and potentiate antiestrogen action. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Albino D.,Southern Research Institute | Longoni N.,Southern Research Institute | Curti L.,Southern Research Institute | Mello-Grand M.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | And 10 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Cancer stem cells (CSC) play a significant role in tumor progression, disease recurrence, and treatment failure. Here, we show that the endogenously expressed ETS transcription factor ESE3/EHF controls prostate epithelial cell differentiation and stem-like potential. We found that loss of ESE3/EHF induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), stem-like features, and tumor-initiating and metastatic properties in prostate epithelial cells, and reexpression of ESE3/EHF inhibited the stem-like properties and tumorigenic potential of prostate cancer cells. Mechanistically, ESE3/EHF repressed the expression of key EMT and CSC genes, including TWIST1, ZEB2, BMI1, and POU5F1. Analysis of human tissue microarrays showed that reduced ESE3/EHF expression is an early event in tumorigenesis, frequently occurring independently of other ETS gene alterations. Additional analyses linked loss of ESE3/EHF expression to a distinct group of prostate tumors with distinctive molecular and biologic characteristics, including increased expression of EMT and CSC genes. Low ESE3/EHF expression was also associated with increased biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer and reduced overall survival after prostatectomy. Collectively, our findings define a key role for ESE3/EHF in the development of a subset of prostate tumors and highlight the clinical importance of identifying molecularly defined tumor subgroups. ©2012 AACR.

Kunderfranco P.,Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland | Mello-Grand M.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | Cangemi R.,Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland | Pellini S.,Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: ETS transcription factors regulate important signaling pathways involved in cell differentiation and development in many tissues and have emerged as important players in prostate cancer. However, the biological impact of ETS factors in prostate tumorigenesis is still debated. Methodology/Principal Findings: We performed an analysis of the ETS gene family using microarray data and real-time PCR in normal and tumor tissues along with functional studies in normal and cancer cell lines to understand the impact in prostate tumorigenesis and identify key targets of these transcription factors. We found frequent dysregulation of ETS genes with oncogenic (i.e., ERG and ESE1) and tumor suppressor (i.e., ESE3) properties in prostate tumors compared to normal prostate. Tumor subgroups (i.e., ERGhigh, ESE1high, ESE3low and NoETS tumors) were identified on the basis of their ETS expression status and showed distinct transcriptional and biological features. ERGhigh and ESE3low tumors had the most robust gene signatures with both distinct and overlapping features. Integrating genomic data with functional studies in multiple cell lines, we demonstrated that ERG and ESE3 controlled in opposite direction transcription of the Polycomb Group protein EZH2, a key gene in development, differentiation, stem cell biology and tumorigenesis. We further demonstrated that the prostate-specific tumor suppressor gene Nkx3.1 was controlled by ERG and ESE3 both directly and through induction of EZH2. Conclusions/Significance: These findings provide new insights into the role of the ETS transcriptional network in prostate tumorigenesis and uncover previously unrecognized links between aberrant expression of ETS factors, deregulation of epigenetic effectors and silencing of tumor suppressor genes. The link between aberrant ETS activity and epigenetic gene silencing may be relevant for the clinical management of prostate cancer and design of new therapeutic strategies. © 2010 Kunderfranco et al.

Longoni N.,Southern Research Institute | Sarti M.,Southern Research Institute | Albino D.,Southern Research Institute | Civenni G.,Southern Research Institute | And 13 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Chromosomal translocations leading to deregulated expression of ETS transcription factors are frequent in prostate tumors. Here, we report a novel mechanism leading to oncogenic activation of the ETS factor ESE1/ELF3 in prostate tumors. ESE1/ELF3 was overexpressed in human primary and metastatic tumors. It mediated transforming phenotypes in vitro and in vivo and induced an inflammatory transcriptome with changes in relevant oncogenic pathways. ESE1/ELF3 was induced by interleukin (IL)-1β through NF-kB and was a crucial mediator of the phenotypic and transcriptional changes induced by IL-1β in prostate cancer cells. This linkage was mediated by interaction of ESE1/ELF3 with the NF-κB subunits p65 and p50, acting by enhancing their nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity and by inducing p50 transcription. Supporting these findings, gene expression profiling revealed an enrichment of NF-kB effector functions in prostate cancer cells or tumors expressing high levels of ESE1/ELF3. We observed concordant upregulation of ESE1/ELF3 and NF-κB in human prostate tumors that was associated with adverse prognosis. Collectively, our results define an important new mechanistic link between inflammatory signaling and the progression of prostate cancer. © 2013 AACR.

Resovi A.,Irccs Instituto Of Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri | Pinessi D.,Irccs Instituto Of Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri | Chiorino G.,Laboratory of Cancer Genomics | Taraboletti G.,Irccs Instituto Of Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri
Matrix Biology | Year: 2014

The multifaceted action of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) depends on its ability to physically interact with different ligands, including structural components of the extracellular matrix, other matricellular proteins, cell receptors, growth factors, cytokines and proteases. Through this network, TSP-1 regulates the ligand activity, availability and structure, ultimately tuning the cell response to environmental stimuli in a context-dependent manner, contributing to physiological and pathological processes. Complete mapping of the TSP-1 interactome is needed to understand its diverse functions and to lay the basis for the rational design of TSP-1-based therapeutic approaches. So far, large-scale approaches to identify TSP-1 ligands have been rarely used, but many interactions have been identified in small-scale studies in defined biological systems. This review, based on information from protein interaction databases and the literature, illustrates current knowledge of the TSP-1 interactome map. © 2014 The Authors.

Busacca S.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Germano S.,University of Piemonte Orientale | De Cecco L.,Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | De Cecco L.,Scientific Directorate Fondazione Instituto Of Ricerca E Cura A Carattere Scientifico | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology | Year: 2010

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of target genes,andmaybehaveasoncogenesortumorsuppressors. Human malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer, with poor prognosis and low median survival. Here we report, for the first time, a cross-evaluation of miRNA expression in mesothelioma (MPP-89, REN) and human mesothelial cells (HMC-telomerase reverse transcriptase). Microarray profiling, confirmed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, revealed a differential expression of miRNAs between mesothelioma and mesothelial cells. In addition, a computational analysis combining miRNA and gene expression profiles allowed the accurate prediction of genes potentially targeted by dysregulated miRNAs. Several predicted genes belong to terms of Gene Ontology (GO) that are associated with the development and progression of mesothelioma. This suggests that miRNAsmaybe key players in mesothelioma oncogenesis. We further investigated miRNA expression on a panel of 24 mesothelioma specimens, representative of the three histotypes (epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid), by quantitative RT-PCR. The expression of miR-17-5p, miR-21, miR-29a, miR-30c, miR-30e-5p, miR-106a, and miR-143 was significantly associated with the histopathological subtypes. Notably, the reduced expression of two miRNAs(miR-17-5pandmiR-30c) correlated with better survival of patients with sarcomatoid subtype. Our preliminary analysis points at miRNAs as potential diagnostic and prognostic markers of mesothelioma, and suggests novel tools for the therapy of this malignancy.

PubMed | University of Lausanne, Laboratory of Cancer Genomics, Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and National Research Council Italy
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Adenocarcinomas of the prostate arise as multifocal heterogeneous lesions as the likely result of genetic and epigenetic alterations and deranged cell-cell communication. Notch signaling is an important form of intercellular communication with a role in growth/differentiation control and tumorigenesis. Contrasting reports exist in the literature on the role of this pathway in prostate cancer (PCa) development. We show here that i) compared to normal prostate tissue, Notch1 expression is significantly reduced in a substantial fraction of human PCas while it is unaffected or even increased in others; ii) acute Notch activation both inhibits and induces process networks associated with prostatic neoplasms; iii) down-modulation of Notch1 expression and activity in immortalized normal prostate epithelial cells increases their proliferation potential, while increased Notch1 activity in PCa cells suppresses growth and tumorigenicity through a Smad3-dependent mechanism involving p21WAF1/CIP1; iv) prostate cancer cells resistant to Notch growth inhibitory effects retain Notch1-induced upregulation of pro-oncogenic genes, like EPAS1 and CXCL6, also overexpressed in human PCas with high Notch1 levels. Taken together, these results reconcile conflicting data on the role of Notch1 in prostate cancer.

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