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Adib-Samii P.,St Georges, University of London | Rost N.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Rost N.,Boston University | Traylor M.,St Georges, University of London | And 39 more authors.
Stroke | Year: 2013

Background and Purpose-Recently, a novel locus at 17q25 was associated with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on MRI in stroke-free individuals. We aimed to replicate the association with WMH volume (WMHV) in patients with ischemic stroke. If the association acts by promoting a small vessel arteriopathy, it might be expected to also associate with lacunar stroke. Methods-We quantified WMH on MRI in the stroke-free hemisphere of 2588 ischemic stroke cases. Association between WMHV and 6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms at chromosome 17q25 was assessed by linear regression. These singlenucleotide polymorphisms were also investigated for association with lacunar stroke in 1854 cases and 51 939 stroke-free controls from METASTROKE. Meta-analyses with previous reports and a genetic risk score approach were applied to identify other novel WMHV risk variants and uncover shared genetic contributions to WMHV in community participants without stroke and ischemic stroke. Results-Single-nucleotide polymorphisms at 17q25 were associated with WMHV in ischemic stroke, the most significant being rs9894383 (P=0.0006). In contrast, there was no association between any single-nucleotide polymorphism and lacunar stroke. A genetic risk score analysis revealed further genetic components to WMHV shared between community participants without stroke and ischemic stroke. Conclusions-This study provides support for an association between the 17q25 locus and WMH. In contrast, it is not associated with lacunar stroke, suggesting that the association does not act by promoting small-vessel arteriopathy or the same arteriopathy responsible for lacunar infarction. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc. Source


Gatti L.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | Sevko A.,German Cancer Research Center | Sevko A.,University of Mannheim | de Cesare M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | And 14 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Target-specific agents used in melanoma are not curative, and chemokines are being implicated in drug-resistance to target-specific agents. Thus, the use of conventional agents in rationale combinations may result in optimization of therapy. Because histone deacetylases participate in tumor development and progression, the combination of the pan-inhibitor SAHA and temozolomide might provide a therapeutic advantage. Here, we show synergism between the two drugs in mutant BRAF cell lines, in association with decreased phosphorylation of cell survival proteins (e.g., C-Jun-N-terminal-kinase, JNK). In the spontaneous ret transgenic mouse melanoma model, combination therapy produced a significant disease onset delay and down-regulation of Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), JNK, and of Myeloid-derived suppressor cell recruitment. Co-incubation with a CCL2-blocking-antibody enhanced in vitro cell sensitivity to temozolomide. Conversely, recombinant CCL2 activated JNK in human tumor melanoma cells. In keeping with these results, the combination of a JNK-inhibitor with temozolomide was synergistic. By showing that down-regulation of CCL2-driven signals by SAHA and temozolomide via JNK contributes to reduce melanoma growth, we provide a rationale for the therapeutic advantage of the drug combination. This combination strategy may be effective because of interference both with tumor cell and tumor microenvironment. Source


Gatti L.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | De Cesare M.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | Ciusani E.,Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Medical Genetics | Corna E.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | And 13 more authors.
Molecular Pharmaceutics | Year: 2014

Treatment of ovarian carcinoma often fails to be curative because of drug resistance, and many efforts are directed to overcome tumor cell resistance by increasing apoptosis induction. The potential of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (SMAC) mimetics (SMACm) has appeared in preclinical studies, but novel proapoptotic agents of this class with improved pharmacological profile are needed. To identify novel treatment options for ovarian carcinoma by interfering with antiapoptotic factors, in the present study a novel homodimeric SMACm (SM83) was employed in preclinical models both in vitro and in vivo. An investigation of the structural features of dimeric SM83 as compared to a closely related reference compound indicated slight differences, likely because of the interaction between one of the terminal phenyl groups and triazole rings of SM83 with the BIR2 domain. Although SM83 per se did not inhibit cell proliferation, it displayed a synergistic effect in combination with TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in cell sensitivity assays. Because the tumor microenvironment is a reservoir of cytokines that may act in conjunction with SMACm to affect tumor growth, the activity of the novel compound was tested in vivo in ovarian carcinoma cells subcutaneously xenografted into immunodeficient mice. A significant tumor volume inhibition was observed together with activation of caspase 3 and apoptotic cell death. A biochemical analysis of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and TRAIL content in specimens from xenografted mice indicated that SM83 downmodulated the levels of human TNF in plasma samples and tended to upmodulate human TRAIL levels in tumors. Thus, TRAIL appears to contribute to the antitumor activity of novel SMACm SM83 in subcutaneously grown ovarian carcinoma. Overall, our results indicate that SM83 is an attractive candidate for further development. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source


Varinelli L.,Proteomics Laboratory | Caccia D.,Proteomics Laboratory | Caccia C.,Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Medical Genetics | De Bortoli M.,Proteomics Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Endocrine-Related Cancer | Year: 2015

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is over-expressed in several human neoplastic cells. When MIF binds its receptor (CD74) and co-receptor (CD44), it initiates signaling cascades that orchestrate cell proliferation and survival, and it can directly modulate the activity of AMPK. These activities indicate that MIF potentially regulates cell survival and metabolism. We found that MIF was primarily co-expressed with CD74 in 16 out of 23 papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and in all the 27 available anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) biopsy samples. MIF and CD74 were co-expressed in TPC-1 and HTC-C3 cell lines. The selective MIF inhibitor, 4-iodo-6- phenylpyrimidine (4-IPP), blocked MIF/CD74 internalization, activated JNK, and dosedependently inhibited proliferation inducing apoptosis and mitotic cell death. In two CD74-negative cell lines, NIM-1 and K1, 4-IPP treatment partially reduced proliferation. Coordinated MIF and CD74 expression appeared to confer in tumor cells the plasticity necessary to escape cell cycle regulation, metabolic changes, and stress conditions. MIF/CD74 signaling removal made cells susceptible to apoptosis and mitotic cell death. This finding suggests a possible avenue for targeting DNA endoreduplication, thus preventing the proliferation of therapy-resistant cell subpopulations. This study highlights MIF/CD74 axis as an important player in the biology of aggressive thyroid neoplasms. Source


Corsini E.,Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Medical Genetics | Ciusani E.,Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Medical Genetics | Gaviani P.,Fondazione Istituto Neurologico C. Besta | Silvani A.,Fondazione Istituto Neurologico C. Besta | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology | Year: 2012

High-grade gliomas are highly vascularized tumors, in which the amount of new blood vessels is closely related with the degree of malignancy. The role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in the neoangiogenesis of gliomas and the effects of post-surgical therapies (i.e., radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy) have not yet been fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of surgery and post-surgical treatment on the levels of circulating EPCs in glioma patients and their correlation with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In this study, we assessed by flow cytometry the number of EPCs in the peripheral blood of 78 high-grade glioma patients (both untreated and treated with RT and chemotherapy) and 34 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. EPCs were markedly decreased in all treated glioma patients as compared to untreated ones. VEGF levels were significantly higher in patients as compared to controls, and surgery, but not chemotherapy, significantly decreased VEGF concentrations. We found no relationship between VEGF plasma levels and EPCs. In conclusion, the reliability of EPCs as a biomarker for monitoring angiogenesis in glioma patients needs further studies of correlations of this parameter with other markers of tumor-related vasculature. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

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