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Gianelli U.,Hematopathology Service | Celesti G.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Anselmo A.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Laghi L.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells

Abstract: Extracellular matrix (ECM) components initiate crucial biochemical and biomechanical cues that are required for bone marrow homeostasis. In our research, we prove that a peri-cellular matrix composed primarily of type III and type IV collagens, and fibronectin surrounds human megakaryocytes in the bone marrow. The data we collected support the hypothesis that bone marrow megakaryocytes possess a complete mechanism to synthesize the ECM components, and that thrombopoietin is a pivotal regulator of this new function inducing transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) release and consequent activation of the downstream pathways, both in vitro and in vivo. This activation results in a dose dependent increase of ECM component synthesis by megakaryocytes, which is reverted upon incubation with JAK and TGF-β1 receptor specific inhibitors. These data are pivotal for understanding the central role of megakaryocytes in creating their own regulatory niche within the bone marrow environment. © 2016 AlphaMed Press. Source

Arfmann-Knubel S.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Struck B.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Genrich G.,Institute of Experimental Medicine | Helm O.,Institute of Experimental Medicine | And 3 more authors.

Nrf2 and TGF-β1 both affect tumorigenesis in a dual fashion, either by preventing carcinogen induced carcinogenesis and suppressing tumor growth, respectively, or by conferring cytoprotection and invasiveness to tumor cells during malignant transformation. Given the involvement of Nrf2 and TGF-β1 in the adaptation of epithelial cells to persistent inflammatory stress, e. g. of the pancreatic duct epithelium during chronic pancreatitis, a crosstalk between Nrf2 and TGF-β1 can be envisaged. By using premalignant human pancreatic duct cells (HPDE) and the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell line Colo357, we could show that Nrf2 and TGF-β1 independently but additively conferred an invasive phenotype to HPDE cells, whereas acting synergistically in Colo357 cells. This was accompanied by differential regulation of EMT markers like vimentin, Slug, L1CAM and E-cadherin. Nrf2 activation suppressed E-cadherin expression through an as yet unidentified ARE related site in the E-cadherin promoter, attenuated TGF-β1 induced Smad2/3-Activity and enhanced JNK-signaling. In Colo357 cells, TGF-β1 itself was capable of inducing Nrf2 whereas in HPDE cells TGF-β1 per-se did not affect Nrf2 activity, but enhanced Nrf2 induction by tBHQ. In Colo357, but not in HPDE cells, the effects of TGF-β1 on invasion were sensitive to Nrf2 knock-down. In both cell lines, E-cadherin re-expression inhibited the proinvasive effect of Nrf2. Thus, the increased invasion of both cell lines relates to the Nrf2-dependent downregulation of E-cadherin expression. In line, immunohistochemistry analysis of human pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias in pancreatic tissues from chronic pancreatitis patients revealed strong Nrf2 activity already in premalignant epithelial duct cells, accompanied by partial loss of E-cadherin expression. Our findings indicate that Nrf2 and TGF-β1 both contribute to malignant transformation through distinct EMT related mechanisms accounting for an invasive phenotype. Provided a crosstalk between both pathways, Nrf2 and TGF-β1 mutually promote their tumorigenic potential, a condition manifesting already at an early stage during inflammation induced carcinogenesis of the pancreas. Copyright: © 2015 Arfmann-Knubel et al. Source

Laghi L.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Bianchi P.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | Delconte G.,Istituto Clinico Humanitas | Celesti G.,Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research

Purpose: Patients with colorectal cancers (CRC) and high microsatellite instability (MSI) have a better outcome than their chromosome-unstable counterpart. Given the heterogeneity of microsatellite-unstable CRCs, we wanted to see whether any MSI-associated molecular features are specifically associated with prognosis. Experimental Design: One hundred and nine MSI-high CRCs were typed for primary mismatch repair (MMR) defect and for secondary loss of MMR proteins. Frameshifts at seven target genes, mutations in the RAS pathway, and methylation at MLH1/CDKN2A promoters were also searched. The interplay of molecular findings with clinicopathologic features and patient survival was analyzed. Results: Of 84 MLH1-deficient CRCs, 31 (36.9%) had MSH3 and 11 (13.1%) had MSH6 loss (P < 0.001), biallelic frameshift mutations at mononucleotide repeats accounting for most (78%) MSH3 losses. As compared with MSH3-retaining cancers, MLH1-deficient tumors with MSH3 loss showed a higher number of mutated target genes (3.94±1.56 vs. 2.79±1.75; P=0.001), absence of nodal involvement at pathology [N0; OR, 0.11; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.04-0.43, P < 0.001], and better disease-free survival (P = 0.06). No prognostic value was observed for KRAS status and for MLH1/CDKN2A promoter methylation. The association between MSH3 loss and N0 was confirmed in an independent cohort of 71 MLH1-deficient CRCs (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.06-0.83, P = 0.02). Conclusions: MLH1-deficient CRCs not expressing MSH3 have a more severe MSI, a lower rate of nodal involvement, and a better postsurgical outcome. ©2012 AACR. Source

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