Santa Lucia di Serino, Italy
Santa Lucia di Serino, Italy

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Floriano-Sanchez E.,National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico | Floriano-Sanchez E.,Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory | Rodriguez N.C.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Coballase-Urrutia E.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Lopez-Cruz J.,Hospital Militar Of Especialidades Of La Mujer Y Neonatologia
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2014

Background: In Mexico, breast cancer (BCa) is the leading type of cancer in women. Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) is a superfamily of major oxidative enzymes that metabolize carcinogens and many antineoplastic drugs. In addition, these enzymes have influence on tumor development and tumor response to therapy. In this report, we analyzed the protein expression in patients with BCa and in healthy women. Links with some clinic-pathological characteristic were also assessed. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemical analyses were conducted on 48 sets of human breast tumors and normal breast tissues enrolled in Hospital Militar de Especialidades de la Mujer y Neonatologia and Hospital Central Militar, respectively, during the time period from 2010 to 2011. Informed consent was obtained from all participants. Statistical analysis was performed using χ2 or Fisher exact tests to estimate associations and the Mann Whitney U test for comparison of group means. Results: We found a significant CYP3A4 overexpression in BCa stroma and gland regions in comparison with healthy tissue. A significant association between protein expression with smoking, alcoholism and hormonal contraceptives use was also observed. Additionally, we observed estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) positive association in BCa. Conclusions: We suggest that CYP3A4 expression promotes BCa development and can be used in the prediction of tumor response to different treatments. One therapeutic approach may thus be to block CYP3A4 function.


Ferraro E.,Laboratory of Molecular Neuroembryology | Ferraro E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ferraro E.,Laboratory of skeletal muscle development and metabolism | Pesaresi M.G.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2011

The apoptotic protease activating factor 1 (Apaf1) is the main component of the apoptosome, and a crucial factor in the mitochondriadependent death pathway. Here we show that Apaf1 plays a role in regulating centrosome maturation. By analyzing Apaf1-depleted cells, we have found that Apaf1 loss induces centrosome defects that impair centrosomal microtubule nucleation and cytoskeleton organization. This, in turn, affects several cellular processes such as mitotic spindle formation, cell migration and mitochondrial network regulation. As a consequence, Apaf1-depleted cells are more fragile and have a lower threshold to stress than wild-type cells. In fact, we found that they exhibit low Bcl-2 and Bcl-X L expression and, under apoptotic treatment, rapidly release cytochrome c. We also show that Apaf1 acts by regulating the recruitment of HCA66, with which it interacts, to the centrosome. This function of Apaf1 is carried out during the cell life and is not related to its apoptotic role. Therefore, Apaf1 might also be considered a pro-survival molecule, whose absence impairs cell performance and causes a higher responsiveness to stressful conditions. © 2011.


De Benedetto M.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Capo C.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ferri A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Ferri A.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | And 7 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2014

Background Glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1), a small protein belonging to the thioredoxin family, is involved in redox-regulation since it catalyzes the reduction of protein disulfides and that of mixed disulfides. It was reported to modulate active copper extrusion from cells, by affecting the function of the pumps ATP7A and B. These are components of the network of protein chaperones involved in the control of the homeostasis of copper, an essential, though harmful, metal. However, the effect of Grx1 on copper levels, copper chaperones and copper-elicited cell toxicity was never investigated. Methods In order to investigate the effect of Grx1 on copper metabolism, we constitutively overexpressed Grx1 in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells (SH-Grx1 cells) and assessed a number of copper-related parameters. Results SH-Grx1 cells show a basal intracellular copper level higher than control cells, accumulate more copper upon CuSO4 treatment, but are more resistant to copper-induced toxicity. Grx1 shows copper-binding properties and copper overload produces a decrease of Grx1 enzyme activity in SH-Grx1 cells. Finally, Grx1 overexpression decreases copper accumulation in mitochondria upon copper overload and modulates the expression of copper transporter 1 (Ctr1). Conclusion Altogether, these data demonstrate that Grx1 is a major player in copper metabolism in neuronal cells. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Arciello M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Capo C.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cozzolino M.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Ferri A.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2010

The copper-enzyme cytochrome c oxidase (Cytox) has been indicated as a primary molecular target of mutant copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS); however, the mechanism underlying its inactivation is still unclear. As the toxicity of mutant SOD1s could arise from their selective recruitment to mitochondria, it is conceivable that they might compete with Cytox for the mitochondrial copper pool causing Cytox inactivation. To investigate this issue, we used mouse motoneuronal neuroblastoma × spinal cord cell line-34, stably transfected for the inducible expression of low amounts of wild-type or mutant (G93A, H46R, and H80R) human SOD1s and compared the effects observed on Cytox with those obtained by copper depletion. We demonstrated that all mutants analyzed induced cell death and decreased the Cytox activity, but not the protein content of the Cytox subunit II, at difference with copper depletion that also affected subunit II protein. Copper supplementation did not counteract mutant hSOD1s toxicity. Otherwise, the treatment of neuroblastoma × spinal cord cell line-34 expressing G93A, H46R, or H80R hSOD1 mutants, and showing constitutive expression of iNOS and nNOS, with either a NO scavenger, or NOS inhibitors prevented the inhibition of Cytox activity and rescued cell viability. These results support the involvement of NO in mutant SOD1s-induced Cytox damage, and mitochondrial toxicity. © 2009 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Pesaresi M.G.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Pesaresi M.G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Amori I.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Giorgi C.,University of Ferrara | And 10 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage are among the mechanisms whereby mutant SOD1 (mutSOD1) associated with familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) induces motoneuronal death. The 66 kDa isoform of the growth factor adapter Shc (p66Shc) is known to be central in the control of mitochondria-dependent oxidative balance. Here we report that expression of mutSOD1s induces the activation of p66Shc in neuronal cells and that the overexpression of inactive p66Shc mutants protects cells from mutSOD1-induced mitochondrial damage. Most importantly, deletion of p66Shc ameliorates mitochondrial function, delays onset, improves motor performance and prolongs survival in transgenic mice modelling ALS. We also show that p66Shc activation by mutSOD1 causes a strong decrease in the activity of the small GTPase Rac1 through a redox-sensitive regulation. Our results provide new insight into the potential mechanisms of mutSOD1-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


PubMed | CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Instituto Superiore Of Sanita and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Cell death & disease | Year: 2015

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder due to motor neuron loss. Fused in sarcoma (FUS) protein carrying ALS-associated mutations localizes to stress granules and causes their coalescence into larger aggregates. Here we show that Pur-alpha physically interacts with mutated FUS in an RNA-dependent manner. Pur-alpha colocalizes with FUS carrying mutations in stress granules of motoneuronal cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells and that are derived from ALS patients. We observe that both Pur-alpha and mutated FUS upregulate phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha and consistently inhibit global protein synthesis. In vivo expression of Pur-alpha in different Drosophila tissues significatively exacerbates the neurodegeneration caused by mutated FUS. Conversely, the downregulation of Pur-alpha in neurons expressing mutated FUS significatively improves fly climbing activity. All these findings suggest that Pur-alpha, through the control of mRNA translation, might be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS associated with the mutation of FUS, and that an alteration of protein synthesis may be directly implicated in the disease. Finally, in vivo RNAi-mediated ablation of Pur-alpha produced locomotion defects in Drosophila, indicating a pivotal role for this protein in the motoneuronal function.


Rossi S.,National Research Council Italy | Cozzolino M.,National Research Council Italy | Cozzolino M.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Carri M.T.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Carri M.T.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Brain Pathology | Year: 2016

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is recognized as a very complex disease. As we have learned in the past 20 years from studies in patients and in models based on the expression of mutant SOD1, ALS is not a purely motor neuron disease as previously thought. While undoubtedly motor neurons are lost in patients, a number of alterations in those cell-types that interact functionally with motor neurons (astrocytes, microglia, muscle fibers, oligodendrocytes) take place even long before onset of symptoms. At the same time, disturbance of several, only partly inter-related physiological functions play some role in the onset and progression of the disease. Traditionally, mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, altered axonal transport, ER stress, protein aggregation and defective removal of toxic proteins have been considered as key factors in the pathogenesis of ALS, with the relatively recent addition of disturbances in RNA metabolism. This complexity makes the search for an effective treatment extremely difficult and prompts further studies to reveal other possible, previously unappreciated aspects of the pathogenesis of ALS. In this review, we focus on previous knowledge on ALS mechanisms as well as new facets emerging from studies on genetic ALS patients and models that may both provide precious information for a novel therapeutic approach. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.


PubMed | National Research Council Italy and Laboratory of Neurochemistry
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland) | Year: 2016

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is recognized as a very complex disease. As we have learned in the past 20 years from studies in patients and in models based on the expression of mutant SOD1, ALS is not a purely motor neuron disease as previously thought. While undoubtedly motor neurons are lost in patients, a number of alterations in those cell-types that interact functionally with motor neurons (astrocytes, microglia, muscle fibers, oligodendrocytes) take place even long before onset of symptoms. At the same time, disturbance of several, only partly inter-related physiological functions play some role in the onset and progression of the disease. Traditionally, mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, altered axonal transport, ER stress, protein aggregation and defective removal of toxic proteins have been considered as key factors in the pathogenesis of ALS, with the relatively recent addition of disturbances in RNA metabolism. This complexity makes the search for an effective treatment extremely difficult and prompts further studies to reveal other possible, previously unappreciated aspects of the pathogenesis of ALS. In this review, we focus on previous knowledge on ALS mechanisms as well as new facets emerging from studies on genetic ALS patients and models that may both provide precious information for a novel therapeutic approach.


Lenzken S.C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Achsel T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Carri M.T.,Laboratory of Neurochemistry | Carri M.T.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Barabino S.M.L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA | Year: 2014

In mammalian cells in general and in neurons in particular, mRNA maturation, translation, and degradation are highly complex and dynamic processes. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play crucial roles in all these events. First, they participate in the choice of pre-mRNA splice sites and in the selection of the polyadenylation sites, determining which of the possible isoforms is produced from a given precursor mRNA. Then, once in the cytoplasm, the protein composition of the RNP particles determines whether the mature mRNA is transported along the dendrites or the axon of a neuron to the synapses, how efficiently it is translated, and how stable it is. In agreement with their importance for neuronal function, mutations in genes that code for RBPs are associated with various neurological diseases. In this review, we illustrate how individual RBPs determine the fate of an mRNA, and we discuss how mutations in RBPs or perturbations of the mRNA metabolism can cause neurodegenerative disorders. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Laboratory of Neurochemistry and CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of cell science | Year: 2015

A common feature of non-coding repeat expansion disorders is the accumulation of RNA repeats as RNA foci in the nucleus and/or cytoplasm of affected cells. These RNA foci can be toxic because they sequester RNA-binding proteins, thus affecting various steps of post-transcriptional gene regulation. However, the precise step that is affected by C9orf72 GGGGCC (G4C2) repeat expansion, the major genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is still poorly defined. In this work, we set out to characterise these mechanisms by identifying proteins that bind to C9orf72 RNA. Sequestration of some of these factors into RNA foci was observed when a (G4C2)31 repeat was expressed in NSC34 and HeLa cells. Most notably, (G4C2)31 repeats widely affected the distribution of Pur-alpha and its binding partner fragile X mental retardation protein 1 (FMRP, also known as FMR1), which accumulate in intra-cytosolic granules that are positive for stress granules markers. Accordingly, translational repression is induced. Interestingly, this effect is associated with a marked accumulation of poly(A) mRNAs in cell nuclei. Thus, defective trafficking of mRNA, as a consequence of impaired nuclear mRNA export, might affect translation efficiency and contribute to the pathogenesis of C9orf72 ALS.

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