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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.

Volpe E.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Volpe E.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Pattarini L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Pattarini L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 24 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2014

Background Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a major proallergic cytokine that promotes TH2 responses through dendritic cell (DC) activation. Whether it also plays a role in human autoimmune inflammation and associated pathways is not known. Objective In this study we investigated the potential role of several epithelium-derived factors, including TSLP, in inducing IL-23 production by human DCs. We further dissected the role of TSLP in patients with psoriasis, an IL-23-associated skin autoimmune disease. Methods The study was performed in human subjects using primary cells and tissue samples from patients with psoriasis and healthy donors. We analyzed the production of IL-23 in vitro by blood and skin DCs. We studied the function for TSLP and its interaction with other components of the inflammatory microenvironment in situ and ex vivo. Results We found that TSLP synergized with CD40 ligand to promote DC activation and pathogenic IL-23 production by primary blood and skin DCs. In situ TSLP was strongly expressed by keratinocytes of untreated psoriatic lesions but not in normal skin. Moreover, we could demonstrate that IL-4, an important component of the TH2 inflammation seen in patients with atopic dermatitis, inhibited IL-23 production induced by TSLP and CD40 ligand in a signal transducer and activator of transcription 6-independent manner. Conclusion Our results identify TSLP as a novel player within the complex psoriasis cytokine network. Blocking TSLP in patients with psoriasis might contribute to decreasing DC activation and shutting down the production of pathogenic IL-23. © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Stagni V.,Laboratory of Cell Signaling | Stagni V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Manni I.,Regina Elena Cancer Institute | Oropallo V.,Laboratory of Cell Signaling | And 12 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2015

ATM kinase preserves genomic stability by acting as a tumour suppressor. However, its identification as a component of several signalling networks suggests a dualism for ATM in cancer. Here we report that ATM expression and activity promotes HER2-dependent tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo. We reveal a correlation between ATM activation and the reduced time to recurrence in patients diagnosed with invasive HER2-positive breast cancer. Furthermore, we identify ATM as a novel modulator of HER2 protein stability that acts by promoting a complex of HER2 with the chaperone HSP90, therefore preventing HER2 ubiquitination and degradation. As a consequence, ATM sustains AKT activation downstream of HER2 and may modulate the response to therapeutic approaches, suggesting that the status of ATM activity may be informative for the treatment and prognosis of HER2-positive tumours. Our findings provide evidence for ATMâ €™ s tumorigenic potential revising the canonical role of ATM as a pure tumour suppressor © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Pacheco R.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Pacheco R.,San Sebastian University | Contreras F.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Contreras F.,Andres Bello University | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2014

Bidirectional interactions between the immune and the nervous systems are of considerable interest both for deciphering their functioning and for designing novel therapeutic strategies. The past decade has brought a burst of insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroimmune communications mediated by dopamine. Studies of dendritic cells (DCs) revealed that they express the whole machinery to synthesize and store dopamine, which may act in an autocrine manner to stimulate dopamine receptors (DARs). Depending on specific DARs stimulated on DCs and T cells, dopamine may differentially favor CD4+ T cell differentiation into Th1 or Th17 inflammatory cells. Regulatory T cells can also release high amounts of dopamine that acts in an autocrine DAR-mediated manner to inhibit their suppressive activity. These dopaminergic regulations could represent a driving force during autoimmunity. Indeed, dopamine levels are altered in the brain of mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus, and in inflamed tissues of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The distorted expression of DARs in peripheral lymphocytes of lupus and MS patients also supports the importance of dopaminergic regulations in autoimmunity. Moreover, dopamine analogs had beneficial therapeutic effects in animal models, and in patients with lupus or RA. We propose models that may underlie key roles of dopamine and its receptors in autoimmune diseases. © 2014 Pacheco, Contreras and Zouali.

Gonzalez H.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Contreras F.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Pacheco R.,Laboratory of Neuroimmunology | Pacheco R.,Andres Bello University
Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology | Year: 2015

Neuroinflammation constitutes a fundamental process involved in the physiopathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Microglial cells play a central role in the outcome of neuroinflammation and consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Current evidence indicates that CD4+ T-cells infiltrate the central nervous system (CNS) in PD, where they play a critical role determining the functional phenotype of microglia, thus regulating the progression of the neurodegenerative process. Here, we first analysed the pathogenic role of inflammatory phenotypes and the beneficial role of anti-inflammatory phenotypes of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells involved in the physiopathology of PD. Next, we discussed how alterations of neurotransmitter levels observed in the basal ganglia throughout the time course of PD progression could be strongly affecting the behaviour of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells and thereby the outcome of the neuroinflammatory process and the consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Afterward, we integrated the evidence indicating the involvement of an antigen-specific immune response mediated by T-cells and B-cells against CNS-derived self-constituents in PD. Consistent with the involvement of a relevant autoimmune component in PD, we also reviewed the polymorphisms of both, class I and class II major histocompatibility complexes, associated to the risk of PD. Overall, this study gives an overview of how an autoimmune component involved in PD plays a fundamental role in the progression of the neurodegenerative process. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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