Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology

Perugia, Italy

Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology

Perugia, Italy
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Albi E.,University of Perugia | Kruger M.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Hemmersbach R.,German Aerospace Center | Lazzarini A.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2017

Physical and mental health requires a correct functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, and immune systems, and affects behavior and cognitive functions. Microgravity, as occurs during space missions, induces morphological and functional changes within the thyroid gland. Here, we review relevant experiments exposing cell cultures (normal and cancer thyroid cells) to simulated and real microgravity, as well as wild-type and transgenic mice to hypergravity and spaceflight conditions. Well-known mechanisms of damage are presented and new ones, such as changes of gene expression for extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton proteins, thyrocyte phenotype, sensitivity of thyrocytes to thyrotropin due to thyrotropin receptor modification, parafollicular cells and calcitonin production, sphingomyelin metabolism, and the expression and movement of cancer molecules from thyrocytes to colloids are highlighted. The identification of new mechanisms of thyroid injury is essential for the development of countermeasures, both on the ground and in space, against thyroid cancer. We also address the question whether normal and cancer cells show a different sensitivity concerning changes of environmental conditions. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Albi E.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology | Curcio F.,University of Udine | Spelat R.,University of Udine | Lazzarini A.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology | And 5 more authors.
Astrobiology | Year: 2012

This is a case report of apparent thyroid structural and functional alteration in a single mouse subjected to low Earth orbit spaceflight for 91 days. Histological examination of the thyroid gland revealed an increase in the average follicle size compared to that of three control animals and three animals exposed to hypergravity (2g) conditions. Immunoblotting analysis detected an increase in two thyroid gland enzymes, sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase1. In addition, sphingomyelinase, an enzyme confined to the cell nucleus in the control animals, was found in the mouse exposed to hypogravity to be homogeneously distributed throughout the cell bodies. It represents the first animal observation of the influence of weightlessness on sphingomyelin metabolism. Key Words: Gravity-Lipid-Spaceflight-Sphingomyelin- Thyroid. Astrobiology 12, 1035-1041. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


Garcia-Gil M.,University of Pisa | Albi E.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2016

In the last 20 years it has been widely demonstrated that cell nucleus contains neutral and polar lipids localized in nuclear membranes, nucleoli, nuclear matrix and chromatin. Nuclear lipids may show specific organization forming nuclear lipid microdomains and have both structural and functional roles. Depending on their localization, nuclear lipids play different roles such as the regulation of nuclear membrane and nuclear matrix fluidity but they also can act as platforms for vitamin and hormone function, for active chromatin anchoring, and for the regulation of gene expression, DNA duplication and transcription. Crosstalk among different kinds of lipid signalling pathways influence the physiopathology of numerous cell types. In neural cells the nuclear lipids are involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, inflammation, migration and apoptosis. Abnormal metabolism of nuclear lipids might be closely associated with tumorigenesis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease among others. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Albi E.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology | Curcio F.,University of Udine | Lazzarini A.,Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology | Lazzarini A.,University of Udine | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Maintaining a good health requires the maintenance of a body homeostasis which largely depends on correct functioning of thyroid gland. The cells of the thyroid tissue are strongly sensitive to hypogravity, as already proven in mice after returning to the earth from long-term space missions. Here we studied whether hypergravity may be used to counteract the physiological deconditioning of long-duration spaceflight. We investigated the influence of hypergravity on key lipids and proteins involved in thyroid tissue function. We quantified cholesterol (CHO) and different species of sphingomyelin (SM) and ceramide, analysed thyrotropin (TSH) related molecules such as thyrotropin-receptor (TSHR), cAMP, Caveolin-1 and molecule signalling such as Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3). The hypergravity treatment resulted in the upregulation of the TSHR and Caveolin-1 and downregulation of STAT3 without changes of cAMP. TSHR lost its specific localization and spread throughout the cell membrane; TSH treatment facilitated the shedding of a subunit of TSHR and its releasing into the extracellular space. No specific variations were observed for each species of SM and ceramide. Importantly, the level of CHO was strongly reduced. In conclusion, hypergravity conditions induce change in CHO and TSHR of thyroid gland. The possibility that lipid rafts are strongly perturbed by hypergravity-induced CHO depletion by influencing TSH-TSHR interaction was discussed. © 2014 Albi et al.


PubMed | University of Perugia and Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Lipids in health and disease | Year: 2016

Sphingomyelin plays very important roles in cell function under physiological and pathological conditions. Physical and chemical stimuli produce reactive oxygen species that stimulate acid sphingomyelinase to induce apoptosis. Antioxidant plants of the traditional Chinese Pharmacopoeia, such as Lycium Barbarum and Lycium Chinense, have become increasingly popular in Western countries. We investigated the effects of Lycium Chinense on acid sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin species in relation to gene expression.We prepared Lycium Chinense berry extracts and evaluated their antioxidant properties. Increasing amount of extracts was used to test cytotoxic and genotoxic effect on HepG2 cells. Gene expression, protein amount and enzyme activity of acid sphingomyelinase were tested by RT-PCR, immunoblotting and enzymatic activity assay, respectively. Sphingomyelin species were analyzed by UFLC MS/MS. A panel of 96 genes involved in oxidative stress, proliferation, apoptosis and cancer was used to test the effect of LC on gene expression. GLRX2, RNF7, and PTGS1 proteins were analyzed by immunoblotting.We showed that Lycium Chinense berries have high antioxidant properties, have an IC50value of 9.55mg/mL, do not induce genotoxic effect and maintain high level of cell viability. The berry extracts inhibit acid sphingomyelinase activity and increase both very long fatty acid sphingomyelin species and unsaturated fatty acid sphingomyelin species. Among 96 genes, Lycium Chinense berries up-regulate Glutaredoxin 2 and Ring Finger Protein 7 genes and proteins, able to protect cells from apoptosis. Intrigantly, Lycium Chinense berries down-regulates Prostaglandin H synthase 1 gene but the protein is not expressed in HepG2 cells.The results identify acid sphingomyelinase as a novel target of Lycium Chinense berries to decrease saturated/unsaturated fatty acid sphingomyelin ratio, known to be useful for cell health. Consistent with these data, the berries regulate specifically gene expression to protect cells from apoptosis.


PubMed | Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Astrobiology | Year: 2012

This is a case report of apparent thyroid structural and functional alteration in a single mouse subjected to low Earth orbit spaceflight for 91 days. Histological examination of the thyroid gland revealed an increase in the average follicle size compared to that of three control animals and three animals exposed to hypergravity (2g) conditions. Immunoblotting analysis detected an increase in two thyroid gland enzymes, sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase1. In addition, sphingomyelinase, an enzyme confined to the cell nucleus in the control animals, was found in the mouse exposed to hypogravity to be homogeneously distributed throughout the cell bodies. It represents the first animal observation of the influence of weightlessness on sphingomyelin metabolism.


PubMed | University of Perugia, Biology and Biotechnology and Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition) | Year: 2016

Lysosomal alpha-mannosidase with acidic pH optimum is ubiquitous in human tissues where is expressed in two major forms, A and B that are the product of a single gene located on chromosome 19. Mutations in the gene encoding for alpha-mannosidase cause alpha- mannosidosis, an autosomal recessive disease, resulting in the accumulation of unprocessed mannose containing oligosaccharide material. This rare disease has an estimated incidence of 1/500.0.00 live births and clinically is divided into three subgroups. Today the most promising therapy for this disease is the enzyme replacement therapy. To develop this strategy a mouse model for alpha-mannosidosis has been generated and a recombinant human alpha-mannosidase has been produced from Chinese-hamster ovary cells. Interestingly it has been shown that the recombinant enzyme, used in high dose, can cross the blood brain barrier. This recombinant enzyme has been tested in the first randomized study investigating the efficacy of enzyme replacement therapy in patients with alpha-mannosidosis. This review contains the scientific progresses on lysosomal alpha-mannosidase from the cloning to the beginning of the therapy.


PubMed | University of Perugia, University of Udine and Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology
Type: | Journal: Lipids in health and disease | Year: 2016

Diet and obesity are recognized in the scientific literature as important risk factors for cancer development and progression. Hypercholesterolemia facilitates lymphoma lymphoblastic cell growth and in time turns in hypocholesterolemia that is a sign of tumour progression. The present study examined how and where the cholesterol acts in cancer cells when you reproduce in vitro an in vivo hypercholesterolemia condition.We used non-Hodgkins T cell human lymphoblastic lymphoma (SUP-T1 cell line) and we studied cell morphology, aggressiveness, gene expression for antioxidant proteins, polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase and actin, cholesterol and sphingomyelin content and finally sphingomyelinase activity in whole cells, nuclei and nuclear lipid microdomains.We found that cholesterol changes cancer cell morphology with the appearance of protrusions together to the down expression of -actin gene and reduction of -actin protein. The lipid influences SUP-T1 cell aggressiveness since stimulates DNA and RNA synthesis for cell proliferation and increases raf1 and E-cadherin, molecules involved in invasion and migration of cancer cells. Cholesterol does not change GRX2 expression but it overexpresses SOD1, SOD2, CCS, PRDX1, GSR, GSS, CAT and PNKP. We suggest that cholesterol reaches the nucleus and increases the nuclear lipid microdomains known to act as platform for chromatin anchoring and gene expression.The results imply that, in hypercholesterolemia conditions, cholesterol reaches the nuclear lipid microdomains where activates gene expression coding for antioxidant proteins. We propose the cholesterolemia as useful parameter to monitor in patients with cancer.


PubMed | Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology, University of Udine and University of Perugia
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2014

After long-term exposure to real microgravity thyroid gland in vivo undergoes specific changes, follicles are made up of larger thyrocytes that produce more cAMP and express more thyrotropin-receptor, caveolin-1, and sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase; parafollicular spaces lose C cells with consequent reduction of calcitonin production. Here we studied four immunohistochemical tumor markers (HBME-1, MIB-1, CK19, and Galectin-3) in thyroid of mice housed in the Mouse Drawer System and maintained for 90 days in the International Space Station. Results showed that MIB-1 proliferative index and CK19 are negative whereas HBME-1 and Galectin-3 are overexpressed. The positivity of Galectin-3 deserves attention not only for its expression but also and especially for its localization. Our results highlighted that, in microgravity conditions, Galectin-3 leaves thyrocytes and diffuses in colloid. It is possible that the gravity force contributes to the maintenance of the distribution of the molecules in both basal membrane side and apical membrane side and that the microgravity facilitates slippage of Galectin-3 in colloid probably due to membrane remodelling-microgravity induced.


PubMed | Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology, Laboratory of Clinical Pathology, University of Udine, University of Pisa and University of Perugia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of molecular sciences | Year: 2014

The action of dexamethasone is initiated by, and strictly dependent upon, the interaction of the drug with its receptor followed by its translocation into the nucleus where modulates gene expression. Where the drug localizes at the intranuclear level is not yet known. We aimed to study the localization of the drug in nuclear lipid microdomains rich in sphingomyelin content that anchor active chromatin and act as platform for transcription modulation. The study was performed in non-Hodgkins T cell human lymphoblastic lymphoma (SUP-T1 cell line). We found that when dexamethasone enters into the nucleus it localizes in nuclear lipid microdomains where influences sphingomyelin metabolism. This is followed after 24 h by a cell cycle block accompanied by the up-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (CDKN1B), growth arrest and DNA-damage 45A (GADD45A), and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) genes and by the reduction of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and phospho signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (phoshoSTAT3) proteins. After 48 h some cells show morphological changes characteristic of apoptosis while the number of the cells that undergo cell division and express B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) is very low. We suggest that the integrity of nuclear lipid microdomains is important for the response to glucocorticoids of cancer cells.

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