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Levati L.,Laboratory of Molecular Oncology | Pagani E.,Laboratory of Molecular Oncology | Romani S.,Laboratory of Vascular Pathology | Castiglia D.,Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology | And 10 more authors.
Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research

The SKI protein is a transcriptional coregulator over-expressed in melanoma. Experimentally induced down-regulation of SKI inhibits melanoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) negatively modulate gene expression and have been implicated in oncogenesis. We previously showed that microRNA-155 (miR-155) is down-regulated in melanoma cells as compared with normal melanocytes and that its ectopic expression impairs proliferation and induces apoptosis. Here, we investigated whether miR-155 could mediate melanoma growth inhibition via SKI gene silencing. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that miR-155 interacted with SKI 3′UTR and impaired gene expression. Transfection of melanoma cells with miR-155 reduced SKI levels, while inhibition of endogenous miR-155 up-regulated SKI expression. Specifically designed small interfering RNAs reduced SKI expression and inhibited proliferation. However, melanoma cells over-expressing a 3′UTR-deleted SKI were still susceptible to the antiproliferative effect of miR-155. Our data demonstrate for the first time that SKI is a target of miR-155 in melanoma. However, impairment of SKI expression is not the leading mechanism involved in the growth-suppressive effect of miR-155 found in this malignancy. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Mascia F.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Cataisson C.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Lee T.-C.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Threadgill D.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Recent advances in the knowledge of the EGFR pathway have revealed its contribution to distinct immune/inflammatory functions of the epidermis. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the role of EGFR in the regulation of keratinocyte GM-CSF expression. In cultured human keratinocytes, proinflammatory cytokines synergized with TGF-α to induce GM-CSF expression. Accordingly, high epidermal levels of EGFR activation are associated with enhanced expression of GM-CSF in lesional skin of patients with psoriasis or allergic contact dermatitis. In cultured keratinocytes, pharmacological inhibition of EGFR activity reduced GM-CSF promoter transactivation, whereas genetic inhibition of AP-1 reduced expression of GM-CSF. Furthermore, EGFR activation enhanced TNF-α-induced c-Jun phosphorylation and DNA binding, whereas c-Jun silencing reduced GM-CSF expression. Using two different mouse models, we showed that the lack of a functional EGFR pathway was associated with reduced cytokine-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNK1/2, c-Jun and reduced keratinocyte-derived GM-CSF expression both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, the analysis of GM-CSF expression in the skin of cancer patients treated with anti EGFR drugs showed an association between ERK activity, c-Jun phosphorylation, and epidermal GM-CSF expression. These data demonstrate that the EGFR pathway is critical for the upregulation of keratinocyte GM-CSF expression under conditions of cytokine stimulation. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology. Source

D'Addario I.,Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Cutaneous Physiopathology | Abbruzzese C.,Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Cutaneous Physiopathology | Lo Iacono M.,University of Turin | Teson M.,Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology | And 2 more authors.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology

YAP1 is a transcriptional co-activator able to bind several transcription factors. YAP1 was termed a candidate oncogene after it was shown to be in human chromosome 11q22 amplicon; besides the genomic amplification, several experiments indicated that it has oncogenic function. However, YAP1 was also reported to be a tumor suppressor as its gene locus is deleted in some breast cancers. To clarify the role of this protein in the physiology of rapidly renewal cells, we investigated YAP1 in human keratinocytes. Here, we show that YAP1 overexpression in primary human keratinocytes blocks clonal evolution and induces cell immortalization, but not malignant transformation. YAP1 overexpression led to an increase in cell proliferation, colony forming efficiency and holoclone percentage. Cells escaped from senescence, immortalized but still remained unable to grow in soft agar or express mesenchymal markers, suggesting that YAP1 overexpression is not sufficient to promote a complete epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumorigenic transformation. Protein analysis showed an increase in epithelial proliferation markers and a decrease in epithelial differentiation markers. The expression of LEKTI, a late differentiation marker, dramatically dropped to undetectable levels. Taken together, these data suggest that YAP1-overexpressing keratinocytes are maintained in the proliferative compartment. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Ferrari D.,University of Ferrara | Gambari R.,University of Ferrara | Idzko M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Muller T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 5 more authors.
FASEB Journal

Adenosine (ADO) and nucleotides such as ATP, ADP, and uridine 5′-triphosphate (UTP), among others, may serve as extracellular signaling molecules. These mediators activate specific cell-surface receptors - namely, purinergic 1 and 2 (P1 and P2) - to modulate crucial pathophysiological responses. Regulation of this process is maintained by nucleoside and nucleotide transporters, as well as the ectonucleotidases ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase [ENTPD; cluster of differentiation (CD)39] and ecto-5′-nucleotidase (5′-NT; CD73), among others. Cells involved in tissue repair, healing, and scarring respond to both ADO and ATP. Our recent investigations have shown that modulation of purinergic signaling regulates matrix deposition during tissue repair and fibrosis in several organs. Cells release adenine nucleotides into the extracellular space, where these mediators are converted by CD39 and CD73 into ADO, which is anti-inflammatory in the short term but may also promote dermal, heart, liver, and lung fibrosis with repetitive signaling under defined circumstances. Extracellular ATP stimulates cardiac fibroblast proliferation, lung inflammation, and fibrosis. P2Y2 (UTP/ATP) and P2Y6 [ADP/UTP/uridine 5′-diphosphate (UDP)] have been shown to have profibrotic effects, as well. Modulation of purinergic signaling represents a novel approach to preventing or diminishing fibrosis. We provide an overview of the current understanding of purinergic signaling in scarring and discuss its potential to prevent or decrease fibrosis. © FASEB. Source

Piccinni E.,Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology | Di Zenzo G.,Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology | Maurelli R.,Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Cutaneous Physiopathology | Dellambra E.,Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Cutaneous Physiopathology | And 4 more authors.
British Journal of Dermatology

Background Individuals with Kindler syndrome (KS) have loss-of-function mutations in the FERMT1 gene that encodes the focal adhesion component kindlin-1. The major clinical manifestation of KS is epidermal atrophy (premature skin ageing). This phenotypic feature is thought to be related to the decreased proliferation rate of KS keratinocytes; nevertheless, molecular mediators of such abnormal behaviour have not been fully elucidated. Objectives To investigate how kindlin-1 deficiency affects the proliferative potential of primary human keratinocytes. Methods We serially cultivated nine primary KS keratinocyte strains until senescence and determined their lifespan and colony-forming efficiency (CFE) at each serial passage. The expression of molecular markers of stemness and cellular senescence were investigated by immunoblotting using cell extracts of primary keratinocyte cultures from patients with KS and healthy donors. In another set of experiments, kindlin-1 downregulation in normal keratinocytes was obtained by small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology. Results We found that KS keratinocytes exhibited a precocious senescence and strongly reduced clonogenic potential. Moreover, KS cultures showed a strikingly increased percentage of aborted colonies (paraclones) already at early passages indicating an early depletion of stem cells. Immunoblotting analysis of KS keratinocyte extracts showed reduced levels of the stemness markers p63 and Bmi-1, upregulation of p16 and scant amounts of hypophosphorylated Rb protein, which indicated cell cycle-arrested status. Treatment of normal human primary keratinocytes with siRNA targeting kindlin-1 proved that its deficiency was directly responsible for p63, Bmi-1 and pRb downregulation and p16 induction. Conclusions Our data directly implicate kindlin-1 in preventing premature senescence of keratinocytes. © 2013 British Association of Dermatologists. Source

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