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Funghini S.,Metabolic and Muscular Unit | Thusberg J.,Buck Institute for Research on Aging | Spada M.,University of Turin | Gasperini S.,Metabolic and Muscular Unit | And 10 more authors.

Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthetase 1 deficiency (CPS1D) is a rare autosomal recessive urea cycle disorder, potentially leading to lethal hyperammonemia. Based on the age of onset, there are two distinct phenotypes: neonatal and late form. The CPS1 enzyme, located in the mitochondrial matrix of hepatocytes and epithelial cells of intestinal mucosa, is encoded by the CPS1 gene. At present more than 220 clear-cut genetic lesions leading to CPS1D have been reported. As most of them are private mutations diagnosis is complicated. Here we report an overview of the main clinical findings and biochemical and molecular data of 13 CPS1D Italian patients. In two of them, one with the neonatal form and one with the late form, cadaveric auxiliary liver transplant was performed. Mutation analysis in these patients identified 17 genetic lesions, 9 of which were new confirming their "private" nature. Seven of the newly identified mutations were missense/nonsense changes. In order to study their protein level effects, we performed an in silico analysis whose results indicate that the amino acid substitutions occur at evolutionary conserved positions and affect residues necessary for enzyme stability or function. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Giusti B.,University of Florence | Vestrini A.,University of Florence | Poggi C.,University of Florence | Magi A.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.
Free Radical Research

We aimed to identify specific polymorphisms of genes encoding for superoxide dismutase (SOD) 1 (cytoplasmic Cu/ZnSOD), SOD2 (mitochondrial MnSOD), SOD3 (extracellular Cu/ZnSOD) and CAT in a cohort of preterm infants and correlate their presence to the development of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We carried out a retrospective study to evaluate the allele frequency and the genotype distribution of polymorphisms of SODs and CAT in a population of preterm neonates (n 152) with a gestational age ≤28 weeks according to the presence or absence of RDS, BPD, IVH and ROP. Moreover, we evaluated through the haplotype reconstruction analysis whether combinations of the selected polymorphisms are related to the occurrence of RDS, BPD, IVH and ROP. We found that rs8192287 SOD3 polymorphism is an independent protective factor for all grade IVH, while rs4880 and rs5746136 SOD2 polymorphisms are associated with a lower gestational age (rs4880, rs5746136) and birth weight (rs4880). Haplotypes reconstruction showed that SOD1 (GG) decreased the risk of RDS, IVH and ROP; SOD2 (GT) increased the risk of BPD and decreased the risk of RDS, IVH and ROP; SOD3 (TGC) decreased the risk of BPD and IVH; and 4) CAT (CTC) decreased the risk of RDS. The rs8192287 SOD3 polymorphism is per se an independent predictor of a decreased risk of developing IVH. Different SOD2 polymorphisms are associated per se with a lower gestational age and/or birth weight, and haplotypes of SOD1, SOD3 and CAT genes may be independent protecting or risk markers for prematurity complications. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Buonomo T.,CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate | Carraresi L.,Metabolic and Muscular Unit | Rossini M.,University of Siena | Martinelli R.,CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate | Martinelli R.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Translational Medicine

Background: Lung cancers consist of four major types that and for clinical-pathological reasons are often divided into two broad categories: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). All major histological types of lung cancer are associated with smoking, although the association is stronger for SCLC and squamous cell carcinoma than adenocarcinoma. To date, epidemiological studies have identified several environmental, genetic, hormonal and viral factors associated with lung cancer risk. It has been estimated that 15-25% of human cancers may have a viral etiology. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a proven cause of most human cervical cancers, and might have a role in other malignancies including vulva, skin, oesophagus, head and neck cancer. HPV has also been speculated to have a role in the pathogenesis of lung cancer. To validate the hypothesis of HPV involvement in small cell lung cancer pathogenesis we performed a gene expression profile of transgenic mouse model of SCLC induced by HPV-16 E6/E7 oncoproteins.Methods: Gene expression profile of SCLC has been performed using Agilent whole mouse genome (4 × 44k) representing ~ 41000 genes and mouse transcripts. Samples were obtained from two HPV16-E6/E7 transgenic mouse models and from littermate's normal lung. Data analyses were performed using GeneSpring 10 and the functional classification of deregulated genes was performed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (Ingenuity®Systems, http://www.ingenuity.com).Results: Analysis of deregulated genes induced by the expression of E6/E7 oncoproteins supports the hypothesis of a linkage between HPV infection and SCLC development. As a matter of fact, comparison of deregulated genes in our system and those in human SCLC showed that many of them are located in the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signal transduction pathway.Conclusions: In this study, the global gene expression of transgenic mouse model of SCLC induced by HPV-16 E6/E7 oncoproteins led us to identification of several genes involved in SCLC tumor development. Furthermore, our study reveled that the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling is the primarily affected pathway by the E6/E7 oncoproteins expression and that this pathway is also deregulated in human SCLC. Our results provide the basis for the development of new therapeutic approaches against human SCLC. © 2011 Buonomo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Ferri L.,University of Florence | Ferri L.,Metabolic and Muscular Unit | Gori A.,University of Florence | Biondi E.G.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.

Although horizontal gene transfer mediated by plasmids is important to the generation of the genetic variability of Sinorhizobium strains, the barriers which can reduce horizontal gene transfer between bacteria have not yet been studied in Sinorhizobium. We studied the plasmid transfer by electroporation and its restriction in strains of Sinorhizobium meliloti and S. medicae. After conditions for electroporation were established, three S. meliloti strains (including the sequenced type strain Rm1021) and two S. medicae strains were electroporated with plasmid DNA extracted from strains of both species. The efficiency of transformation was found to be variable among different strains. The acquisition of plasmid DNA was found to be donor-dependent in S. meliloti strain Rm1021 that prefers self-DNA more than the DNA from other Sinorhizobium strains. All other strains tested did not show a preference for self-DNA. In strain Rm1021, the inactivation of the hsdR gene, coding for a putative type-I restriction enzyme, increased the efficiency of transformation and conjugation with non-self DNA; the transformation capability was again reduced in hsdR mutant when the cloned hsdR gene was expressed from a lac promoter. Phylogenetic analysis of the hsdR gene clearly indicated that this gene was horizontally transferred to strain Rm1021, explaining its absence in the other strains tested. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Caciotti A.,Paediatric Neurology Unit and Laboratories | Catarzi S.,Paediatric Neurology Unit and Laboratories | Catarzi S.,University of Florence | Tonin R.,Paediatric Neurology Unit and Laboratories | And 11 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases

Background: Mutations in the CTSA gene, that encodes the protective protein/cathepsin A or PPCA, lead to the secondary deficiency of β-galactosidase (GLB1) and neuraminidase 1 (NEU1), causing the lysosomal storage disorder galactosialidosis (GS). Few clinical cases of GS have been reported in the literature, the majority of them belonging to the juvenile/adult group of patients. Methods. The correct nomenclature of mutations for this gene is discussed through the analysis of the three PPCA/CTSA isoforms available in the GenBank database. Phenotype-genotype correlation has been assessed by computational analysis and review of previously reported single amino acid substitutions. Results: We report the clinical and mutational analyses of four cases with the rare infantile form of GS. We identified three novel nucleotide changes, two of them resulting in the missense mutations, c.347A>G (p.His116Arg), c.775T>C (p.Cys259Arg), and the third, c.1216C>T, resulting in the p.Gln406* stop codon, a type of mutation identified for the first time in GS. An Italian founder effect of the c.114delG mutation can be suggested according to the origin of the only three patients carrying this mutation reported here and in the literature. Conclusions: In early reports mutations nomenclature was selected according to all CTSA isoforms (three different isoforms), thus generating a lot of confusion. In order to assist physicians in the interpretation of detected mutations, we mark the correct nomenclature for CTSA mutations. The complexity of pathology caused by the multifunctions of CTSA, and the very low numbers of mutations (only 23 overall) in relation to the length of the CTSA gene are discussed.In addition, the in silico functional predictions of all reported missense mutations allowed us to closely predict the early infantile, late infantile and juvenile phenotypes, also disclosing different degrees of severity in the juvenile phenotype. © 2013 Caciotti et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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