Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM

Santa Lucia di Serino, Italy

Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM

Santa Lucia di Serino, Italy
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Spitalieri P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Talarico R.V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Botta A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Murdocca M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 8 more authors.
Cellular Reprogramming | Year: 2015

The generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from an autologous extraembryonic fetal source is an innovative personalized regenerative technology that can transform own-self cells into embryonic stem-like ones. These cells are regarded as a promising candidate for cell-based therapy, as well as an ideal target for disease modeling and drug discovery. Thus, hiPSCs enable researchers to undertake studies for treating diseases or for future applications of in utero therapy. We used a polycistronic lentiviral vector (hSTEMCCA-loxP) encoding OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and cMYC genes and containing loxP sites, excisible by Cre recombinase, to reprogram patient-specific fetal cells derived from prenatal diagnosis for several genetic disorders, such as myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), β-thalassemia (β-Thal), lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome (LDS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as from wild-type (WT) fetal cells. Because cell types tested to create hiPSCs influence both the reprogramming process efficiency and the kinetics, we used chorionic villus (CV) and amniotic fluid (AF) cells, demonstrating how they represent an ideal cell resource for a more efficient generation of hiPSCs. The successful reprogramming of both CV and AF cells into hiPSCs was confirmed by specific morphological, molecular, and immunocytochemical markers and also by their teratogenic potential when inoculated in vivo. We further demonstrated the stability of reprogrammed cells over 10 and more passages and their capability to differentiate into the three embryonic germ layers, as well as into neural cells. These data suggest that hiPSCs-CV/AF can be considered a valid cellular model to accomplish pathogenesis studies and therapeutic applications. © Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.


Cascella R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cascella R.,Emotest Laboratory | Strafella C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Gambardella S.,Neuromed IRCCS | And 6 more authors.
Electrophoresis | Year: 2016

The hypoacusia can be classified in two clinical forms: Syndromic (SHL) and Nonsyndromic (NSHL). In particular, the NSHL describes the 70-80% of hypoacusia cases and it is mainly due to genetic factors, which are causative of the deafness at the birth. The genetic hypoacusia presents different inheritance patterns: autosomal dominant (20%), autosomal recessive (80%), X-linked (1%), and mitochondrial (1%), respectively. To date, about 35 deafness-causative genes have been identified and most of them codify for connexin transmembrane proteins. Approximately 1:2500 children with NSHL carries mutations in the GJB2 and GJB6 (13q12) genes, which code for connexin 26 (Cx26) and connexin 30 (Cx30), respectively. In the Caucasian population, the most common mutations are 35delG, M34T and 167delT, and D13S1830. Given the frequency distribution of the four mutations in the Caucasian population and the pathogenic connection with NSHL, the development of accurate, rapid, and "low-cost" molecular assays should be strongly encouraged. To this purpose, we set up two different molecular assays (namely the Cx26 and Cx26-30 molecular assays) for the fast and inexpensive detection of 35delG, M34T, 167delT, and D13S1830 mutations. Both the molecular approaches showed to be accurate, sensitive, reproducible, and "low-cost" alternatives for the proper evaluation of the GJB2 and GJB6 genes, which are causative of NSHL. In conclusion, the Cx26 and Cx26-30 molecular assays can be applied to individual, preconception, prenatal, or postnatal screening for the causative-mutations of NSHL. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Cascella R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Strafella C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ragazzo M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Zampatti S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 6 more authors.
Pharmacogenomics Journal | Year: 2015

One of the most successful applications of pharmacogenetics research is the genetic screening for HLA-B∗57:01, strongly associated with an increased risk to develop hypersensitivity reaction in HIV-positive patients following abacavir administration. Taking into consideration the limits of current genotyping methodologies, we have developed and validated (150 buccal swabs) an inexpensive pharmacogenetic approach for HLA-B∗57:01 typing. In our assay DNA extraction and amplification are combined in one single step (direct PCR protocol), which is performed directly on the biological sample without the need of extraction and sequencing passages. The amplicons obtained by direct PCR can be easily separated on the agarose gel under ultraviolet. As per our results, the direct PCR represents a good alternative to the traditional methods of HLA-B∗57:01 pharmacogenetic test, especially for those laboratories or countries where currently available approaches are often not available or not affordable. Furthermore it is an innovative approach, promoting a personalized, safer and cost-effective therapy. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Cascella R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cascella R.,Emotest Laboratory | Strafella C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Germani C.,Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM | And 5 more authors.
BioMed Research International | Year: 2015

The sight is one of the five senses allowing an autonomous and high-quality life, so that alterations of any ocular component may result in several clinical phenotypes (from conjunctivitis to severe vision loss and irreversible blindness). Most parts of clinical phenotypes have been significantly associated with mutations in genes regulating the normal formation and maturation of the anterior segments of the eye. Among the eye anterior segment disorders, special attention is given to Glaucoma as it represents one of the major causes of bilateral blindness in the world, with an onset due to Mendelian or multifactorial genetic-causative traits. This review will point out the attention on the Primary Congenital Glaucoma (PCG), which is usually transmitted according to an autosomal-recessive inheritance pattern. Taking into consideration the genetic component of the PCG, it is possible to observe a strong heterogeneity concerning the disease-associated loci (GLC3), penetrance defects, and expressivity of the disease. Given the strong PGC heterogeneity, pre- and posttest genetic counseling plays an essential role in the achievement of an appropriate management of PCG, in terms of medical, social, and psychological impact of the disease. © 2015 Raffaella Cascella et al.


Pantic B.,University of Padua | Borgia D.,University of Padua | Giunco S.,University of Padua | Malena A.,University of Padua | And 10 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2016

Primary human skeletal muscle cells (hSkMCs) are invaluable tools for deciphering the basic molecular mechanisms of muscle-related biological processes and pathological alterations. Nevertheless, their use is quite restricted due to poor availability, short life span and variable purity of the cells during in vitro culture. Here, we evaluate a recently published method of hSkMCs immortalization, relying on ectopic expression of cyclin D1 (CCND1), cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and telomerase (TERT) in myoblasts from healthy donors (n=3) and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) patients (n=2). The efficacy to maintain the myogenic and non-transformed phenotype, as well as the main pathogenetic hallmarks of DM1, has been assessed. Combined expression of the three genes i) maintained the CD56(NCAM)-positive myoblast population and differentiation potential; ii) preserved the non-transformed phenotype and iii) maintained the CTG repeat length, amount of nuclear foci and aberrant alternative splicing in immortal muscle cells. Moreover, immortal hSkMCs displayed attractive additional features such as structural maturation of sarcomeres, persistence of Pax7-positive cells during differentiation and complete disappearance of nuclear foci following (CAG)7 antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) treatment. Overall, the CCND1, CDK4 and TERT immortalization yields versatile, reliable and extremely useful human muscle cell models to investigate the basic molecular features of human muscle cell biology, to elucidate the molecular pathogenetic mechanisms and to test new therapeutic approaches for DM1 in vitro. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Ferese R.,IRCCS Neuromed | Modugno N.,IRCCS Neuromed | Campopiano R.,IRCCS Neuromed | Santilli M.,IRCCS Neuromed | And 11 more authors.
Parkinson's Disease | Year: 2015

Background. Parkinson's disease (PD) is mostly characterized by alpha-synuclein (SNCA) aggregation and loss of nigrostriatal dopamine-containing neurons. In this study a novel SNCA multiplication is described in two siblings affected by severe parkinsonism featuring early onset dyskinesia, psychiatric symptoms, and cognitive deterioration. Methods. SNCA dosage was performed using High-Density Comparative Genomic Hybridization Array (CGH-Array), Multiple Ligation Dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), and Quantitative PCR (qPCR). Genetic analysis was associated with clinical evaluation. Results. Genetic analysis of siblings showed for the first time a 351 Kb triplication containing SNCA gene along with 6 exons of MMRN1 gene in 4q22.1 and a duplication of 1,29 Mb of a genomic region flanking the triplication. Conclusions. The identification of this family indicates a novel mechanism of SNCA gene multiplication, which confirms the genomic instability in this region and provides data on the genotype-phenotype correlation in PD patients. © 2015 Rosangela Ferese et al.


PubMed | University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Pisa, IRCCS Neuromed and Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM
Type: | Journal: Parkinson's disease | Year: 2015

Background. Parkinsons disease (PD) is mostly characterized by alpha-synuclein (SNCA) aggregation and loss of nigrostriatal dopamine-containing neurons. In this study a novel SNCA multiplication is described in two siblings affected by severe parkinsonism featuring early onset dyskinesia, psychiatric symptoms, and cognitive deterioration. Methods. SNCA dosage was performed using High-Density Comparative Genomic Hybridization Array (CGH-Array), Multiple Ligation Dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), and Quantitative PCR (qPCR). Genetic analysis was associated with clinical evaluation. Results. Genetic analysis of siblings showed for the first time a 351Kb triplication containing SNCA gene along with 6 exons of MMRN1 gene in 4q22.1 and a duplication of 1,29Mb of a genomic region flanking the triplication. Conclusions. The identification of this family indicates a novel mechanism of SNCA gene multiplication, which confirms the genomic instability in this region and provides data on the genotype-phenotype correlation in PD patients.


PubMed | ViiV Healthcare, San Giovanni Hospital, Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM, University of Rome La Sapienza and 3 more.
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Pharmacogenomics | Year: 2015

Our work aimed to designate the optimal DNA source for pharmacogenetic assays, such as the screening for HLA-B*57:01 allele.A saliva and four buccal swab samples were taken from 104 patients. All the samples were stored at different time and temperature conditions and then genotyped for the HLA-B*57:01 allele by SSP-PCR and classical/capillary electrophoresis.The genotyping analysis reported different performance rates depending on the storage conditions of the samples. Given our results, the buccal swab demonstrated to be more resistant and stable in time with respect to the saliva.Our investigation designates the buccal swab as the optimal DNA source for pharmacogenetic assays in terms of resistance, low infectivity, low-invasiveness and easy sampling, and safe transport in centralized medical centers providing specialized pharmacogenetic tests.


PubMed | University of Rome Tor Vergata, Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM and Santa Lucia Foundation
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

The sight is one of the five senses allowing an autonomous and high-quality life, so that alterations of any ocular component may result in several clinical phenotypes (from conjunctivitis to severe vision loss and irreversible blindness). Most parts of clinical phenotypes have been significantly associated with mutations in genes regulating the normal formation and maturation of the anterior segments of the eye. Among the eye anterior segment disorders, special attention is given to Glaucoma as it represents one of the major causes of bilateral blindness in the world, with an onset due to Mendelian or multifactorial genetic-causative traits. This review will point out the attention on the Primary Congenital Glaucoma (PCG), which is usually transmitted according to an autosomal-recessive inheritance pattern. Taking into consideration the genetic component of the PCG, it is possible to observe a strong heterogeneity concerning the disease-associated loci (GLC3), penetrance defects, and expressivity of the disease. Given the strong PGC heterogeneity, pre- and posttest genetic counseling plays an essential role in the achievement of an appropriate management of PCG, in terms of medical, social, and psychological impact of the disease.


PubMed | IRCCS Neuromed, San Pietro Fatebenefratelli Hospital and Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN | Year: 2016

X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH) is a genetic disorder leading to a syndrome characterized by mental retardation, bilateral adducted thumbs, and spasticity of upper and lower limbs. In most cases, X-linked mutation leads to a defective activity of the neuronal cell adhesion molecule L1CAM(L1 cell adhesion molecule, OMIM 308840). Depending on mutations of L1CAM, four X-linked neurological syndromes have been described. These syndromes are very different albeit each one possesses marked variability. In the present study, we describe a novel L1CAM mutation in a 33-year-old woman reporting two voluntary terminations of pregnancy due to fetal hydrocephalus. The genetic analysis identified the potential splicing variant c.1267+5delG. When analyzed in vitro, this mutation produces the skipping of exon 10. The same mutation was confirmed in analyzing DNA from amniocytes from the second pregnancy, and ultrasound scan and autopsy confirmed the occurrence of a severe L1 syndrome. These data describe a novel L1 mutation which improves our understanding on genotype-phenotype correlation while confirming the importance of prenatal screening for L1CAM mutations.

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