Molecular Oncology Unit

Madrid, Spain

Molecular Oncology Unit

Madrid, Spain
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Palamaro L.,University of Naples Federico II | Guarino V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Scalia G.,CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate | Scalia G.,University of Naples Federico II | And 11 more authors.
International Immunology | Year: 2013

In humans, the thymus is the primary lymphoid organ able to support the development of T cells through its three-dimensional (3D) organization of the thymic stromal cells. Since a remarkable number of similarities are shared between the thymic epithelial cells (TECs) and skin-derived keratinocytes and fibroblasts, in this study we used human keratinocytes seeded with fibroblasts on the 3D poly ε-caprolactone scaffold to evaluate their ability to replace TECs in supporting T-cell differentiation from human haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We observed that in the multicellular biocomposite, early thymocytes expressing CD7+CD1a+, peculiar markers of an initial T-cell commitment, were de novo generated. Molecular studies of genes selectively expressed during T-cell development revealed that TAL1 was down-regulated and Spi-B was up-regulated in the cell suspension, consistently with a T-cell lineage commitment. Moreover, PTCRA and RAG2 expression was detected, indicative of a recombinant activity, required for the generation of a T-cell receptor repertoire. Our results indicate that in the multicellular biocomposite, containing skin-derived elements in the absence of thymic stroma, HSCs do start differentiating toward a T-cell lineage commitment. In conclusion, the construct described in this study exerts some properties of a lymphoid organoid, suitable for future clinical applications in cell-based therapies. © The Japanese Society for Immunology. 2013. All rights reserved.


Contreras-Jurado C.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Garcia-Serrano L.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Gomez-Ferreria M.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Costa C.,Molecular Oncology Unit | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

We have analyzed the role of the thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in epidermal homeostasis. Reduced keratinocyte proliferation is found in interfollicular epidermis of mice lacking the thyroid hormone binding isoforms TRα1 and TRβ (KO mice). Similar results were obtained in hypothyroid animals, showing the important role of the liganded TRs in epidermal proliferation. In addition, KO and hypothyroid animals display decreased hyperplasia in response to 12-O-tetradecanolyphorbol-13-acetate. Both receptor isoforms play overlapping functional roles in the skin because mice lacking individually TRα1 or TRβ also present a proliferative defect but not as marked as that found in double KO mice. Defective proliferation in KO mice is associated with reduction of cyclin D1 expression and up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p19 and p27. Paradoxically, ERK and AKT activity and expression of downstream targets, such as AP-1 components, are increased in KO mice. Increased p65/NF-κB and STAT3 phosphorylation and, as a consequence, augmented expression of chemokines and proinflammatory cytokines is also found in these animals. These results show that thyroid hormones and their receptors are important mediators of skin proliferation and demonstrate that TRs act as endogenous inhibitors of skin inflammation, most likely due to interference with AP-1, NF-κB, and STAT3 activation. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Menacho-Marquez M.,University of Salamanca | Garcia-Escudero R.,Molecular Oncology Unit | Ojeda V.,University of Salamanca | Abad A.,University of Salamanca | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The catalytic activity of GDP/GTP exchange factors (GEFs) is considered critical to maintain the typically high activity of Rho GTPases found in cancer cells. However, the large number of them has made it difficult to pinpoint those playing proactive, nonredundant roles in tumors. In this work, we have investigated whether GEFs of the Vav subfamily exert such specific roles in skin cancer. Using genetically engineered mice, we show here that Vav2 and Vav3 favor cooperatively the initiation and promotion phases of skin tumors. Transcriptomal profiling and signaling experiments indicate such function is linked to the engagement of, and subsequent participation in, keratinocyte-based autocrine/paracrine programs that promote epidermal proliferation and recruitment of pro-inflammatory cells. This is a pathology-restricted mechanism because the loss of Vav proteins does not cause alterations in epidermal homeostasis. These results reveal a previously unknown Rho GEF-dependent pro-tumorigenic mechanism that influences the biology of cancer cells and their microenvironment. They also suggest that anti-Vav therapies may be of potential interest in skin tumor prevention and/or treatment. © 2013 Menacho-Márquez et al.


Berardi S.,University of Bari | Caivano A.,Molecular Oncology Unit | Ria R.,University of Bari | Nico B.,University of Bari | And 16 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Bone marrow (BM) angiogenesis has an important role in the initiation and progression of multiple myeloma (MM). We looked at novel mechanisms of vessel formation in patients with MM through a comparative proteomic analysis between BM endothelial cells (ECs) of patients with active MM (MMECs) and ECs of patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGECs) and of subjects with benign anemia (normal ECs). Four proteins were found overexpressed in MMECs: filamin A, vimentin, α-crystallin B and 14-3-3ζ/δ protein, not yet linked to overangiogenic phenotype. These proteins gave a typical distribution in the BM of MM patients and in MMECs versus MGECs, plausibly according to a different functional state. Their expression was enhanced by vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor 2, hepatocyte growth factor and MM plasma cell conditioned medium in step with enhancement of MMEC angiogenesis. Their silencing RNA knockdown affected critical MMEC angiogenesis-related functions, such as spreading, migration and tubular morphogenesis. A gradual stabilization of 14-3-3ζ/δ protein was observed, with transition from normal ECs to MGECs and MMECs that may be a critical step for the angiogenic switch in MMECs and maintenance of the cell overangiogenic phenotype. These proteins were substantially impacted by anti-MM drugs, such as bortezomib, lenalidomide and panobinostat. Results suggest that these four proteins could be new targets for the antiangiogenic management of MM patients. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


PubMed | Sigma Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite, Institute Hospital del Mar dInvestigacions Mediques, University of Minho, University of Lisbon and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of experimental medicine | Year: 2016

Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a fluid-phase pattern recognition receptor of the humoral innate immune system with ancestral antibody-like properties but unknown antibody-inducing function. In this study, we found binding of PTX3 to splenic marginal zone (MZ) B cells, an innate-like subset of antibody-producing lymphocytes strategically positioned at the interface between the circulation and the adaptive immune system. PTX3 was released by a subset of neutrophils that surrounded the splenic MZ and expressed an immune activation-related gene signature distinct from that of circulating neutrophils. Binding of PTX3 promoted homeostatic production of IgM and class-switched IgG antibodies to microbial capsular polysaccharides, which decreased in PTX3-deficient mice and humans. In addition, PTX3 increased IgM and IgG production after infection with blood-borne encapsulated bacteria or immunization with bacterial carbohydrates. This immunogenic effect stemmed from the activation of MZ B cells through a neutrophil-regulated pathway that elicited class switching and plasmablast expansion via a combination of T cell-independent and T cell-dependent signals. Thus, PTX3 may bridge the humoral arms of the innate and adaptive immune systems by serving as an endogenous adjuvant for MZ B cells. This property could be harnessed to develop more effective vaccines against encapsulated pathogens.


PubMed | Autonomous University of Madrid and Molecular Oncology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular biology of the cell | Year: 2015

Observations in thyroid patients and experimental animals show that the skin is an important target for the thyroid hormones. We previously showed that deletion in mice of the thyroid hormone nuclear receptors TR1 and TR (the main thyroid hormone-binding isoforms) results in impaired epidermal proliferation, hair growth, and wound healing. Stem cells located at the bulges of the hair follicles are responsible for hair cycling and contribute to the regeneration of the new epidermis after wounding. Therefore a reduction in the number or function of the bulge stem cells could be responsible for this phenotype. Bulge cells show increased levels of epigenetic repressive marks, can retain bromodeoxyuridine labeling for a long time, and have colony-forming efficiency (CFE) in vitro. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking TRs do not have a decrease of the bulge stem cell population. Instead, they show an increase of label-retaining cells (LRCs) in the bulges and enhanced CFE in vitro. Reduced activation of stem cells leading to their accumulation in the bulges is indicated by a strongly reduced response to mobilization by 12-O-tetradecanolyphorbol-13-acetate. Altered function of the bulge stem cells is associated with aberrant activation of Smad signaling, leading to reduced nuclear accumulation of -catenin, which is crucial for stem cell proliferation and mobilization. LRCs of TR-deficient mice also show increased levels of epigenetic repressive marks. We conclude that thyroid hormone signaling is an important determinant of the mobilization of stem cells out of their niche in the hair bulge. These findings correlate with skin defects observed in mice and alterations found in human thyroid disorders.


Pichiorri F.,Ohio State University | Pichiorri F.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Suh S.-S.,Ohio State University | Suh S.-S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 20 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2010

In multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable B cell neoplasm, mutation or deletion of p53 is rarely detected at diagnosis. Using small-molecule inhibitors of MDM2, we provide evidence that miR-192, 194, and 215, which are downregulated in a subset of newly diagnosed MMs, can be transcriptionally activated by p53 and then modulate MDM2 expression. Furthermore, ectopic re-expression of these miRNAs in MM cells increases the therapeutic action of MDM2 inhibitors in vitro and in vivo by enhancing their p53-activating effects. In addition, miR-192 and 215 target the IGF pathway, preventing enhanced migration of plasma cells into bone marrow. The results suggest that these miRNAs are positive regulators of p53 and that their downregulation plays a key role in MM development. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Restelli M.,University of Milan | Lopardo T.,University of Milan | Lo Iacono N.,University of Milan | Garaffo G.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2014

Ectrodactyly, or Split-Hand/Foot Malformation (SHFM), is a congenital condition characterized by the loss of central rays of hands and feet. The p63 and the DLX5;DLX6 transcription factors, expressed in the embryonic limb buds and ectoderm, are disease genes for these conditions. Mutations of p63 also cause the ectodermal dysplasia-ectrodactyly-cleft lip/palate (EEC) syndrome, comprising SHFM. Ectrodactyly is linked to defects of the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) of the developing limb buds. FGF8 is the key signaling molecule in this process, able to direct proximo-distal growth and patterning of the skeletal primordial of the limbs. In the limb buds of both p63 and Dlx5;Dlx6 murine models of SHFM, the AER is poorly stratified and FGF8 expression is severely reduced.We show here that the FGF8 locus is a downstream target of DLX5 and that FGF8 counteracts Pin1- DNp63a interaction. In vivo, lack of Pin1 leads to accumulation of the p63 protein in the embryonic limbs and ectoderm. We show also that DNp63a protein stability is negatively regulated by the interaction with the prolyl-isomerase Pin1, via proteasome-mediated degradation; p63 mutant proteins associated with SHFM or EEC syndromes are resistant to Pin1 action. Thus, DLX5, p63, Pin1 and FGF8 participate to the same timeand location-restricted regulatory loop essential forAERstratification, hence for normal patterning and skeletal morphogenesis of the limb buds. These results shed new light on the molecular mechanisms at the basis of the SHFM and EEC limb malformations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.


Da Silva-Diz V.,Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute IDIBELL | Sole-Sanchez S.,Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute IDIBELL | Valdes-Gutierrez A.,Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute IDIBELL | Urpi M.,Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute IDIBELL | And 10 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

Epidermal keratinocytes and hair follicle (HF) stem cells (SCs) expressing oncogenes are competent at developing squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in epidermis and HFs, respectively. To determine whether bulge and hair germ (HG) SCs from HF contribute to SCC generation at distant epidermis, the most frequent epidermal region where these lesions arise in human skin, we used a skin cancer mouse model expressing E6 and E7 oncoproteins from Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 in SCs and basal keratinocytes. This previously described mouse model recapitulates the human skin papillomavirus-induced SCC pathology. We show that E6 and E7 expression promote the expansion of keratin 15 (K15)-expressing cells. These K15 + aberrant cells exhibit some HGSC markers and diminished expression of Tcf3 and Sox9 hair SC specification genes, which are accumulated in HFs and mislocalized to interfollicular epidermis. Leucine-rich G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5)-expressing SCs, localized in the bulge and HG, are the origin of the expanded K15 + cell population. A large subset of the Lgr5 + SC progeny, expressing K15 and P-cadherin, is aberrantly mobilized to the upper region of HFs and the epidermis, and accumulates at E6/E7-induced pre-neoplastic lesions and epidermal tumors. These findings indicate that aberrant accumulation of altered SCs in HFs and their subsequent migration to the epidermis contribute to HPV-induced tumor development. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

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