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Palmieri D.,University of Naples Federico II | Palmieri D.,Ohio State University | Valentino T.,University of Naples Federico II | D'Angelo D.,University of Naples Federico II | And 7 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2011

DNA-damaging therapies represent a keystone in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, many tumors often relapse because of a group of cancer cells, which are resistant to conventional therapies. High-mobility group A (HMGA) proteins has a key role in cell transformation, and their overexpression is a common feature of human malignant neoplasias, representing a poor prognostic index often correlated to anti-cancer drug resistance. Our previous results demonstrated that HMGA1 is a substrate of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), the main cellular sensor of genotoxic stress. Here we also report thatHMGA2, the other member of the HMGA family, is a novel substrate of ATM. Interestingly, we found that HMGA proteins positively regulate ATM gene expression. Moreover, induction of ATM kinase activity by DNA-damaging agents enhances HMGA-dependent transcriptional activation of ATM promoter, suggesting that ATM expression is modulated by a DNA-damage- and HMGA-dependent positive feedback loop. Finally, inhibition of HMGA expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and in cancer cells strongly reduces ATM protein levels, impairing the cellular DNA-damage response and enhancing the sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. These findings indicate this novel HMGA-ATM pathway as a new potential target to improve the effectiveness of conventional anti-neoplastic treatments on the genotoxic-drug resistant cancer cells. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source


Palmieri D.,National Research Council Italy | D'Angelo D.,National Research Council Italy | Valentino T.,National Research Council Italy | De Martino I.,National Research Council Italy | And 9 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Previous studies have demonstrated that high mobility group A proteins have a critical role on the onset of human pituitary adenomas. Indeed, both high mobility group A (HMGA) genes are overexpressed in pituitary adenomas, and consistently transgenic mice overexpressing either the Hmga1 or the Hmga2 gene develop mixed growth hormone/prolactin (GH-PRL)-secreting pituitary adenomas. Trisomy of chromosome 12, where HMGA2 is located, and/or amplification of the HMGA2 gene locus account for the HMGA2 overexpression in most human prolactinomas. Conversely, HMGA1 overexpression is not associated to any rearrangement or amplification of the HMGA1 locus. We have first identified micro RNAs (miRNAs) able to target both HMGA1 and HMGA2 messenger RNAs. Then, all of these miRNAs have been found downregulated in pituitary adenomas of different histotypes, compared with normal pituitary. Interestingly, their downregulation was also observed in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas where HMGA2 overexpression is not associated to any alteration of the HMGA2 locus. Functional studies show that all these HMGA-targeting miRNAs inhibit the proliferation of the rat pituitary adenoma cell line GH3. Therefore, these results indicate that the downregulation of the miRNAs able to target the HMGA genes could contribute to increase HMGA protein levels in human pituitary adenomas, and then to pituitary tumorigenesis. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Esposito F.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Tornincasa M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Federico A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Chiappetta G.,Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori | And 3 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2012

The high-mobility group A (HMGA) proteins are a family of non-histone chromatin factors, encoded by the HMGA1 and HMGA2 genes. Several studies demonstrate that HMGA proteins have a critical role in neoplastic transformation, and their overexpression is mainly associated with a highly malignant phenotype, also representing a poor prognostic index. Even though a cytoplasmic localization of these proteins has been previously reported in some highly malignant neoplasias, a clear role for this localization has not been defined. Here, we first confirm the localization of the HMGA1 proteins in the cytoplasm of cancer cells, and then we report a novel mechanism through which HMGA1 inhibits p53-mitochondrial apoptosis by counteracting the binding of p53 to the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. Indeed, we demonstrate a physical and functional interaction between HMGA1 and Bcl-2 proteins. This interaction occurs at mitochondria interfering with the ability of p53 protein to bind Bcl-2, thus counteracting p53-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis. This effect is associated with the inhibition of cytochrome c release and activation of caspases. Consistent with this mechanism, a strong correlation between HMGA1 cytoplasmic localization and a more aggressive histotype of thyroid, breast and colon carcinomas has been observed. Therefore, cytoplasmic localization of HMGA1 proteins in malignant tissues is a novel mechanism of inactivation of p53 apoptotic function. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source


Incoronato M.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Urso L.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Portela A.,Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute | Laukkanen M.O.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Many studies have shown that microRNA expression in cancer may be regulated by epigenetic events. Recently, we found that in lung cancer miR-212 was strongly down-regulated. However, mechanisms involved in the regulation of miR-212 expression are unknown. Therefore, we addressed this point by investigating the molecular mechanisms of miR-212 silencing in lung cancer. We identified histone modifications rather than DNA hypermethylation as epigenetic events that regulate miR-212 levels in NSCLC. Moreover, we found that miR-212 silencing in vivo is closely associated with the severity of the disease. © 2011 Incoronato et al. Source


Borbone E.,Istituto di Endocrinologia Ed Oncologia Sperimentale | Borbone E.,Naples Oncogenomic Center | Berlingieri M.T.,Istituto di Endocrinologia Ed Oncologia Sperimentale | De Bellis F.,The Second University of Naples | And 7 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2010

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is considered one of the most aggressive malignancies, having a poor prognosis and being refractory to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Alteration in histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity has been reported in cancer, thus encouraging the development of HDAC inhibitors, whose antitumor action has been shown in both solid and hematological malignancies. However, the molecular basis for their tumor selectivity is unknown. To find an innovative therapy for the treatment of ATCs, we studied the effects of deacetylase inhibitors on thyroid tumorigenesis models. We show that HDACs 1 and 2 are overexpressed in ATCs compared with normal cells or benign tumors and that HDAC inhibitors induce apoptosis selectively in the fully transformed thyroid cells. Our results indicate that these phenomena are mediated by a novel action of HDAC inhibitors that reduces tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand protein degradation by affecting the ubiquitin-dependent pathway. Indeed, the combined treatment with HDAC and proteasome inhibitors results in synergistic apoptosis. These results strongly encourage the preclinical application of the combination deacetylase-proteasome inhibitors for the treatment of ATC. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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