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PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, National Research Council Italy, Oncology and Pathology., Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation and Northumbria University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2016

Mutations in mitochondrial (mt) genes coding for mt-tRNAs are responsible for a range of syndromes, for which no effective treatment is available. We recently showed that the carboxy-terminal domain (Cterm) of human mt-leucyl tRNA synthetase rescues the pathologic phenotype associated either with the m.3243A>G mutation in mt-tRNA(Leu(UUR)) or with mutations in the mt-tRNA(Ile), both of which are aminoacylated by Class I mt-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (mt-aaRSs). Here we show, by using the human transmitochondrial cybrid model, that the Cterm is also able to improve the phenotype caused by the m.8344A>G mutation in mt-tRNA(Lys), aminoacylated by a Class II aaRS. Importantly, we demonstrate that the same rescuing ability is retained by two Cterm-derived short peptides, 30_31 and 32_33, which are effective towards both the m.8344A>G and the m.3243A>G mutations. Furthermore, we provide in vitro evidence that these peptides bind with high affinity wild-type and mutant human mt-tRNA(Leu(UUR)) and mt-tRNA(Lys), and stabilize mutant mt-tRNA(Leu(UUR)). In conclusion, we demonstrate that small Cterm-derived peptides can be effective tools to rescue cellular defects caused by mutations in a wide range of mt-tRNAs.


D'Ettorre G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | D'Ettorre G.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | Ceccarelli G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ceccarelli G.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | And 15 more authors.
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2015

The complex relationship between both the Th1/Th17 and Tc1/Tc17 axis and innate defences in the intestinal mucosa during HIV-1 infection has not been well characterized. This study examined the frequency, phenotype, and functional status of T cell populations in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and peripheral blood of virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients on therapy, focusing on the Th1, Th17, Tc1, and Tc17 cell subsets. We found a persistent immune cell activation (CD38 and HLADR expression) into the GALT despite the higher levels of Th17 and Tc17 in respect to peripheral blood. An upregulation of type I IFN response in GALT compared to the peripheral blood compartment was also recorded. Furthermore, IFN-α/β levels were negatively related to the frequencies of Th1 naïve cells and Tc1 cell subsets (naïve, central memory, and effector memory) in the GALT. In contrast, no relationships between type I IFN response and Th1 or Tc1 cell subsets in peripheral blood compartment and between IFN-α/β and Th17/Tc17 in both GALT and peripheral blood district were recorded. These data indicate that prolonged antiretroviral treatment improves GALT immune function despite the persistence of immune activation and type I IFN response in chronic HIV-1 positive patients. © 2015 Gabriella d'Ettorre et al.


Perli E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Perli E.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | Giordano C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Pisano A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 20 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2014

Mitochondrial (mt) diseases are multisystem disorders due to mutations in nuclear or mtDNA genes. Among the latter, more than 50% are located in transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and are responsible for a wide range of syndromes, for which no effective treatment is available at present. We show that three human mt aminoacyl-tRNA syntethases, namely leucyl-, valyl-, and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase are able to improve both viability and bioenergetic proficiency of human transmitochondrial cybrid cells carrying pathogenic mutations in the mt-tRNAIle gene. Importantly, we further demonstrate that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase is both necessary and sufficient to improve the pathologic phenotype associated either with these "mild" mutations or with the "severe" m.3243A>G mutation in the mt-tRNALeu(UUR) gene. Furthermore, we provide evidence that this small, non-catalytic domain is able to directly and specifically interact in vitro with human mt-tRNALeu(UUR) with high affinity and stability and, with lower affinity, with mt-tRNAIle. Taken together, our results sustain the hypothesis that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase can be used to correct mt dysfunctions caused by mt-tRNA mutations. © 2014 The Authors.


Falcone C.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | Mazzoni C.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2016

In recent years, yeast was confirmed as a useful eukaryotic model system to decipher the complex mechanisms and networks occurring in higher eukaryotes, particularly in mammalian cells, in physiological as well in pathological conditions. This article focuses attention on the contribution of yeast in the study of a very complex scenario, because of the number and interconnection of pathways, represented by cell death. Yeast, although it is a unicellular organism, possesses the basal machinery of different kinds of cell death occurring in higher eukaryotes, i.e., apoptosis, regulated necrosis and autophagy. Here we report the current knowledge concerning the yeast orthologs of main mammalian cell death regulators and executors, the role of organelles and compartments, and the cellular phenotypes observed in the different forms of cell death in response to external and internal triggers. Thanks to the ease of genetic manipulation of this microorganism, yeast strains expressing human genes that promote or counteract cell death, onset of tumors and neurodegenerative diseases have been constructed. The effects on yeast cells of some of these genes are also presented. © 2016 The Author(s)


Calabrese R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Calabrese R.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | Zampieri M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Zampieri M.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation | And 11 more authors.
Multiple Sclerosis Journal | Year: 2012

Background: Peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) and peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) are two members of PAD family which are over-expressed in the multiple sclerosis (MS) brain. Through its enzymatic activity PAD2 converts myelin basic protein (MBP) arginines into citrullines-an event that may favour autoimmunity-while peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) is involved in chromatin remodelling. Objectives: Our aim was to verify whether an altered epigenetic control of PAD2, as already shown in the MS brain, can be observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with MS since some of these cells also synthesize MBP. Methods: The expression of most suitable reference genes and of PAD2 and PAD4 was assessed by qPCR. Analysis of DNA methylation was performed by bisulfite method. Results: The comparison of PAD2 expression level in PBMCs from patients with MS vs. healthy donors showed that, as well as in the white matter of MS patients, the enzyme is significantly upregulated in affected subjects. Methylation pattern analysis of a CpG island located in the PAD2 promoter showed that over-expression is associated with promoter demethylation. Conclusion: Defective regulation of PAD2 in the periphery, without the immunological shelter of the blood-brain barrier, may contribute to the development of the autoimmune responses in MS. © 2012 SAGE Publications.


Perli E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Fiorillo A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Giordano C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Pisano A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 14 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2016

Mutations in mitochondrial (mt) genes coding for mt-tRNAs are responsible for a range of syndromes, for which no effective treatment is available. We recently showed that the carboxy-terminal domain (Cterm) of human mt-leucyl tRNA synthetase rescues the pathologic phenotype associated either with the m.3243A > G mutation in mt-tRNALeu(UUR) or with mutations in the mt-tRNAIle, both of which are aminoacylated by Class I mt-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (mt-aaRSs). Herewe show, by using the human transmitochondrial cybrid model, that the Cterm is also able to improve the phenotype caused by the m.8344A > G mutation in mt-tRNALys, aminoacylated by a Class II aaRS. Importantly, we demonstrate that the same rescuing ability is retained by two Cterm-derived short peptides, β30_31 and β32_33, which are effective towards both the m.8344A > G and the m.3243A > G mutations. Furthermore, we provide in vitro evidence that these peptides bind with high affinity wild-type and mutant human mt-tRNALeu(UUR) and mt-tRNALys, and stabilize mutant mt-tRNALeu(UUR). In conclusion, we demonstrate that small Cterm-derived peptides can be effective tools to rescue cellular defects caused by mutations in a wide range of mt-tRNAs. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Giordano C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Morea V.,National Research Council Italy | Perli E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | d'Amati G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | d'Amati G.,Pasteur Institute Cenci Bolognetti Foundation
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2015

Mutations in mitochondrial (mt) DNA determine important human diseases. The majority of the known pathogenic mutations are located in transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and are responsible for a wide range of currently untreatable disorders. Experimental evidence both in yeast and in human cells has shown that the detrimental effects of mt-tRNA point mutations can be attenuated by increasing the expression of the cognate mt-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs). In addition, constitutive high levels of isoleucyl-tRNA syntethase have been shown to reduce the penetrance of a homoplasmic mutation in mt-tRNAIle in a small kindred. More recently, we showed that the isolated carboxy-terminal domain of human mt-leucyl tRNA synthetase (LeuRS-Cterm) localizes to mitochondria and ameliorates the energetic defect in transmitochondrial cybrids carrying mutations either in the cognate mt-tRNALeu(UUR) or in the non-cognate mt-tRNAIle gene. Since the mt-LeuRS-Cterm does not possess catalytic activity, its rescuing ability is most likely mediated by a chaperon-like effect, consisting in the stabilization of the tRNA structure altered by the mutation. All together, these observations open potential therapeutic options for mt-tRNA mutations-associated diseases. © 2015 Giordano, Morea, Perli and d'Amati.


Ottaviano D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Montanari A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Angelis L.D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Santomartino R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 7 more authors.
FEMS Yeast Research | Year: 2015

In the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, the inactivation of structural or regulatory glycolytic and fermentative genes generates obligate respiratory mutants which can be characterized by sensitivity to the mitochondrial drug antimycin A on glucose medium (Rag- phenotype). Rag- mutations can occasionally be generated by the inactivation of genes not evidently related to glycolysis or fermentation. One such gene is the hypoxic regulatory gene KlMGA2. In this work, we report a study of the many defects, in addition to the Rag- phenotype, generated by KlMGA2 deletion. We analyzed the fermentative and respiratory metabolism, mitochondrial functioning and morphology in the Klmga2 strain. We also examined alterations in the regulation of the expression of lipid biosynthetic genes, in particular fatty acids, ergosterol and cardiolipin, under hypoxic and cold stress and the phenotypic suppression by unsaturated fatty acids of the deleted strain. Results indicate that, despite the fact that the deleted mutant strain had a typical glycolytic/fermentative phenotype and KlMGA2 is a hypoxic regulatory gene, the deletion of this gene generated defects linked to mitochondrial functions suggesting new roles of this protein in the general regulation and cellular fitness of K. lactis. Supplementation of unsaturated fatty acids suppressed or modified these defects suggesting that KlMga2 modulates membrane functioning or membrane-associated functions, both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial. © FEMS 2015.

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