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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Muller W.A.,Northwestern University | Dominici S.,Urbino University | Watson R.,Northwestern University | Weber E.,Northwestern University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Immunological Methods | Year: 2014

Migration of leukocytes into site of inflammation involves several steps mediated by various families of adhesion molecules. CD99 play a significant role in transendothelial migration (TEM) of leukocytes. Inhibition of TEM by specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) can provide a potent therapeutic approach to treating inflammatory conditions. However, the therapeutic utilization of whole IgG can lead to an inappropriate activation of Fc receptor-expressing cells, inducing serious adverse side effects due to cytokine release. In this regard, specific recombinant antibody in single chain variable fragments (scFvs) originated by phage library may offer a solution by affecting TEM function in a safe clinical context. However, this consideration requires large scale production of functional scFv antibodies and the absence of toxic reagents utilized for solubilization and refolding step of inclusion bodies that may discourage industrial application of these antibody fragments. In order to apply the scFv anti-CD99 named C7A in a clinical setting, we herein describe an efficient and large scale production of the antibody fragments expressed in E. coli as periplasmic insoluble protein avoiding gel filtration chromatography approach, and laborious refolding step pre- and post-purification. Using differential salt elution which is a simple, reproducible and effective procedure we are able to separate scFv in monomer format from aggregates. The purified scFv antibody C7A exhibits inhibitory activity comparable to an antagonistic conventional mAb, thus providing an excellent agent for blocking CD99 signaling. This protocol can be useful for the successful purification of other monomeric scFvs which are expressed as periplasmic inclusion bodies in bacterial systems. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source


Zucchini C.,University of Bologna | Manara M.C.,CRS Development of Biomolecular Therapies | Manara M.C.,Experimental Oncology Laboratory | Pinca R.S.,CRS Development of Biomolecular Therapies | And 12 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2014

CD99, a transmembrane protein encoded by MIC2 gene is involved in multiple cellular events including cell adhesion and migration, apoptosis, cell differentiation and regulation of protein trafficking either in physiological or pathological conditions. In osteosarcoma, CD99 is expressed at low levels and functions as a tumour suppressor. The full-length protein (CD99wt) and the short-form harbouring a deletion in the intracytoplasmic domain (CD99sh) have been associated with distinct functional outcomes with respect to tumour malignancy. In this study, we especially evaluated modulation of cell-cell contacts, reorganisation of the actin cytoskeleton and modulation of signalling pathways by comparing osteosarcoma cells characterised by different metastasis capabilities and CD99 expression, to identify molecular mechanisms responsible for metastasis. Our data indicate that forced expression of CD99wt induces recruitment of N-cadherin and β-catenin to adherens junctions. In addition, transfection of CD99wt inhibits the expression of several molecules crucial to the remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton, such as ACTR2, ARPC1A, Rho-associated, coiled-coil containing protein kinase 2 (ROCK2) as well as ezrin, an ezrin/radixin/moesin family member that has been clearly associated with tumour progression and metastatic spread in osteosarcoma. Functional studies point to ROCK2 as a crucial intracellular mediator regulating osteosarcoma migration. By maintaining c-Src in an inactive conformation, CD99wt inhibits ROCK2 signalling and this leads to ezrin decrease at cell membrane while N-cadherin and β-catenin translocate to the plasma membrane and function as main molecular bridges for actin cytoskeleton. Taken together, we propose that the re-expression of CD99wt, which is generally present in osteoblasts but lost in osteosarcoma, through inhibition of c-Src and ROCK2 activity, manages to increase contact strength and reactivate stop-migration signals that counteract the otherwise dominant promigratory action of ezrin in osteosarcoma cells. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source


Guerzoni C.,PROMETEO Laboratory | Guerzoni C.,Experimental Oncology Laboratory | Amatori S.,Urbino University | Giorgi L.,Urbino University | And 17 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Identification of new drugs against paediatric sarcomas represents an urgent clinical need that mainly relies on public investments due to the rarity of these diseases. In this paper we evaluated the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of a new maltol derived molecule (maltonis), belonging to the family of molecules named hydroxypyrones.Methods: Maltonis was screened for its ability to induce structural alteration of DNA molecules in comparison to another maltolic molecule (malten). In vitro antitumour efficacy was tested using a panel of sarcoma cell lines, representative of Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, the three most common paediatric sarcomas, and in normal human mesenchymal primary cell cultures. In vivo efficacy was tested against TC-71 Ewing sarcoma xenografts.Results: Maltonis, a soluble maltol-derived synthetic molecule, was able to alter the DNA structure, inhibit proliferation and induce apoptotic cell death in paediatric sarcoma cells, either sensitive or resistant to some conventional chemotherapeutic drugs, such as doxorubicin and cisplatin. In addition, maltonis was able to induce: i) p21, p15 and Gadd45a mRNA upregulation; ii) Bcl-2, survivin, CDK6 and CDK8 down-regulation; iii) formation of γ-H2AX nuclear foci; iv) cleavage of PARP and Caspase 3. Two independent in vivo experiments demonstrated the tolerability and efficacy of maltonis in the inhibition of tumour growth. Finally maltonis was not extruded by ABCB1, one of the major determinants of chemotherapy failure, nor appeared to be a substrate of the glutathione-related detoxification system.Conclusions: Considering that treatment of poorly responsive patients still suffers for the paucity of agents able to revert chemoresistance, maltonis may be considered for the future development of new therapeutic approaches for refractory metastatic patients. © 2014 Guerzoni et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Moricoli D.,Diatheva srl | Carbonella D.C.,Diatheva srl | Dominici S.,Diatheva srl | Fiori V.,Diatheva srl | And 12 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2016

Ewing’s sarcoma (EWS) is the second most common primary bone tumor in pediatric patients characterized by over expression of CD99. Current management consists in extensive chemotherapy in addition to surgical resection and/or radiation. Recent improvements in treatment are still overshadowed by severe side effects such as toxicity and risk of secondary malignancies; therefore, more effective strategies are urgently needed. The goal of this work was to develop a rapid, inexpensive, and “up-scalable” process of a novel human bivalent single-chain fragment variable diabody (C7 dAbd) directed against CD99, as a new therapeutic approach for EWS. We first investigated different Escherichia coli constructs of C7 dAbd in small-scale studies. Starting from 60 % soluble fraction, we obtained a yield of 25 mg C7 dAbd per liter of bacterial culture with the construct containing pelB signal sequence. In contrast, a low recovery of C7 dAbd was achieved starting from periplasmic inclusion bodies. In order to maximize the yield of C7 dAbd, large-scale fermentation was optimized. We obtained from 75 % soluble fraction 35 mg C7 dAbd per L of cell culture grown in a synthetic media containing 3 g/L of vegetable peptone and 1 g/L of yeast extract. Furthermore, we demonstrated the better efficacy of the cell lysis by homogenization versus periplasmic extraction, in reducing endotoxin level of the C7 dAbd. For gram-scale purification, a direct aligned two-step chromatography cascade based on binding selectivity was developed. Finally, we recovered C7 dAbd with low residual process-related impurities, excellent reactivity, and apoptotic ability against EWS cells. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Guerzoni C.,Experimental Oncology Laboratory | Guerzoni C.,PROMETEO Laboratory | Fiori V.,Diatheva srl | Terracciano M.,Experimental Oncology Laboratory | And 20 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Purpose: The paucity of new drugs for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma (EWS) limits the cure of these patients. CD99 has a strong membranous expression in EWS cells and, being also necessary for tumor survival, is a suitable target to aim at. In this article, we described a novel human monospecific bivalent single-chain fragment variable diabody (dAbd C7) directed against CD99 of potential clinical application. Experimental Design: In vitro and in vivo evaluation of cell death and of the molecular mechanisms triggered by anti-CD99 agents were performed alone or in combination with doxorubicin to demonstrate efficacy and selectivity of the new dAbd C7. Results: The dAbd C7 induced rapid and massive EWS cell death through Mdm2 degradation and p53 reactivation. Mdm2 overexpression as well as silencing of p53 in p53wt EWS cells decreased CD99-induced EWS cell death, whereas treatment with nutlin-3 enhanced it. Furthermore, cell death was associated with induction of p21, bax, and mitochondrial depolarization together with substantial inhibition of tumor cell proliferation. Combined treatment of anti-CD99 dAbd C7 with doxorubicin was additive both in vitro and in vivo against EWS xenografts. Normal mesenchymal stem cells showed no p53 activation and were resistant to cell death, unless transformed by EWS-FLI, the oncogenic driver of EWS. Conclusions: These results indicate that dAbd C7 is a suitable candidate tool to target CD99 in patients with EWS able to spare normal stem cells from death as it needs an aberrant genetic context for the efficient delivery of CD99-triggered cell death. ©2014 AACR. Source

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