SysBio Center for Systems Biology

Milan and, Italy

SysBio Center for Systems Biology

Milan and, Italy
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Massonnet M.,University of Verona | Massonnet M.,University of California at Davis | Fasoli M.,University of Verona | Tornielli G.B.,University of Verona | And 8 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2017

Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) berry development involves a succession of physiological and biochemical changes reflecting the transcriptional modulation of thousands of genes. Although recent studies have investigated the dynamic transcriptome during berry development, most have focused on a single grapevine variety, so there is a lack of comparative data representing different cultivars. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide transcriptional analysis of 120 RNA samples corresponding to 10 Italian grapevine varieties collected at four growth stages. The 10 varieties, representing five red-skinned and five white-skinned berries, were all cultivated in the same experimental vineyard to reduce environmental variability. The comparison of transcriptional changes during berry formation and ripening allowed us to determine the transcriptomic traits common to all varieties, thus defining the core transcriptome of berry development, as well as the transcriptional dynamics underlying differences between red and white berry varieties. A greater variation among the red cultivars than between red and white cultivars at the transcriptome level was revealed, suggesting that anthocyanin accumulation during berry maturation has a direct impact on the transcriptomic regulation of multiple biological processes. The expression of genes related to phenylpropanoid/flavonoid biosynthesis clearly distinguished the behavior of red and white berry genotypes during ripening but also reflected the differential accumulation of anthocyanins in the red berries, indicating some form of cross talk between the activation of stilbene biosynthesis and the accumulation of anthocyanins in ripening berries. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


Urbani A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Urbani A.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | De Canio M.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | De Canio M.,University of Milan | And 27 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2013

Mitochondria carry maternally inherited genetic material, called the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), which can be defined as the 25th human chromosome. The chromosome-centric Human Proteome Project (c-HPP) has initially focused its activities addressing the characterization and quantification of the nuclear encoded proteins. Following the last International HUPO Congress in Boston (September 2012) it was clear that however small the mitochondrial chromosome is, it plays an important role in many biological and physiopathological functions. Mutations in the mtDNA have been shown to be associated with dozens of unexplained disorders and the information contained in the mtDNA should be of major relevance to the understanding of many human diseases. Within this paper we describe the Italian initiative of the Human Proteome Project dedicated to mitochondria as part of both programs: chromosome-centric (c-HPP) and Biology/Disease (B/D-HPP). The mt-HPP has finally shifted the attention of the HUPO community outside the nuclear chromosomes with the general purpose to highlight the mitochondrial processes influencing the human health. Following this vision and considering the large interest and evidence collected on the non-Mendelian heredity of Homo sapiens associated with mt-chromosome and with the microbial commensal ecosystem constituting our organism we may speculate that this program will represent an initial step toward other HPP initiatives focusing on human phenotypic heredity. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Bonanomi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Visentin C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Natalello A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Natalello A.,Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Science Fisiche della Materia | And 8 more authors.
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2015

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and tetracycline are two known inhibitors of amyloid aggregation able to counteract the fibrillation of most of the proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases. We have recently investigated their effect on ataxin-3 (AT3), the polyglutamine-containing protein responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. We previously showed that EGCG and tetracycline can contrast the aggregation process and toxicity of expanded AT3, although by different mechanisms. Here, we have performed further experiments by using the sole Josephin domain (JD) to further elucidate the mechanism of action of the two compounds. By protein solubility assays and FTIR spectroscopy we have first observed that EGCG and tetracycline affect the JD aggregation essentially in the same way displayed when acting on the full-length expanded AT3. Then, by saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR experiments, we have shown that EGCG binds both the monomeric and the oligomeric JD form, whereas tetracycline can only interact with the oligomeric one. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis has confirmed the capability of the sole EGCG to bind monomeric JD, although with a KD value suggestive for a non-specific interaction. Our investigations provide new details on the JD interaction with EGCG and tetracycline, which could explain the different mechanisms by which the two compounds reduce the toxicity of AT3. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Cumbo F.,National Research Council Italy | Paci P.,National Research Council Italy | Paci P.,SysBio Center for Systems Biology | Santoni D.,National Research Council Italy | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Network analysis provides deep insight into real complex systems. Revealing the link between topological and functional role of network elements can be crucial to understand the mechanisms underlying the system. Here we propose a Cytoscape plugin (GIANT) to perform network clustering and characterize nodes at the light of a modified Guimerà-Amaral cartography. This approach results into a vivid picture of the a topological/functional relationship at both local and global level. The plugin has been already approved and uploaded on the Cytoscape APP store. © 2014 Cumbo et al.


Bonanomi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mazzucchelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | D'Urzo A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Nardini M.,University of Milan | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Ataxin-3 (AT3) is the protein that triggers the inherited neurodegenerative disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 when its polyglutamine (polyQ) stretch close to the C-terminus exceeds a critical length. AT3 consists of the N-terminal globular Josephin domain (JD) and the C-terminal disordered one. It cleaves isopeptide bonds between ubiquitin monomers, an event involved in protein quality control mechanisms. AT3 has been implicated in the pathway that sorts aggregated protein to aggresomes via microtubules, in which dynein and histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) also seem to be involved. By taking advantage of small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we have investigated the interaction of AT3 with tubulin and HDAC6. Based on SAXS results, the AT3 oligomer, consisting of 6-7 subunits, tightly binds to the tubulin hexameric oligomer in a "parallel" fashion. By SPR analysis we have demonstrated that AT3 binds to tubulin dimer with a 50 nM affinity. Binding fits with a Langmuir 1:1 model and involves a single binding interface. Nevertheless, the interaction surface consists of three distinct, discontinuous tubulin-binding regions (TBR), one located in the JD, and the two others in the disordered domain, upstream and downstream of the polyQ stretch. In the absence of any of the three TBRs, the affinity is drastically reduced. By SPR we have also provided the first evidence of direct binding of AT3 to HDAC6, with affinity in the range 0.1-1 μM. These results shed light on the interactions among the components of the transport machinery that sorts aggregate protein to the aggresome, and pave the way to in vivo studies aimed at further clarifying their roles. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Palumbo M.C.,National Research Council Italy | Farina L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Paci P.,National Research Council Italy | Paci P.,SysBio Center for Systems Biology
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA | Year: 2015

Broader comprehension of gene expression regulatory mechanisms can be gained from a global analysis of how transcription and degradation are coordinated to orchestrate complex cell responses. The role of messenger RNA (mRNA) turnover modulation in gene expression levels has become increasingly recognized. From such perspective, in this review we briefly illustrate how a simple but effective mathematical model of mRNA turnover and some experimental findings, may together shed light on the molecular mechanisms underpinning the major role of mRNA decay rates in shaping the kinetics of gene activation and repression. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Palumbo M.C.,National Research Council Italy | Zenoni S.,University of Verona | Fasoli M.,University of Verona | Massonnet M.,University of Verona | And 5 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2014

We developed an approach that integrates different network-based methods to analyze the correlation network arising from large-scale gene expression data. By studying grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) gene expression atlases and a grapevine berry transcriptomic data set during the transition from immature to mature growth, we identified a category named “fight-club hubs” characterized by a marked negative correlation with the expression profiles of neighboring genes in the network. A special subset named “switch genes” was identified, with the additional property of many significant negative correlations outside their own group in the network. Switch genes are involved in multiple processes and include transcription factors that may be considered master regulators of the previously reported transcriptome remodeling that marks the developmental shift from immature to mature growth. All switch genes, expressed at low levels in vegetative/green tissues, showed a significant increase in mature/woody organs, suggesting a potential regulatory role during the developmental transition. Finally, our analysis of tomato gene expression data sets showed that wild-type switch genes are downregulated in ripening-deficient mutants. The identification of known master regulators of tomato fruit maturation suggests our method is suitable for the detection of key regulators of organ development in different fleshy fruit crops. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Alberghina L.,SysBio Center for Systems Biology | Alberghina L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gaglio D.,SysBio Center for Systems Biology | Gaglio D.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 20 more authors.
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2012

Systems Biology holds that complex cellular functions are generated as system-level properties endowed with robustness, each involving large networks of molecular determinants, generally identified by "omics" analyses. In this paper we describe four basic cancer cell properties that can easily be investigated in vitro: enhanced proliferation, evasion from apoptosis, genomic instability, and inability to undergo oncogene-induced senescence. Focusing our analysis on a K-ras dependent transformation system, we show that enhanced proliferation and evasion from apoptosis are closely linked, and present findings that indicate how a large metabolic remodeling sustains the enhanced growth ability. Network analysis of transcriptional profiling gives the first indication on this remodeling, further supported by biochemical investigations and metabolic flux analysis (MFA). Enhanced glycolysis, down-regulation of TCA cycle, decoupling of glucose and glutamine utilization, with increased reductive carboxylation of glutamine, so to yield a sustained production of growth building blocks and glutathione, are the hallmarks of enhanced proliferation. Low glucose availability specifically induces cell death in K-ras transformed cells, while PKA activation reverts this effect, possibly through at least two mitochondrial targets. The central role of mitochondria in determining the two investigated cancer cell properties is finally discussed. Taken together the findings reported herein indicate that a system-level property is sustained by a cascade of interconnected biochemical pathways that behave differently in normal and in transformed cells. © 2012 Alberghina, Gaglio, Gelfi, Moresco, Mauri, Bertolazzi, Messa, Gilardi, Chiaradonna and Vanoni.

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