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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.

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 | 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.

Urbani A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | De Canio M.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | De Canio M.,University of Milan | Palmieri F.,University of Bari | And 25 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.

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