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Lupia A.,University of Florence | Peppicelli S.,University of Florence | Witort E.,University of Florence | Bianchini F.,University of Florence | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2014

The CD63 tetraspanin is highly expressed in the early stages of melanoma and decreases in advanced lesions, suggesting it as a possible suppressor of tumor progression. We employed loss- and gain-of-gene-function approaches to investigate the role of CD63 in melanoma progression and acquisition of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. We used two human melanoma cell lines derived from primary tumors and one primary human melanoma cell line isolated from a cutaneous metastasis, differing by levels of CD63 expression. CD63-silenced melanoma cells showed enhanced motility and invasiveness with downregulation of E-cadherin and upregulation of N-cadherin and Snail. In parallel experiments, transient and stable ectopic expression of CD63 resulted in a robust reduction of cell motility, invasiveness, and protease activities, which was proportional to the increase in CD63 protein level. Transfected cells overexpressing the highest level of CD63 when transplanted into immunodeficient mice showed a reduced incidence and rate of tumor growth. Moreover, these cells showed a reduction of N-cadherin, Vimentin, Zeb1, and a-SMA, and a significant resistance to undergo an EMT program both in basal condition and in the following stimulation with TGFβ. Thus, our results establish a previously unreported mechanistic link between the tetraspanin CD63 and EMT abrogation in melanoma. © 2014 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


PubMed | University of Padua, University of Pisa, Ohio State University, Tuscan Tumor Institute ITT and Institute of Oncology Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

microRNAs (miRNAs) can act as oncosuppressors or oncogenes, induce chemoresistance or chemosensitivity, and are major posttranscriptional gene regulators. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), EGF receptor (EGFR), and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) are major drivers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to assess the miRNA profiles of NSCLCs driven by translocated ALK, mutant EGFR, or mutant KRAS to find driver-specific diagnostic and prognostic miRNA signatures. A total of 85 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples were considered: 67 primary NSCLCs and 18 matched normal lung tissues. Of the 67 primary NSCLCs, 17 were echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-ALK translocated (ALK(+)) lung cancers; the remaining 50 were not (ALK(-)). Of the 50 ALK(-) primary NSCLCs, 24 were EGFR and KRAS mutation-negative (i.e., WT; triple negative); 11 were mutant EGFR (EGFR(+)), and 15 were mutant KRAS (KRAS(+)). We developed a diagnostic classifier that shows how miR-1253, miR-504, and miR-26a-5p expression levels can classify NSCLCs as ALK-translocated, mutant EGFR, or mutant KRAS versus mutation-free. We also generated a prognostic classifier based on miR-769-5p and Let-7d-5p expression levels that can predict overall survival. This classifier showed better performance than the commonly used classifiers based on mutational status. Although it has several limitations, this study shows that miRNA signatures and classifiers have great potential as powerful, cost-effective next-generation tools to improve and complement current genetic tests. Further studies of these miRNAs can help define their roles in NSCLC biology and in identifying best-performing chemotherapy regimens.


Evangelista M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | El Baroudi M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rizzo M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rizzo M.,Tuscan Tumor Institute ITT | And 6 more authors.
Genetics and Epigenetics | Year: 2015

In this study, we report that immortal mouse embryonic fibroblasts (I-MEFs) have a baseline level of cells positive for alkaline phosphatase (AP+) staining. Environmental stresses, including long-lasting growth in the absence of expansion and treatment with drugs, enhance the frequency of AP+ I-MEFs. By adapting fast red AP staining to the sorting procedure, we separated AP+ and AP- I-MEFs and demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes are consistent with a reprogrammed phenotype. In particular, we found that sestrin 1 is upregulated in AP+ I-MEFs. We focused on this gene and demonstrated that increased sestrin 1 expression is accompanied by the growth of I-MEFs in the absence of expansion and occurs before the formation of AP+ I-MEFs. Together with sestrin 1 upregulation, we found that AP+ I-MEFs accumulated in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, suggesting that the two events are causally related. Accordingly, we found that silencing sestrin 1 expression reduced the frequency and G1 accumulation of AP+ I-MEFs. Taken together, our data suggested that I-MEFs stressed by environmental changes acquire the AP+ phenotype and achieve a quiescent state characterized by a new transcriptional network. © the authors.


Tini P.,Tuscan Tumor Institute ITT | Tini P.,University of Siena | Belmonte G.,Tuscan Tumor Institute ITT | Belmonte G.,University of Siena | And 16 more authors.
BioMed Research International | Year: 2015

Dysregulated EGFR in glioblastoma may inactivate the key autophagy protein Beclin1. Each of high EGFR and low Beclin1 protein expression, independently, has been associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis. High (H) compared to low (L) expression of EGFR and Beclin1 is here correlated with main clinical data in 117 patients after chemo- and radiotherapy. H-EGFR correlated with low Karnofsky performance and worse neurological performance status, higher incidence of synchronous multifocality, poor radiological evidence of response, shorter progression disease-free (PDFS), and overall survival (OS). H-Beclin1 cases showed better Karnofsky performance status, higher incidence of objective response, longer PDFS, and OS. A mutual strengthening effect emerges in correlative power of stratified L-EGFR and H-Beclin1 expression with incidence of radiological response after treatment, unifocal disease, and better prognosis, thus identifying an even longer OS group (30 months median OS compared to 18 months in L-EGFR, 15 months in H-Beclin1, and 11 months in all GBs) (P = 0.0001). Combined L-EGFR + H-Beclin1 expression may represent a biomarker in identifying relatively favorable clinical presentations and prognosis, thus envisaging possible EGFR/Beclin1-targeted therapies. Copyright © 2015 Paolo Tini et al.

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