A Cellini

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (7)18.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is a flexible microbial pathogen frequently isolated from community-acquired and nosocomial infections. S. aureus expresses a wide array of secreted and cell surface-associated virulence factors, including proteins that promote adhesion to damaged tissue and to the surface of host cells, and that bind proteins in blood to help evade immune responses. Furthermore, surface proteins have a fundamental role in virulence related properties of S. aureus, including biofilm formation. The present study evaluates the anti-infective capabilities of a secreted protein of Serratia marcescens (serratiopeptidase, SPEP), in impairing some staphylococcal virulence-related properties, such as attachment to inert surfaces and adhesion/invasion on eukaryotic cells. SPEP seems to exert its action by modulating specific proteins. It is not assessed if this action is due to the proteolytic activity of SPEP or to a specific mechanism which triggers an out/inside signal. Proteomic studies performed on surface proteins extracted from SPEP treated S. aureus cultures revealed that a number of proteins are affected by the treatment. Among these we found the adhesin/autolysin Atl, SdrD, Sbi, EF-Tu and EF-G. EF-Tu and EF-G are known to perform a variety of function, depending on their cytoplasmic or surface localization. All these factors can facilitate bacterial colonization, persistence and invasion of host tissues. Our results suggest that SPEP could be developed as a potential ''anti-infective agent'' capable to hinder the entry of S. aureus into human tissues, and also impairs the ability of this pathogen to adhere to prostheses, catheters and medical devices.
    Microbial Pathogenesis 06/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are the major cause of infections associated with implanted medical devices. Colonization on abiotic and biotic surfaces is often sustained by biofilm forming strains. Human natural defenses can interfere with this virulence factor. We investigated the effect of human apo-transferrin (apo-Tf, the iron-free form of transferrin, Tf) and holo-transferrin (holo-Tf, the iron-saturated form) on biofilm formation by CA-MRSA S. aureus USA300 type (ST8-IV) and S. epidermidis (a clinical isolate and ATCC 35984 strain). Furthermore S. aureus adhesion and invasion assays were performed in a eukaryotic cell line. A strong reduction in biofilm formation with both Tfs was obtained albeit at very different concentrations. In particular, the reduction in biofilm formation was higher with apo-Tf rather than obtained with holo-Tf. Furthermore, while S. aureus adhesion to eukaryotic cells was not appreciably affected, their invasion was highly inhibited in the presence of holo-Tf, and partially inhibited by the apo form. Our results suggest that Tfs could be used as antibacterial adjuvant therapy in infection sustained by staphylococci to strongly reduce their virulence related to adhesion and cellular invasion.
    Biology of Metals 01/2012; 25(2):413-21. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Use of herbal plant remedies to treat infectious diseases is a common practice in many countries in traditional and alternative medicine. However to date there are only few antimicrobial agents derived from botanics. Based on microbiological screening tests of crude plant extracts we identified four compounds derived from Krameria, Aesculus hippocastanum and Chelidonium majus that showed a potentially interesting antimicrobial activity. In this work we present an in depth characterization of the inhibition activity of these pure compounds on the formation of biofilm of Staphylococcus aureus as well as of Staphylococcus epidermidis strains. We show that two of these compounds possess interesting potential to become active principles of new drugs.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 12/2011; 20(2):920-6. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is a flexible microbial pathogen frequently isolated from community-acquired and nosocomial infections. The use of indwelling medical devices is associated with a significant risk of infection by this bacterium which possesses a variety of virulence factors, including many toxins, and the ability to invade eukaryotic cells or to form biofilm on biotic and abiotic surfaces. The present study evaluates the anti-infective properties of serratiopeptidase, a secreted protein of Serratia marcescens, in impairing virulence-related staphylococcal properties, such as attachment to inert surfaces and adhesion/invasion on eukaryotic cells. SPEP seems to exert its action by modulating specific proteins. Proteomic studies performed on surface proteins extracted from SPEP-treated S. aureus cultures revealed that a number of proteins are affected by the treatment. Among these we found the adhesin/autolysin Atl, FnBP-A, SecA1, Sbi, EF-Tu, EF-G, and alpha-enolase. EF-Tu, EF-G and alpha-enolase are known to perform a variety of functions, depending on their cytoplasmic or surface localization. All these factors can facilitate bacterial colonization, persistence and invasion of host tissues. Our results suggest that SPEP could be developed as a potential anti-infective agent capable to hinder the entry of S. aureus into human tissues, and also impair the ability of this pathogen to form biofilm on prostheses, catheters and medical devices.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2011; 24(3):661-72. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The main problem associated with artificial vascular devices is the risk of bacterial infections, mostly sustained by coagulase negative Staphylococci or Staphylococcus aureus. Many efforts have been made to identify materials refractory to bacterial adhesion. The aim of our study is to verify the antimicrobial properties of two kinds of vascular prosthesis to prevent early onset infections and the efficacy of the concomitant action of a systemic antibiotic treatment. Adult male Wistar rats were used. We subcutaneously implanted in four groups a silver-coated prosthesis fragment, and a rifampicin-soaked prosthesis fragment in the remaining four groups. We inoculated in the site of implant a high bacterial burden of S. aureus in four groups and a low burden in the remaining groups. Systemic levofloxacin was administered for seven days in four groups representing the two kinds of prosthesis; after 21 days the rats were sacrificed, prosthesis fragments were sonicated and the corresponding supernatants were plated for bacterial counts. The rifampicin-soaked prostheses explanted from rats treated with levofloxacin were sterile, regardless of the bacterial inoculum. In other groups some prostheses were colonized. In the experimental rat model used, the action of local and systemic antibiotic treatment was able to reduce colonisation of artificial prostheses.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2010; 23(1):383-6. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes is a notably invasive bacterium associated with life-threatening food-borne disease in humans. Several surface proteins have been shown to be essential in the adhesion of L. monocytogenes, and in the subsequent invasion of phagocytes. Because the control of the invasion of host cells by Listeria could potentially hinder its spread in the infected host, we have examined the effects of a protease treatment on the ability of L. monocytogenes to form biofilms and to invade tissues. We have chosen serratiopeptidase (SPEP), an extracellular metalloprotease produced by Serratia marcescens that is already widely used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and has been shown to modulate adhesin expression and to induce antibiotic sensitivity in other bacteria. Treatment of L. monocytogenes with sublethal concentrations of SPEP reduced their ability to form biofilms and to invade host cells. Zymograms of the treated cells revealed that Ami4b autolysin, internalinB, and ActA were sharply reduced. These cell-surface proteins are known to function as ligands in the interaction between these bacteria and their host cells, and our data suggest that treatment with this natural enzyme may provide a useful tool in the prevention of the initial adhesion of L. monocytogenes to the human gut.
    Microbial Pathogenesis 08/2008; 45(1):45-52. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Six Archaea belonging to the phylum Euryarchaeota were previously analyzed with respect to stringent control. Only one of the strains studied was shown to possess Bacteria-like stringent control over stable RNA accumulation; ppGpp and pppGpp production was totally lacking in all Archaea analyzed. To broaden our knowledge of stringent control in the Archaea, we examined here the accumulation of stable RNA and the production of ppGpp and pppGpp under amino acid starvation in three species of the genus Sulfolobus belonging to the Crenarchaeota, an archaeal phylum distant from the Euryarchaeota. In these species the accumulation of sRNA was arrested when aminoacylation of tRNA was inhibited by pseudomonic acid. Furthermore, stringent control of stable RNA accumulation was relaxed by some protein synthesis inhibitors that do not interfere with aminoacylation of tRNA, a feature typical of bacterial stringent control. Neither ppGpp nor pppGpp could be detected during growth or under amino acid starvation, and the intracellular GTP levels did not decrease in the course of the stringent response. These results show that: (1) stringency is widespread in wild-type thermoacidophilic archaea; (2) in the crenarchaeal species analyzed here SC depends on the deaminoacylation of tRNA; (3) in the strains analyzed ppGpp is not produced during normal growth nor during the stringent reaction; it is therefore not an effector either of SC over sRNA synthesis or of growth control. (p)ppGpp appears to be completely absent from the Archaea and thus constitutes an additional feature that distinguishes the Bacteria from the Archaea.
    Research in Microbiology 04/2004; 155(2):98-104. · 2.89 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

41 Citations
18.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases
      Roma, Latium, Italy