Lucilla Bongiorno-Borbone

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (16)90.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is the most feared of all cancers because of its heterogeneity and resistance to available treatments. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the cell population responsible for lung cancer chemoresistance and are a very good model for testing new targeted therapies. Clomipramine is an FDA-approved antidepressant drug, able to inhibit in vitro the E3 ubiquitin ligase Itch and potentiate the pro-apoptotic effects of DNA damaging induced agents in several cancer cell lines. Here, we investigated the potential therapeutic effect of desmethylclomipramine (DCMI), the active metabolite of Clomipramine, on the CSCs homeostasis. We show that DCMI inhibits lung CSCs growth, decreases their stemness potential and increases the cytotoxic effect of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Being DCMI an inhibitor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Itch, we also verified the effect of Itch deregulation on CSCs survival. We found that the siRNA-mediated depletion of Itch induces similar anti-proliferative effects on lung CSCs, suggesting that DCMI might exert its effect, at least in part, by inhibiting Itch. Notably, Itch expression is a negative prognostic factor in two primary lung tumors datasets, supporting the potential clinical relevance of Itch inhibition to circumvent drug resistance in the treatment of lung cancer.
    Oncotarget 07/2015; 6(19):16926-38. · 6.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metastasis is a multistep cell-biological process, which is orchestrated by many factors, including metastasis activators and suppressors. Metastasis Suppressor 1 (MTSS1) was originally identified as a metastasis suppressor protein whose expression is lost in metastatic bladder and prostate carcinomas. However, recent findings indicate that MTSS1 acts as oncogene and pro-migratory factor in melanoma tumors. Here, we identify and characterized a molecular mechanism controlling MTSS1 expression, which impinges on a pro-tumorigenic role of MTSS1 in breast tumors. We found that in normal and in cancer cell lines ΔNp63 is able to drive the expression of MTSS1 by binding to a p63-binding responsive element localized in the MTSS1 locus. We reported that ΔNp63 is able to drive the migration of breast tumor cells by inducing the expression of MTSS1. Notably, in three human breast tumors data sets the MTSS1/p63 co-expression is a negative prognostic factor on patient survival, suggesting that the MTSS1/p63 axis might be functionally important to regulate breast tumor progression.Oncogene advance online publication, 29 June 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.230.
    Oncogene 06/2015; DOI:10.1038/onc.2015.230 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transactivation-proficient (TA) p73 is a transcription factor belonging to the p53 family, which regulates a variety of biological processes, including neurogenesis, differentiation, apoptosis and DNA damage checkpoint response. In the present study we adopted multiple Omics approaches, based upon the simultaneous application of metabolomics, lipidomics, and proteomics, in order to dissect the intracellular pathways activated by p73. As cellular model we utilized a clone of the human osteosarcoma SAOS-2 cell line that allows the expression of TAp73α in an inducible manner. We found that TAp73α promoted mitochondrial activity (accumulation of metabolic intermediates and up-regulation of proteins related to the Krebs cycle), boosted glutathione homeostasis, increased arginine-citrulline-NO metabolism, altered purine synthesis and promoted pentose phosphate pathway towards NADPH accumulation for reducing and biosynthetic purposes. Indeed, lipid metabolism was driven towards the accumulation and oxidation of long-chain fatty acids with pro-apoptotic potential. In parallel, the expression of TAp73α was accompanied by the dephosphorylation of key proteins of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint. In conclusion, the obtained results confirm existing evidence from transcriptomics analyses and suggest a role for TAp73α in the regulation of cellular metabolism, cell survival and cell growth.
    Journal of Proteome Research 08/2013; 12(9). DOI:10.1021/pr4005508 · 5.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor p63 is critical for many biological processes, including development and maintenance of epidermal tissues and tumorigenesis. Here, we report that the p63 TA isoforms regulate cell metabolism through the induction of the mitochondrial glutaminase 2 (GLS2) gene both in primary cells and tumor cell lines. By ChIP analysis and luciferase assay, we confirmed that TAp63 binds directly to the p53/p63 consensus DNA binding sequence within the GLS2 promoter region. Given the critical role of p63 in epidermal differentiation, we have investigated the regulation of GLS2 expression during this process. GLS2 and TAp63 expression increases during the in vitro differentiation of primary human keratinocytes, and depletion of GLS2 inhibits skin differentiation both at molecular and cellular levels. We found that GLS2 and TAp63 expression are concomitantly induced in cancer cells exposed to oxidative stresses. siRNA-mediated depletion of GLS2 sensitizes cells to ROS-induced apoptosis, suggesting that the TAp63/GLS2 axis can be functionally important as a cellular antioxidant pathway in the absence of p53. Accordingly, we found that GLS2 is upregulated in colon adenocarcinoma. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that GLS2 is a bona fide TAp63 target gene, and that the TAp63-dependent regulation of GLS2 is important for both physiological and pathological processes.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 04/2013; 12(9). DOI:10.4161/cc.24478 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor cells activate pathways that facilitate and stimulate glycolysis even in the presence of adequate levels of oxygen in order to satisfy their continuous need of molecules, such as nucleotides, ATP and fatty acids, necessary to support their rapid proliferation. Accordingly, a variety of human tumors are characterized by elevated expression levels of the hexokinase 2 isoform (HK2). Although different molecular mechanisms, including genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, have been suggested to account for the altered expression of HK2 in tumors, the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of HK2 expression has not been evaluated. Here, we report that miR-143 inhibits HK2 expression via a conserved miR-143 recognition motif located in the 3'-untranslated region (3'UTR) of HK2 mRNA. We demonstrate that miR143 inhibits HK2 expression both in primary keratinocytes and in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)-derived cell lines. Importantly, we found that miR-143 inversely correlates with HK2 expression in HNSCC-derived cell lines and in primary tumors. We also report that the miRNA-dependent regulation of hexokinase expression is not limited to HK2 as miR-138 targets HK1 via a specific recognition motif located in its 3'UTR. All these data unveil a new miRNA-dependent mechanism of regulation of hexokinase expression potentially important in the regulation of glucose metabolism of cancer cells.Oncogene advance online publication, 2 April 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.100.
    Oncogene 04/2012; 32(6). DOI:10.1038/onc.2012.100 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Replication-dependent histone gene expression is a fundamental process occurring in S-phase under the control of the cyclin-E/CDK2 complex. This process is regulated by a number of proteins, including Flice-Associated Huge Protein (FLASH) (CASP8AP2), concentrated in specific nuclear organelles known as HLBs. FLASH regulates both histone gene transcription and mRNA maturation, and its downregulation in vitro results in the depletion of the histone pull and cell-cycle arrest in S-phase. Here we show that the transcription factor p73 binds to FLASH and is part of the complex that regulates histone gene transcription. Moreover, we created a novel gene trap to disrupt FLASH in mice, and we show that homozygous deletion of FLASH results in early embryonic lethality, owing to arrest of FLASH(-/-) embryos at the morula stage. These results indicate that FLASH is an essential, non-redundant regulator of histone transcription and cell cycle during embryogenesis.
    Oncogene 07/2011; 31(5):573-82. DOI:10.1038/onc.2011.274 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    L Bongiorno-Borbone · A De Cola · D Barcaroli · RA Knight · C Di Ilio · G Melino · V De Laurenzi
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    ABSTRACT: Eucaryotic cell nuclei contain a number of different organelles that are highly dynamic structures and respond to a variety of stimuli. Here we investigated the effect of UV irradiation on a recently identified group of organelles, Histone Locus Bodies. Histone Locus Bodies contain at least two main proteins, FLASH and NPAT, and have been shown to be involved in replication-dependent histone gene transcription. We show that these organelles are disrupted after sublethal irradiation and both FLASH and NPAT are degraded, which in turn results in cell-cycle arrest at the S/G2 transition. The effect on the cell cycle is due to reduced transcription of histone genes and restoring normal histone protein levels by stabilizing histone mRNA allows cells to progress through the cell cycle. This provides a novel mechanism of S-phase arrest in response to DNA damage that potentially allows DNA repair before cells continue into mitosis, and thus prevents transmission of genomic alterations.
    Oncogene 11/2009; 29(6):802-10. DOI:10.1038/onc.2009.388 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cajal Bodies are one of many specialised organelles contained in the eukaryotic cell nucleus, and are involved in a number of functions, including regulation of replication-dependent histone gene transcription. In normal diploid cells their number varies between 0 and 4 depending on the cell cycle phase, although in cancer cell lines their number is extremely variable and it has been suggested that it correlates with cell ploidy. Here we show that in mammalian cells, as in Drosophila, two distinct though functionally related bodies exist: a histone gene locus body and a Cajal Body. The first one can be detected using FLASH or NPAT as markers while the second is labelled using antibodies against Coilin. Only the number of FLASH/NPAT histone gene locus bodies correlates with ploidy and only these organelles appear to be regulated during the cell cycle. Finally, we show that the two organelles completely co-localize during the S phase of the cell cycle.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 09/2008; 7(15):2357-67. DOI:10.4161/cc.6344 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cajal bodies are nuclear subdomains that are involved in maturation of small ribonucleoproteins and frequently associate with small nuclear RNA and histone gene clusters in interphase cells. We have recently identified FADD-like IL-1beta-converting enzyme (FLICE) associated huge protein (FLASH) as an essential component of Cajal bodies. Here we show that FLASH associates with nuclear protein, ataxia-telangiectasia, a component of the cell-cycle-dependent histone gene transcription machinery. Reduction of FLASH expression by RNA interference results in disruption of the normal Cajal body architecture and relocalization of nuclear protein, ataxia-telangiectasia. Furthermore, FLASH down-regulation results in a clear reduction of histone transcription and a dramatic S-phase arrest of the cell cycle. Chromatin immunoprecipitation reveals that FLASH interacts with histone gene promoter sequences. These results identify FLASH as an important component of the machinery required for histone precursor mRNA expression and cell-cycle progression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(40):14808-12. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0604227103 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cajal bodies are small nuclear organelles with a number of nuclear functions. Here we show that FLICE-associated huge protein (FLASH), originally described as a component of the apoptosis signaling pathway, is mainly localized in Cajal bodies and is essential for their structure. Reduction in FLASH expression by short hairpin RNA results in disruption of the normal architecture of the Cajal body and relocalization of its components. Because the function of FLASH in the apoptosis receptor signaling pathway has been strongly questioned, we have now identified a clear function for this protein.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(40):14802-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0604225103 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Lucilla Bongiorno-Borbone · Gress Kadaré · Fabio Benfenati · Jean-Antoine Girault
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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) are two related non-receptor tyrosine kinases highly expressed in brain. Although they are both involved in synaptic plasticity, little is known about their specific neuronal partners. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen and GST pull-down assays we show that SAPAP3 (SAP90/PSD-95-Associated Protein-3) interacts with FAK (residues 676-840) and PYK2. The three proteins partly co-distribute in the same sucrose gradient fractions as the post-synaptic density protein PSD-95 and Src. Our results suggest that SAPAP3 is an anchoring protein for FAK and PYK2 in post-synaptic densities and may contribute to the synaptic function of these tyrosine kinases.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2005; 337(2):641-6. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.09.099 · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • Jean-Claude Ameisen · Anissa Chikh · Lucilla Bongiorno-Borbone · Richard A Knight · Gerry Melino
    Journal de la Société de Biologie 01/2005; DOI:10.1051/jbio:2005028
  • Jean-claude Ameisen · Anissa Chikh · Lucilla Bongiorno-Borbone · Richard A Knight · Gerry Melino
    Journal de la Société de Biologie 01/2005; 199(3):267-76.
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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that activates Src family kinases via SH2- and SH3-mediated interactions. Specific FAK isoforms (FAK+), responsive to depolarization and neurotransmitters, are enriched in neurons. We analyzed the interactions of endogenous FAK+ and recombinant FAK+ isoforms containing amino acid insertions (boxes 6,7,28) with an array of SH3 domains and the c-Src SH2/SH3 domain tandem. Endogenous FAK+ bound specifically to the SH3 domains of c-Src (but not n-Src), Fyn, Yes, phosphtidylinositol-3 kinase, amphiphysin II, amphiphysin I, phospholipase Cgamma and NH2-terminal Grb2. The inclusion of boxes 6,7 was associated with a significant decrease in the binding of FAK+ to the c-Src and Fyn SH3 domains, and a significant increase in the binding to the Src SH2 domain, as a consequence of the higher phosphorylation of Tyr-397. The novel interaction with the amphiphysin SH3 domain, involving the COOH-terminal proline-rich region of FAK, was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation of the two proteins and a closely similar response to stimuli affecting the actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, an impairment of endocytosis was observed in synaptosomes after internalization of a proline-rich peptide corresponding to the site of interaction. The data account for the different subcellular distribution of FAK and Src kinases and the specific regulation of the transduction pathways linked to FAK activation in the brain and implicate FAK in the regulation of membrane trafficking in nerve terminals.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 02/2003; 84(2):253-65. DOI:10.1046/j.1471-4159.2003.01519.x · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the related proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) are non-receptor protein tyrosine kinases that transduce extracellular signals through the activation of Src family kinases and are highly enriched in neurones. To further elucidate the regulation of FAK and PYK2 in nervous tissue, we investigated their distribution in brain subcellular fractions and analysed their translocation between membrane and cytosolic compartments. We have found that FAK and PYK2 are present in a small membrane-associated pool and a larger cytosolic pool in various neuronal compartments including nerve terminals. In intact nerve terminals, inhibition of Src kinases inhibited the membrane association of FAK, but not of PYK2, whereas tyrosine phosphatase inhibition sharply increased the membrane association of both FAK and PYK2. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton was followed by a decrease in the membrane-associated pool of FAK, but not of PYK2. For both kinases, a significant correlation was found between autophosphorylation and membrane association. The data indicate that FAK and PYK2 are present in nerve terminals and that the membrane association of FAK is regulated by both phosphorylation and actin assembly, whereas that of PKY2 is primarily dependent on its phosphorylation state.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 07/2002; 81(6):1212-22. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the related proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) are non-receptor protein tyrosine kinases that transduce extracellular signals through the activation of Src family kinases and are highly enriched in neurones. To further elucidate the regulation of FAK and PYK2 in nervous tissue, we investigated their distribution in brain subcellular fractions and analysed their translocation between membrane and cytosolic compartments. We have found that FAK and PYK2 are present in a small membrane-associated pool and a larger cytosolic pool in various neuronal compartments including nerve terminals. In intact nerve terminals, inhibition of Src kinases inhibited the membrane association of FAK, but not of PYK2, whereas tyrosine phosphatase inhibition sharply increased the membrane association of both FAK and PYK2. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton was followed by a decrease in the membrane-associated pool of FAK, but not of PYK2. For both kinases, a significant correlation was found between autophosphorylation and membrane association. The data indicate that FAK and PYK2 are present in nerve terminals and that the membrane association of FAK is regulated by both phosphorylation and actin assembly, whereas that of PKY2 is primarily dependent on its phosphorylation state.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 06/2002; 81(6):1212 - 1222. DOI:10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.00906.x · 4.24 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

279 Citations
90.51 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2015
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      • Dipartimento di Biologia
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • Ospedale di San Raffaele Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2005
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      • Institut du Fer à Moulin
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2003
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale (DIMES)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy