Davide Barberis

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (6)47.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ron, the tyrosine kinase receptor for macrophage-stimulating protein is responsible for proliferation and migration of cells from different tissues. Ron can acquire oncogenic potential by single point mutations in the kinase domain, and dysregulated Ron signaling has been involved in the development of different human cancers. We have previously shown that ligand-activated Ron recruits the negative regulator c-Cbl, which mediates its ubiquitylation and degradation. Here we report that Ron is ubiquitylated also by the U-box E3 ligase C-terminal Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP), recruited via chaperone intermediates Hsp90 and Hsc70. Gene silencing shows that CHIP activity is necessary to mediate Ron degradation upon cell treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors geldanamycins. The oncogenic Ron(M1254T) receptor escapes from c-Cbl negative regulation but retains a strong association with CHIP. This constitutively active mutant of Ron displays increased sensitivity to geldanamycins, enhanced physical interaction with Hsp90, and more rapid degradation rate. Cell growth and migration, as well as the transforming potential evoked by Ron(M1254T), are abrogated upon Hsp90 inhibition. These data highlight a novel mechanism for Ron degradation and propose Hsp90 antagonists like geldanamycins as suitable pharmacological agents for therapy of cancers where altered Ron signaling is involved.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2006; 281(31):21710-9. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M602014200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plexins are transmembrane receptors for semaphorins, guiding cell migration and axon extension. Plexin activation leads to the disassembly of integrin-based focal adhesive structures and to actin cytoskeleton remodelling and inhibition of cell migration; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. We consistently observe a transient decrease of cellular RhoA-GTP levels upon plexin activation in adherent cells. One of the main effectors of RhoA downregulation is p190, a ubiquitously expressed GTPase activating protein (GAP). We show that, in p190-deficient fibroblasts, the typical functional activities mediated by plexins (such as cell collapse and inhibition of integrin-based adhesion) are blocked or greatly impaired. Notably, the functional response can be rescued in these cells by re-expressing exogenous p190, but not a mutant form specifically lacking RhoGAP activity. We furthermore demonstrate that semaphorin function is blocked in epithelial cells, primary endothelial cells and neuroblasts upon treatment with small interfering RNAs that knockdown p190 expression. Finally, we show that p190 transiently associates with plexins, and its RhoGAP activity is increased in response to semaphorin stimulation. We conclude that p190-RhoGAP is crucially involved in semaphorin signalling to the actin cytoskeleton, via interaction with plexins.
    Journal of Cell Science 11/2005; 118(Pt 20):4689-700. DOI:10.1242/jcs.02590 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Semaphorins are a large family of molecular cues implicated in neural development and in a variety of functions outside the nervous system. Semaphorin 5A (Sema5A) is a transmembrane semaphorin, containing seven thrombospondin type-1 repeats, which was recently found to control axon guidance. Here we show that plexin-B3 is a high-affinity receptor specific for Sema5A. We further demonstrate that plexin-B3 activation by Sema5A mediates functional responses in plexin-B3-expressing cells (either fibroblasts, epithelial and primary endothelial cells). In addition, Sema5A can trigger the intracellular signalling of the hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor receptor, Met, associated in a complex with plexin-B3. We thus conclude that Sema5A is able to elicit multiple functional responses through its receptor plexin-B3.
    EMBO Reports 08/2004; 5(7):710-4. DOI:10.1038/sj.embor.7400189 · 7.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plexins encode receptors for semaphorins, molecular signals guiding cell migration, and axon pathfinding. The mechanisms mediating plexin function are poorly understood. Plexin activation in adhering cells rapidly leads to retraction of cellular processes and cell rounding "cell collapse"). Here we show that, unexpectedly, this response does not require the activity of Rho-dependent kinase (ROCK) nor the contraction of F-actin cables. Interestingly, integrin-based focal adhesive structures are disassembled within minutes upon plexin activation; this is followed by actin depolymerization and, eventually, by cellular collapse. We also show that plexin activation hinders cell attachment to adhesive substrates, blocks the extension of lamellipodia, and thereby inhibits cell migration. We conclude that plexin signaling uncouples cell substrate-adhesion from cytoskeletal dynamics required for cell migration and axon extension.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2004; 18(3):592-4. DOI:10.1096/fj.03-0957fje · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PLEXIN genes encode receptors for secreted and membrane-bound semaphorins. It was proposed that the extracellular domain of plexins acts as an inhibitory moiety, preventing receptor activation. Here we show that plexin-B1 and plexin-B2 undergo proteolytic processing in their extracellular portion, thereby converting single-chain precursors into non-disulfide-linked, heterodimeric receptors. We demonstrate that plexin processing is mediated by subtilisin-like proprotein convertases, by inhibition with alpha1-antitrypsin Portland, and by mutagenesis of the substrate-cleavage sites. We provide evidence indicating that proprotein convertases cleave plexins in a post-Golgi compartment and, likely, at the cell surface. In addition, we find that both cell surface targeting and proteolytic processing of plexin-B1 depend on protein-protein interaction motifs in the cytoplasmic domain of the receptor. We then show that proteolytic conversion of plexin-B1 into a heterodimeric receptor greatly increases the binding and the functional response to its specific ligand semaphorin 4D/CD100. Thus, we conclude that cleavage by proprotein convertases is a novel regulatory step for semaphorin receptors localized at the cell surface.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2003; 278(12):10094-101. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M210156200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Semaphorins are cell surface and soluble signals that control axonal guidance. Recently, semaphorin receptors (plexins) have been discovered and shown to be widely expressed. Their biological activities outside the nervous system and the signal transduction mechanism(s) they utilize are largely unknown. Here, we show that in epithelial cells, Semaphorin 4D (Sema 4D) triggers invasive growth, a complex programme that includes cell#150;cell dissociation, anchorage-independent growth and branching morphogenesis. Interestingly, the same response is also controlled by scatter factors through their tyrosine kinase receptors, which share striking structural homology with plexins in their extracellular domain. We found that in cells expressing the endogenous proteins, Plexin B1 (the Sema 4D Receptor) and Met (the Scatter Factor 1/ Hepatocyte Growth Factor Receptor) associate in a complex. In addition, binding of Sema 4D to Plexin B1 stimulates the tyrosine kinase activity of Met, resulting in tyrosine phosphorylation of both receptors. Finally, cells lacking Met expression do not respond to Sema 4D unless exogenous Met is expressed. This work identifies a novel biological function of semaphorins and suggests the involvement of an unexpected signalling mechanism, namely, the coupling of a plexin to a tyrosine kinase receptor.
    Nature Cell Biology 10/2002; 4(9):720-4. DOI:10.1038/ncb843 · 20.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

577 Citations
47.92 Total Impact Points


  • 2005
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • Universit√† degli Studi di Torino
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2002
    • Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy