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Publications (3)11.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The four regulatory subunits (R1A, R1B, R2A, R2B) of protein kinase A (PKA) are differentially expressed in several cancer cell lines and exert distinct roles in growth control. Mutations of the R1A gene have been found in patients with Carney complex and in a minority of sporadic primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of PKA regulatory subunits in non-PPNAD adrenocortical tumors causing ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome and to test the impact of differential expression of these subunits on cell growth. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated a defective expression of R2B in all cortisol-secreting adenomas (n=16) compared with the normal counterpart, while both R1A and R2A were expressed at high levels in the same tissues. Conversely, carcinomas (n=5) showed high levels of all subunits. Sequencing of R1A and R2B genes revealed a wild type sequence in all tissues. The effect of R1/R2 ratio on proliferation was assessed in mouse adrenocortical Y-1 cells. The R2-selective cAMP analogue 8-Cl-cAMP dose-dependently inhibited Y-1 cell proliferation and induced apoptosis, while the R1-selective cAMP analogue 8-HA-cAMP stimulated cell proliferation. Finally, R2B gene silencing induced up-regulation of R1A protein, associated with an increase in cell proliferation. In conclusion, we propose that a high R1/R2 ratio favors the proliferation of well differentiated and hormone producing adrenocortical cells, while unbalanced expression of these subunits is not required for malignant transformation.
    Experimental Cell Research 02/2008; 314(1):123-30. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors. The cAMP-dependent pathway is physiologically activated by ACTH in adrenocortical cells and different components of this cascade may be altered in some functioning adrenocortical tumors. Recently, mutations of the gene encoding the PKA type 1 A regulatory subunit (R1 A), PRKAR1A, associated with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at PRKAR1A locus, have been demonstrated in primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD), either isolated or associated with Carney complex. Moreover, activating mutations of the Gs(alpha) gene (the gsp oncogene) have also been found in a small number of adrenocortical cortisol-secreting adenomas. Aim of this study was to investigate the presence of such genetic alterations on a series of 10 ACTH-independent Cushing syndrome due to non-PPNAD adrenocortical adenomas. The coding sequence of PRKAR1A, evaluated by PCR and direct sequencing analysis, revealed the absence of mutations while heterozygosity for at least 1 polymorphism excluded LOH in most tumors. In one single adenoma gsp mutation was detected. In conclusion, we provide additional evidence that the only mutational changes able to activate the cAMP pathway so far identified, i.e. PRKAR1A mutations and gsp oncogene, are a rare event in adrenocortical tumors.
    Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 06/2005; 113(5):248-51. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations of the Gsalpha gene inherited from the mother lead to pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP) type Ia (PHP Ia), in which Albright's hereditary osteodistrophy is associated to resistance to the action of different hormones, whereas the same mutations inherited from the father lead to isolated Albright's hereditary osteodistrophy [pseudo-PHP (PPHP)]. Accordingly, it has been suggested that Gsalpha is under tissue-specific imprinting control, and recent studies provided evidence for a predominant maternal origin of Gsalpha transcripts in different endocrine organs involved in the PHP Ia phenotype. To establish whether Gsalpha is imprinted also in tissues that are site of alteration both in PHP Ia and PPHP, we selected 20 bone and 10 adipose tissue samples, which were heterozygous for a known polymorphism in exon 5. Expression from both parental alleles was evaluated by RT-PCR and enzymatic digestion of the resulting fragments. By this approach, the great majority of the samples analyzed showed an equal expression of the two alleles. Our results provide evidence for the absence of Gsalpha imprinting in human bone and fat and suggest that the clinical finding of osteodystrophy and obesity in PHP Ia and PPHP patients despite the presence of a normal Gsalpha allele is likely due to Gsalpha haploinsufficiency in these tissues.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 01/2005; 89(12):6316-9. · 6.43 Impact Factor