Anna De Filippis

Second University of Naples, Caserta, Campania, Italy

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Publications (17)41.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Statins are a class of drugs that inhibit the rate-limiting step in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and show an anticancer effect, probably through the inhibition of cell proliferation. To date, the exact mechanism of cancer cell growth arrest induced by statins is not known. We report that simvastatin is able to induce apoptosis in melanoma cells but not in normal cells and also able to contrast the growth of tumor in an experimental melanoma murine model. We observed a delay in the tumor development in almost the 50% of the simvastatin administered animals and a strong reduction of the tumor volume with a differences of ~150% compared to the controls. Also the survival rate was significantly higher in mice that received the drug with a survival increase of ~130% compared to the controls. The tumor growth reduction in mice was supported by the results of cell migration assay, confirming that simvastatin clearly reduced cell migration. Moreover, simvastatin induced a strong downregulation of NonO gene expression, an important growth factor involved in the splicing regulation. This result could explain the decrease of melanoma cells proliferation, suggesting a possible action mechanism. The results derived from our experiments may sustain the many reports on the anticancer inhibitory property of statins and encourage new studies on this drug for a possible use in therapy, probably in combination with conventional chemotherapy.
    International Journal of Oncology 10/2013; 43(6). DOI:10.3892/ijo.2013.2126 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As a yet thoroughly explored component of biodiversity, endophytic fungi are stimulating a huge research activity worldwide concerning their occurrence, biocenotic role, and opportunities for exploitation in biotechnologies. This paper presents the results of an investigation on fungal endophytes from 28 species of trees and shrubs thriving at the Astroni Nature Reserve near Naples, Italy. One hundred and eight isolates were recovered, a number of which represent new records of endophytic occurrence in the corresponding host plants. In a bioassay-driven procedure for the selection of strains possibly producing antitumor compounds based on their antifungal properties in vitro, about 35% of the isolates induced fungitoxic effects, and 10% were mycoparasitic, with the species Biscogniauxia mediterranea, Nemania serpens, Paraconiothyrium brasiliense and Phomopsis theicola reported for the first time for such an aptitude. Inhibition of mycelial growth was confirmed for about 60% of the culture extracts prepared from these bioactive strains, and was mostly correlated to an antiproliferative activity in human tumor cell cultures. Particularly, five strains were selected to be further investigated for the purification and the characterization of putative cytostatic compounds.
    African journal of microbiology research 08/2013; 7:4073-4083. DOI:10.5897/AJMR2013.5808 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malassezia pachydermatis is a normal inhabitant of canine and feline skin that can spread to other pets. The outer layer or epidermis is made up primarily of keratinocytes, which are capable of releasing various factors and expressing receptors that are significantly involved in the immune regulation. Little is known about the mechanism by which M. pachydermatis overcomes the natural barrier of the skin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the direct in vitro interaction between human keratinocytes and a clinical strain of live M. pachydermatis isolated as a pure culture from an otitic cat. Human keratinocytes (HaCat) were infected with M. pachydermatis to analyse the modulation of the innate immune response. Gene expression was analysed by real-time PCR. We demonstrated that M. pachydermatis invaded HaCat cells and modulated the expression of TLR2 after 24h infection, while HBD-2, IL-1β TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8 were modulated both at 24 and 48h. Thus, our results demonstrated that M. pachydermatis is able to stimulate the innate immune response in infected human keratinocytes indicating a possible role of this yeast as a human opportunistic pathogen.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2012; 163(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.12.001 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that human keratinocytes produce the anti-microbial peptide β-defensin 2. Its production is enhanced by pathogenic microorganisms or other environmental stressors. In this study, we evaluated the effect of resveratrol, a polyphenol found in several dietary source as grape seed, and its natural precursor, polydatin on heat-stressed human keratinocytes. By reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay, we demonstrated that resveratrol used in combination with polydatin was able to modulate interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene expression. In addition, our data show that resveratrol and polydatin increased the heat shock protein (Hsp)70B' gene expression, a Hsp that plays an important role in the cytoprotection and repair of cells and tissues. Worthy of note, polydatin used alone or in combination with resveratrol, increased the release of human β-defensin 2. These results highlighted the ability of polydatin and resveratrol to reinforce cytoprotective response in stress conditions and suggest their use in cosmetic or pharmaceutical preparations.
    Inflammation 09/2012; DOI:10.1007/s10753-012-9516-8 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori infection causes chronic oxidative stress on gastric mucosa, thereby causing mucosal damage and increasing the risk of gastric adenocarcinoma. Nrf2 is an important transcription factor, regulating the antioxidant response in the cells. Nrf2 signaling is repressed by Keap1 at basal condition and induced by oxidative stress. The aim of our study was to analyze whether the H. pylori proteins interfered in the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway. Gene expression in AGS cells transiently and stably transfected was analyzed by real-time PCR. Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays were performed to investigate the ability of H. pylori proteins to interfere with the Nrf2 pathway. We demonstrated that the H. pylori HspB protein interferes with Nrf2/Keap1 pathway. When HspB was transiently transfected in AGS cells, a significant increase in Keap1 gene expression was induced. The same result was observed when AGS cells were HspB stably transfected. In this case, the increase in Keap1 was associated with reduced gene expression of Nrf2, and of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, hemeoxygenase-1, and phase II detoxifying enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1. Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays confirmed the ability of HspB protein to interfere with the Nrf2 pathway. Lastly, in HspB-transfected AGS cells, sustained activation of IL-8, COX2, MMP3, and MMP7 was demonstrated. The results here reported suggest that inhibited nuclear translocation of Nrf2, associated with induced inflammation and increased production of MMPs, might represent a condition enhancing the risk of gastric adenocarcinoma.
    Helicobacter 07/2012; 17(6):417-25. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-5378.2012.00973.x · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psoriasis is a chronic skin inflammatory disease in which a pleiotropic cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), plays a central role, as demonstrated by the clinical success of anti-TNF-α therapy. Among the multiple effects of TNF-α on keratinocytes, the induction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), a collagenase implicated in joint inflammation, might be one of the key mechanisms in psoriasis pathogenesis. Interestingly, MMP-9 expression can be enhanced also by osteopontin (OPN), a glycosylated protein whose levels are increased in skin and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of psoriasis patients. The aim of the current study is to investigate the relationship between OPN, MMP-9 and TNF-α in psoriasis. Our survey identified high levels of both OPN and MMP-9 in PBMC as well as skin of psoriatic patients with respect to healthy controls. Significant reduction of OPN and MMP-9 levels in PBMC, plasma and lesional skin of psoriasis patients was observed after 24 weeks of anti-TNF-α therapy. Moreover, OPN and MMP-9 were enhanced by TNF-α and down-regulated by anti-TNF-α treatment in healthy PBMC. These findings may suggest that OPN and MMP-9 may be regulated by TNF-α, indicating a possible role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.
    Archives for Dermatological Research 06/2012; 304(6):481-5. DOI:10.1007/s00403-012-1251-3 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease characterized by severe and chronic course, histopathologically characterized by infiltration of a large quantity of eosinophils, neutrophils, and activated Th1 and Th2 cells around the blister. Polarization of Th cells to Th1 or Th2 phenotypes, a critical aspect of cell-mediated immunity, is influenced by production of early cytokines, including osteopontin. To determine the involvement of osteopontin in pemphigus vulgaris patients in active stage of the disease, auto-antibodies to desmoglein-1 and desmoglein-3 and plasmatic osteopontin levels were examined by ELISA tests. In this work, significant plasmatic level of osteopontin in PV patients with active stage of disease were found particularly in those patients with both skin and oral pemphigus. OPN might drive the immune responses playing an important role in pemphigus onset.
    Archives for Dermatological Research 10/2011; 304(3):237-40. DOI:10.1007/s00403-011-1186-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells make up a subpopulation of cells within tumours that drive tumour initiation, growth and recurrence. They are resistant to many current types of cancer treatment, causing failure of such therapeutic approaches, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the study described here, anti-proliferative effects of 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF), a metabolite from Penicillium pinophilum, were investigated on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and cancer stem cells selected as mammospheres derived from MCF-7s. Stemness markers were analysed on isolated mammospheres showing positive expression of CD24, CD29, CD44, CD133, CD184 and CD338. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were analysed by flow cytometry and RT-PCR. Cell colony formation assays were performed to evaluate colony formation of mammospheres. OMF treatment affected both MCF-7 and mammosphere growth, inducing apoptosis. In addition, OMF strongly reduced stemness markers and survivin, hTERT and Nanog-1 gene expression. Growth of colonies in soft-agar was significantly affected by OMF treatment, too. Lastly, we tested ability of MCF-7 cells to form mammospheres after treatment with OMF or cisplatin, demonstrating that OMF treatment resulted in drastic reduction in number of mammospheres. These results introduce OMF as an effective molecule in suppressing breast cancer stem cells.
    Cell Proliferation 10/2011; 44(5):401-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2184.2011.00766.x · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a fatal malignancy linked to asbestos exposure. The main challenge for mesothelioma treatment is to go beyond the drug resistance, in particular against cisplatin (CDDP), one of the most used chemotherapeutic drug. 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF) is a metabolite produced by the fungus Penicillium pinophilum; its antiproliferative properties have been previously studied in vitro. Particularly, OMF is able to inhibit mesothelioma cell motility. To improve the effects of CDDP by-passing the resistance of mesothelioma cells to this drug, in the present study we investigated the combined treatment of OMF with CDDP respectively in an established mesothelioma cell line (NCI) and primary mesothelioma cells (Mest). As compared to the effect of single treatments, the combination of OMF and CDDP resulted in a stronger inhibition of NCI and Mest cell proliferation. OMF combination with CDDP was also able to affect the migratory ability of NCI and Mest cells by down-regulating αv and β5 expression and reducing metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) production. In addition, this association was effective in modulating VEGF gene expression. This finding highlights the possibility to use OMF and CDDP together to regulate angiogenesis and tumour progression in mesothelioma.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2011; 30(4):1343-51. DOI:10.1007/s10637-011-9698-1 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human keratinocytes synthesize and secrete non-neuronal acetylcholine, which acts as a local cell signaling molecule, regulating functions like proliferation, cell adhesion, motility, desmosomal cell contact, and glandular activity. The keratinocyte acetylcholine axis is composed of the enzymes mediating acetylcholine synthesis (acetyltransferase) and degradation (acetylcholinesterase), and two classes of acetylcholine receptors. In this study we investigated the effect of captopril, an ACE-inhibitor, on acetylcholinesterase and acetylcholine secretion in human keratinocytes. We analyzed the level of acetylcholinesterase in HaCat and NHEK cells by RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis. In addition, the effect of captopril on AChE activity was evaluated. We found that captopril induces a strong AChE up-regulation leading to ACh degradation and reduced secretion. Our results suggest that acantholysis induced by ACE-inhibitors might be linked to altered level of Ach.
    Archives for Dermatological Research 02/2011; 303(7):491-7. DOI:10.1007/s00403-011-1124-1 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF), a secondary metabolite produced by Penicillium pinophilum, affects cell proliferation and motility in a variety of human solid tumours. The aim of this study was to demonstrate whether OMF has the ability to arrest cell division and motility, in a human mesothelioma cell line. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that does not respond to standard therapies the cells of which are considered to be highly resistant to apoptosis. Cell motility and invasion were measured using a modified Boyden chamber. Gene expression was examined by RT-PCR, while ERK1/2 was investigated by Western blot analysis. All experiments were also performed on primary cultures of mesothelial cells. The present study shows that OMF inhibited motility of the NCI mesothelioma cell line by modulating ERK signalling activity, and affected alphaVbeta5 integrin and MMP-2 expression, inducing marked downregulation at both mRNA and protein levels. Substantial downregulation of VEGF gene expression was also demonstrated. These effects were not observed in normal mesothelial cell cultures. OMF may have potential as a naturally derived anti-tumour drug for treatment of mesothelioma.
    Cell Proliferation 04/2010; 43(2):114-23. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2184.2010.00663.x · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanoma cells take advantage of impaired ability to undergo programmed cell death in response to different external stimuli and chemotherapeutic drugs; this makes prevention of tumour progression very difficult. The aim of this study was to demonstrate whether 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF), a metabolite of Penicillium pinophilum, has the ability to arrest cell population growth and to induce apoptosis in A375P (parental) and A375M (metastasis derivatived) melanoma cell lines. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were analysed by flow cytometry, DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation, and PARP-1 cleavage. We demonstrated that OMF affected cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner, reaching the best effect at concentration of 80 microg/ml for 24 h. Flow cytometry revealed that OMF caused significant G(2) phase arrest, which was associated with marked decrease in cyclin B1/p34(cdc2) complex and p21 induction. OMF also induced marked decrease of survivin expression. Reduced levels of apoptosis were evident after silencing p21 expression in both cell lines. Finally, the effect exercised by OMF on hTERT and TEP-1 gene expression confirmed the ability of this molecule to interfere with replicative ability of cells. The results reported here seem to suggest that OMF as a promising molecule to include in strategies for treatment of melanoma.
    Cell Proliferation 06/2009; 42(4):541-53. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2184.2009.00609.x · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the use of a photosensitizing agent, which may require metabolic synthesis (i.e. a prodrug), followed by light activation. Numerous studies have advanced PDT as a means for treating bacteria, fungi and viruses. In this study, the photoinactivation of Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in human keratinocytes using 5-aminolaevulinic acid (5-ALA) was investigated. HaCat cells were infected with HSV-1 and treated with 5-ALA to verify its antiviral effect during the stages of adsorption and penetration to host cells. Immunoblot analysis was used to estimate the effect of ALA-PDT on the production of viral proteins glycoprotein D (gD), infected cell proteins (ICP) 27 and virion protein (VP) 16. We also investigated whether the effect of ALA-PDT was associated with a cellular apoptotic mechanism through DNA fragmentation and the study of p53, PARP and caspase-3 protein expression. While the treatment of ALA-PDT after the viral adsorption period reduced HSV-1 replication by about 70%, it did not act on the virus in the first phase of infection. The viral proteins' expressions were reduced by ALA-PDT treatments. There was no evidence of ALA-PDT-induced apoptosis. Our data suggest that the target of photoinactivation appears to be viral replication and not a cellular response.
    Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine 11/2008; 24(5):237-43. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0781.2008.00367.x · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AV119 is a patented blend of two sugars from avocado that can induce human beta-defensin-2 production by normal human keratinocytes. In this study, we analysed the effect of AV119 on growth and invasiveness of Malassezia furfur, a dimorphic, lipid-dependent yeast that is part of the normal human cutaneous commensal flora. The ability to modulate the expression of the proinflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokines in normal human keratinocytes was also investigated. Microbiological assay demonstrated that this sugar induced the aggregation of yeast cells and inhibited the invasiveness of M. furfur, without affecting its growth. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that AV119 was able to modulate the HBD-2 response in treated keratinocytes, reaching a maximum after 48-h treatment, and to induce the recovery of a satisfactory proinflammatory response in human keratinocytes. As AV119 can induce aggregation of yeast cells, thus inhibiting their penetration into the keratinocytes, the sugar could be used in the preparation of cosmetics or pharmacological drugs to inhibit colonization of the skin by pathogenic strains of M. furfur.
    Experimental Dermatology 12/2007; 16(11):912-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0625.2007.00613.x · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence assigns integrins and metalloproteinases (MMPs) an important role in regulating tumor cell progression. Here, we demonstrate that 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF), a secondary metabolite produced by Penicillium pinophilum, affects cell proliferation and motility of breast cancer MCF-7 cells, downregulating alphavbeta5 integrin, and inhibiting MMP-9 secretion. This effect was absent when the non-tumoral MCF-10 cell line was used. Inhibition of cell motility was also associated to modifications in cell shape and in the distribution of tubulin fibers of OMF-treated MCF-7 cells. In addition, a possible effect on survivin and hTERT was also investigated. We found that OMF strongly inhibits survivin and hTERT gene expression. The results of this study indicate that OMF-induced inhibition of cell motility may be mediated through the modulation of alphavbeta5 integrin and MMP-9 secretion. In addition, the inhibition of typical markers of tumor progression such as hTERT and survivin in MCF-7 and their inactivity towards MCF10 provide strong evidence for a potential use of OMF in anticancer therapy.
    Molecular Carcinogenesis 11/2007; 46(11):930-40. DOI:10.1002/mc.20322 · 4.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The incidence of typhoid fever and shigellosis parallels that of malaria, so many individuals who are on antimalarial drugs can be found in areas where these diseases are widespread. We investigated the effect of quinine sulfate on the growth and invasion of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T to determine whether people on antimalarials can have secondary gain from some protection against typhoid fever and shigellosis.Methods: The effect of 50 and 100 μM quinine sulfate on the invasive ability of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T into human colon adenocarcinoma-2 (Caco-2) cells was studied during the infection period. The invasive efficiency was expressed as the number of viable internalized bacteria by counting the colony-forming units.Results: The invasive ability of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T was significantly inhibited by 50 and 100 μM quinine sulfate in a dose-dependent manner (for Salmonella typhimurium) when the drug was added to Caco-2 cell monolayers during the infection period.Conclusions: Since so many people who are on antimalarial drugs visit and inhabit areas that are endemic to typhoid fever and Shigella infection, a study on the influence of these drugs on the disease is long overdue. Our data indicate that quinine sulfate interferes with the invasion and internalization of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T into host cells. Further studies on additional strains/serotypes with other newer antimalarials at various concentrations are needed to verify this effect of quinine sulfate and to draw conclusions on its significance in vivo.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 03/2006; 12(6):343 - 346. DOI:10.2310/7060.2005.12608 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of typhoid fever and shigellosis parallels that of malaria, so many individuals who are on antimalarial drugs can be found in areas where these diseases are widespread. We investigated the effect of quinine sulfate on the growth and invasion of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T to determine whether people on antimalarials can have secondary gain from some protection against typhoid fever and shigellosis. The effect of 50 and 100 microM quinine sulfate on the invasive ability of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T into human colon adenocarcinoma-2 (Caco-2) cells was studied during the infection period. The invasive efficiency was expressed as the number of viable internalized bacteria by counting the colony-forming units. The invasive ability of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T was significantly inhibited by 50 and 100 microM quinine sulfate in a dose-dependent manner (for Salmonella typhimurium) when the drug was added to Caco-2 cell monolayers during the infection period. Since so many people who are on antimalarial drugs visit and inhabit areas that are endemic to typhoid fever and Shigella infection, a study on the influence of these drugs on the disease is long overdue. Our data indicate that quinine sulfate interferes with the invasion and internalization of Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri M90T into host cells. Further studies on additional strains/serotypes with other newer antimalarials at various concentrations are needed to verify this effect of quinine sulfate and to draw conclusions on its significance in vivo.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 01/2005; 12(6):343-6. · 1.53 Impact Factor