Maurizio Longo

Università degli Studi dell'Aquila, Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy

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Publications (11)47.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The human estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) gene is driven by multiple promoters, of which the F promoter alone is found to be active in primary osteoblasts. The study was aimed at identifying new regulatory pathways affecting transcription of the receptor in this cell lineage. We generated human osteoblast-like cells, Saos-2, stably transfected with a luciferase-reporter gene downstream of the human ERalpha F promoter (Saos F-Luc), and assayed the reporter response to differentiation-related signals. Over-confluence, shown to stimulate osteoblast differentiation, caused a time-dependent increase of F-promoter activity and correlated with an inactivation of protein kinase C alpha (PKCalpha ). PKC downregulation, obtained by long-term treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), resulted in promoter stimulation at similar levels in sub-confluent cells. The F promoter contains a putative PMA-responsive AP-1 site, but AP-1 activation was unremarkable in over-confluent cells. Treatment with PP1, a specific inhibitor of the non-receptor tyrosine-kinase c-Src, which is a negative regulator of osteoblast differentiation, showed that the activity of this kinase inhibits the F promoter. In PP1-treated cells, F-promoter activity was not further increased by PMA. Treatment with the generic kinase inhibitor 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) resulted in a dose-dependent induction of the promoter, which matched a parallel decrease of active c-Src. The effect was c-Src dependent, as DMAP caused no further promoter induction in PP1-treated cells. Overexpression of exogenous human ERalpha resulted in modest promoter stimulation, which required the ligand-independent activator function 1 of the receptor. In murine primary osteoblasts, additional ERalpha signal was observed upon induction of F promoter. In conclusion, we demonstrated a robust PKC/c-Src-dependent and estrogen-independent mechanism modulating transcription of ERalpha in osteoblasts, probably affecting estrogen responsiveness during cell differentiation.
    Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 01/2007; 37(3):489-502. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Bone 01/2007; 40(6). · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the mediator responsible for the impact of chronic inflammation on skeletal development in children (bone loss, defective peak bone mass accrual, stunted growth), we evaluated the effects of chronic interleukin-6 (IL-6) overexpression on the skeletons of growing prepubertal mice. We studied IL-6-transgenic mice that had high circulating IL-6 levels since birth. Trabecular and cortical bone structure were analyzed by microcomputed tomography. Epiphyseal ossification, growth plates, and calvariae were studied by histology/histomorphometry. Osteoclastogenesis, osteoblast function/differentiation, and the effects of IL-6 on bone cells were studied in vitro. Osteoblast gene expression was evaluated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The mineral apposition rate was evaluated dynamically in cortical bone by in vivo double fluorescence labeling. In prepubertal IL-6-transgenic mice, we observed osteopenia, with severe alterations in cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture, as well as uncoupling of bone formation from resorption, with decreased osteoblast and increased osteoclast number and activity. Increased osteoclastogenesis and reduced osteoblast activity, secondary to decreased precursor proliferation and osteoblast function, were present. IL-6-transgenic mice also showed impaired development of growth plates and epiphyseal ossification centers. Intramembranous and endochondral ossification and the mineral apposition rate were markedly affected, showing the presence of defective ossification. Chronic overexpression of IL-6 alone induces a skeletal phenotype closely resembling growth and skeletal abnormalities observed in children with chronic inflammatory diseases, pointing to IL-6 as a pivotal mediator of the impact of chronic inflammation on postnatal skeletal development. We hypothesize that IL-6-modifying drugs may reduce skeletal defects and prevent the growth retardation associated with these diseases.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 12/2006; 54(11):3551-63. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteopetrosis, a genetic disease characterised by osteoclast failure, is classified into three forms: infantile malignant autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO), intermediate autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (IRO), and autosomal dominant osteopetrosis (ADO). We studied 49 patients, 21 with ARO, one with IRO, and 27 with type II ADO (ADO II). Most ARO patients bore known or novel (one case) ATP6i (TCIRG1) gene mutations. Six ADO II patients had no mutations in ClCN7, the only so far recognised gene implicated, suggesting involvement of yet unknown genes. Identical ClCN7 mutations produced differing phenotypes with variable degrees of severity. In ADO II, serum tartrate resistant acid phosphatase was always elevated. Bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP) was generally low, but osteocalcin was high, suggesting perturbed osteoblast differentiation or function. In contrast, BALP was high in ARO patients. Elevated osteoclast surface/bone surface was noted in biopsies from most ARO patients. Cases with high osteoclasts also showed increased osteoblast surface/bone surface. ARO osteoclasts were morphologically normal, with unaltered formation rates, intracellular pH handling, and response to acidification. Their resorption activity was greatly reduced, but not abolished. In control osteoclasts, all resorption activity was abolished by combined inhibition of proton pumping and sodium/proton antiport. These findings provide a rationale for novel therapies targeting pH handling mechanisms in osteoclasts and their microenvironment.
    Journal of Medical Genetics 05/2006; 43(4):315-25. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by atrophy of the intestine villi triggered by ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. The association between celiac disease and low BMD has been recognized, but the mechanisms of disturbance are poorly understood. We show imbalance of cytokines relevant to bone metabolism in celiac patients' sera and the direct effect of these sera on in vitro bone cell activity. Celiac disease is associated with mineral metabolism derangement and low BMD. We investigated whether imbalance of serum factors in celiac patients could affect human bone cell activity in vitro. We studied two groups of celiac patients--one on a gluten-free diet and another before the diet--both with decreased bone mass. Patients were investigated for bone turnover markers, and their sera were used for culturing bone cells from healthy donors and evaluate changes in cell activity. The N-terminal telopeptide of procollagen type I and interleukin (IL)-6 were higher than normal in patients not on the gluten-free diet. IL-1beta and TNF-alpha/beta were normal in all patients. IL-12 was reduced in all patients, whereas IL-18 was reduced only in patients on the diet. The RANKL/osteoprotegerin (OPG) ratio was increased in patients not on the gluten-free diet. Persistently increased osteoclast numbers were obtained from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy donors on incubation with sera of patients not on the gluten-free diet versus control sera and sera from patients on the diet. In human osteoblasts from healthy individuals, IL-18 was reduced on incubation with sera from all patients, whereas OPG expression was lower when sera from patients not on the diet were used. Proliferation, alkaline phosphatase, and nodule mineralization were increased in osteoblast cultures containing sera from all celiac patients, either on or not on the gluten-free diet.Conclusions: We conclude that bone loss in celiac disease might also be caused by a cytokine imbalance directly affecting osteoclastogenesis and osteoblast activity.
    Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 08/2004; 19(7):1112-21. · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mouse bone marrow cells cultured with human breast cancer MCF-7 cell-conditioned media showed osteoclastogenesis with an increment of bone resorption, although conditioned media from an adriamycin-selected MCF-7 clone (MCF-7ADR) had no effect. Consistently, MCF-7 cells induced 5-fold more in vivo experimental osteolytic bone metastases, with no soft tissue lesions, compared to MCF-7ADR cells. Paracrine factors stimulating (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)) or inhibiting (IL-12, IL-18, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)) osteoclastogenesis were significantly increased in MCF-7ADR relative to MCF-7 cells, suggesting that the inhibitory cytokines could selectively overwhelm the effects of the stimulatory ones. Treatment of osteoblast primary cultures with MCF-7-conditioned medium induced a selective upregulation of IL-6 expression, suggesting an indirect stimulation of osteoclastogenesis via the osteoblasts. MCF-7 and MCF-7ADR showed no difference in proliferation rate. However, a higher ability to migrate and invade gelatin and matrigel was observed in MCF-7ADR. Enhanced invasiveness might result from increased metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and cytoskeleton rearrangement. MCF-7ADR cells expressed higher levels of c-Src, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), and protein tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) involved in cell adhesion and motility. MCF-7 and MCF-7ADR expressed high and faint levels of functional estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), respectively. MCF-7ADR also showed significantly higher levels of the protein kinase C (PKC) alpha and beta2 and a selective activation of PKC compared to MCF-7, where the most abundant isoforms were beta1 and delta. Heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) was more abundant in MCF-7 cells, but failed to translocate to the nucleus in response to heat shock. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that despite the fact that MCF-7ADR cells showed a more invasive phenotype relative to MCF-7, they have low potential to induce osteolytic bone lesions and stimulate osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast activity. Therefore, we believe that reduced aggressiveness of breast carcinomas could correlate with a greater osteolytic activity featuring their bone metastases.
    Bone 05/2004; 34(4):697-709. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In cultured osteoblasts, protein kinase C (PKC) activity increases and estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) binding capacity decreases upon confluence. We investigated potential interactions between ERalpha and PKC isoforms and their confluence-induced modulations in clonal ROS.SMER#14 cells and primary osteoblasts. In sub-confluent ROS.SMER#14 cells, which express an exogenous plus small amounts of the endogenous ERalpha gene, the receptor appeared as two main bands of approximately 66 and approximately 46 kDa. In over-confluent, more differentiated cells, the cytosolic approximately 66 kDa ERalpha appeared decreased and the approximately 46 kDa variant increased. Enhanced expression and/or membrane translocation of PKCalpha and PKCepsilon, but not PKCzeta, was evidenced at over-confluence, along with transient increases in expression and kinase activity of c-Src, accompanied by membrane translocation of the kinase-activated enzyme. In contrast, negligible membrane translocation of PKCalpha and/or activated c-Src was observed in parental ROS 17/2.8 cells, which express low levels of full-length ERalpha. PKCalpha from over-confluent cells phosphorylated p60c-Src in vitro, suggesting functional interaction between the two kinases. ERalpha co-immunoprecipitated c-Src and PKCalpha, mostly in its cleaved form (PKMalpha). An analogous interaction was observed in primary osteoblasts. However, in these cells, much more PKCalpha/PKMalpha was ERalpha-co-immunoprecipitated at over-confluence, a condition in which the shorter, approximately 46 kDa ERalpha variant is increased. This interaction was enhanced by estradiol treatment or PKC down-regulation, but was unaffected by c-Src inhibition. These data highlight direct PKCalpha-c-Src-ERalpha interactions, which may be crucial in the modulation of estrogen responsiveness and the differentiation process in osteoblasts.
    Bone 02/2004; 34(1):100-11. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We employed potent and selective c-Src inhibitors to investigate the functional and molecular consequences of inhibited c-Src tyrosine kinase activity in osteoclasts. These pyrrolopyrimidine derivatives reduced osteoclast numbers and induced osteoclast disruption in vivo. In vitro, they inhibited resorption pit formation and osteoclastogenesis, impaired adhesion ability and actin ring organization, and induced programmed cell death in mature osteoclasts. The cell death receptor Fas and p53 were insensitive to c-Src modulation. The expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1 was markedly reduced, but neither Bcl-2 nor Bcl-xL or Bax were modulated by c-Src inhibition. Caspase-9, and to a lesser extent caspase-3, but not caspase-8, were transiently cleaved (activated) by treatment with the c-Src inhibitors. c-Src inhibition stabilized p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), whereas the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway did not appear to be modulated by our compounds. Most interestingly, transient extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK1/2) dephosphorylation followed by sustained remarkable rephosphorylation overwhelming control levels was observed in response to c-Src inhibition. Blockade of ERK1/2 rephosphorylation by PD98059 reduced osteoclast nuclear disruption, suggesting the involvement of this pathway in apoptosis. Collectively, these data demonstrate that small pyrrolopyrimidine derivatives impair osteoclast function and induce cell damage suggestive of apoptosis in vivo and in vitro, with mechanisms presumably involving selective sustained ERK1/2 phosphorylation.
    Bone 02/2004; 34(1):65-79. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In cultured osteoblasts, protein kinase C (PKC) activity increases and estrogen receptor α (ERα) binding capacity decreases upon confluence. We investigated potential interactions between ERα and PKC isoforms and their confluence-induced modulations in clonal ROS.SMER#14 cells and primary osteoblasts. In sub-confluent ROS.SMER#14 cells, which express an exogenous plus small amounts of the endogenous ERα gene, the receptor appeared as two main bands of ≈66 and ≈46 kDa. In over-confluent, more differentiated cells, the cytosolic ≈66 kDa ERα appeared decreased and the ≈46 kDa variant increased. Enhanced expression and/or membrane translocation of PKCα and PKCε, but not PKCζ, was evidenced at over-confluence, along with transient increases in expression and kinase activity of c-Src, accompanied by membrane translocation of the kinase-activated enzyme. In contrast, negligible membrane translocation of PKCα and/or activated c-Src was observed in parental ROS 17/2.8 cells, which express low levels of full-length ERα. PKCα from over-confluent cells phosphorylated p60c-Src in vitro, suggesting functional interaction between the two kinases. ERα co-immunoprecipitated c-Src and PKCα, mostly in its cleaved form (PKMα). An analogous interaction was observed in primary osteoblasts. However, in these cells, much more PKCα/PKMα was ERα-co-immunoprecipitated at over-confluence, a condition in which the shorter, ≈46 kDa ERα variant is increased. This interaction was enhanced by estradiol treatment or PKC down-regulation, but was unaffected by c-Src inhibition. These data highlight direct PKCα–c-Src–ERα interactions, which may be crucial in the modulation of estrogen responsiveness and the differentiation process in osteoblasts.
    Bone 01/2004; 34(1):100-111. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two bona fide c-Src inhibitors, denominated CGP77675 and CGP76030, reduced in a time- and concentration-dependent manner (i) the proliferation of the PC3 prostate carcinoma cell line, as assessed by the [3H]-thymidine incorporation test, (ii) the capacity of PC3 cells to adhere and spread on Matrigel substrate, as determined by crystal violet staining, (iii) the ability of PC3 cells to migrate through a gelatine boundary and invade a Matrigel substrate. The latter effect was not due to a decrease of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), nor of metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activities. The MMP-9 activity, along with the expression of the Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2, were reduced by the two inhibitors, consistent with the ability of c-Src to enhance MMP-9 and TIMP expression levels. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the pyrrolopyrimidine-derived c-Src inhibitors significantly reduced PC3 cell activities associated with their malignant phenotype.
    European Journal of Cancer 10/2003; 39(13):1927-35. · 5.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

285 Citations
13 Downloads
511 Views
47.06 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2007
    • Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
      • Department of Experimental Medicine
      Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2006
    • Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2003–2004
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology
      Roma, Latium, Italy