Silvia Buonamici

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (17)102.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: EVI1 is an oncogene frequently associated with chronic and acute myeloid leukemia. In hematopoietic cells, EVI1 impairs several pathways including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) is a powerful cytokine that controls the immune response and limits the expansion of several tissues including bone marrow. These properties contribute to the effectiveness of IFN-alpha in the treatment of many neoplastic disorders especially chronic myeloid leukemia. We report here that in murine hematopoietic progenitors the expression of EVI1 completely abrogates the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of IFN-alpha. EVI1 does not repress the JAK/STAT signaling pathway or the activation of many IFN-responsive genes. On the contrary, EVI1 prolongs the phosphorylation of STAT1 and the activation of an IFN-dependent reporter gene. However, EVI1 specifically represses the IFN-dependent induction of the tumor suppressor PML and blocks the apoptotic pathways activated by PML. We show that the position of the ISRE, which is located within the first exon of PML, is critical to block PML induction by IFN-alpha. The relocation of the ISRE to a position upstream of the transcription start site is sufficient to re-establish the response to IFN in the presence of EVI1. Our data suggest that stabilized STAT1 phosphorylation and prolonged binding of the STAT1 complex to the first exon could impair PML transcription and inhibit the activation of PML-dependent apoptotic pathways resulting in loss of IFN response. These results point to a novel mechanism utilized by an oncogene to escape normal cell response to growth-controlling cytokines.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2005; 280(1):428-36. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myelodysplasia is a hematological disease in which genomic abnormalities accumulate in a hematopoietic stem cell leading to severe pancytopenia, multilineage differentiation impairment, and bone marrow (BM) apoptosis. Mortality in the disease results from pancytopenia or transformation to acute myeloid leukemia. There are frequent cytogenetic abnormalities, including deletions of chromosomes 5, 7, or both. Recurring chromosomal translocations in myelodysplasia are rare, but the most frequent are the t(3;3)(q21;q26) and the inv(3)(q21q26), which lead to the inappropriate activation of the EVI1 gene located at 3q26. To better understand the role of EVI1 in this disease, we have generated a murine model of EVI1-positive myelodysplasia by BM infection and transplantation. We find that EVI1 induces a fatal disease of several stages that is characterized by severe pancytopenia. The disease does not progress to acute myeloid leukemia. Comparison of in vitro and in vivo results suggests that EVI1 acts at two levels. The immediate effects of EVI1 are hyperproliferation of BM cells and downregulation of EpoR and c-Mpl, which are important for terminal erythroid differentiation and platelet formation. These defects are not fatal, and the mice survive for about 10 months with compensated hematopoiesis. Over this time, compensation fails, and the mice succumb to fatal peripheral cytopenia.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2004; 114(5):713-9. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty-eight myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients were treated with arsenic trioxide (ATO) and thalidomide. Seven patients responded including one complete hematologic and cytogenetic response and one with regression in spleen size. Two trilineage responses were seen in patients with inv(3)(q21q26.2). Three of five patients who had high pre-therapy EVI1 levels showed unexpectedly good responses while two died early in the first cycle. In vitro studies using 32Dcl3 cells forced to express EVI1 confirmed increased sensitivity of these cells to ATO. Both low/high risk MDS may benefit significantly from therapy with ATO/thalidomide, and those with high pre-therapy EVI1 expression may be uniquely sensitive.
    Leukemia Research 09/2004; 28(8):791-803. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The t(8;21) chromosome abnormality in acute myeloid leukemia targets the AML1 and ETO genes to produce the leukemia fusion protein AML1-ETO. Another member of the ETO family, ETO-2/MTG16, is highly expressed in murine and human hematopoietic cells, bears >75% homology to ETO, and like ETO, contains a conserved MYND domain that interacts with the nuclear receptor corepressor (N-CoR). AML1-ETO prevents granulocyte but not macrophage differentiation of murine 32Dcl3 granulocyte/macrophage progenitors. One possible mechanism is recruitment of N-CoR to aberrantly repress AML1 target genes. We wished to examine another mechanism by which AML1-ETO might impair granulocyte differentiation. We demonstrate that AML1-ETO decreases interactions between ETO-2 and N-CoR. Furthermore, overexpression of ETO-2 relieves AML1-ETO-induced granulocyte differentiation arrest. This suggests that decreased interactions between ETO-2 and N-CoR may contribute to granulocyte differentiation impairment. The MYND domain coimmunoprecipitates with N-CoR and inhibits interactions between ETO-2 and N-CoR, presumably by occupying the ETO-2 binding site on N-CoR. This inhibition of ETO-2 interactions with N-CoR is specific because the MYND domain does not inhibit retinoic acid receptor interactions with N-CoR. To examine the effect of decreasing interactions between ETO-2 and N-CoR in hematopoietic cells, without effects of AML1-ETO such as direct repression of AML1 target genes, the MYND domain was expressed in 32Dcl3 and human CD34+ cells. The MYND domain prevented granulocyte but not macrophage differentiation of both 32Dcl3 and human CD34+ cells, recapitulating this effect of AML1-ETO. In conclusion, decreasing interactions between ETO-2 and N-CoR, an effect of AML1-ETO, inhibits granulocyte differentiation.
    Cancer Research 07/2004; 64(13):4547-54. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with the inv(16) positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) achieve complete remission (CR). Using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we previously proposed critical CBFbeta-MYH11 transcript copy number thresholds to predict relapse or cure. We now update the molecular follow-up of our patients, also presenting the therapeutic management of these patients.
    Haematologica 05/2004; 89(4):495-7. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) continue to pose conceptual and practical conundrums because of their heterogeneity and therapeutic challenges. They are not restricted to the presence of clonal cells that are prone to excessive proliferation and premature apoptosis. In MDS the bone marrow microenvironment also is abnormal and exhibits an excess of proinflammatory cytokines, especially tumor necrosis factor (TNF), neoangiogenesis, and poorly defined immune defects. Thalidomide, a drug with anti-TNF, antiangiogenic, and immunomodulatory activities, and other agents with anti-TNF effects, such as pentoxifylline, etanercept, and infliximab, have produced hematologic improvement in 20% to 40% of patients. These agents may provide effective therapy for a subset of lower-risk MDS patients, even if the drugs target the bone marrow microenvironment predominantly. However, in higher-risk MDS patients, especially those with more than 10% blasts, it is important to eliminate abnormal cell clones; drugs used for this purpose have included arsenic trioxide, topotecan, the farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib, and demethylating agents, such as 5-azacytidine and decitabine. To increase the therapeutic index, a combination strategy may be preferable for higher-risk MDS patients, in whom the seed (clone) and the soil (bone marrow microenvironment) must be targeted simultaneously. The challenge is to recognize the subset that is likely to respond to a given drug so that patients can be preselected for therapy.
    Seminars in Hematology 05/2004; 41(2 Suppl 4):13-20. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    Haematologica 02/2004; 89(1):103-5. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) with features of myelodysplastic syndrome and abnormalities of megakaryocytopoiesis often have cytogenetic aberrations of 3q21 and 3q26 bands involving the paracentric inversion [inv(3) (q21q26)] or a reciprocal translocation [t(3;3) (q21;q26)]. These abnormalities frequently cause inappropriate expression of the EVI1 gene located at 3q26. Other genes that have been implicated at the rearrangement breakpoint are GR6 and RPN1 (both on 3q21). The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of the EVI1 fusion genes in AML patients with 3q21q26 syndrome. We used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression of EVI1 and GR6, and particularly of the fusion genes RPN1-EVI1 and GR6-EVI1 in 9 AML patients with either inv(3)(q21q26) (7 cases) or t(3;3)(q21;q26) (2 cases). EVI1 and GR6 were always expressed, as was RPN1-EVI1; GR6-EVI1 was absent. In 8/9 patients, the part of EVI1 retained in RPN1-DEVI1 contained blocks B and C of the PR domain commonly found in the MDS1-EVI1 gene. In the remaining patient [with inv(3) (q21q26)], only block C was retained: we named this variant fusion gene RPN1-DEVI1. This patient lacked the micromegakaryocytopoiesis frequently found in 3q21q26 syndrome. These findings support the hypothesis that EVI1 activation plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of the 3q21q26 syndrome. EVI1 expression might occur either as a consequence of rearrangements leading to the formation of different fusion transcripts, such as RPN1-EVI1 and RPN1-DEVI1 or following disruption of the PR activation domain of the MDS1-EVI1 gene.
    Haematologica 12/2003; 88(11):1221-8. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the genes associated with both murine and human myeloid leukemia is EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration 1 site). EVI1 was first identified as a common locus of retroviral integration in myeloid tumors found in AKXD mice. The exact mechanism by which EVI1 induces leukemogenesis is not clear. Studies of the function of EVI1 in the bone marrow and in cell lines have shown that the inappropriate expression of EVI1 prohibits terminal differentiation of the bone marrow progenitor cells in granulocytes and erythroid cells, but strongly favors hematopoietic differentiation along the megakaryocytic lineage. We summarize recent data showing that EVI1 is a complex transcription factor with multiple functions, and this complexity is further demonstrated by the ability of EVI1 to interact with coactivators and corepressors and to abrogate cellular response to cytokines.
    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 09/2003; 31(2):206-12. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lysine acetyltransferases modulate the activity of many genes by modifying the lysine residues of both core histones and transcription-related factors. These modifications are tightly controlled in the cell because they are involved in vital processes such as cell cycle progression, differentiation, and apoptosis. Therefore, any deregulation of acetylation/deacetylation equilibrium or inappropriate modifications could lead to different diseases. Since previous studies have shown that some oncoproteins also undergo this modification, acetylation could be involved in the processes of cell transformation and oncogenesis. Here, we report that AML1/MDS1/EVI1 (AME), a repressor produced by the t(3;21) associated with human leukemia, physically interacts with the acetyltransferases P/CAF and GCN5. Our data suggest that AME has at least two binding sites for these acetyltransferases, one of which is in the Runt domain. Both P/CAF and GCN5 efficiently acetylate AME in vivo in the central region. AME acetylation has no effect on its interaction with the co-repressor CtBP1. Finally, we demonstrate that the co-expression of AME and either P/CAF or GCN5 abrogates the repression of an AML1-dependent reporter gene.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2003; 307(4):980-6. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    Leukemia 04/2003; 17(3):650-1; author reply 651-2. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    Haematologica 06/2002; 87(5):554-5. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inv(16) cytogenetic subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has a relatively good prognosis. Many patients achieve complete remission (CR). The prognostic uncertainty of negative qualitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays suggests the need to identify prognostically significant critical thresholds by real-time RT-PCR. A reliable and sensitive (10(-5)) real-time RT-PCR assay was set up for the evaluation of relevant CBFbeta-MYH11/ABL transcript ratios and was applied to the 21 patients with inv(16) AML routinely referred for cytogenetic and molecular monitoring in Seràgnoli Institute (Bologna, Italy) since 1990. Among the 18 patients who underwent ablative chemotherapy, all achieved CR with a 3-year disease-free survival probability of 63% (95% CI, 40%-87%) and no recorded events after 26 months. Five patients had relapses; 2 died of disease and 3 entered second CR. Analysis of the 125 bone marrow (or peripheral blood) samples studied by real-time RT-PCR showed that transcript ratios of samples taken during CR at any time before a relapse were always greater than 0.12%, whereas those of samples taken during first or second CR from patients who did not subsequently have relapses were always less than 0.25%. This suggests that transcript ratios greater than 0.25% may correspond to high risk for relapse, whereas ratios below 0.12% might indicate the patient is in a curable state. If confirmed, such thresholds could open the way to a new phase in post-CR therapeutic decision making for patients with inv(16) AML.
    Blood 02/2002; 99(2):443-9. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), alone or combined with chemotherapy (CHT) is widely used to induce complete remission (CR) in newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). If used alone, ATRA results in a substantial proportion of CRs. To maintain remission further, ATRA is commonly used with cycles of CHT, frequently followed by autologous (auto) or allogeneic (allo) stem cell transplantation (SCT), as early reports have shown that the continuous administration of ATRA as single therapy almost invariably leads to relapse in a short period of time (months). Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that induced resistance to ATRA is frequently suppressed by the intermittent use of the drug. In this study we applied an intermittent therapeutic protocol with ATRA in five APL patients who were either molecularly refractory after combined ATRA/CHT treatment, or relapsed, or at diagnosis, but not eligible for the combination treatment because of previous toxicity. They were treated with ATRA (45 mg/m2/day) for 21 days. The treatment was then prolonged continuously for 1 week every 2 weeks. Molecular analysis was performed by qualitative and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). All patients obtained molecular remission, as assessed by qualitative RT-PCR, in a median of 3 months (range 1-15). Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed these data, showing a progressive reduction (1 or 2 logs) to a 'negligible quantity' of PML-RARalpha fusion transcript (ratio PML-RARalpha/ABL x 10(4) ABL < 10(-1)) in all but one patient treated with pulsed ATRA therapy. These data were confirmed with qualitative and quantitative RT-PCR. After a median follow-up of 17 months from the start of ATRA therapy, 4/5 patients (80%) are in continuous complete molecular remission. To our knowledge, this is the first clinical observation that intermittent ATRA therapy (without chemotherapy) is effective not only in inducing but also in maintaining long-term molecular remission in APL patients. This approach could therefore be effective, if confirmed in larger series, in relapsed/refractory patients unsuitable for high-dose therapy and SCT; it may be proposed as induction therapy for selected older APL patients if considered not to be eligible for combined ATRA/CHT due to inadequate performance status or concurrent disease.
    Leukemia 12/2001; 15(11):1696-700. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most common translocation in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) t(9;22) (q34;q22) produces the BCR/ABL fusion gene. We set up and evaluated a rapid and reliable real-time reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) approach using TaqMan technology for detection and quantification of bcr-abl transcripts in CML patients at diagnosis and during therapy. A pair of primers and probe complementary to ABL exon 2 were designed, enabling detection of the most frequent bcr-abl transcripts, and also of the normal ABL-Ia transcript as an internal control. Conditions were established to amplify less than 1(-10) target molecules/reaction and detect one CML cell in 10(6) cells from healthy donors. To determine the utility of the assay, we quantified the bcr-abl/ABL-Ia ratio in 59 bone marrow samples (45 samples with evidence of different Ph+ chromosome percentages and 14 samples in complete cytogenetic remission) from 48 CML patients, 34 of them at diagnosis and 14 in clinical remission (CR). In 14 cases, this ratio was compared with results obtained by a competitive-quantitative RT-PCR/capillary electrophoresis method from contemporary specimens. By real-time RT-PCR, the median value of bcr-abl/ABL-Ia ratio at diagnosis was 15.334 (range 3.3-28.81) and fell to 0.9 (range 0.003-26.1) in CR. The median value of bcr-abl/ABL-Ia ratio at cytogenetic remission was 0.7 (range 0.003-2.83). The real-time bcr-abl/ABL-Ia ratios correlated with those obtained by competitive RT-PCR (p < 0.0001) and the percentage of Ph+ metaphases (p < 0.0001). The high sensitivity and specificity of the real-time RT-PCR procedure was confirmed in all 14 patients with minimal residual disease. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS. We conclude that this real-time RT-PCR procedure is a reliable and sensitive method of monitoring CML patients after therapy, and that the bcr-abl/ABL-Ia ratio correlates strongly with cytogenetic analysis.
    Haematologica 04/2001; 86(3):252-9. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) include use of high-dose chemoradiotherapy followed by allografting. Although allografting with bone marrow (BM) or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) seems to improve clinical outcome and lengthen survival, only about 50% of patients reach stringently defined complete remission (CR), and most subsequently relapse. We assessed the clinical relevance of minimal residual disease (MRD) in 14 MM patients in CR after allografting with PBSC (6 patients) or BM (8 patients). Among the 30 out of 72 MM patients in our Institute who achieved CR after allografting, 14 had a molecular marker suitable for allo-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Stringent molecular monitoring was done using clonal markers based upon rearranged immunoglobulin heavy-chain genes. Molecular remission (MCR) was defined as two consecutive negative PCR results. Seven of 14 (50%) molecularly monitored patients, achieved MCR and did not relapse after a median molecular follow-up of 60 months (range 36-120). Median time to obtain first PCR negativity was 12 (BM group) and 6 months (PBSC group), respectively. Of the seven patients (50%) who never achieved MCR, one relapsed. In conclusion, 50% of the MM patients in CR studied by us also achieved stringently-defined MCR. MCR was associated with a very low rate of clinical relapse.
    Haematologica 10/2000; 85(9):930-4. · 5.94 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

424 Citations
102.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2005
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      • Department of Pathology (Chicago)
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2004
    • Rush University Medical Center
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2002–2003
    • University of Bologna
      • Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine DIMES
      Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy