Barbara Margosio

National Research Council, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (6)28.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis, such as thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), are promising sources of therapeutic agents to treat angiogenesis-driven diseases, including cancer. TSP-1 regulates angiogenesis through different mechanisms, including binding and sequestration of the angiogenic factor fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), through a site located in the calcium binding type III repeats. We hypothesized that the FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 might serve as a template for the development of inhibitors of angiogenesis. Using a peptide array approach followed by binding assays with synthetic peptides and recombinant proteins, we identified a FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 in the 15-mer sequence DDDDDNDKIPDDRDN. Molecular dynamics simulations, taking the full flexibility of the ligand and receptor into account, and nuclear magnetic resonance identified the relevant residues and conformational determinants for the peptide-FGF interaction. This information was translated into a pharmacophore model used to screen the NCI2003 small molecule databases, leading to the identification of three small molecules that bound FGF-2 with affinity in the submicromolar range. The lead compounds inhibited FGF-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and affected angiogenesis induced by FGF-2 in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay. These small molecules, therefore, represent promising leads for the development of antiangiogenic agents. Altogether, this study demonstrates that new biological insights obtained by integrated multidisciplinary approaches can be used to develop small molecule mimics of endogenous proteins as therapeutic agents.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(12):8733-42. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis, such as thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), are promising sources of therapeutic agents to treat angiogenesis-driven diseases, including cancer. TSP-1 regulates angiogenesis through different mechanisms, including binding and sequestration of the angiogenic factor fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), through a site located in the calcium binding type III repeats. We hypothesized that the FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 might serve as a template for the development of inhibitors of angiogenesis. Using a peptide array approach followed by binding assays with synthetic peptides and recombinant proteins, we identified a FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 in the 15-mer sequence DDDDDNDKIPDDRDN. Molecular dynamics simulations, taking the full flexibility of the ligand and receptor into account, and nuclear magnetic resonance identified the relevant residues and conformational determinants for the peptide-FGF interaction. This information was translated into a pharmacophore model used to screen the NCI2003 small molecule databases, leading to the identification of three small molecules that bound FGF-2 with affinity in the submicromolar range. The lead compounds inhibited FGF-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and affected angiogenesis induced by FGF-2 in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay. These small molecules, therefore, represent promising leads for the development of antiangiogenic agents. Altogether, this study demonstrates that new biological insights obtained by integrated multidisciplinary approaches can be used to develop small molecule mimics of endogenous proteins as therapeutic agents.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(12):8733-8742. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2010; 8(5):117-118.
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    ABSTRACT: Thrombospondin-1, an antiangiogenic matricellular protein, binds with high affinity to the angiogenic fibroblast growth factor-2, affecting its bioavailability and activity. The present work aimed at further locating the fibroblast growth factor-2 binding site of thrombospondin-1 and investigating its activity, using recombinant thrombospondin-1 proteins. Only recombinant constructs containing the thrombospondin-1 type III repeats bound fibroblast growth factor-2, whereas other domains, including the known anti-angiogenic type I repeats, were inactive. Binding was specific and inhibited by the anti thrombospondin-1 monoclonal antibody B5.2. Surface plasmon resonance analysis on BIAcore revealed a binding affinity (K(d)) of 310nM for the type III repeats and 11nM for intact thrombospondin-1. Since the type III repeats bind calcium, the effect of calcium on thrombospondin-1 binding to fibroblast growth factor-2 was investigated. Binding was modulated by calcium, as thrombospondin-1 or the type III repeats bound to fibroblast growth factor-2 only in calcium concentrations <0.3mM. The type III repeats inhibited binding of fibroblast growth factor-2 to endothelial cells, fibroblast growth factor-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane assay in vivo, thus indicating the antiangiogenic activity of the domain. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the fibroblast growth factor-2 binding site of thrombospondin-1 is located in the type III repeats. The finding that this domain is active in inhibiting angiogenesis indicates that the type III repeats represent a novel antiangiogenic domain of thrombospondin-1.
    The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 01/2008; 40(4):700-9. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antiangiogenic factor thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) binds with high affinity to several heparin-binding angiogenic factors, including fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF). The aim of this study was to investigate whether TSP-1 affects FGF-2 association with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and its bioavailability. TSP-1 prevented the binding of free FGF-2 to endothelial cell ECM. It also promoted the mobilization of matrix-bound FGF-2, generating a TSP-1/FGF-2 complex. The region of TSP-1 responsible for these activities was located within the 140-kDa antiangiogenic and FGF-2 binding fragment, whereas the 25-kDa heparin-binding fragment was inactive. Matrix-released FGF-2/TSP-1 complex had a reduced ability to bind to and induce proliferation of endothelial cells. TSP-1 depleted the ECM laid by FGF-2-overproducing tumor cells of its FGF-2-dependent mitogenic activity for endothelial cells. Besides FGF-2, TSP-1 also inhibited VEGF and HGF/SF binding to the ECM and mobilized them from the ECM. Our study shows that TSP-1 acts as a scavenger for matrix-associated angiogenic factors, affecting their location, bioavailability, and function.
    Blood 01/2004; 102(13):4399-406. · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • G Taraboletti, B Margosio
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    ABSTRACT: The great interest in the potential antineoplastic effect of targeting tumor-associated blood vessels has generated an expanding armamentarium of therapeutic tools that include antiangiogenic compounds, aimed at preventing the formation of vessels, and antivascular compounds, targeted to the existing tumor vasculature. Following promising preclinical studies, antiangiogenic drugs have rapidly gained access to clinical trials.
    Current Opinion in Pharmacology 09/2001; 1(4):378-84. · 5.44 Impact Factor