Maria Napolitano

Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Meldola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (43)130.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The immune response plays an unsettled role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the contribution of inflammation being controversial as well. Emerging novel T cell sub-populations including regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg) and interleukin (IL)-17 secreting T helper cells (Th17) may exert antithetical actions in this scenario. Phenotype and frequency of circulating immune cell subsets were assessed by multi-parametric flow cytometry in 29 clinically stable IPF patients and 17 healthy controls. The interplay between Treg lymphocytes expressing transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and Th17 cells was also investigated. Proportion and absolute number of natural killer (NK) cells were significantly reduced in IPF patients in comparison with controls (p<0.001). Conversely, the proportion and absolute number of CD3(+)CD4(+)CD25(high)Foxp-3(+) cells were significantly increased in IPF patients (p=0.000). As in controls, almost the totality of cells (>90%) expressed TGF-β upon stimulation. Interestingly, the frequency of Th17 cells was significantly compromised in IPF patients (p=0.000) leading to an increased TGF-β/IL-17 ratio (4.2±2.3 vs 0.5±0.3 in controls, p=0.000). Depletion of NK and Th17 cells along with a not compromised Treg compartment delineate the existence of an "immune profile" that argue against the recent hypothesis of IPF as an autoimmune disease. Our findings along with the imbalance of the Treg/Th17 axis more closely suggest these immune perturbations to be similar to those observed in cancer. Clinical relevance, limitations and perspectives for future research are discussed.
    Cytokine 01/2014; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has improved significantly with the advent of agents targeting the mTOR pathway, such as temsirolimus and everolimus. However, their efficacy is thought to be limited by feedback loops and crosstalk with other pathways leading to the development of drug resistance. As CXCR4-CXCL12-CXCR7 axis has been described to have a crucial role in renal cancer; the crosstalk between the mTOR pathway and the CXCR4-CXCL12-CXCR7 chemokine receptor axis has been investigated in human renal cancer cells. In SN12C and A498, the common CXCR4-CXCR7 ligand, CXCL12, and the exclusive CXCR7 ligand, CXCL11, activated mTOR through P70S6K and 4EBP1 targets. The mTOR activation was specifically inhibited by CXCR4 antagonists (AMD3100, anti-CXCR4-12G5 and Peptide R, a newly developed CXCR4 antagonist) and CXCR7 antagonists (anti-CXCR7-12G8 and CCX771, CXCR7 inhibitor). To investigate the functional role of CXCR4, CXCR7 and mTOR in human renal cancer cells, both migration and wound healing were evaluated. SN12C and A498 cells migrated toward CXCL12 and CXCL11; CXCR4 and CXCR7 inhibitors impaired migration and treatment with mTOR inhibitor, RAD001, further inhibited it. Moreover, CXCL12 and CXCL11 induced wound healing while was impaired by AMD3100, the anti CXCR7 and RAD001. In SN12C and A498 cells, CXCL12 and CXCL11 promoted actin reorganization characterized by thin spikes at the cell periphery, whereas AMD3100 and anti-CXCR7 impaired CXCL12/CXCL11-induced actin polymerization, and RAD001 treatment further reduced it. In addition, when cell growth was evaluated in the presence of CXCL12, CXCL11 and mTOR inhibitors, an additive effect was demonstrated with the CXCR4, CXCR7 antagonists and RAD001. RAD001-resistant SN12C and A498 cells recovered RAD001 sensitivity in the presence of CXCR4 and CXCR7 antagonists. In conclusion, the entire axis CXCR4-CXCL12-CXCR7 regulates mTOR signaling in renal cancer cells offering new therapeutic opportunities and targets to overcome resistance to mTOR inhibitors.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2014; 5:e1310. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the optimization of the local treatment of advanced rectal cancer (LARC), combination of preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and surgery, approximately one third of patients will develop distant metastases. Since the chemokine receptor CXCR4 has been implicated in metastasis development and prognosis in colorectal cancer, the role of the entire axis CXCR4-CXCL12-CXCR7 was evaluated to identify high relapse risk rectal cancer patients. Tumor specimens of 68 LARC patients undergoing surgery after neoadjuvant-CRT were evaluated for CXCR4, CXCR7 and CXCL12 expression through immunohistochemistry. Multivariable prognostic model was developed using classical prognostic factors along with chemokine receptor expression profiles. High CXCR4 correlated with a shorter relapse free survival (RFS) (p=0.0006) and cancer specific survival (CSS) (p=0.0004). Concomitant highCXCR4-negative/lowCXCR7 or highCXCR4-negative/lowCXCL12 significantly impaired RFS (p=0.0003 and p=0.0043) and CSS (p=0.0485 and p=0.0026). High CXCR4/N+ identified the worst prognostic category for RFS (p<0.0001) and CSS (p=0,0003). The optimal multivariable predictive model for RFS was a five-variable model consisting of gender, pT stage, N status, CXCR4, and CXCR7 (AUC=0.92, 95%CI 0.77-0.98). The model is informative and supportive for adjuvant treatment and identifies CXCR4 as a new therapeutic target in rectal cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 12/2013; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To identify a phenotype that could be informative and prognostic in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) peripheral blood was evaluated for TH1, TH2, regulatory T cells (Tregs), natural killer (NK) and NKT cells and for cytokines/chemokines. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Peripheral blood from 77 patients with RCC and 40 healthy controls was evaluated by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies against CD4, CD25, FoxP3, CD45RA, CD45RO, CD152, CD184, CD279, CD3, CD16, CD56, CD161, CD158a, CD4, CD26, CD30, CD183 and CD184. A concomitant evaluation of 38 molecules was conducted in patients' serum using a multiplex biometric ELISA-based immunoassay. RESULTS: The number of NK cells CD3(-) /CD16(+) , CD3(-) /CD16(+) /CD161(+) (NK) and CD3(-) /CD16(+) /CD161(+) /CD158a(+) (NK- Kir 2+) was greater in the patients with RCC (P < 0.05); and the number of Treg cells CD4(+) /CD25(high) (+) /FOXP3(+) and the subset CD4(+) /CD25(high) (+) /FOXP3(+) /CD45RA(+) (naïve) and CD45R0(+) (memory) cells, were greater in the patients with RCC (P < 0.001). An increase in the following was observed in the serum of patients with RCC compared with healthy controls: interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, G-CSF, CXCL10, CXCL11, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). According to Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), CXCL10, IL-6, IL-8, epidermal growth factor (EGF), HGF and VEGF were associated with a network that controls cellular movement, tissue development and cellular growth. Kaplan-Meier analysis for disease-free survival showed that high numbers of CD4(+) /CD25(high) (+) /FOXP3(+) /CD45RA(+) (Treg naïve) and low numbers of CD3(-) /CD16(+) /CD161(+) /CD158a(+) (NK-Kir+) cells predict short disease-free survival in patients with RCC. CONCLUSION: Concomitant evaluation of Treg (CD4(+) /CD25(high) (+) /FOXP3(+) and CD4(+) /CD25(high) (+) /FOXP3(+) /CD45RA(+) ) and of six soluble factors (IL-6, IL-8 ,VEGF, CXCL10, CXCL11, EGF, HGF) might be a surrogate marker of host immunity in patients with RCC.
    BJU International 03/2013; · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The CXCR4/CXCL12 axis plays a role in cancer metastases, stem cell mobilization and chemosensitization. Proof of concept for efficient CXCR4 inhibition has been demonstrated in stem cell mobilization prior to autologous transplantation in hematological malignancies. Nevertheless CXCR4 inhibitors suitable for prolonged use as required for anticancer therapy are not available. To develop new CXCR4 antagonists a rational, ligand-based approach was taken, distinct from the more commonly used development strategy. A three amino acid motif (Ar-Ar-X) in CXCL12, also found in the reverse orientation (X-Ar-Ar) in the vMIP-II inhibitory chemokine formed the core of nineteen cyclic peptides evaluated for inhibition of CXCR4-dependent migration, binding, P-ERK1/2-induction and calcium efflux. Peptides R, S and I were chosen for evaluation in in vivo models of lung metastases (B16-CXCR4 and KTM2 murine osteosarcoma cells) and growth of a renal cells xenograft. Peptides R, S, and T significantly reduced the association of the 12G5-CXCR4 antibody to the receptor and inhibited CXCL12-induced calcium efflux. The four peptides efficiently inhibited CXCL12-dependent migration at concentrations as low as 10 nM and delayed CXCL12-mediated wound healing in PES43 human melanoma cells. Intraperitoneal treatment with peptides R, I or S drastically reduced the number of B16-CXCR4-derived lung metastases in C57/BL mice. KTM2 osteosarcoma lung metastases were also reduced in Balb/C mice following CXCR4 inhibition. All three peptides significantly inhibited subcutaneous growth of SN12C-EGFP renal cancer cells. A novel class of CXCR4 inhibitory peptides was discovered. Three peptides, R, I and S inhibited lung metastases and primary tumor growth and will be evaluated as anticancer agents.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e74548. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies have shown efficacy in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). One of the mechanism is the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) in which Fc region of the antibody binds to the Fc gamma receptors (FcgammaR) expressed by immune cells. The present study investigated the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms of FcgammaRIIa and FcgammaRIIIa and clinical outcome in mCRC treated with anti-EGFR antibodies. METHODS: Seventy-four consecutive patients with mCRC were analyzed. The genotypes for FcgammaRIIa-131 histidine (H)/arginine (R), FcgammaRIIIa-158 valine (V)/phenylanaline (F) polymorphisms were evaluated by directly sequencing. Multiplex allele-specific polymerase chain reaction was performed for FcgammaRIIIa-158 valine (V)/phenylanaline (F). Correlations between FcgammaR polymorphisms, baseline patient and tumor features were studied by contingency tables and the chi-square test. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was applied to the progression-free survival (PFS) curves. Univariate analysis was performed with the log-rank test. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to analyze the effect of multiple risk factors on PFS. RESULTS: FcgammaRIIIa polymorphisms were significantly associated with response to anti-EGFR-based therapy in 49 patients with kras wt tumors (p=0.035). There was not association with response for FcgammaRIIa polymorphisms. Furthermore, obtained results suggested that prognosis is particularly unfavorable for patients carrying the FcgammaRIIIa-158F/F genotype (median PFS V/V, V/F, F/F: 18.2 vs 17.3 vs 9.4 months). No prognostic ability was identified for FcgammaRIIa polymorphisms. CONCLUSIONS: In mCRC patients the presence of FcgammaRIIIa-F can predict resistance to anti-EGFR therapy and unfavorable prognosis.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 11/2012; 10(1):232. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemokines and their receptors play a key role in immune and inflammatory responses by promoting recruitment and activation of different subpopulations of leukocytes. The membrane receptor CXCR3 binds three chemokines, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, and its involvement is recognized in many inflammatory diseases and cancers. Therefore, the inhibition of CXCR3 pathway through interactions with three ligands was indicated as putative therapeutic target for the treatment of these diseases, and some inhibitory compounds have already been described in the literature. Recently, we studied the interaction between CXCR3 and its three natural ligands and showed that three CXCR3 ligands bound the receptor mainly by their N-terminal regions using aromatic and electrostatic interactions, and, in particular, CXCL11 had the highest affinity for CXCR3. In light of these results, we focused our attention on what structural region(s) of CXCL11 interacted with CXCR3 and what were the structural features. Therefore, we have synthesized three peptides, corresponding to the N-terminal region of CXCL11, but with different aromatic amino acids, analyzed their conformations by circular dichroism, NMR, and molecular dynamics simulations, simulated their complexes with CXCR3 by docking methods, and validated these data by in vitro studies. The results showed that two peptides were able to bind CXCR3 and to mimic the molecular recognition of CXCL11 and demonstrated that N-terminal region of CXCL11 can be used as template and starting point to obtain new molecules by de novo design approaches.
    Chemical Biology &amp Drug Design 04/2012; 80(2):254-65. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been identified as one of the major risk factors for type II mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC), during the clinical evolution of chronic hepatitis, which may lead to development of B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). We have previously shown that the candidate idiotype vaccine, based on the IGKV3-20 light chain protein, is able to induce activation and maturation of circulating antigen presenting cells (APCs) in both HCV-positive and HCV-negative healthy control subjects, with production of Th2-type cytokines. Here, the effect of the recombinant IGKV3-20 protein on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from HCV-positive subjects, with known blood levels of cryoglobulins, is shown via gene expression profiling analysis combined to multiparameter flow cytometry and multiplex analyses of cytokines.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44870. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies have suggested that ibuprofen, a commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, inhibits the promotion and proliferation of certain tumors. Recently, we demonstrated the antiproliferative effects of ibuprofen on the human gastric cancer cell line MKN-45. However, high doses of ibuprofen were required to elicit these antiproliferative effects in vitro. The present research compared the antiproliferative effects of ibuprofen delivered freely and released by poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) in MKN-45 cells. MKN-45 human gastric adenocarcinoma cells were treated with ibuprofen-loaded PLGA NPs. The proliferation of MKN-45 cells was then assessed by cell counting. The uptake of NPs was imaged by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The release of ibuprofen from ibuprofen-loaded PLGA NPs in the cells was evaluated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Dramatic inhibition of cellular proliferation was observed in cells treated with ibuprofen-loaded PLGA NPs versus those treated with free ibuprofen at the same concentration. The localization of NPs was cytoplasmic. The initiation of ibuprofen release was rapid, commencing within 2 hours, and then increased slowly over time, reaching a maximum concentration at 24 hours. The inhibition of proliferation was confirmed to be due to the intracellular release of ibuprofen from the NPs. Using PLGA NPs as carriers, ibuprofen exerted an antiproliferative activity at concentrations > 100 times less than free ibuprofen, suggesting greater efficiency and less cellular toxicity. In addition, when carried by PLGA NPs, ibuprofen more quickly induced the expression of transcripts involved in proliferation and invasiveness processes. Ibuprofen exerted an antiproliferative effect on MKN-45 cells at low concentrations. This effect was achieved using PLGA NPs as carriers of low doses of ibuprofen.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 01/2012; 7:5683-91. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive tumor that frequently resists chemotherapy, so the search for new agents for its treatment is of great importance. In the present study, the antiproliferative propensity against human melanoma cell lines of lauroside B (1), a megastigmane glycoside isolated from Laurus nobilis (bay laurel) leaves, was investigated. This compound suppressed the proliferation of three human melanoma cell lines, namely, A375, WM115, and SK-Mel-28. The 1-induced inhibition of human melanoma cell proliferation was due to the induction of apoptosis, as demonstrated by FACS analysis with annexin V/PI staining and confirmed by activation of caspase-3 and by the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Growing evidence implicates NF-κB as an important contributor to metastasis and increased chemoresistance of melanoma. Thus, it was hypothesized that 1-induced apoptosis could be associated with suppression of NF-κB activation. The results showed that exposure of human melanoma cells to 1 inhibited IκB-α degradation and constitutive NF-κB DNA-binding activity as well as the expression, regulated by NF-κB, of two antiapoptotic genes, XIAP and c-FLIP. Induction of apoptosis by 1 in human aggressive melanoma cell lines has a potential high biological value.
    Journal of Natural Products 12/2010; 74(2):228-33. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role played by the microenvironment in cancer induction, promotion and progression is crucial. Emerging evidence suggests that cytokines, chemokines and growth factors are major players in carcinogenesis. Therefore, a detailed understanding of factors and mechanisms associated with the processes leading from inflammation to cancer could improve the therapeutic strategies against this disease. We have used hepatocarcinoma as our model in this study. We evaluated the serum levels of 50 different cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in patients affected by HCC with chronic HCV-related hepatitis and liver cirrhosis using multiplex biometric ELISA-based immunoassay. Our data showed that some pro-inflammatory molecules were significantly up-regulated in these patients, and highlighted the complexity of the cytokine network in this disease. This work suggests the need to monitor these proteins in order to define a profile that could characterize patients with HCC or to help identify useful markers. This could lead to better definition of the disease state, and to an increased understanding of the relationships between chronic inflammation and cancer.
    European cytokine network. 06/2010; 21(2):99-104.
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major risk factors for chronic hepatitis, which may progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as for type II mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC), which may further evolve into an overt B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It has been previously shown that B-cell receptor (BCR) repertoire, expressed by clonal B-cells involved in type II MC as well as in HCV-associated NHL, is constrained to a limited number of variable heavy (VH)- and light (VL)-chain genes. Among these, the VK3-20 light chain idiotype has been selected as a possible target for passive as well as active immunization strategy. In the present study, we describe the results of a multiparametric analysis of the innate and early adaptive immune response after ex vivo stimulation of human immune cells with the VK3-20 protein. This objective has been pursued by implementing high-throughput technologies such as multiparameter flow cytometry and multiplex analysis of cytokines and chemokines.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 02/2010; 8:18. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-dose interferon-alpha 2b (IFN-alpha 2b) is the only approved systemic therapy in the United States for the adjuvant treatment of melanoma. The study objective was to explore the immunomodulatory mechanism of action for IFN-alpha 2b by measuring serum regulatory T cell (Treg), serum transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), interleukin (IL)-10, and autoantibody levels in patients with melanoma treated with the induction phase of the high-dose IFN-alpha 2b regimen. Patients with melanoma received IFN-alpha 2b administered intravenously (20 MU/m2 each day from day 1 to day 5 for 4 consecutive weeks). Serum Treg levels were measured as whole lymphocytes in CD4+ cells using flow cytometry while TGF-beta, IL-10, and autoantibody levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Twenty-two patients with melanoma received IFN-alpha 2b treatment and were evaluated for Treg levels. Before treatment, Treg levels were significantly higher in patients with melanoma when compared with data from 20 healthy subjects (P = 0.001; Mann-Whitney test). Although a trend for reduction of Treg levels following IFN-α 2b treatment was observed (average decrease 0.29% per week), statistical significance was not achieved. Subgroup analyses indicated higher baseline Treg levels for stage III versus IV disease (P = 0.082), early recurrence versus no recurrence (P = 0.017), deceased versus surviving patients (P = 0.021), and preoperative neoadjuvant versus postoperative adjuvant treatment groups (not significant). No significant effects were observed on the levels of TGF-beta, IL-10, and autoantibodies in patients with melanoma treated with IFN-alpha 2b. Patients with melanoma in this study showed increased basal levels of Treg that may be relevant to their disease and its progression. Treg levels shifted in patients with melanoma treated with IFN-alpha 2b, although no firm conclusions regarding the role of Tregs as a marker of treatment response or outcome can be made at present.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 01/2010; 8:76. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptor CXCR4 was described as an independent predictor of poor prognosis in primary human melanoma. To investigate on a possible role of CXCR4 expression on peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) subsets, 195 patients with melanoma were evaluated for correlations between PBL subsets CXCR4 expressing and clinicopathological and prognostic features. One hundred ninety-five patients with stages I-III melanoma were enrolled in this study. Lymphocytes subsets were assayed by the direct fluorescence method for whole blood and staining with fluorochrome-conjugated monoclonal antibodies. Correlations between PBL subsets, baseline patient, and tumor features were studied by contingency tables and the chi(2) test. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was applied to plot disease-free- and overall-survival curves. Univariate analysis was performed with the log-rank test. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to analyze the effect of multiple risk factors on disease-free survival (DFS). Melanoma patients characterized by CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) higher than 25% of PBL showed a longer DFS. Conversely, CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) <25% increased the risk of relapse. The 5-year DFS rate was 76% for patients with CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) lymphocytes <25% of PBL, and 94% for patients with CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) >25% (p = 0.030 at log-rank test). Univariate and multivariate analysis for DFS confirmed the prognostic value of the CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) lymphocytes. Although further studies are needed to better define the involved subpopulation, the detection of cellular subset CD4(+)CD45RA(+)CXCR4(+) is an easy and feasible evaluation of melanoma patients in concomitance with the established melanoma prognostic markers.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 09/2009; 59(4):511-7. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptor CXCR4 is widely expressed in human cancers and regulates cell invasion, proliferation and survival. Because mutations in the CXCR4 gene could regulate its function we sequenced the coding region of the CXCR4 gene in 18 human melanoma and 3 human colon carcinoma cell lines. The same somatic point mutation (G574A; V160I) in the fourth transmembrane region of CXCR4 was detected in one colon cancer cell line (PD) and one melanoma cell line (LB). CXCR4 was expressed and functional in both PD and LB cells, PD and LB cells migrated specifically toward the receptor ligand, CXCL12 and P-Erk was specifically induced by CXCL12. To give insight into the function of the mutant CXCR4 receptor, human A431, epidermoid carcinoma cells, were stably transfected with both mutant and wild type CXCR4. In vitro, A431 cells harboring CXCR4(G574A) migrated specifically toward CXCL12 and CXCL12 induced ERK phosphorylation. Interestingly, in vivo studies showed that the growth of A431 tumors harboring CXCR4(G574A) was delayed compared to those harboring WT CXCR4. As expected, treatment with AMD3100, a specific CXCR4 inhibitor, reduced the in vivo growth of CXCR4(G574A) tumor b(G574A) but surprisingly, increased the growth of CXCR4(G574A) A431 cells. This is the first report of a spontaneously occurring, functionally active CXCR4 mutation in human cancer cells. While the mutation impairs cell growth in vivo, the CXCR4 inhibitor, AMD3100, stimulated the growth of cells harboring CXCR4(G574A).
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 05/2009; 8(8):1228-37. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokines are subdivided in 12 sub-families and are described as multi-functional molecules that play an important biological activity in host defense system against pathogens, in homeostasis, tissue repair, cell growth and development. CytokineDB is an annotated database that collects biological information regarding the cytokines family in human and will be periodically updated by including new biological information. This database is freely available online and can be accessed at the URL: http://www.cro-m.eu/CytokineDB/
    Bioinformation 01/2009; 4(3):92-3. · 0.50 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2009; 7(2):580-581.
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2009; 7(2):583-583.
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    ABSTRACT: Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, it originates from melanocytes and its incidence has increased in the last decade. Recent advances in the understanding of the underlying biology of the progression of melanoma have identified key signalling pathways that are important in promoting melanoma tumourigenesis, thus providing dynamic targets for therapy. One such important target identified in melanoma tumour progression is the Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway. In vitro studies have shown that NF-kappaB binding is constitutively elevated in human melanoma cultures compared to normal melanocytes. It has been found that a short cell-permeable peptide spanning the IKK-beta NBD, named NBD peptide, disrupted the association of NEMO with IKKs in vitro and blocked TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB activation in vivo. In the present study we investigated the effect of the NBD peptide on NF-kappaB activity and survival of A375 human melanoma cells. We found that NBD peptide is able to inhibit the proliferation of A375 cells, which present constitutively elevated NF-kappaB levels. Inhibition of cell proliferation by NBD peptide was associated with direct inhibition of constitutive NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity and induction of apoptosis by activation of caspase-3 as confirmed by the cleavage and consequently inactivation of poly (ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP-1) known as the best marker of this process.
    Cancer letters 12/2008; 274(2):331-6. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Information on subcortical ischaemic changes (SIC) in young hypertensive patients is scarce. We evaluated the frequency of SIC at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the possible effect on cognition of these patients, and the role of plasma markers known as indicators of endothelial and haemostatic activation. Inclusion criteria were age <or=54 years, hypertension for at least 2 years and absence of cerebrovascular disease or other conditions possibly related to SIC. Patients with SIC at MRI and two control groups (matched for age, sex and education) of hypertensive patients without SIC and non-hypertensive healthy subjects underwent an extensive neuropsychological examination and evaluation of plasma markers. Amongst the 200 patients evaluated, 50 (25%) showed SIC at MRI. Mean age was 48.4 +/- 4.8 years. Compared with both control groups, hypertensive patients with SIC performed significantly worse in general cognition, attention, memory and executive functions. Moreover, they showed significantly more often increased levels of all plasma markers compared with healthy controls, and of von Willebrand factor (vWF) compared with both control groups (P < 0.001). In young hypertensive patients SIC are frequent, related to a worse cognitive performance and endothelial dysfunction. Our findings suggest vWF as marker of end-organ damage, underscoring the relevance of treating hypertension at younger age.
    European Journal of Neurology 11/2007; 14(11):1222-9. · 4.16 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

537 Citations
130.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori
      Meldola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2005–2013
    • Istituto Nazionale Tumori "Fondazione Pascale"
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2010
    • CROM: Centro Ricerche Oncologiche
      Mercogliano, Campania, Italy
  • 2007–2009
    • Second University of Naples
      • Interdepartmental Research Center for Computational and Biotechnological Sciences
      Caserta, Campania, Italy
  • 2004–2005
    • CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano
      Aviano, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2003
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Population Genetics IGP
      Roma, Latium, Italy