Maria Alfonsina Desiderio

University of Milan, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (56)261.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: E-cadherin accumulates in hypoxic bone metastasis opposite to primary carcinoma.•HIF-1 and PPARγ cooperate in inducing E-cadherin under hypoxia in metastatic cells.•Wwox regulates HIF-1α phosphorylation and nuclear translocation.•Hypoxia plus Wwox prevent HIF-1α degradation via HDM2 forming a regulatory loop.
    Experimental Cell Research 10/2014; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we show that the fate of osteolytic bone metastasis depends on the balance among autophagy, anoikis resistance and ossification, and that the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signaling pathway seems to have an important role in orchestrating bone colonization. These findings are consistent with the pathophysiology of bone metastasis that is influenced by the cross-talk of supportive and neoplastic cells through molecular signaling networks. We adopted the strategy to target metastasis and stroma with the use of adenovirally expressed NK4 (AdNK4) and Dasatinib to block HGF/Met axis and Src activity. In human bone metastatic 1833 cells, HGF conferred anoikis resistance via Akt and Src activities and HIF-1α induction, leading to Bim isoforms degradation. When Src and Met activities were inhibited with Dasatinib, the Bim isoforms accumulated conferring anoikis sensitivity. The proviability effect of HGF, under low-nutrient stress condition, was related to a faster autophagy deactivation with respect to HGF plus Dasatinib. In the 1833 xenograft model, AdNK4 switched metastasis vasculature to blood lacunae, increasing HIF-1α in metastasis. The combination of AdNK4 plus Dasatinib gave the most relevant results for mice survival, and the following molecular and cellular changes were found to be responsible. In bone metastasis, we observed a hypoxic condition - marked by HIF-1α - and an autophagy failure - marked by p62 without Beclin-1. Then, osteolytic bone metastases were largely prevented, because of autophagy failure in metastasis and ossification in bone marrow, with osteocalcin deposition. The abnormal repair process was triggered by the dysfunctional autophagy/anoikis interplay. In conclusion, the concomitant blockade of HGF/Met axis and Src activity seemed to induce HIF-1α in metastasis, whereas the bone marrow hypoxic response was reduced. As a consequence, anoikis resistance might be hampered favoring, instead, autophagy failure and neoformation of woven bone trabeculae. Mice survival was, therefore, prolonged by overcoming an escape strategy adopted by metastatic cells by disruption of tumor-stroma coevolution, showing the importance of autophagy inhibition for the therapy of bone metastasis.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2014; 5:e1005. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was undertaken to clarify the function(s) of endothelin-1 and its receptors ETAR and ETBR in osteolytic-bone metastasis from breast cancer, and their regulation by hepatocyte and transforming growth factors (HGF, TGF-β) and hypoxia. The aim was to evaluate the adaptability of bone metastasis to microenvironmental stimuli through endothelin-1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), or the reverse process MET, and through osteomimicry possible key features for bone colonization. We compared low (MCF-7) and high (MDA-MB231) invasive-breast carcinoma cells, and 1833-bone metastatic clone, with human pair-matched primary breast-carcinomas and bone metastases. Parental MDA-MB231 and the derived 1833-clone responded oppositely to the stimuli. In 1833 cells, TGF-β and hypoxia increased endothelin-1 release, altogether reducing invasiveness important for engraftment, while endothelin-1 enhanced MDA-MB231 cell invasiveness. The endothelin-1-autocrine loop contributed to the cooperation of intracellular-signaling pathways and extracellular stimuli triggering MET in 1833 cells, and EMT in MDA-MB231 cells. Only in 1833 cells, HGF negatively influenced transactivation and release of endothelin-1, suggesting a temporal sequence of these stimuli with an initial role of HGF-triggered Wnt/β-catenin pathway in metastatization. Then, endothelin-1/ETAR conferred MET and osteomimetic phenotypes, with Runt-related transcription factor 2 activation and metalloproteinase 9 expression, contributing to colonization and osteolysis. Findings with human pair-matched primary ductal carcinomas and bone metastases gave a translational significance to the molecular study. Endothelin-1, ETAR and ETBR correlated with the acquisition of malignant potential, because of high expression already in the in situ carcinoma. These molecular markers might be used as predictive index of aggressive behavior and invasive/metastatic phenotype.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 12/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we report a complex regulation of endothelin-1 (ET-1) axis driven by epigenetic reactions in 1833-bone metastatic cells, emphasizing the importance in skeletal metastasis from breast carcinoma. Inhibitors of histone deacetylases, trichostatin A (TSA), and of DNA methylases, 5'-Azacytidine (Aza), caused, respectively, reduction and increase in 1833 cell invasiveness, without affecting the basal migration of parental MDA-MB231 cells. Of note, in the two cell lines exposed to Aza the blockade of the ET-1 receptor ETAR with BQ-123 oppositely changed invasive properties. Even if in MDA-MB231 cells the ET-1 axis was scarcely influenced by epigenetic reactions, ETAR remarkably decreased after Aza. In contrast, in 1833 cells Aza exposure enhanced ET-1 coupled to ETAR wild type, being also ETAR truncated form increased, and invasiveness was stimulated. Under demethylation, the increase in ET-1 steady state protein level in 1833 clone seemed regulated at transcriptional level principally via Ets1 transcription factor. In fact, actinomycin D almost completely prevented ET-1 mRNA induction due to Aza. Only in 1833 cells, TSA exposure inactivated ET-1 axis, with reduction of the expression of ET-1 and ETAR mutated form, in agreement with Matrigel invasion decrease. This treatment favoured the ET-1 repressional control, taking place at the level of mRNA stability due to the 3'-untranslated region in the ET-1 gene, and also decreased transcription via NF-kB. Environmental conditions that alter the balance between epigenetic reactions might, therefore, affect metastasis migratory mode influencing ET-1 axis.
    Experimental Cell Research 05/2013; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypoxic microenvironment of bone marrow favours the bone metastasis process. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α is hallmark for hypoxia, correlating with poor prognosis and radio/chemotherapy resistance of primary-breast carcinoma. For bone metastasis, the molecular mechanisms involved in HIF-1α expression and HIF-1 (α/β heterodimer)-transcription factor activity are scarcely known. We studied the role played by HIF-1 in the cross-talk between neoplastic and supportive-microenvironmental cells. Also, WWdomain-containing oxidoreductase (Wwox) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) were taken into consideration evaluating whether these Hippo-pathway effectors affect bone-metastatic phenotype through HIF-1 activity. Considering bone-metastasis specimens, nuclear HIF-1α-TAZ co-localisation occurred in neoplastic and supportive cells, such as fibroblasts and endotheliocytes. Based on these data, the functional importance was verified using 1833-bone metastatic clone under hypoxia: nuclear HIF-1α and TAZ expression increased and co-immunoprecipitated, activating HIF-1-DNA binding and transactivation. In contrast, Wwox localised at perinuclear level in neoplastic cells of bone metastasis, being almost absent in supportive cells, and Wwox-protein expression diminished in hypoxic-1833 cells. Thus, TAZ regulation of HIF-1 activity might be important for bone-secondary growth, participating in metastasis-stroma cross-talk. Further, TAZ and HIF-1α-protein levels seemed correlated. In fact, blocking cyclooxygenase-2 with NS398 in hypoxic-1833 cells, not only HIF-1α decreased but also molecular-mechanism(s) upstream of the Hippo pathway were triggered: LATS-dependent TAZ phosphorylation seemed responsible for TAZ nucleus/cytoplasm translocation and degradation. In the 1833-xenograft model, NS398 largely prevented the outgrowth of bone-metastatic cells, probably related to remarkable-extracellular matrix assembly. We gained clinical insight into HIF-1α and TAZ as candidate biomarkers for bone avidity, relevant for early-therapeutic intervention against bone metastasis.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 04/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human adipose-tissue derived stem cells (HASCs) are an interesting source for bone-tissue engineering applications. Our aim was to clarify in HASCs the role of acetylation in the control of Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) and Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) γ. These key osteogenic and adipogenic transcription factors are oppositely involved in osteo-differentiation. The HASCs, committed or not towards bone lineage with osteoinductive medium, were exposed to HDACs chemical blockade with Trichostatin A (TSA) or were genetically silenced for HDACs. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and collagen/calcium deposition, considered as early and late osteogenic markers, were evaluated concomitantly as index of osteo-differentiation. TSA pretreatment, useful experimental protocol to analyse pan-HDAC-chemical inhibition, and switch to osteogenic medium induced early-osteoblast maturation gene Runx2, while transiently decreased PPARγ and scarcely affected late-differentiation markers. Time-dependent effects were observed after knocking-down of HDAC1 and 3: Runx2 and ALP underwent early activation, followed by late-osteogenic markers increase and by PPARγ/ALP activity diminutions mostly after HDAC3 silencing. HDAC1 and 3 genetic blockade increased and decreased Runx2 and PPARγ target genes, respectively. Noteworthy, HDACs knocking-down favoured the commitment effect of osteogenic medium. Our results reveal a role for HDACs in orchestrating osteo-differentiation of HASCs at transcriptional level, and might provide new insights into the modulation of HASCs-based regenerative therapy.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2012; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the involvement of Hippo-related pathways in bone metastasis from breast cancer, by evaluating E-cadherin expression downstream of WWdomain-containing oxidoreductase (Wwox) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ). These nuclear effectors functioned in a context-specific fashion on transcriptome, depending on breast-cancer aggressiveness and methylation state. Wwox and E-cadherin were found in human specimens of bone metastasis but not in primary-ductal breast carcinoma, while TAZ showed a characteristic localisation in metastasis nuclei. Wwox and E-cadherin were higher in 1833-metastatic clone with bone avidity than in parental-MDA-MB231 cells, while only metastatic cells presented TAZ. In 1833 cells, a complex interplay of transcriptional signalling controlled E-cadherin transactivation. Wwox and TAZ activated Hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) binding to E-cadherin promoter, while Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) intervened in E-cadherin transactivation favouring and preventing Wwox and TAZ functions, respectively. Methylation impinged on Hippo-related pathways through Wwox and TAZ, modifying metastatic phenotype. The protract exposure to 5-azacytidine (Aza), by affecting methylation state modified the shape of 1833 cells, becoming mesenchymal as that of MDA-MB231 cells and reduced spontaneous-Matrigel invasion. The underlying-molecular mechanisms were diminutions of E-cadherin, Wwox, matrix metalloproteases 2 and 9, HIF-1- and PPARγ-activities, inversely correlated to Snail and nuclear-TAZ accumulations. Exogenous WWOX restored 1833-Aza invasion. Thus, 1833-Aza cells permitted to study the role played by methylation in metastasis plasticity, being E-cadherin loss part of an entire-gene reprogramming. Of note, bone-metastasis formation in 1833-Aza xenograft was partially impaired, prolonging mice survival. In conclusion, the methylation-heritable changes seemed important for cancer progression to establish bone metastasis engraftment/growth, by affecting steps requiring homotipic and/or heterotypic-adhesive properties and matrix degradation.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 06/2012; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    Paola Bendinelli, Paola Maroni, Emanuela Matteucci, Maria Alfonsina Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic cells switch between different modes of migration through supramolecular plasticity mechanism(s) still largely unknown. The aim of the present paper was to clarify some molecular aspects of the epigenetic control of migration of 1833-bone metastatic cells compared to MDA-MB231-parental mammary carcinoma cells. Active c-Src overexpression enhanced 1833-cell spontaneous migration and CXCR4-mediated chemoinvasion toward CXCL12 ligand. Only in metastatic cells, in fact, c-Src seemed to stabilize nuclear CXCR4-protein receptor possibly due to tyrosine phosphorylation, by impairing protein-degradative smear and causing instead an electrophoretic-mobility shift; the cytosolic steady-state level of CXCR4 was enhanced, and the protein appeared also phosphorylated. These findings suggested the triggering of unique signaling pathways in metastasis for homing of breast-cancer cells to congenial environment of specific organs. Microenvironmental stimuli activating c-Src might influence Ets1 binding to CXCR4 promoter and consequent transactivation, as well as CXCR4 post-translational regulatory mechanisms such as phosphorylation. Enhancement of Ets1 activity and CXCR4 induction by c-Src overexpression were prevented by histone deacetylase (HDAC) blockade. In contrast, HDAC inhibition with trichostatin A increased cytosolic phosphorylated CXCR4 expression in MDA-MB231 cells, but Ets1 involvement was practically unneeded. c-Src might be suggested as a bio-marker predicting metastasis sensitivity patterns to HDAC inhibitors. Rationally designed and individualized therapy may become possible as more is learned about the target molecules of HDAC's inhibitory agents and their roles, as undertaken for CXCR4 that is likely to be crucial for homing, angiogenesis and survival in a c-Src-dependent manner in bone-metastatic mammary cells.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2011; 1813(10):1767-76. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to identify nuclear co-localization of COX-2 and HIF-1α in human-bone metastasis of breast cancer, index of transcriptionally activated cells and functional for gene expression. In particular, we verified whether hypoxia exerted a direct role on metastasis-gene expression or through COX-2 signaling, due to the relevance for clinical implications to individuate molecular targets for diagnosis and therapy. The experiments were performed in vitro with two metastatic clones, 1833 and MDA-231BO, and the parental MDA-MB231 cells, in vivo (1833-xenograft model), and in human-bone metastasis specimens. In 1833 cells in vitro, COX-2 signaling pathway was critical for nuclear HIF-1α-protein expression/translocation, mechanisms determining HIF-1 activity and gene expression. The data were corroborated by immunohistochemistry in human-bone metastasis specimens. COX-2 and HIF-1α showed wide co-localization in the nucleus, indicative of COX-2-nuclear import in transcriptionally activated metastatic cells and consistent with COX-2-HIF-1α functional interaction. A network of microenvironmental signals controlled COX-2 induction and HIF-1 activation downstream. In fact, hypoxia through HGF and TGF-β1 autoregulatory loops triggered a specific array of transcription factors responsible for COX-2 transactivation. The novelty was that HGF and TGF-β1 biological signals were produced by hypoxic metastatic cells and, therefore, the microenvironment seemed to be modified by metastatic-cell engraftment in the bone. In agreement, HIF-1α expression in bone marrow supportive cells occurred in metastasis-bearing animals. Altogether, the data supported the pre-metastatic-niche theory. Our observations might be useful to design therapies against bone metastasis, by affecting the phenotype changes of metastatic cells occurring at the secondary growth site through COX-2-HIF-1 interaction.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2010; 129(2):433-50. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of articular cartilage through injury or disease presents major clinical challenges also because cartilage has very poor regenerative capacity, giving rise to the development of biological approaches. As autologous blood product, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) provides a promising alternative to surgery by promoting safe and natural healing. Here we tested the possibility that PRP might be effective as an anti-inflammatory agent, providing an attractive basis for regeneration of articular cartilage, and two principal observations were done. First, activated PRP in chondrocytes reduced the transactivating activity of NF-κB, critical regulator of the inflammatory process, and decreased the expression of COX-2 and CXCR4 target genes. By analyzing a panel of cytokines with different biological significance, in activated PRP we observed increases in hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), interleukin-4 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). HGF and TNF-α, by disrupting NF-κB-transactivating activity, were important for the anti-inflammatory function of activated PRP. The key molecular mechanisms involved in PRP-inhibitory effects on NF-κB activity were for HGF the enhanced cellular IkBα expression, that contributed to NF-κB-p65 subunit retention in the cytosol and nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, and for TNF-α the p50/50 DNA-binding causing inhibition of target-gene expression. Second, activated PRP in U937-monocytic cells reduced chemotaxis by inhibiting chemokine transactivation and CXCR4-receptor expression, thus possibly controlling local inflammation in cartilage. In conclusion, activated PRP is a promising biological therapeutic agent, as a scaffold in micro-invasive articular cartilage regeneration, not only for its content of proliferative/differentiative growth factors, but also for the presence of anti-inflammatory agents including HGF.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 11/2010; 225(3):757-66. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To clarify the reciprocal interaction between human-breast cancer metastatic cells and bone microenvironment, we studied the influence of HGF/Met system on a proposed-prognostic marker of aggressiveness, the beta-catenin/Wnt pathway. For in vitro and in vivo experiments we used 1833-bone metastatic clone, derived from human-MDA-MB231 cells. In osteolytic bone metastases and in metastatic cells, Met was expressed in nuclei and at plasma membrane, and abnormally co-localised at nuclear level with beta-catenin and the tyrosine phosphorylated c-Src kinase. Thus, in 1833 cells nuclear-Met COOH-terminal fragment and beta-catenin-TCF were constitutively activated, possibly by receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases. The activity of the gene reporter TOPFLASH (containing multiple TCF/LEF-consensus sites) was measured, as index of beta-catenin functionality. In 1833 cells, human and mouse HGF increased Met and beta-catenin tyrosine phosphorylation and expression in nuclear and perinuclear compartments, beta-catenin nuclear translocation via Kank and TOPFLASH transactivation. Human HGF was autocrine/intracrine in bone metastasis, and mouse HGF originating from the adjacent host-bone marrow, was found inside the metastatic nuclei. Parental MDA-MB231 cell nuclei did not show functional beta-catenin, for TCF-transactivating activity, and the regulation by HGF. Our study highlighted the importance of the metastasis-stroma interaction in human-breast cancer metastatisation and first identified the HGF/nuclear Met/phospho-c-Src/beta-catenin-TCF/Wnt pathway as a potential-therapeutic target to delay establishment/progression of bone metastases by affecting the aggressive phenotype.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 03/2010; 46(9):1679-91. · 4.12 Impact Factor
  • Paola Bendinelli, Emanuela Matteucci, Paola Maroni, Maria Alfonsina Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we show that NF-kappaB-HIF-1 interaction contributed to breast cancer metastatic capacity by means of an incomplete epithelial/mesenchymal transition and influencing migration, as shown in 1833 (human) and 4T1 (mouse) metastatic cells after different stimuli. The 1833 and the transforming growth factor-beta1-exposed 4T1 cells showed both epithelial (E-cadherins) and mesenchymal (N-cadherins and vimentin) markers, and common mechanisms contributed to the retention of certain epithelial characteristics and the control of migration. The complex NF-kappaB-HIF-1 reciprocal regulation and the enhanced c-Jun expression played a functional role in exacerbating the invasiveness of 1833 cells after p50/p65 transfection and of 4T1 cells exposed to transforming growth factor-beta1. Twist expression seemed to exert a permissive role also regulating epithelial/mesenchymal transition markers. After c-Src wild-type (Srcwt) transfection, c-Src-signal transducer overexpression in 1833 cells increased HIF-1 transactivating activity and invasiveness, and changed E-cadherin/N-cadherin ratio versus mesenchymal phenotype. The transcription factor pattern and the motile phenotype of metastatic 1833 cells were influenced by p65-lysine acetylation and HDAC-dependent epigenetic mechanisms, which positively regulated basal NF-kappaB and HIF-1 activities. However, HDAC3 acted as a corepressor of NF-kappaB activity in parental MDA-MB231 cells, thus explaining many differences from the derived 1833 clone, including reduced HIF-1alpha and c-Jun expression. Invasiveness was differently affected by HDAC knockdown in 1833 and MDA-MB231 cells. We suggest that acetylation/deacetylation are critical in establishing the bone-metastatic gene signature of 1833 cells by regulating the activity of NF-kappaB and HIF-1, and further clarify the epigenetic control of transcription factor network in the motile phenotype of 1833 cells.
    Molecular Cancer Research 09/2009; 7(8):1328-41. · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • Emanuela Matteucci, Paola Bendinelli, Maria Alfonsina Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/Met system is deregulated in tumors and is implicated in different aspects of invasive growth. Here, we report that in the highly aggressive MDA-MB231 breast carcinoma cells, Met cytosolic fragments [C-terminal fragment (CTF)] were present in the nuclei. They were constitutively active because tyrosine phosphorylated at regulatory and catalytic domains and endowed with transactivating activity independently of HGF exposure. In fact, various constructs containing juxtamembrane (Jxtm) Met fragments, fused with Gal4 DNA-binding domain, transactivated Gal4Luc activity. MDA-MB231 cells were devoid of WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (Wwox) tumor suppressor. Exogenous Wwox protein expression negatively regulated Jxtm3-transactivating activity and decreased spontaneous migration of MDA-MB231 cells. Also, we demonstrate that the lack of endogenous Wwox in MDA-MB231 cells represented a molecular mechanism for intranuclear Met-CTF accumulation and for the decrease of full-length Met stability. Yes-associated proteins maintained constitutively activated nuclear Met fragments that played a role as transcription factors regulating genes probably including those for motile phenotype. The difference with low invasive MCF-7 cells was evident because the latter did not show intranuclear Met and the transfected constructs-containing Jxtm fragments were inactive also in the presence of HGF. The constitutive activation of nuclear Met-signaling pathway in MDA-MB231 cells, possibly determined at genetic or epigenetic levels of WWOX gene, might participate in breast carcinoma progression influencing invasive/metastatic phenotype. Wwox/Met system can be suggested as a potential target to impair breast carcinoma progression.
    Carcinogenesis 05/2009; 30(6):937-45. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    E Ridolfi, E Matteucci, P Maroni, M A Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), through Met receptor binding, fulfils numerous functions in invasive tumour growth (survival/proliferation, motility, apoptosis), but epigenetic control of gene expression in this process is poorly understood. In HGF-treated breast cancer cells we studied (a) the chemoinvasion towards CXCL12 (ligand of the chemokine-receptor CXCR4) and (b) the mechanistic basis, that is, the transduction pathways that regulate CXCR4-mediated invasion, and the role played by histone deacetylases (HDACs) after blockade with trichostatin A (TSA). In highly invasive and metastatic MDA-MB231 cells HGF had a dual inhibitory effect, reducing spontaneous migration and specific chemoinvasion towards CXCL12, the latter by decreasing CXCR4 transactivation and protein level. After HGF the levels of phosphorylated (therefore active) c-Src and Akt persistently increased, indicating a role of these signal transducers in the HGF-dependent cellular and molecular effects. c-Src wild-type expression vector (Srcwt) increased active c-Src and mimicked the HGF-dependent inhibition of CXCR4 transactivation. Our findings indicate that HDACs participated in the HGF-inhibitory effects. In fact, blockade of HDACs hindered the HGF- and Srcwt-dependent reductions of CXCR4 transactivation and invasiveness, while inhibition of endogenous c-Src was additive with HGF, further reducing specific chemoinvasion. In conclusion, in MDA-MB231 cells HDAC blockade with TSA partly counteracted the HGF-dependent effects through molecular events that included enhancement of the expression of the genes for invasiveness Met and CXCR4 (depending on serum conditions), reduction of endogenous phospho-c-Src/c-Src and phosphoAkt/Akt ratios and triggering of apoptosis. The potential therapeutic use of TSA should take into account the variable aggressiveness of breast carcinoma cells and microenvironment signals such as HGF at the secondary growth site of the tumour. It was interesting that HGF reduced motility and CXCR4 functionality only of MDA-MB231 cells, and not of low-invasive MCF-7 cells, suggesting a mechanism implicated in metastatic cell homing.
    British Journal of Cancer 11/2008; 99(10):1623-34. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a cytokine of tumor microenvironment, exerts opposite effects on CXCR4 expression in MCF-7 (low invasive) and MDA-MB231 (highly invasive) breast carcinoma cells, and here, we show that completely different molecular mechanisms downstream of c-Src activation were involved. As experimental models, we used cells transfected with two CXCR4 promoter constructs and treated with HGF or cotransfected with c-Src wild-type (Srcwt) expression vector; phospho-c-Src formation was enhanced in both cell lines. In MCF-7 cells, consistent with activations of CXCR4Luc constructs after HGF treatment and Srcwt expression, Ets1 and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) transcription factors were activated. In contrast, in MDA-MB231 cells, CXCR4Luc construct, Ets1 and NF-kappaB activities decreased. The divergence point seemed to be downstream of HGF/c-Src and consisted in the interaction between c-Src and the substrate histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3). Only in MDA-MB231 cells, HDAC3 level was enhanced in membranes and nuclei 30 min after HGF and colocalized/coimmunoprecipitated with phospho-c-Src and phosphotyrosine. Thus, the CXCR4 induction by HGF in MCF-7 cells required NF-kappaB and Ets1 activations, downstream of phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt, whereas in HGF-treated MDA-MB231 cells, HDAC3 activation via c-Src probably caused a reduction of transcription factor activities, such as that of NF-kappaB. These results indicate possible roles of HGF in invasive growth of breast carcinomas. By enhancing CXCR4 in low invasive tumor cells, HGF probably favors their homing to secondary sites, whereas by suppressing CXCR4 in highly invasive cells, HGF might participate to retain them in the metastatic sites.
    Molecular Cancer Research 09/2007; 5(8):833-45. · 4.50 Impact Factor
  • M A Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor is a multifunctional cytokine of the tumor microenvironment. An important advance in the knowledge of cancer progression has been the appreciation that the tumor invasive phenotype is strongly influenced by microenvironmental stimuli. Malignant tumor cells recruit vasculature and stroma through the production of growth factors and cytokines. The locally activated microenvironment (both cellular and extracellular elements) in turn modifies the proliferative and invasive behavior of the tumor cells. Hepatocyte growth factor accomplishes most of the functions of the invasive program in carcinomas (loss of adhesive junctions, motility, angiogenesis, survival/apoptosis), and may interact with other signals such as hypoxia. The purpose of the present review is to highlight examples of the progress in this area. The influence of hepatocyte growth factors on the carcinoma invasive phenotype is considered by evaluating the gene targets and the network of transcription factors activated in the specific responses.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 07/2007; 64(11):1341-54. · 5.86 Impact Factor
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    Paola Maroni, Paola Bendinelli, Emanuela Matteucci, Maria Alfonsina Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: CXCR4 is a chemokine receptor probably involved in the homing of metastatic breast cancer, and its expression is modulated by tumor environmental stimuli such as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and hypoxia. Here, we demonstrate that, depending on the stimulus, different transcription factors can cooperate in enhancing CXCR4 transcription in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. In HGF-treated MCF-7 cells, the DNA binding of Ets1 activated by MAPK1/ERK1/2 transduction pathway as well as the DNA binding of NF-kappaB played a critical role in CXCR4 transcription and protein induction. Under HGF stimulation, the blockade of these transcription factors by dominant negatives and inhibitors prevented the expression of CXCR4 receptor, the activity of a gene reporter driven by CXCR4 promoter sequence and the chemoinvasion toward the CXCL12 ligand. NF-kappaB was activated also by hypoxia and contributed, with HIF-1, to the increase in CXCR4 expression. The results suggest that Ets1, specifically activated by HGF, might cooperate with NF-kappaB activity to enhance the invasive/metastatic phenotype of breast carcinoma cells.
    Carcinogenesis 03/2007; 28(2):267-79. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating Endothelial Precursors (PB-EPCs) are involved in the maintenance of the endothelial compartment being promptly mobilized after injuries of the vascular endothelium, but the effects of a brief normobaric hypoxia on PB-EPCs in healthy subjects are scarcely studied. Clinical and molecular parameters were investigated in healthy subjects (n = 8) in basal conditions (T0) and after 1 h of normobaric hypoxia (T1), with Inspiratory Fraction of Oxygen set at 11.2% simulating 4850 mt of altitude. Blood samples were obtained at T0 and T1, as well as 7 days after hypoxia (T2). In all studied subjects we observed a prompt and significant increase in PB-EPCs, with a return to basal value at T2. The induction of hypoxia was confirmed by Alveolar Oxygen Partial Pressure (PAO2) and Spot Oxygen Saturation decreases. Heart rate increased, but arterial pressure and respiratory response were unaffected. The change in PB-EPCs percent from T0 to T1 was inversely related to PAO2 at T1. Rapid (T1) increases in serum levels of hepatocyte growth factor and erythropoietin, as well as in cellular PB-EPCs-expression of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha were observed. In conclusion, the endothelial compartment seems quite responsive to standardized brief hypoxia, possibly important for PB-EPCs activation and recruitment.
    Respiratory research 02/2007; 8(1):58. · 3.38 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
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    ABSTRACT: Partial hemitransection at the mesodiencephalic junction in the rat increased striatal and nigral putrescine concentrations on the lesioned side for at least 168 h, with maximal increases between 24 and 48 h. Spermidine and spermine levels declined at 24 h in the striatum, rising above control values at 48 h and further at 168 h. In the substantia nigra, they remained unchanged for the first 48 h and then increased by 168 h. Cadaverine in the striatum also increased at 48 h. On the intact side putrescine increased but to a much lesser extent (at 48 h in the striatum and at 24 and 48 h in the substantia nigra). Ornithine decarboxylase and diamine oxidase activities showed maximal increases at 24 h in the striatum of the lesioned side, whereas in the substantia nigra ornithine decarboxylase attained a very high value as early as 4 h after the operation and diamine oxidase activity peaked at 48 h. The enzyme activities returned toward the basal values at 168 h. On the intact side, ornithine decarboxylase showed a small increase starting at 4 h and diamine oxidase was enhanced at 48 h. These results indicate that the stimulation of biosyn-thetic and degradative enzymes of polyamine metabolism accompanied by marked and prolonged increases in putrescine may be essential events in the early phases of neuronal response to mechanical injury in the CNS.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 10/2006; 51(1):25 - 31. · 4.24 Impact Factor
  • E Matteucci, E Ridolfi, M A Desiderio
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    ABSTRACT: E-cadherins are implicated in cell adhesion, and also in cell signaling by associating with tyrosine kinase-receptors such as Met, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor. Using two different cellular models, i.e. MCF-7 (breast carcinoma) and MCF-10 (immortalized mammary) cells, we studied the possible mechanism(s) by which E-cadherins modulate the signaling pathways downstream of Met, leading to beta-catenin-TCF transcriptional activity. In MCF-7, but not in MCF-10 cells, E-cadherins were remarkably associated with Met. Moreover, in MCF-7 cells both co-immunoprecipitation with anti-Met antibody and co-localization were increased by 30-min HGF treatment, which caused E-cadherin tyrosine phosphorylation. Also beta-catenin in the co-immunoprecipitate was phosphorylated by HGF, probably favoring TCF activation. Consistently, after HGF treatment, beta-catenin redistributed earlier in MCF-7 than in MCF-10 cells, with nuclear accumulation and activation of TOPFLASH gene reporter. Our results indicate a functional role of Met-E-cadherin interaction in MCF-7 cells through the amplification of the signaling downstream of HGF-Met triggering that involved c-Src and phosphoinositide-3-kinase activities.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2006; 63(17):2016-26. · 5.86 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
261.53 Total Impact Points


  • 1984–2014
    • University of Milan
      • • Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health
      • • Department of Human Morphology and Biomedical Sciences "Cittá Studi"
      • • Istituto di Patologia Generale
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2010–2012
    • Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1995–1997
    • National Research Council
      Roma, Latium, Italy