G Arancia

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

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Publications (173)589.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: It has been confirmed that multidrug resistant (MDR) melanoma cells (M14 ADR2) are more sensitive than their wild-type counterparts (M14 WT) to H2O2 and aldehydes, the products of bovine serum amine oxidase (BSAO)-catalyzed oxidation of spermine. The metabolites formed by BSAO and spermine are more toxic, in M14 cells, than exogenous H2O2 and acrolein, even though their concentration is lower during the initial phase of incubation due to their more gradual release than the exogenous products. Binding of BSAO to the cell membrane and release of the reaction products of spermine into the immediate vicinity of the cells, or directly into the cells, may explain the apparently paradoxical phenomenon. Both WT and MDR cells, after pre-treatment for 24 h, or longer, with the lysosomotropic compound chloroquine (CQ), show to be sensitized to subsequent exposure to BSAO/spermine enzymatic system. Evidence of ultrastructural aberrations and acridine orange release from lysosomes is presented in this study that is in favor of the permeabilization of the lysosomal membrane as the major cause of sensitization by CQ. Pre-treatment with CQ amplifies the ability of the metabolites formed from spermine by oxidative deamination to induce cell death. Melanocytes, differently from melanoma cells, were unaffected by the enzymatic system, even when preceded by CQ treatment. Since it is conceivable that combined treatment with a lysosomotropic compound and BSAO/spermine would be effective against tumour cells, it is of interest to search for such novel compounds, which might be promising for application in a therapeutic setting.
    International journal of oncology. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In previous studies it has been demonstrated that the plant alkaloid voacamine (1), used at noncytotoxic concentrations, enhanced the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin and exerted a chemosensitizing effect on cultured multidrug-resistant (MDR) U-2 OS-DX osteosarcoma cells. The in vitro investigations reported herein gave the following results: (i) the chemosensitizing effect of 1, in terms of drug accumulation and cell survival, was confirmed using SAOS-2-DX cells, another MDR osteosarcoma cell line; (ii) compound 1 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of doxorubicin also on the melanoma cell line Me30966, intrinsically drug resistant and P-glycoprotein-negative; (iii) at the concentrations used to sensitize tumor cells, 1 was not cytotoxic to normal cells (human fibroblasts). These findings suggest possible applications of voacamine (1) in integrative oncologic therapies against resistant tumors.
    Journal of Natural Products 04/2014; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are two fundamental microscopic techniques widely applied in biological research for the study of ultrastructural cell components. With these methods, especially TEM, it is possible to detect and quantify the morphological and ultrastructural parameters of intracellular organelles (mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, peroxisomes, endosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoskeleton, nucleus, etc.) in normal and pathological conditions. The study of intracellular vesicle compartmentalization is raising even more interest in the light of the importance of intracellular localization of mediators of the signaling in eliciting different biological responses. The study of the morphology of some intracellular organelles can supply information on the bio-energetic status of the cells. TEM has also a pivotal role in the determination of different types of programmed cell death. In fact, the visualization of autophagosomes and autophagolysosomes is essential to determine the occurrence of autophagy (and also to discriminate micro-autophagy from macro-autophagy), while the presence of fragmented nuclei and surface blebbing is characteristic of apoptosis. SEM is particularly useful for the study of the morphological features of the cells and, therefore, can shed light, for instance, on cell-cell interactions. After a brief introduction on the basic principles of the main electron microscopy methods, the article describes some cell components with the aim to demonstrate the huge role of the ultrastructural analysis played in the knowledge of the relationship between function and structure of the biological objects. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Microscopy Research and Technique 08/2013; · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):445. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):1-100. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process);5,6 thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):445-544. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    Autophagy 04/2012; 4454(8):445-544. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Few articles in the literature have focused on electroporation as a strategy to reverse multidrug resistance (MDR) of tumour cells and they are mostly limited to the improved efficacy of bleomycin. We tested the application of trains of biphasic pulses to cell suspensions and to murine xenografts as a strategy to increase the uptake of doxorubicin (DOX) and to enhance its cytotoxicity against chemoresistant cells. The human colon adenocarcinoma cell line LoVo DX, expressing MDR phenotype with high levels of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), has been used. The in vitro and in vivo studies gave the following results: (i) the application of the electric pulses to the cell suspension, immediately before DOX administration, induced a significant increase of drug retention; (ii) confocal microscopy observations showed a remarkable increase of intranuclear accumulation of DOX induced by electroporation; (iii) cell survival assay revealed a decrease of cell viability in the cultures treated with the combination of electroporation and doxorubicin; (iv) scanning electron microscopy observations revealed consistent morphological changes after the combined exposure to electroporation and doxorubicin; (v) in implanted mice the combined treatment induced an evident slowdown on the tumour growth when compared to treatment with DOX alone; (vi) histopathological analysis evidenced tumour destruction and its replacement by scar tissue in the tumours treated with the combination of doxorubicin and electroporation.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 01/2012; 48(14):2236-43. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    Autophagy 01/2012; 4454(8):445-544. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that cancer cells can protect themselves from apoptosis induced by type I interferons (IFNs) through a ras→MAPK-mediated pathway. In addition, since IFN-mediated signalling components STATs are controlled by PPAR gamma we studied the pharmacological interaction between recombinant IFN-β and the PPAR-γ agonist troglitazone (TGZ). This combination induced a synergistic effect on the growth inhibition of BxPC-3, a pancreatic cancer cell line, through the counteraction of the IFN-β-induced activation of STAT-3, MAPK and AKT and the increase in the binding of both STAT-1 related complexes and PPAR-γ with specific DNA responsive elements. The synergism on cell growth inhibition correlated with a cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase, secondary to a long-lasting increase of both p21 and p27 expressions. Blockade of MAPK activation and the effect on p21 and p27 expressions, induced by IFN-β and TGZ combination, were due to the decreased activation of STAT-3 secondary to TGZ. IFN-β alone also increased p21 and p27 expression through STAT-1 phosphorylation and this effect was attenuated by the concomitant activation of IFNbeta-induced STAT-3-activation. The combination induced also an increase in autophagy and a decrease in anti-autophagic bcl-2/beclin-1 complex formation. This effect was mediated by the inactivation of the AKT→mTOR-dependent pathway. To the best of our knowledge this is the first evidence that PPAR-γ activation can counteract STAT-3-dependent escape pathways to IFN-β-induced growth inhibition through cell cycle perturbation and increased autophagic death in pancreatic cancer cells.
    Biotechnology advances 08/2011; 30(1):169-84. · 8.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The plasma membrane lipid composition in AH-130 hepatoma cells was found to change remarkably after polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) treatment. Plasma membranes from cells grown in rats treated for 7 days i.v. with 20 mg/kg/day PPC, when compared to those of control cells, did not show significantly different amounts of cholesterol or phospholipids relative to protein content, but, surprisingly, the individual phospholipid distribution inside the two membrane leaflets changed dramatically. Phosphatidylcholine (PC), the major phospholipid in the external membrane leaflet, increased ~47% (p<0.001). By contrast, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), the most important component of the inner leaflet, decreased nearly 37% (p<0.001), while sphingomyelin (SM) also decreased ~17%, (p=0.1). Tumor cells collected from control rats at the same time interval and observed by scanning electron microscopy, exhibited a spherical shape with numerous and randomly distributed long microvilli, the same morphological and ultrastructural features displayed by the implanted cells. Conversely, tumor cells from PPC-treated rats no longer showed the roundish cell profile, and microvilli appeared shortened and enlarged, with the formation of surface blebs. Transmission electron microscopy observations confirmed the morphological and ultrastructural cell changes, mainly seen as loss of microvilli and intense cytoplasmic vacuolization. Taken together, these results indicate that the new phospholipid class distribution in the plasma membrane leaflets, modifying tumor cell viable structures, produced heavy cell damage and in many cases brought about complete cellular disintegration.
    Oncology Reports 07/2011; 26(1):229-35. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a catabolic process whereby cells maintain homeostasis by eliminating unnecessary proteins and damaged organelles. It may be triggered under physiological conditions, such as nutrient starvation, or in response to a variety of stress stimuli, such as exposure to radiations or cytotoxic compounds. Although autophagy is basically a protective mechanism that sustains cell survival under adverse conditions, it has been recently demonstrated that the induction of autophagic process may ultimately lead to cell death. As for the role of autophagy in cancer, it is still very controversial whether it suppresses tumorigenesis or provides cancer cells with a rescue mechanism under unfavourable conditions. Therefore, the dual role of autophagy in tumor progression and in the response of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs is still open to debate. The first part of this review describes the cellular events occurring during the various phases of the autophagic process. Special attention has been given to the morphological aspects and the regulatory molecules involved in autophagic cell death. Specifically, we have focused on the proteins necessary for autophagosome formation, encoded by the ATG (AuTophaGy-related gene) gene family, and their role in the regulation of the process of autophagy. We also examined the effects of autophagy modulators on cell survival and cell death and discussed the recent efforts aimed at finding novel agents that activate or inhibit autophagy by targeting regulatory molecules of the complex autophagy pathways.
    Current cancer drug targets 01/2011; 11(3):357-79. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Engineered nanoparticles offer great promise in many industrial and biomedical applications, however little information is available about gastrointestinal toxicity. The purpose of this study was to assess the cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis and proinflammatory mediator release induced by ZnO nanoparticles on human colon carcinoma LoVo cells. The biological activity of these particles was related to their physico-chemical characteristics. The physico-chemical characteristics were evaluated by analytical electron microscopy. The cytotoxicity was determined by growth curves and water-soluble tetrazolium assay. The reactive oxygen species production, cellular glutathione content, changes of mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis cell death were quantified by flow cytometry. The inflammatory cytokines were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay. Treatment with ZnO (5 μg/cm2 corresponding to 11.5 μg/ml) for 24 h induced on LoVo cells a significant decrease of cell viability, H2O2/OH increase, O2− and GSH decrease, depolarization of inner mitochondrial membranes, apoptosis and IL-8 release. Higher doses induced about 98% of cytotoxicity already after 24 h of treatment. The experimental data show that oxidative stress may be a key route in inducing the cytotoxicity of ZnO nanoparticles in colon carcinoma cells. Moreover, the study of the relationship between toxicological effects and physico-chemical characteristics of particles suggests that surface area does not play a primary role in the cytotoxicity.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 04/2010; · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of Legionella pneumophila mainly resides in its ability to inhibit the phagosome-lysosome fusion, which normally prevents the killing of the host cells. In order to characterize the molecular alterations that occurred in a spontaneous avirulent mutant of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 6, named Vir-, we investigated the ability of the mutant to adhere to and multiply in the WI26VA4 alveolar epithelial cell line and in human macrophages, when compared to its parental strain, Vir+. We also determined the colocalization of bacteria with LAMP-1 to gain an insight into the phagosome-lysosome fusion process. Additionally, we determined the flagellin expression and dotA nucleotide sequencing. We observed a lack of expression of flagellin and an in-frame mutation in the dotA. gene. The data obtained strongly suggest the loss of virulence of the mutant could probably be due to the absence of flagellin and the dysfunctional type IV secretion System, resulting from the DotA protein being severely compromised.
    The Journal of Microbiology 12/2009; 47(6):768-73. · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been confirmed that multidrug resistant (MDR) human melanoma cells are more sensitive than their wild-type counterparts to H2O2 and aldehydes, the products of bovine serum amine oxidase (BSAO)-catalyzed oxidation of spermine. The metabolites formed by BSAO and spermine are more toxic than exogenous H2O2 and acrolein, even though their concentration is lower during the initial phase of incubation due to their more gradual release than the exogenous products. Both wild-type and MDR cells, after pre-treatment with MDL 72527, an inactivator of polyamine oxidase and a lysosomotropic compound, show to be sensitized to subsequent exposure to BSAO/spermine. Evidence of ultrastructural aberrations and acridine orange release from lysosomes is presented in this work that is in favor of the permeabilization of the lysosomal membrane as the major cause of sensitization by MDL 72527. Owing to its lysosomotropic effect, pre-treatment with MDL 72527 amplifies the ability of the metabolites formed from spermine by oxidative deamination to induce cell death. Since it is conceivable that combined treatment with a lysosomotropic compound and BSAO/spermine would be effective against tumor cells, it is of interest to search for such novel compounds, which might be promising for application in a therapeutic setting.
    International Journal of Oncology 10/2009; 35(3):485-98. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In our previous studies, the bisindolic alkaloid voacamine (VOA), isolated from the plant Peschiera fuchsiaefolia, proved to exert a chemosensitizing effect on cultured multidrug resistant (MDR) osteosarcoma cells exposed to doxorubicin (DOX). In particular, VOA was capable of inhibiting P-glycoprotein action in a competitive way, thus explaining the enhancement of the cytotoxic effect induced by DOX on MDR cells. Afterwards, preliminary observations suggested that such an enhancement did not involve the apoptotic process but was due instead to the induction of autophagic cell death. The results of the present investigation demonstrate that the plant alkaloid VOA is an autophagy inducer able to exert apoptosis-independent cytotoxic effect on both wild-type and MDR tumor cells. In fact, under treatment condition causing about 50 percent of cell death, no evidence of apoptosis could be revealed by microscopical observations, Annexin V-FITC labeling and analysis of PARP cleavage, whereas the same cells underwent apoptosis when treated with apoptosis inducers, such as doxorubicin and staurosporine. Conversely, VOA-induced autophagy was clearly evidentiated by electron microscopy observations, monodansylcadaverine staining, LC3 expression, and conversion. These results were confirmed by the analysis of the modulating effects of the pretreatment with autophagy inhibitors prior to VOA administration. In addition, transfection of osteosarcoma cells with siRNA against ATG genes reduced VOA cytotoxicity. In conclusion, considering the very debated dual role of autophagy in cancer cells (protective or lethal, pro- or anti- apoptotic) our findings seem to demonstrate, at least in vitro, that a natural product able to induce autophagy can be effective against drug resistant tumors, either used alone or in association with conventional chemotherapeutics.
    Autophagy 12/2008; 4(8):1020-33. · 12.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
589.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • University of Michigan
      • Life Sciences Institute
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 1987–2011
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • • Department of Clinical Medicine
      • • Department of Biochemical Sciences "Alessandro Rossi Fanelli
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1986–2009
    • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
      • Department of Technology and Health
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1991–2008
    • Istituto Regina Elena - Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2004
    • Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • University of Padova
      • Interdepartmental Research Centre for Innovative Biotechnologies CRIBI
      Padova, Veneto, Italy
  • 1994
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      • Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi
      Roma, Latium, Italy