Roberto Marzari

Università degli Studi di Trieste, Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Publications (88)373.26 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of antibody-based immunotherapy is due to the activation of apoptosis, the engagement of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). We developed a novel strategy to enhance CDC using bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) that neutralize the C-regulators CD55 and CD59 to enhance C-mediated functions. Two bsAbs (MB20/55 and MB20/59) were designed to recognize CD20 on one side. The other side neutralizes CD55 or CD59. Analysis of CDC revealed that bsAbs could kill 4 to 25 times more cells than anti-CD20 recombinant antibody in cell lines or cells isolated from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The pharmacokinetics of the bsAbs was evaluated in a human-SCID model of Burkitt lymphoma. The distribution profile of bsAbs mimics the data obtained by studying the pharmacokinetics of anti-CD20 antibodies, showing a peak in the tumor mass 3-4 days after injection. The treatment with bsAbs completely prevented the development of human/SCID lymphoma. The tumor growth was blocked by the activation of the C cascade and by the recruitment of macrophages, PMN and NK cells. This strategy can easily be applied to the other anti-tumor C-fixing antibodies currently used in the clinic or tested in preclinical studies using the same vector with the appropriate modifications.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 6 June 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.185.
    Leukemia. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several serological diagnostics rely on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect bacterial infections. However for some pathogens, including Bartonella henselae, diagnosis still depends on manually intensive, time-consuming assays including micro-immunofluorescence, Western blotting or indirect-immunofluorescence. For such pathogens, there is obviously still a need to identify antigens to establish a reliable, fast, and high-throughput assay (Dupon et al. 1996). We evaluated two B. henselae proteins to develop a novel serological ELISA: a well-known antigen, the 17-kDa protein, and GroEL, identified during this study by a proteomic approach. When serum IgG were tested, the specificity and sensitivity were 76% and 65.7% for 17-kDa, respectively, and 82% and 42.9% for GroEL, respectively. IgM were found to be more sensitive and specific for both proteins:17-kDa, specificity 86.2% and sensitivity 75%; GroEL specificity 97.7% and sensitivity 45.3%. IgM antibodies were also measured in lymphoma patients and patients with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection to assess the usefulness of our ELISA to distinguish them from B. henselae infected patients. The resulting specificities were 89.1% and 93.5% for 17-kDa protein and GroEL, respectively. Combining the results from the two tests, we obtained a sensitivity of 82.8% and a specificity of 83.9%. Our work described and validated a proteomic approach suitable to identify immunogenic proteins useful for developing a serological test of B.henselae infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Letters in Applied Microbiology 05/2014; · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to dissect the autoantibody response in celiac disease (CD) that remains largely unknown, with the goal of identifying the disease-specific autoantigenic protein pattern or the so called epitome. Sera from CD patients were used to select immunoreactive antigens from a cDNA phage-display library. Candidate genes were identified, the corresponding proteins produced and their immunoreactivity validated with sera from CD patients and controls. Thirteen CD-specific antigens were identified and further validated by protein microarray. The specificity for 6 of these antigens was confirmed by ELISA. Furthermore we showed that this antibody response was not abolished on a gluten free diet and was not shared with other autoimmune diseases. These antigens appear to be CD specific and independent of gluten induction. The utility of this panel extends beyond its diagnostic value and it may drive the attention to new targets for unbiased screens in autoimmunity research.
    Clinical Immunology 04/2013; 148(1):99-109. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of patients suffering from chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis with recombinant antibodies is time consuming and fairly expensive and can be associated with side effects due to generalized depletion of the target molecule. We have addressed these issues by developing an alternative approach consisting of the intraarticular injection of a DNA vector encoding for the anti-C5 neutralizing recombinant miniantibody MB12/22. This method allows local production of the antibody in sufficient amount to be effective in preventing joint inflammation in a rat model of antigen-induced arthritis. Injection of the DNA vector in a right knee of normal rats resulted in the production of the minibody detected in the synovial washes by western blot with a strong signal peaking at 3 days after administration. DNA encoding for the minibody was shown for 14 days in the synovial tissue and was undetectable in the controlateral knee and in other organs. The preventive effect of this approach was evaluated in rats receiving a single injection of the vector 3 days before the induction of antigen-induced arthritis and analyzed 3 days later. The treated rats exhibited a lower increase in swelling, associated with a lower number of PMN in the articular washes and reduced deposition of C9 in synovial tissue compared to control rats. These results suggest that treating the inflamed joints with a vector that induces a local production of a neutralizing anti-C5 antibody may represent a useful strategy to inhibit in situ complement activation and to treat patients with monoarthritis. Moreover, this approach may be adopted as a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent monoarthritis as an alternative to local treatment with antibodies commonly used in this form of arthritis, with the advantages of the lower cost and the longer persistence of antibody production.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58696. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Immunobiology 11/2012; 217(11):1149–1150. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Molecular Medicine 03/2012; 90(3):343. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To show that a new recombinant protein (MT07) obtained by fusing a synovial-homing peptide to a neutralizing antibody to C5 can be selectively delivered to inflamed synovium and can effectively control joint inflammation in experimental models of arthritis. Binding of MT07 to human, rat, and mouse synovial tissue was evaluated in vitro by immunofluorescence, and selective localization in the inflamed joints of rats was documented in vivo using time-domain optical imaging. The antiinflammatory effect of MT07 was tested in a rat model of antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) and in a mouse model of collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA). MT07 was able to bind to samples of inflamed synovium from humans, mice, and rats while failing to recognize uninflamed synovium as well as inflamed mouse lung or rat kidney. In vivo analysis of the biodistribution of MT07 confirmed its preferential homing to inflamed joints, with negligible inhibition of circulating C5 levels. MT07 prevented and resolved established inflammation in a rat model of AIA, as demonstrated by changes in joint swelling, polymorphonuclear cell counts in synovial washes, release of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor α, and tissue damage. A similar therapeutic effect was obtained testing MT07 in a CAIA model. Our findings show that the novel recombinant molecule MT07 has the unique ability to selectively target inflamed joints and to exert local control of the inflammatory process by neutralizing the complement system without interfering with circulating C5 levels. We believe that this approach can be extended to other antiinflammatory drugs currently used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 02/2012; 64(8):2559-67. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new single-chain fragment variable (scFv) to TRAIL-R2 receptor produced as minibody (MB2.23) was characterized for anti-lymphoma activity in vivo. For this purpose, a disseminated lymphoma model was generated by intraperitoneal inoculation of BJAB cells in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Two weekly injections with MB2.23 (10 mg/kg) were able to significantly increase the median survival time of lymphoma-bearing animals with respect to the vehicle-treated control mice, providing a rationale for further investigating the use of MB2.23 in anticancer therapy.
    Investigational New Drugs 02/2012; 30(1):405-7. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac patient-derived anti-transglutaminase 2 (TG2) antibodies disturb several steps in angiogenesis, but the detailed molecular basis is not known. Therefore, we here analyzed by microarray technology the expression of a set of genes related to angiogenesis and endothelial cell biology in order to identify factors that could explain our previous data related to vascular biology in the context of celiac disease. To this end, in vitro models using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or in vivo models of angiogenesis were used. A total of 116 genes were analyzed after treatment with celiac patient autoantibodies against TG2. Compared to treatment with control IgA celiac patient, total IgA induced a consistent expression change of 10 genes, the up-regulation of four and down-regulation of six. Of these genes the up-regulated RhoB was selected for further studies. RhoB expression was found to be up-regulated at both messenger RNA and protein level in response to celiac patient total IgA as well as anti-TG2-specific antibody derived from a celiac patient. Interestingly, down-regulation of RhoB by specific small interfering RNA treatment in endothelial cells could rescue the deranged endothelial length and tubule formation caused by celiac disease autoantibodies. RhoB function is controlled by its post-translational modification by farnesylation. This modification of RhoB required for its correct function can be prevented by the cholesterol lowering drug simvastatin, which was also able to abolish the anti-angiogenic effects of celiac anti-TG2 autoantibodies. Taken together, our results would suggest that RhoB plays a key role in the response of endothelial cells to celiac disease-specific anti-TG2 autoantibodies.
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 01/2012; 90(7):817-26. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant proteins, in particular antibodies, have become fundamental in biomedical research where they are used in numerous therapeutic and diagnostic applications. For this reason there is an increasing demand for quick and economical production systems for recombinant proteins in mammalian cells.
    New Biotechnology 12/2011; 29(4):477-84. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antitransglutaminase (anti-TG2) antibodies are synthesised in the intestine and their presence seems predictive of future coeliac disease (CD). This study investigates whether mucosal antibodies represent an early stage of gluten intolerance even in the absence of intestinal damage and serum anti-TG2 antibodies. This study investigated 22 relatives of patients with CD genetically predisposed to gluten intolerance but negative for both serum anti-TG2 antibodies and intestinal abnormalities. Fifteen subjects were symptomatic and seven were asymptomatic. The presence of immunoglobulin A anti-TG2 antibodies in the intestine was studied by creating phage-antibody libraries against TG-2. The presence of intestinal anti-TG2 antibodies was compared with the serum concentration of the intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP), a marker for early intestinal mucosal damage. The effects of a 12-month gluten-free diet on anti-TG2 antibody production and the subjects' clinical condition was monitored. Twelve subjects entered the study as controls. The intestinal mucosa appeared normal in 18/22; 4 had a slight increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes. Mucosal anti-TG2 antibodies were isolated in 15/22 subjects (68%); in particular symptomatic subjects were positive in 13/15 cases and asymptomatic subjects in 2/7 cases (p=0.01). No mucosal antibodies were selected from the controls' biopsies. There was significant correlation between the presence of intestinal anti-TG2 antibodies and positive concentrations of I-FABP (p=0.0008). After a gluten-free diet, 19/22 subjects underwent a second intestinal biopsy, which showed that anti-TG2 antibodies had disappeared in 12/15 (p=0.002), while I-FABP decreased significantly (p<0.0001). The diet resolved both extraintestinal and intestinal symptoms. A new form of genetic-dependent gluten intolerance has been described in which none of the usual diagnostic markers is present. Symptoms and intestinal anti-TG2 antibodies respond to a gluten free-diet. The detection of intestinal anti-TG2 antibodies by the phage-antibody libraries has an important diagnostic and therapeutic impact for the subjects with gluten-dependent intestinal or extraintestinal symptoms. Clinical trial number NCT00677495.
    Gut 04/2011; 60(11):1487-93. · 10.73 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Earlier work has demonstrated that serum autoantibodies from coeliac patients targeted against transglutaminase 2 (TG2) inhibit in vitro angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to establish whether coeliac patient-derived monoclonal TG2-targeted antibodies produced by recombination technology exert similar anti-angiogenic effects to serum-derived coeliac autoantibodies. In addition, we studied whether the monoclonal patient autoantibodies modulate endothelial cell TG2 activity and whether such modulation is related to the anti-angiogenic effects. The influence of coeliac patient-derived monoclonal TG2-targeted antibodies on endothelial cell tubule formation was studied using a three-dimensional angiogenic cell culture model. Endothelial cell TG2 enzymatic activity was determined by means of a live-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Coeliac patient-derived monoclonal TG2-targeted antibodies produced by recombination technology inhibited endothelial tubule formation and enhanced the crosslinking activity of TG2. When this enzymatic activity was inhibited using site-directed irreversible TG2 inhibitors in the presence of autoantibodies, in vitro angiogenesis reverted to the control level. Since we found a significant negative correlation between endothelial cell angiogenesis and TG2 activity, we suggest that the anti-angiogenic effects of coeliac patient-derived TG2-targeted autoantibodies are exerted by enhanced enzymatic activity of TG2.
    Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 04/2010; 45(4):421-7. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a high-throughput protein expression and interaction analysis platform that combines cDNA phage display library selection and massive gene sequencing using the 454 platform. A phage display library of open reading frame (ORF) fragments was created from mRNA derived from different tissues. This was used to study the interaction network of the enzyme transglutaminase 2 (TG2), a multifunctional enzyme involved in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis, associated with many different pathologies. After two rounds of panning with TG2 we assayed the frequency of ORFs within the selected phage population using 454 sequencing. Ranking and analysis of more than 120,000 sequences allowed us to identify several potential interactors, which were subsequently confirmed in functional assays. Within the identified clones, three had been previously described as interacting proteins (fibronectin, SMOC1 and GSTO2), while all the others were new. When compared with standard systems, such as microtiter enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay, the method described here is dramatically faster and yields far more information about the interaction under study, allowing better characterization of complex systems. For example, in the case of fibronectin, it was possible to identify the specific domains involved in the interaction.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2010; 38(9):e110. · 8.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune gastrointestinal disorder characterized by the presence of anti-transglutaminase 2 (TG2) and anti-gliadin antibodies. Amongst the neurological dysfunctions associated with CD, ataxia represents the most common one. We analyzed by immunohistochemistry, the anti-neural reactivity of the serum from 20 CD patients. To determine the role of anti-TG2 antibodies in ataxia, two anti-TG2 single chain variable fragments (scFv), isolated from a phage-display IgA antibody library, were characterized by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, and injected in mice to study their effects on motor coordination. We found that 75% of the CD patient population without evidence of neurological involvement, has circulating anti-neural IgA and/or IgG antibodies. Two anti-TG2 scFvs, cloned from one CD patient, stained blood vessels but only one reacted with neurons. This anti-TG2 antibody showed cross reactivity with the transglutaminase isozymes TG3 and TG6. Intraventricular injection of the anti-TG2 or the anti-TG2/3/6 cross-reactive scFv provoked transient, equally intensive ataxia in mice. The serum from CD patients contains anti-TG2, TG3 and TG6 antibodies that may potentially cause ataxia.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(3):e9698. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-tissue transglutaminase (TG2) antibodies are the serological marker of celiac disease. Given the close association between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, we investigated the production and deposition of anti-TG2 antibodies in the jejunal mucosa of type 1 diabetic children. Intestinal biopsies were performed in 33 type 1 diabetic patients with a normal mucosal architecture: 14 had high levels (potential celiac disease patients) and 19 had normal levels of serum anti-TG2 antibodies. All biopsy specimens were investigated for intestinal deposits of IgA anti-TG2 antibodies by double immunofluorescence. In addition, an antibody analysis using the phage display technique was performed on the intestinal biopsy specimens from seven type 1 diabetic patients, of whom four had elevated and three had normal levels of serum anti-TG2 antibodies. Immunofluorescence studies showed that 11 of 14 type 1 diabetic children with elevated levels and 11 of 19 with normal serum levels of anti-TG2 antibodies presented with mucosal deposits of such autoantibodies. The phage display analysis technique confirmed the intestinal production of the anti-TG2 antibodies; however, whereas the serum-positive type 1 diabetic patients showed a preferential use of the VH5 antibody gene family, in the serum-negative patients the anti-TG2 antibodies belonged to the VH1 and VH3 families, with a preferential use of the latter. Our findings demonstrate that there is intestinal production and deposition of anti-TG2 antibodies in the jejunal mucosa of the majority of type 1 diabetic patients. However, only those with elevated serum levels of anti-TG2 antibodies showed the VH usage that is typical of the anti-TG2 antibodies that are produced in patients with celiac disease.
    Diabetes 05/2009; 58(7):1578-84. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of the serological identification of antigens by procedures such as cDNA cloning and recombinant protein expression has allowed the direct molecular definition of immunogenic proteins. The phage-display technology provides several advantages over conventional immunoscreening procedures based on plasmid or lambda-phage cDNA libraries. So far, attempts to display open reading frames, such as those encoded by cDNA fragments, on filamentous phages have not been very successful. We managed to develop a strategy based on "folding reporters" which allows filtering out open reading frames from DNA and displaying them on filamentous phages in such a way that they are amenable to subsequent selection or screening. Once the cDNA library of interest is created, phage-display technology is used for selection of novel putative antigens; these are then validated by printing isolated protein on microarray and screening with patients' sera.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2009; 570:353-69. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanical forces and living cells are closely related, in particular in connections, named Focal Adhesions (FAs), between cells and extracellular matrix. FAs are mechanosensors and regulate physiological processes. The aim of this contribution is to explore the possibility of performing micrometric and submicrometric protein pattern in order to study FAs on different materials. Typical substrates for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are tested and the results are reported. A laser is used to produce a pattern of extracellular matrix proteins, like fibronectin. A new use of a Raman microprobe is described. Cells arrange in a regular shape, following the geometry of the pattern. Protein spots last for more than 24 hours. It is very important to have a complete control on FAs and the technique proposed is a suitable solution.
    Proc SPIE 02/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising natural anticancer therapeutic agent because through its death receptors, TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2, it induces apoptosis in many transformed tumor cells, but not in the majority of normal cells. Hence, agonistic compounds directed against TRAIL death receptors have the potential of being excellent cancer therapeutic agents, with minimal cytotoxicity in normal tissues. Here, we report the selection and characterization of a new single-chain fragment variable (scFv) to TRAIL-R2 receptor isolated from a human phage-display library, produced as minibody (MB), and characterized for the in vitro anti-leukemic tumoricidal activity. The anti-TRAIL-R2 MB2.23 efficiently and specifically bound to membrane-associated TRAIL-R2 on different leukemic cell lines and could act as a direct agonist in vitro, initiating apoptotic signaling as well as complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity, providing a rationale for further investigations of MB2.23 in anticancer therapy.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2009; 22(1):73-83. · 2.99 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
373.26 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1976–2014
    • Università degli Studi di Trieste
      • Department of Life Sciences
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2008–2013
    • Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont
      • Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases IRCAD
      Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2000–2011
    • IRCCS Ospedale Infantile Burlo Garofolo
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2004
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory
      • Bioscience Division
      Los Alamos, NM, United States
  • 2001
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1997
    • Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy