[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In human cancer cells, BAG3 protein is known to sustain cell survival. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate the expression of BAG3 protein both in equine sarcoids in vivo and in EqSO4b cells, a sarcoid-derived fully transformed cell line harbouring bovine papilloma virus (BPV)-1 genome. Evidence of a possible involvement of BAG3 in equine sarcoid carcinogenesis was obtained by immunohistochemistry analysis of tumour samples. We found that most tumour samples stained positive for BAG3, even though to a different grade, while normal dermal fibroblasts from healthy horses displayed very weak staining pattern for BAG3 expression. By siRNA technology, we demonstrate in EqSO4b the role of BAG3 in counteracting basal as well as chemical-triggered pro-death signals. BAG3 down-modulation was indeed shown to promote cell death and cell cycle arrest in G0/G1. In addition, we found that BAG3 silencing sensitized EqSO4b cells to phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC), a promising cancer chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent present in edible cruciferous vegetables. Notably, such a pro-survival role of BAG3 was less marked in E. Derm cells, an equine BPV-negative fibroblast cell line taken as a normal counterpart. Altogether our findings might suggest a mutual cooperation between BAG3 and viral oncoproteins to sustain cell survival.
Veterinary Research 07/2013; 44(1):61. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine papillomaviruses (BPVs) are oncogenic DNA viruses, which mainly induce benign lesions of cutaneous and/or mucosal epithelia in cattle. Thirteen (BPV 1--13) different viral genotypes have been characterized so far. BPVs are usually species-specific but BPV 1/2 may also infect equids as well as buffaloes and bison and cause tumors in these species. BPV-induced benign lesions usually regress, however occasionally they develop into cancer particularly in the presence of environmental carcinogenic co-factors. The major transforming protein of BPV is E5, a very short hydrophobic, transmembrane protein with many oncogenic activities. E5 contributes to cell transformation through the activation of the cellular beta receptor for the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGFbeta-r), it also decreases cell surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) causing viral escape from immunosurveillance, and plays a role in the inhibition of the intracellular communication by means of aberrant connexin expression. E7 is considered as a weak transforming gene, it synergies with E5 in cell transformation during cancer development. E7 expression correlates in vivo with the over-expression of beta1-integrin, which plays a role in the regulation of keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. Additionally, E7 is involved in cell-mediated immune responses leading to tumour rejection, in anoikis process by direct binding to p600, and in invasion process by upregulation of Matrix metalloproteinase1 (MMP-1) expression. Studies on the role of BPV E5 and E7 oncoproteins in naturally occurring tumours are of scientific value, as they may shed new light on the biological role of these two oncogenes in cell transformation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Equine sarcoids are skin tumours of fibroblastic origin affecting equids worldwide. Bovine papillomavirus type-1 (BPV-1) and, less commonly, type-2 are recognized as etiological factors of sarcoids. The transforming activity of BPV is related to the functions of its major oncoprotein E5 which binds to the platelet-derived growth factor β receptor (PDGF β R) causing its phosphorylation and activation. In this study, we demonstrate, by coimmunoprecipitation and immunoblotting, that in equine sarcoid derived cell lines PDGF β R is phosphorylated and binds downstream molecules related to Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase-ERK pathway thus resulting in Ras activation. Imatinib mesylate is a tyrosine kinase receptors inhibitor which selectively inhibits the activation of PDGF β R in the treatment of several human and animal cancers. Here we show that imatinib inhibits receptor phosphorylation, and cell viability assays demonstrate that this drug decreases sarcoid fibroblasts viability in a dose-dependent manner. This study contributes to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathology of sarcoids and paves the way to a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of this common equine skin neoplasm.
BioMed research international. 01/2013; 2013:283985.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Papillomavirus (PV) are double-stranded DNA viruses that can cause both benignant and malignant tumours in mammals. Twelve genotypes of bovine papillomavirus (BPV1-12) have been identified so far. The presence of BPV1 and 2 has been found in the body fluids of cattle and horses. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of BPV DNA and the expression of viral genes in the blood and sperm cells of healthy horses using PCR and RT-PCR. BPV-1 or 2 was detected in 14 of 70 blood samples (20%) and in 11 of 31 semen samples (35%). In five of fourteen blood samples, the E5 expression tested positive, while no blood sample was positive for L1 expression. Four of 11 (36%) semen cell samples proved to be positive for E5 expression, while no gene expression in L1 could be detected. This is the first study that shows BPV1 gene expression in the blood and semen of healthy horses. Our data illustrate the need for a better understanding of the presence of BPV in non-epithelial tissues of horses and their role in the vertical and horizontal transmission of these viruses.
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 12/2012; · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Papillomavirus (PV) are double-stranded DNA viruses that can cause both benig-nant and malignant tumours in mammals. Twelve genotypes of bovine papillo-mavirus (BPV1–12) have been identified so far. The presence of BPV1 and 2 has been found in the body fluids of cattle and horses. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of BPV DNA and the expression of viral genes in the blood and sperm cells of healthy horses using PCR and RT-PCR. BPV-1 or 2 was detected in 14 of 70 blood samples (20%) and in 11 of 31 semen samples (35%). In five of fourteen blood samples, the E5 expression tested positive, while no blood sample was positive for L1 expression. Four of 11 (36%) semen cell samples proved to be positive for E5 expression, while no gene expression in L1 could be detected. This is the first study that shows BPV1 gene expression in the blood and semen of healthy horses. Our data illustrate the need for a better understanding of the presence of BPV in non-epithelial tissues of horses and their role in the vertical and horizontal transmission of these viruses.
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 12/2012; · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Bovine papillomaviruses (BPVs) types 1 and 2 are the only known papillomaviruses able to jump the species. In fact, BPVs 1/2 induce neoplasia in their natural bovine host but infection is also associated to neoplastic skin lesions in equids termed sarcoids. The equine sarcoid is considered to be the most common equine cutaneous tumour worldwide for which no effective therapy is available. Very little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying tumourigenesis, although genes contributing to sarcoid development have been identified. Several studies associate the development of cancer to the loss of function of a number of oncosuppressor genes. In this study the putative role of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltrasferase (MGMT) was investigated for sarcoids. The expression of the oncosuppressor protein was assessed in normal and sarcoid cells and tissues. In addition, the DNA methylation profile was analysed to assess the role of epigenetic mechanism in regulation of MGMT expression. RESULTS: A group of 15 equine sarcoids and two primary sarcoid cell lines (fibroblasts) were analyzed for the expression of MGMT protein by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and Western blotting techniques. The sarcoid cell line EqSO4b and the tumour samples showed a reduction or absence of MGMT expression. To investigate the causes of deregulated MGMT expression, ten samples were analyzed for the DNA methylation profile of the CpG island associated to the MGMT promoter. The analysis of 73 CpGs encompassing the region of interest showed in 1 out of 10 (10%) sarcoids a pronouncedly altered methylation profile when compared to the control epidermal sample. Similarily the EqSO4b cell line showed an altered MGMT methylation pattern in comparison to normal fibroblasts. CONCLUSION: As previously demonstrated for the oncosuppressor gene FHIT, analysis of MGMT expression in sarcoid tissues and a sarcoid-derived fibroblast cell line further suggests that oncosuppressor silencing may be also involved in BPV-induced equine tumours. Abnormal DNA methylation seems to be one of the possible molecular mechanisms involved in the alteration of MGMT expression. Further studies are required to address other basic molecular mechanisms involved in reduced MGMT expression. This study underlines the possible role of DNA methylation in oncosuppressor inactivation in equine sarcoids.
BMC Veterinary Research 11/2012; 8(1):218. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas are benign skin tumours formed by proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts caused by bovine papillomaviruses (BPVs). BPV E5 oncoprotein plays a key role in neoplastic cell transformation by specifically binding to the platelet derived growth factor beta receptor (PDGFβR) causing its phosphorylation and activation of proliferation and survival signal transduction pathways, among these phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and Ras-mitogen-activated-protein-kinase-Erk (Ras-MAPK-Erk) pathways. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of PDGFβR, its phosphorylation status and expression of the downstream molecules phospho-Akt (pAkt) and phospho-Erk (pErk), in naturally occurring bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas. By immunohistochemistry on serial sections we showed cytoplasmic co-expression of the PDGFβR and E5 protein in neoplastic tissue. Western blot analysis revealed that PDGFβR was phosphorylated in higher amount in tumour samples compared to normal skin. pAkt, but not pErk, was also overexpressed in tumour samples. These findings may provide new insights into the aetiopathogenic mechanisms underlying naturally occurring bovine fibropapillomas and contribute to understanding the molecular scenario underlying BPV induced tumourigenesis.
Research in Veterinary Science 10/2012; · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine papillomaviruses (BPVs) can infect epithelial cells and fibroblasts, inducing fibropapillomas in cattle. Gap junctions are communication channels between cells composed of connexins (Cxs). This study evaluated expression of Cx26 and the major BPV oncoprotein E5 in bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas. BPV DNA was amplified from 20/20 fibropapillomas and 3/3 samples of normal skin. All fibropapillomas (20/20) were positive by immunostaining for E5, whereas the three normal skin samples were negative. Cx26 was expressed faintly in the normal skin epithelium. Positive cytoplasmic and juxtanuclear immunoreactivity for Cx26 was evident in 18/20 (90%) fibropapillomas. Western blot analysis demonstrated higher expression of Cx26 in 6/6 fibropapillomas compared to normal skin samples.
The Veterinary Journal 08/2012; · 2.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal heat shock protein (HSP) levels have been observed in a number of human tumours, where they are involved in all hallmarks of cancer. Since bovine urothelial tumours share striking morphological and biochemical features with their human counterparts, the aim of this study was to evaluate the immunohistochemical levels of Hsp27, Hsp60, Hsp72, Hsp73 and Hsp90 in 28 normal bovine urinary bladders and 30 bovine papillomavirus-positive urothelial tumours (9 in situ carcinomas, 9 low-grade and 12 high-grade carcinomas) and adjacent premalignant lesions obtained from cows suffering from chronic enzootic haematuria, in order to investigate the role of these proteins in the process of urothelial carcinogenesis. A semi-quantitative method was used for the analysis of the results. Western blot analysis was also used to confirm HSP expression in normal controls. All investigated HSPs were expressed in normal bovine urothelium, showing characteristic patterns of immunolabelling throughout urothelial cell layers, which usually appeared to be conserved in urothelial hyperplasia and dysplasia. On the other hand, gradual loss of Hsp27 immunostaining resulted to be significantly associated with increasing histological grade of malignancy (P < 0.01). As well, a significantly reduced immunosignal of Hsp73 and Hsp90 was observed in high-grade and low-/high-grade carcinomas, respectively (P < 0.01). In contrast, Hsp60 (P < 0.01) and Hsp72 (P < 0.05) immunoreactivity appeared to be significantly increased both in premalignant and malignant lesions when compared to that observed in normal urothelium, thus suggesting an early involvement of these proteins in neoplastic transformation of urinary bladder mucosa.
Cell Stress and Chaperones 05/2012; 17(6):683-92. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Equine sarcoids are benign fibroblastic skin tumors affecting equids worldwide. Infection
with bovine papillomavirus types 1 and 2 has been implicated as a major fact in the
disease development; however, the cellular mechanisms underlying fibroblast transformation
are still largely unknown. In the present study, a diagnosis of sarcoid was
histologically assessed along with eosinophilic dermatitis. The sarcoid lesion expressed
the viral oncoproteins E5 and E2, suggesting a causative role of the virus and its replication.
Ribosomal DNA of the nematode Habronema muscae was also revealed in the
lesion. This is the first report to describe and discuss an association of cutaneous habronemosis
with equine sarcoid.
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 05/2012; · 0.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sarcoids are peculiar equine benign tumours. Their onset is associated with Bovine Papillomavirus type -1 or -2 (BPV-1/2) infection. Little is known about the molecular interplay between viral infection and neoplastic transformation. The data regarding papillomavirus infections in human species show the inactivation of a number of tumour suppressor genes as basic mechanism of transformation. In this study the putative role of the tumour suppressor gene Fragile Histidine Triad (FHIT) in sarcoid tumour was investigated in different experimental models. The expression of the oncosuppressor protein was assessed in normal and sarcoid cells and tissue.
Nine paraffin embedded sarcoids and sarcoid derived cell lines were analysed for the expression of FHIT protein by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence techniques and western blotting. These analyses revealed the absence of signal in seven out of nine sarcoids. The two sarcoid derived cell lines too showed a reduced signal of the protein. To investigate the causes of the altered protein expression, the samples were analysed for the DNA methylation profile of the CpG island associated with the FHIT promoter. The analysis of the 32 CpGs encompassing the region of interest showed no significative differential methylation profile between pathological tissues and cell lines and their normal counterparts.
This study represent a further evidence of the role of a tumour suppressor gene in equine sarcoids and approaches the epigenetic regulation in this well known equine neoplasm. The data obtained in sarcoid tissues and sarcoid derived cell lines suggest that also in horse, as in humans, there is a possible involvement of the tumour suppressor FHIT gene in BPV induced tumours. DNA methylation seems not to be involved in the gene expression alteration. Further studies are needed to understand the basic molecular mechanisms involved in reduced FHIT expression.
BMC Veterinary Research 03/2012; 8:30. · 1.86 Impact Factor