Alberto Luini

National Research Council, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (147)1119.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A fundamental property of cellular processes is to maintain homeostasis despite varying internal and external conditions. Within the membrane transport apparatus, variations in membrane fluxes from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi complex are balanced by opposite fluxes from the Golgi to the ER to maintain homeostasis between the two organelles. Here we describe a molecular device that balances transport fluxes by integrating transduction cascades with the transport machinery. Specifically, ER-to-Golgi transport activates the KDEL receptor at the Golgi, which triggers a cascade that involves Gs and adenylyl cyclase and phosphodiesterase isoforms and then PKA activation and results in the phosphorylation of transport machinery proteins. This induces retrograde traffic to the ER and balances transport fluxes between the ER and Golgi. Moreover, the KDEL receptor activates CREB1 and other transcription factors that upregulate transport-related genes. Thus, a Golgi-based control system maintains transport homeostasis through both signaling and transcriptional networks.
    Developmental Cell 08/2014; 30(3):280-94. · 12.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based video microscopy can provide profound insight into biological processes by generating information on the 'history,' or dynamics, of the cellular structures involved in such processes in live cells. A crucial limitation of this approach, however, is that many such structures may not be resolved by light microscopy. Like more recent super-resolution techniques, correlative video-light-electron microscopy (CLEM) was developed to overcome this limitation. CLEM integrates GFP-based video microscopy and electron microscopy through a series of ancillary techniques, such as proper fixation, hybrid labeling and retracing, and so provides sufficient resolution as well as, crucially, cellular 'context' to the fluorescent dynamic structures of interest. CLEM 'multiplies' the power of video microscopy and is having an important impact in several areas cell and developmental biology. Here, we discuss potential, limitations and perspectives of correlative approaches aimed at integrating the unique insight generated by video microscopy with information from other forms of imaging.
    Histochemistry and cell biology. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of transport through the Golgi complex is not completely understood, insofar as no single transport mechanism appears to account for all of the observations. Here, we compare the transport of soluble secretory proteins (albumin and α1-antitrypsin) with that of supramolecular cargoes (e.g., procollagen) that are proposed to traverse the Golgi by compartment progression-maturation. We show that these soluble proteins traverse the Golgi much faster than procollagen while moving through the same stack. Moreover, we present kinetic and morphological observations that indicate that albumin transport occurs by diffusion via intercisternal continuities. These data provide evidence that this transport mechanism that applies to a major class of secretory proteins and indicate the co-existence of multiple intra-Golgi trafficking modes.
    eLife. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The centrosome is the primary microtubule-organising centre of animal cells and it has crucial roles in several fundamental cellular functions, including cell division, cell polarity, and intracellular transport. The mechanisms responsible for this are not completely understood. Here, we show that the poorly characterised protein Cep126 localises to the centrosome, pericentriolar satellites, and the base of the primary cilium. Suppression of Cep126 expression results in dispersion of the pericentriolar satellites and disruption of the radial organisation of the microtubules, and induces disorganisation of the mitotic spindle. Moreover, Cep126 depletion or the transfection of a Cep126 truncation mutant in hTERT-RPE-1 and IMCD3 cells impairs the formation of the primary cilium. We propose that Cep126 is a regulator of microtubule organisation at the centrosome that acts through modulation of the transport of pericentriolar satellites, and consequently, of the organisation of cell structure.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Biology of the Cell 05/2014; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Earlier studies have demonstrated that membrane tubule-mediated transport events in biosynthetic and endocytic routes require phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. Here we show that cytosolic phospholipase A2ε (cPLA2ε) is targeted to the membrane compartments of clathrin-independent (CI) endocytic route via a C-terminal stretch of positively charged aminoacids, which allows the enzyme to interact with phosphoinositide lipids (especially PI(4,5)P2) enriched in CI endosomes. cPLA2ε ablation suppressed the formation of tubular elements that carry internalized CI cargoes, such as MHC-I, CD147 and CD55, back to the cell surface and, therefore, caused their intracellular retention. The ability of cPLA2ε to support recycling through tubule formation relies on the catalytic activity of the enzyme, as the inactive cPLA2ε(S420A) mutant was not able to recover either tubule growth or transport from CI endosomes. Taken together, our findings indicate cPLA2ε as a new important regulator of trafficking processes within the CI endocytic/recycling route. The affinity of cPLA2ε for this pathway supports a new hypothesis that different PLA2 enzymes utilize selective targeting mechanisms to regulate tubule formation locally during specific trafficking steps in the secretory and/or endocytic systems.
    Journal of Cell Science 01/2014; · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis adhesin A (NadA) is a meningococcus surface protein thought to assist in the adhesion of the bacterium to host cells. We have previously shown that NadA also promotes bacterial internalization in a heterologous expression system. Here we have used the soluble recombinant NadA (rNadA) lacking the membrane anchor region to characterize its internalization route in Chang epithelial cells. Added to the culture medium, rNadA internalizes through a PI3K-dependent endocytosis process not mediated by the canonical clathrin or caveolin scaffolds, but instead follows an ARF6-regulated recycling pathway previously described for MHC-I. The intracellular pool of rNadA reaches a steady state level within one hour of incubation and colocalizes in endocytic vesicles with MHC-I and with the extracellularly labeled chaperone Hsp90. Treatment with membrane permeated and impermeable Hsp90 inhibitors 17-AAG and FITC-GA respectively, lead to intracellular accumulation of rNadA, strongly suggesting that the extracellular secreted pool of the chaperone is involved in rNadA intracellular trafficking. A significant number of intracellular vesicles containing rNadA recruit Rab11, a small GTPase associated to recycling endosomes, but do not contain transferrin receptor (TfR). Interestingly, cell treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors, including the membrane-impermeable FITC-GA, abolished Rab11-rNadA colocalization but do not interfere with Rab11-TfR colocalization. Collectively, these results are consistent with a model whereby rNadA internalizes into human epithelial cells hijacking the recycling endosome pathway and recycle back to the surface of the cell via an ARF6-dependent, Rab11 associated and Hsp90-regulated mechanism. The present study addresses for the first time a meningoccoccal adhesin mechanism of endocytosis and suggests a possible entry pathway engaged by N. meningitidis in primary infection of human epithelial cells.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e110047. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Like other cellular modules, the secretory pathway and the Golgi complex are likely to be supervised by control systems that support homeostasis and optimal functionality under all conditions, including external and internal perturbations. Moreover, the secretory apparatus must be functionally connected with other cellular modules, such as energy metabolism and protein degradation, via specific rules of interaction, or "coordination protocols". These regulatory devices are of fundamental importance for optimal function; however, they are generally "hidden" at steady state. The molecular components and the architecture of the control systems and coordination protocols of the secretory pathway are beginning to emerge through studies based on the use of controlled transport-specific perturbations aimed specifically at the detection and analysis of these internal regulatory devices.
    F1000prime reports. 01/2014; 6:88.
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    Carmen Valente, Alberto Luini, Daniela Corda
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    ABSTRACT: The brefeldin A ADP-ribosylated substrate, a member of the C-terminal-binding protein family that is referred to as CtBP1/BARS, is a dual-function protein that acts as a transcriptional co-repressor in the nucleus and as an inducer of membrane fission in the cytoplasm. In this review, we first discuss the mechanisms that enable CtBP1/BARS to shift between the nuclear transcriptional co-repressor and the cytosolic fission-inducing activities. Then, we focus on the role of CtBP1/BARS in membrane fission. CtBP1/BARS controls several fission events including macropinocytosis, fluid-phase endocytosis, COPI-coated vesicle formation, basolaterally directed post-Golgi carrier formation, and Golgi partitioning in mitosis. We report on recent advances in our understanding of the CtBP1/BARS membrane fission machineries that operate at the trans-side and at the cis-side of the Golgi complex. Specifically, we discuss how these machineries are assembled and regulated, and how they operate in the formation of the basolaterally directed post-Golgi carriers.
    Histochemie 09/2013; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    Jorge Cancino, Juan E Jung, Alberto Luini
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular membrane transport involves the well-coordinated engagement of a series of organelles and molecular machineries that ensure that proteins are delivered to their correct cellular locations according to their function. To maintain the homeostasis of the secretory system, the fluxes of membranes and protein across the transport compartments must be precisely balanced. This control should rely on a mechanism that senses the movement of the traffic and generates the required homeostatic response. Due to its central position in the secretory pathway and to the large amounts of signaling molecules associated with it, the Golgi complex represents the ideal candidate for this regulation. The generation of autonomous signaling by the Golgi complex in response to the arrival of cargo from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been experimentally addressed only in recent years. These studies have revealed that cargo moving from the ER to the Golgi activates a series of signaling pathways, the functional significance of which appears to be to maintain the homeostasis of the Golgi complex and to activate Golgi trafficking according to internal demand. We have termed this regulatory mechanism the Golgi control system. A key player in this Golgi control system is the KDEL receptor, which has previously been shown to retrieve chaperones back to the endoplasmic reticulum and more recently to behave as a signaling receptor. Here, we discuss the particular role of KDEL receptor signaling in the regulation of important pathways involved in the maintenance of the homeostasis of the transport apparatus, and in particular, of the Golgi complex.
    Histochemie 07/2013; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After leaving the endoplasmic reticulum, secretory proteins traverse several membranous transport compartments before reaching their destinations. How they move through the Golgi complex, a major secretory station composed of stacks of membranous cisternae, is a central yet unsettled issue in membrane biology. Two classes of mechanisms have been proposed. One is based on cargo-laden carriers hopping across stable cisternae and the other on "maturing" cisternae that carry cargo forward while progressing through the stack. A key difference between the two concerns the behavior of Golgi-resident proteins. Under stable cisternae models, Golgi residents remain in the same cisterna, whereas, according to cisternal maturation, Golgi residents recycle from distal to proximal cisternae via retrograde carriers in synchrony with cisternal progression. Here, we have engineered Golgi-resident constructs that can be polymerized at will to prevent their recycling via Golgi carriers. Maturation models predict the progress of such polymerized residents through the stack along with cargo, but stable cisternae models do not. The results support the cisternal maturation mechanism.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 06/2013; · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ADP-ribosylation is a posttranslational modification that modulates the functions of many target proteins. We previously showed that the fungal toxin brefeldin A (BFA) induces the ADP-ribosylation of C-terminal-binding protein-1 short-form/BFA-ADP-ribosylation substrate (CtBP1-S/BARS), a bifunctional protein with roles in the nucleus as a transcription factor and in the cytosol as a regulator of membrane fission during intracellular trafficking and mitotic partitioning of the Golgi complex. Here, we report that ADP-ribosylation of CtBP1-S/BARS by BFA occurs via a nonconventional mechanism that comprises two steps: (i) synthesis of a BFA-ADP-ribose conjugate by the ADP-ribosyl cyclase CD38 and (ii) covalent binding of the BFA-ADP-ribose conjugate into the CtBP1-S/BARS NAD(+)-binding pocket. This results in the locking of CtBP1-S/BARS in a dimeric conformation, which prevents its binding to interactors known to be involved in membrane fission and, hence, in the inhibition of the fission machinery involved in mitotic Golgi partitioning. As this inhibition may lead to arrest of the cell cycle in G2, these findings provide a strategy for the design of pharmacological blockers of cell cycle in tumor cells that express high levels of CD38.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mismanaged protein trafficking by the proteostasis network contributes to several conformational diseases, including cystic fibrosis, the most frequent lethal inherited disease in Caucasians. Proteostasis regulators, as cystamine, enable the beneficial action of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiators in ΔF508-CFTR airways beyond drug washout. Here we tested the hypothesis that functional CFTR protein can sustain its own plasma membrane (PM) stability. Depletion or inhibition of wild-type CFTR present in bronchial epithelial cells reduced the availability of the small GTPase Rab5 by causing Rab5 sequestration within the detergent-insoluble protein fraction together with its accumulation in aggresomes. CFTR depletion decreased the recruitment of the Rab5 effector early endosome antigen 1 to endosomes, thus reducing the local generation of phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate. This diverts recycling of surface proteins, including transferrin receptor and CFTR itself. Inhibiting CFTR function also resulted in its ubiquitination and interaction with SQSTM1/p62 at the PM, favoring its disposal. Addition of cystamine prevented the recycling defect of CFTR by enhancing BECN1 expression and reducing SQSTM1 accumulation. Our results unravel an unexpected link between CFTR protein and function, the latter regulating the levels of CFTR surface expression in a positive feed-forward loop, and highlight CFTR as a pivot of proteostasis in bronchial epithelial cells.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 17 May 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.46.
    Cell death and differentiation 05/2013; · 8.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Correlative light-electron microscopy (CLEM) is a very effective technique that combines live-cell imaging and immuno-electron microscopy for ultrastructural morphological characterization of dynamic intracellular organelles. The use of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged chimeras allows the user to follow the movements and/or behavior of intracellular structures in a live cell and to fix it at the moment of interest. The subsequent immuno-electron microscopy processing can then reveal the three-dimensional architecture of the same structure, together with precise recognition of the GFP-labeled protein. The process resembles the taking of a high-resolution snapshot of an interesting live scene. Considering that CLEM is a very useful but technically demanding and time-consuming technique, accurate protocols will be helpful to simplify the work of scientists who are willing to apply this method for their own purposes. Here, we present a detailed protocol that describes all of the "tricks" and know-hows involved in carrying out the crucial steps of a CLEM experiment.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 931:413-22. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    Jorge Cancino, Anita Capalbo, Alberto Luini
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple studies have shown that endomembranes can act as signaling platforms for plasma-membrane-originated signaling. In particular, the Golgi complex operates as a relay station for signaling, which is initiated by classical ligand-receptor systems at the plasma membrane, acting as a positive or negative regulator of these plasma-membrane signals. Thus, the Golgi complex has emerged as a hub for intracellular signaling. Furthermore, recent evidence has indicated that the Golgi complex can also trigger its own signaling cascades, which involve some of the molecular players that are classically engaged in signal transduction at the plasma membrane. This aspect of the Golgi complex, namely, the ability to generate autonomous signaling, has been experimentally addressed only in the last few years. These studies have revealed that the transport vesicles that leave the ER for the Golgi complex also carry signal molecules that can then be sensed by a receptor in the Golgi complex to coordinate secretory organelles. The receptor involved in the sensing of incoming traffic at the Golgi complex has been shown to be the KDEL receptor (KDELR), a proposed new G-protein-coupled receptor. Upon binding to a KDEL-containing ligand (a chaperone), the KDELR can activate a signaling cascade that regulates anterograde intra-Golgi trafficking. However, this Golgi-based signaling response is only partially understood to date. Here we report on several approaches that are suitable for the study of traffic-initiated and KDELR-dependent signaling.
    Methods in cell biology 01/2013; 118:359-82. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Channel activators (potentiators) of cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), can be used for the treatment of the small subset of CF patients that carry plasma membrane-resident CFTR mutants. However, approximately 90% of CF patients carry the misfolded ΔF508-CFTR and are poorly responsive to potentiators, because ΔF508-CFTR is intrinsically unstable at the plasma membrane (PM) even if rescued by pharmacological correctors. We have demonstrated that human and mouse CF airways are autophagy deficient due to functional sequestration of BECN1 and that the tissue transglutaminase-2 inhibitor, cystamine, or antioxidants restore BECN1-dependent autophagy and reduce SQSTM1/p62 levels, thus favoring ΔF508-CFTR trafficking to the epithelial surface. Here, we investigated whether these treatments could facilitate the beneficial action of potentiators on ΔF508-CFTR homozygous airways. Cystamine or the superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase-mimetic EUK-134 stabilized ΔF508-CFTR at the plasma membrane of airway epithelial cells and sustained the expression of CFTR at the epithelial surface well beyond drug withdrawal, overexpressing BECN1 and depleting SQSTM1. This facilitates the beneficial action of potentiators in controlling inflammation in ex vivo ΔF508-CFTR homozygous human nasal biopsies and in vivo in mouse ΔF508-CFTR lungs. Direct depletion of Sqstm1 by shRNAs in vivo in ΔF508-CFTR mice synergized with potentiators in sustaining surface CFTR expression and suppressing inflammation. Cystamine pre-treatment restored ΔF508-CFTR response to the CFTR potentiators genistein, Vrx-532 or Vrx-770 in freshly isolated brushed nasal epithelial cells from ΔF508-CFTR homozygous patients. These findings delineate a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of CF patients with the ΔF508-CFTR mutation in which patients are first treated with cystamine and subsequently pulsed with CFTR potentiators.
    Autophagy 11/2012; 8(11). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    Jorge Cancino, Alberto Luini
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous components of signaling pathways involved in key cellular processes reside on the Golgi complex. Here, we will focus on the roles of signaling proteins that regulate cargo trafficking along the anterograde and retrograde pathways. Emphasis will also be put on the effects of these regulatory proteins on the maintenance of the structure and function of the Golgi, and in particular on the phosphorylation of key components of the transport machinery. These pathways position the Golgi complex as a central hub in the regulation of cell signaling. To date, however, the activation and coordination of these signaling molecules remain a mystery. Being able to describe the interplay between several of these signaling pathways and secretion, and the flow of information through these pathways, will help us to understand how the secretory machinery works and how it interacts with other cellular functions. This will also advance our understanding of how the secretory pathway functions under physiological circumstances, and how its dysregulation can initiate pathological conditions.
    Traffic 10/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane trafficking involves large fluxes of cargo and membrane across separate compartments. These fluxes must be regulated by control systems to maintain homoeostasis. While control systems for other key functions such as protein folding or the cell cycle are well known, the mechanisms that control secretory transport are poorly understood. We have previously described a signalling circuit operating at the Golgi complex that regulates intra-Golgi trafficking and is initiated by the KDEL receptor (KDEL-R), a protein previously known to mediate protein recycling from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we investigated the KDEL-R signalling mechanism. We show that the KDEL-R is predicted to fold like a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), and that it binds and activates the heterotrimeric signalling G-protein Gα(q/11) which, in turn, regulates transport through the Golgi complex. These findings reveal an unexpected GPCR-like mode of action of the KDEL-R and shed light on a core molecular control mechanism of intra-Golgi traffic.
    The EMBO Journal 05/2012; 31(13):2869-81. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large pleiomorphic carriers leave the Golgi complex for the plasma membrane by en bloc extrusion of specialized tubular domains, which then undergo fission. Several components of the underlying molecular machinery have been identified, including those involved in the budding/initiation of tubular carrier precursors (for example, the phosphoinositide kinase PI(4)KIIIβ, the GTPase ARF, and FAPP2), and in the fission of these precursors (for example, PKD, CtBP1-S/BARS). However, how these proteins interact to bring about carrier formation is poorly understood. Here, we describe a protein complex that mediates carrier formation and contains budding and fission molecules, as well as other molecules, such as the adaptor protein 14-3-3γ. Specifically, we show that 14-3-3γ dimers bridge CtBP1-S/BARS with PI(4)KIIIβ, and that the resulting complex is stabilized by phosphorylation by PKD and PAK. Disrupting the association of these proteins inhibits the fission of elongating carrier precursors, indicating that this complex couples the carrier budding and fission processes.
    Nature Cell Biology 02/2012; 14(4):343-54. · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the very effective methods to perform correlative light-electron microscopy (CLEM) is to combine video imaging of live cells with immuno-electron microscopy. This technique can thus provide detailed, high-resolution characterization of dynamic intracellular organelles. The use of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged chimeras allows the movements and/or behavior of intracellular structures in a live cell to be followed, which can then be fixed at the moment of interest. The subsequent immuno-electron microscopy analysis reveals the three-dimensional (3D) architecture of the same structure, together with the precise identification of the GFP-labeled protein pattern. The process resembles taking a high-resolution snapshot of an interesting and/or rare live event. Conceptually, it consists of a switch of wavelengths, from that of photons to that of electrons, with the associated huge gain in resolution. In this respect, CLEM can be considered as the first, and probably one of the most powerful, super-resolution microscopy techniques. This switch, however, requires complex manipulations of the sample. Considering that CLEM is a very valuable but technically challenging and time-consuming method, accurate protocols are needed to simplify the efforts of researchers who are willing to apply this method for their own purposes. Here, we present a detailed description of the preembedding CLEM procedures that explains the know-how and the "tricks of the trade" that are involved in carrying out the crucial steps of CLEM.
    Methods in cell biology 01/2012; 111:21-35. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most cases of cystic fibrosis (CF) are caused by the deletion of a single phenylalanine residue at position 508 of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The mutant F508del-CFTR is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and degraded, but can be induced by low temperature incubation (29°C) to traffic to the plasma membrane where it functions as a chloride channel. Here we show that, cardiac glycosides, at nanomolar concentrations, can partially correct the trafficking of F508del-CFTR in human CF bronchial epithelial cells (CFBE41o-) and in an F508del-CFTR mouse model. Comparison of the transcriptional profiles obtained with polarized CFBE41o-cells after treatment with ouabain and by low temperature has revealed a striking similarity between the two corrector treatments that is not shared with other correctors. In summary, our study shows a novel function of ouabain and its analogs in the regulation of F508del-CFTR trafficking and suggests that compounds that mimic this low temperature correction of trafficking will provide new avenues for the development of therapeutics for CF.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 01/2012; 3:176.

Publication Stats

5k Citations
1,119.22 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2014
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Protein Biochemistry IBP
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2009–2013
    • Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2011
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2006–2011
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2010
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Faculty of Science and Graduate School of Science
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan
  • 1988–2010
    • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
      • Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1993–2009
    • University of Milan
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • CMNS Consorzio Mario Negri Sud
      • Department of Cell Biology and Oncology
      Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2003
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Department of Physics
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 1986
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Laboratory of Cell Biology
      Maryland, United States