Roberto Mantovani

University of Milan, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (156)897.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y is a heterotrimeric transcription factor, which plays a pioneer role in the transcriptional control of promoters containing the CCAAT-box, among which genes involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and DNA damage response. The knock-down of the sequence-specific subunit NF-YA triggers defects in S-phase progression, which lead to apoptotic cell death. Here, we report that NF-Y has a critical function in DNA replication progression, independent from its transcriptional activity. NF-YA colocalizes with early DNA replication factories, its depletion affects the loading of replisome proteins to DNA, among which Cdc45, and delays the passage from early to middle-late S phase. Molecular combing experiments are consistent with a role for NF-Y in the control of fork progression. Finally, we unambiguously demonstrate a direct non-transcriptional role of NF-Y in the overall efficiency of DNA replication, specifically in the DNA elongation process, using a Xenopus cell-free system. Our findings broaden the activity of NF-Y on a DNA metabolism other than transcription, supporting the existence of specific TFs required for proper and efficient DNA replication.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: The trimeric transcription factor NF-Y binds to the CCAAT box, an element enriched in promoters of genes overexpressed in tumors. Previous studies on the NF-Y regulome identified the general term metabolism as significantly enriched. We dissect here in detail the targeting of metabolic genes by integrating analysis of NF-Y genomic binding and profilings after inactivation of NF-Y subunits in different cell types. NF-Y controls de novo biosynthetic pathways of lipids, teaming up with the master SREBPs regulators. It activates glycolytic genes, but, surprisingly, is neutral or represses mitochondrial respiratory genes. NF-Y targets the SOCG (Serine, One Carbon, Glycine) and Glutamine pathways, as well as genes involved in the biosynthesis of polyamines and purines. Specific cancer-driving nodes are generally under NF-Y control. Altogether, these data delineate a coherent strategy to promote expression of metabolic genes fuelling anaerobic energy production and other anabolic pathways commonly altered in cancer cells.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: For many plant species, reproductive success relies on the proper timing of flowering, and photoperiod provides a key environmental input. Photoperiod-dependent flowering depends on timely expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT); however, the coordination of various cis-regulatory elements in the FT promoter is not well understood. Here, we provide evidence that long-distance chromatin loops bring distal enhancer elements into close association with the proximal promoter elements bound by CONSTANS (CO). Additionally, we show that NUCLEAR FACTOR Y (NF-Y) binds a CCAAT box in the distal enhancer element and that CCAAT disruption dramatically reduces FT promoter activity. Thus, we propose the recruitment model of photoperiod-dependent flowering where NF-Y complexes, bound at the FT distal enhancer element, help recruit CO to proximal cis-regulatory elements and initiate the transition to reproductive growth.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · The Plant Cell
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    B. Testoni · R. Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: p63 is a developmentally regulated transcription factor related to p53, which activates and represses specific genes. The human AEC (Ankyloblepharon-Ectodermal dysplasia-Clefting) and EEC (Ectrodactyly-Ectodermal dysplasia-Cleft lip/palate) syndromes are caused by missense mutations of p63, within the DNA-binding domain (EEC) or in the C-terminal sterile alpha motif domain (AEC). We show here that p63 represses transcription of cell-cycle G(2)/M genes by binding to multiple CCAAT core promoters in immortalized and primary keratinocytes. The CCAAT-activator NF-Y and Delta Np63 alpha are associated in vivo and a conserved alpha-helix of the NF-YC histone fold is required. p63 AEC mutants, but not an EEC mutant, are incapable to bind NF-Y. Delta Np63 alpha, but not the AEC mutants repress CCAAT-dependent transcription of G(2)/M genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation recruitment assays establish that the AEC mutants are not recruited to G(2)/M promoters, while normally present on 14-3-3 sigma, which contains a sequence-specific binding site. Surprisingly, the EEC C306R mutant activates transcription. Upon keratinocytes differentiation, NF-Y and p63 remain bound to G(2)/M promoters, while HDACs are recruited, histones deacetylated, Pol II displaced and transcription repressed. Our data indicate that NF-Y is a molecular target of p63 and that inhibition of growth activating genes upon differentiation is compromised by AEC missense mutations.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Nucleic Acids Research
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    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the mechanisms behind the high sensitivity of myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (MRCL) to trabectedin and the suggested selectivity for specific subtypes, we have developed and characterized three MRCL xenografts, namely ML017, ML015 and ML004 differing for the break point of the fusion gene FUS-CHOP, respectively of type I, II and III. FUS-CHOP binding to the promoters of some target genes such as Pentraxin 3 or Fibronectin 1, assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation, was strongly reduced in the tumor 24 h after the first or the third weekly dose of trabectedin, indicating that the drug at therapeutic doses causes a detachment of the FUS-CHOP chimera from its target promoters as previously shown in vitro. Moreover, the higher sensitivity of MRCL types I and II appears to be related to a more prolonged block of the transactivating activity of the fusion protein. Doxorubicin did not affect the binding of FUS-CHOP to target promoters. Histologically, the response to trabectedin in ML017 and ML015 was associated with a marked depletion of non-lipogenic tumoral cells and vascular component, as well as lipidic maturation as confirmed by PPARγ2 expression in western Blot. By contrast, in ML004 no major changes either in the cellularity or in the amount of mature were found, and consistently PPARγ2 was null. In conclusion, the data support the view that the selective mechanism of action of trabectedin in MRCL is specific and related to its ability to cause a functional inactivation of the oncogenic chimera with consequent derepression of the adypocytic differentiation.Oncogene advance online publication, 11 November 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.462.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Oncogene
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    Nerina Gnesutta · Marco Nardini · Roberto Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: Core histones are the building block of chromatin and among the most highly conserved proteins in eukaryotes. The related "deviant" histones share the histone-fold domain, and serve various roles in DNA metabolism. We provide here a structural and functional outlook of H2A/H2B-like deviant histones in transcription, replication and remodeling.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Transcription
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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y, a trimeric transcription factor (TF) composed of two histone-like subunits (NF-YB and NF-YC) and a sequence-specific subunit (NF-YA), binds to the CCAAT motif, a common promoter element. Genome-wide mapping reveals 5,000-15,000 NF-Y binding sites depending on the cell type, with the NF-YA and NF-YB subunits binding asymmetrically with respect to the CCAAT motif. Despite being characterized as a proximal promoter TF, only 25% of NF-Y sites map to promoters. A comparable number of NF-Y sites are located at enhancers, many of which are tissue specific, and nearly half of the NF-Y sites are in select subclasses of HERV LTR repeats. Unlike most TFs, NF-Y can access its target DNA motif in inactive (non-modified) or polycomb-repressed chromatin domains. Unexpectedly, NF-Y extensively co-localizes with FOS in all genomic contexts, and this often occurs in the absence of JUN and the AP-1 motif. NF-Y also co-associates with a select cluster of growth-controlling and oncogenic TFs, consistent with the abundance of CCAAT motifs in the promoters of genes overexpressed in cancer. Interestingly, NF-Y and several growth-controlling TFs bind in a stereo-specific manner, suggesting a mechanism for cooperative action at promoters and enhancers. Our results indicate that NF-Y is not merely a commonly-used, proximal promoter TF, but rather performs a more diverse set of biological functions, many of which are likely to involve co-association with FOS.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Genome Research
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    D Dolfini · R Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: The Y box is an important sequence motif found in promoters and enhancers containing a CCAAT box - one of the few elements enriched in promoters of large sets of genes overexpressed in cancer. The search for the transcription factor(s) acting on it led to the biochemical purification of the nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) heterotrimer, and to the cloning - through the screening of expression libraries - of Y box-binding protein 1 (YB-1), an oncogene, overexpressed in aggressive tumors and associated with drug resistance. These two factors have been associated with Y/CCAAT-dependent activation of numerous growth-related genes, notably multidrug resistance protein 1. We review two decades of data indicating that NF-Y ultimately acts on Y/CCAAT in cancer cells, a notion recently confirmed by genome-wide data. Other features of YB-1, such as post-transcriptional control of mRNA biology, render it important in cancer biology.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 1 March 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.13.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Cell death and differentiation
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    ABSTRACT: The sequence-specific transcription factor NF-Y binds the CCAAT box, one of the sequence elements most frequently found in eukaryotic promoters. NF-Y is composed of the NF-YA and NF-YB/NF-YC subunits, the latter two hosting histone-fold domains (HFDs). The crystal structure of NF-Y bound to a 25 bp CCAAT oligonucleotide shows that the HFD dimer binds to the DNA sugar-phosphate backbone, mimicking the nucleosome H2A/H2B-DNA assembly. NF-YA both binds to NF-YB/NF-YC and inserts an α helix deeply into the DNA minor groove, providing sequence-specific contacts to the CCAAT box. Structural considerations and mutational data indicate that NF-YB ubiquitination at Lys138 precedes and is equivalent to H2B Lys120 monoubiquitination, important in transcriptional activation. Thus, NF-Y is a sequence-specific transcription factor with nucleosome-like properties of nonspecific DNA binding and helps establish permissive chromatin modifications at CCAAT promoters. Our findings suggest that other HFD-containing proteins may function in similar ways.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The CCAAT box is one of the most common cis-elements present in eukaryotic promoters and is bound by the transcription factor NUCLEAR FACTOR Y (NF-Y). NF-Y is composed of three subunits, NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC. Unlike animals and fungi, plants have significantly expanded the number of genes encoding NF-Y subunits. We provide a comprehensive classification of NF-Y genes, with a separation of closely related, but distinct, histone fold domain proteins. We additionally review recent experiments that have placed NF-Y at the center of many developmental stress-responsive processes in the plant lineage.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · The Plant Cell
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    D Dolfini · R Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: Oncogene is one of the world’s leading cancer journals. It is published weekly and covers all aspects of the structure and function of Oncogenes.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Oncogene
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    Diletta Dolfini · Mario Minuzzo · Giulio Pavesi · Roberto Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: Totipotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is controlled at the transcriptional level by a handful of transcription factors (TFs) that promote stemness and prevent differentiation. One of the most enriched DNA elements in promoters and enhancers of genes specifically active in ESCs is the CCAAT box, which is recognized by NF-Y, a trimer with histone-like subunits-NF-YB/NF-YC-and the sequence-specific NF-YA. We show that the levels of the short NF-YA isoform-NF-YAs-is high in mouse ESCs (mESCs) and drops after differentiation; a dominant negative mutant affects expression of important stem cells genes, directly and indirectly. Protein transfections of TAT-NF-YAs stimulate growth and compensate for withdrawal of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) in cell cultures. Bioinformatic analysis identifies NF-Y sites as highly enriched in genomic loci of stem TFs in ESCs. Specifically, 30%-50% of NANOG peaks have NF-Y sites and indeed NF-Y-binding is required for NANOG association to DNA. These data indicate that NF-Y belongs to the restricted circle of TFs that govern mESCs, and, specifically, that NF-YAs is the active isoform in these cells. STEM CELLS2012;30:2450-2459.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Stem Cells
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    ABSTRACT: Many squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are characterized by high levels of EGFR and by overexpression of the ΔNp63α isoform. Here, we investigated the regulation of ΔNp63α expression upon EGFR activation and the role of the EGFR-ΔNp63α axis in proliferation of SCC tumor-initiating cells (TICs). SCC cell lines A-431, Cal-27 and SCC-25 treated with EGF showed a time-dependent increase in ΔNp63α expression at the protein and mRNA levels, which was blocked by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) Lapatinib. RNA interference experiments suggested the role of STAT3 in regulating ΔNp63α expression downstream of EGFR. Inactivation of EGFR by the monoclonal antibody Cetuximab and RNA interference against STAT3 or ΔNp63α impaired the TICs ability to grow under non-differentiating conditions. Radiation treatment, which triggers EGFR activation, induced ΔNp63α accumulation without affecting TICs proliferation, whereas the combination Cetuximab plus radiation significantly reduced TICs growth under non-differentiating conditions. Together, our findings provide evidence that ΔNp63α expression is regulated by EGFR activation through STAT3 and that the EGFR-ΔNp63α axis is crucial for proliferation of TICs present in SCCs. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y is a transcription factor that recognizes with high specificity and affinity the widespread CCAAT box promoter element. It is formed by three subunits: NF-YA and the NF-YB/NF-YC- heterodimer containing histone fold domains (HFDs). We previously identified a large NF-Y gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana, composed of 29 members, and characterized their expression patterns in various plant tissues. We used yeast Two-hybrids assays (Y2H), pull-down and Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) in vitro experiments with recombinant proteins to dissect AtNF-YB/AtNF-YC interactions and DNA-binding with different AtNF-YAs. Consistent with robust conservation within HFDs, we show that heterodimerization is possible among all histone-like subunits, including the divergent and related LEC1/AtNF-YB9 and L1L/AtNF-YB6 required for embryo development. DNA-binding to a consensus CCAAT box was investigated with specific AtNF-YB/AtNF-YC combinations and observed with some, but not all AtNF-YA subunits. Our results highlight (i) the conserved heterodimerization capacity of AtNF-Y histone-like subunits, and (ii) the different affinities of AtNF-YAs for the CCAAT sequence. Because of the general expansion of NF-Y genes in plants, these results most likely apply to other species.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Myxoid Liposarcomas (MLS), characterized by the expression of FUS-CHOP fusion gene are clinically very sensitive to the DNA binding antitumor agent, trabectedin. However, resistance eventually occurs, preventing disease eradication. To investigate the mechanisms of resistance, a trabectedin resistant cell line, 402-91/ET, was developed. The resistance to trabectedin was not related to the expression of MDR related proteins, uptake/efflux of trabectedin or GSH levels that were similar in parental and resistant cells. The 402-91/ET cells were hypersensitive to UV light because of a nucleotide excision repair defect: XPG complementation decreased sensitivity to UV rays, but only partially to trabectedin. 402-91/ET cells showed collateral sensitivity to temozolomide due to the lack of O(6) -methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) activity, related to the hypermethylation of MGMT promoter. In 402-91 cells chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that FUS-CHOP was bound to the PTX3 and FN1 gene promoters, as previously described, and trabectedin caused FUS-CHOP detachment from DNA. Here we report that, in contrast, in 402-91/ET cells, FUS-CHOP was not bound to these promoters. Differences in the modulation of transcription of genes involved in different pathways including signal transduction, apoptosis and stress response between the two cell lines were found. Trabectedin activates the transcription of genes involved in the adipogenic-program such as c/EBPα and β, in 402-91 but not in 402-91/ET cell lines. The collateral sensitivity of 402-91/ET to temozolomide provides the rationale to investigate the potential use of methylating agents in MLS patients resistant to trabectedin.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · International Journal of Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the mechanism of action of the histone deacetylase inhibitor Givinostat (GVS) in Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)(V617F) myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) cells. GVS inhibited colony formation and proliferation and induced apoptosis at doses two- to threefold lower in a panel of JAK2(V617F) MPN compared to JAK2 wild-type myeloid leukemia cell lines. By global gene expression analysis, we observed that at 6 hours, GVS modulated 293 common genes in the JAK2(V617F) cell lines HEL and UKE1, of which 19 are implicated in cell cycle regulation and 33 in hematopoiesis. In particular, the hematopoietic transcription factors NFE2 and C-MYB were downmodulated by the drug specifically in JAK2(V617F) cells at both the RNA and protein level. GVS also inhibited JAK2-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, but modulation of NFE2 and C-MYB was JAK2-independent, as shown using the JAK2 inhibitor TG101209. GVS had a direct effect on the NFE2 promoters, as demonstrated by specific enrichment of associated histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9. Modulation by GVS of NFE2 was also observed in freshly isolated CD34(+) cells from MPN patients, and was accompanied by inhibition of their proliferation and differentiation toward the erythroid lineage. We conclude that GVS acts on MPN cells through dual JAK2-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 inhibition and downmodulation of NFE2 and C-MYB transcription.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Experimental hematology
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    ABSTRACT: The basement membrane (BM) is a layer of specialized extracellular matrix that surrounds normal prostate glands and preserves tissue integrity. Lack or discontinuity of the BM is a prerequisite for tumor cell invasion into interstitial spaces, thus favoring metastasis. Therefore, BM maintenance represents a barrier against cancer development and progression. In the study, we show that miR-205 participates in a network involving ΔNp63α, which is essential for maintenance of the BM in prostate epithelium. At the molecular level, ΔNp63α is able to enhance miR-205 transcription by binding to its promoter, whereas the microRNA can post-transcriptionally limit the amount of ΔNp63α protein, mostly by affecting ΔNp63α proteasomal degradation rather than through a canonical miRNA/target interaction. Functionally, miR-205 is able to control the deposition of laminin-332 and its receptor integrin-β4. Hence, pathological loss of miR-205, as widely observed in prostate cancer, may favor tumorigenesis by creating discontinuities in the BM. Here we demonstrate that therapeutic replacement of miR-205 in prostate cancer (PCa) cells can restore BM deposition and 3D organization into normal-like acinar structures, thus hampering cancer progression.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Cell death and differentiation
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    ABSTRACT: p53 and p63 are transcription factors -TFs- playing master roles in the DNA-damage response and in the development and maintenance of pluristratified epithelia, respectively. p53 mutations are common in epithelial tumors and HaCaT keratinocytes harbor two p53 alleles -H179Y and R282Q- with gain-of-function (GOF) activity. Indeed, functional inactivation of mutp53 affects the growth rate of HaCaT. We investigated the strategy of mutp53, by performing ChIP-Seq experiments of mutp53 and p63 and analyzed the transcriptome after mutp53 inactivation. Mutp53 bind to 7135 locations in vivo, with a robust overlap with p63. De novo motifs discovery recovered a p53/p63RE with high information content in sites bound by p63 and mutp53/p63, but not by mutp53 alone: these sites are rather enriched in elements of other TFs. The HaCaT p63 locations are only partially overlapping with those of normal keratinocytes; importantly, and enriched in mutp53 sites which delineate a functionally different group of target genes. Our data favour a model whereby mutp53 GOF mutants act both by tethering growth-controlling TFs and highjacking p63 to new locations.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Oncotarget
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    Roberto Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: Comment on: Sohr S, et al. Cell Cycle 2011; 10:3758-67.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
  • Carol Imbriano · Nerina Gnesutta · Roberto Mantovani
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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y is a sequence-specific transcription factor - TF - targeting the common CCAAT promoter element. p53 is a master TF controlling the response to stress signals endangering genome integrity, often mutated in human cancers. The NF-Y/p53 - and p63, p73 - interaction results in transcriptional repression of a subset of genes within the vast NF-Y regulome under DNA-damage conditions. Recent data shows that NF-Y is also involved in pro-apoptotic activities, either directly, by mediating p53 transcriptional activation, or indirectly, by being targeted by a non coding RNA, PANDA. The picture is subverted in cells carrying Gain-of-function mutant p53, through interactions with TopBP1, a protein also involved in DNA repair and replication. In summary, the connection between p53 and NF-Y is crucial in determining cell survival or death.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta

Publication Stats

7k Citations
897.30 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1989-2014
    • University of Milan
      • • Department of Life Sciences
      • • Department of Biomedical Science
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
      • Department of Oncology
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • Medical College of Georgia
      Атина, Georgia, United States
  • 2007
    • Emory University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2000-2005
    • Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
      Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 1991-1996
    • Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire
      Strasburg, Alsace, France
  • 1989-1996
    • Polo d'Innovazione di Genomica Genetica e Biologia
      Perugia, Umbria, Italy