Monica Amati

Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, The Marches, Italy

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Publications (45)93.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The DNA base excision repair pathway is the main system involved in the removal of oxidative damage to DNA such as 8-Oxoguanine (8-oxoG) primarily via the 8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1). Our goal was to investigate whether the repair of 8-oxoG DNA damage follow a circadian rhythm. In a group of 15 healthy volunteers, we found a daily variation of Ogg1 expression and activity with higher levels in the morning compared to the evening hours. Consistent with this, we also found lower levels of 8-oxoG in morning hours compared to those in the evening hours. Lymphocytes exposed to oxidative damage to DNA at 8:00 AM display lower accumulation of 8-oxoG than lymphocytes exposed at 8:00 PM. Furthermore, altered levels of Ogg1 expression were also observed in a group of shift workers experiencing a deregulation of circadian clock genes compared to a control group. Moreover, BMAL1 knockdown fibroblasts with a deregulated molecular clock showed an abolishment of circadian variation of Ogg1 expression and an increase of OGG1 activity. Our results suggest that the circadian modulation of 8-oxoG DNA damage repair, according to a variation of Ogg1 expression, could render humans less susceptible to accumulate 8-oxoG DNA damage in the morning hours.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive tumor with poor prognosis. A major challenge is the development and application of early and highly reliable diagnostic marker(s). Serum biomarkers, such as 'soluble mesothelin-related proteins' (SMRPs), is the most studied and frequently used in MM. However, the low sensitivity of SMRPs for early MM limits its value; therefore, additional biomarkers are required. In this study, two epigenetically regulated markers in MM (microRNA-126, miR-126, and methylated thrombomodulin promoter, Met-TM) were combined with SMRPs and evaluated as a potential strategy to detect MM at an early stage. Materials and methods: A total of 188 subjects, including 45 MM patients, 99 asbestos-exposed subjects, and 44 healthy controls were prospectively enrolled, serum samples collected, and serum levels of SMRPs, miR-126 and Met-TM evaluated. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of the three biomarkers. Using this approach, the performance of the '3-biomarker classifier' was tested by calculating the overall probability score of the MM and control samples, respectively, and the ROC curve was generated. Results and conclusion: The combination of the three biomarkers was the best predictor to differentiate MM patients from asbestos-exposed subjects and healthy controls. The accuracy and cancer specificity was confirmed in a second validation cohort and lung cancer population. We propose that the combination of the two epigenetic biomarkers with SMRPs as a diagnosis for early MM overcomes the limitations of using SMRPs alone.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
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    Full-text · Dataset · Mar 2015
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    Full-text · Dataset · Mar 2015

  • No preview · Dataset · Mar 2015
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that circadian clocks are mainly regulated by light targeting signaling pathways in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. However, an entrainment mediated by non-photic sensory stimuli was also suggested for peripheral clocks. Exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields might affect circadian rhythmicity. The goal of this research was to investigate effects of ELF magnetic fields (ELF-MF) on circadian clock genes in a human fibroblast cell line. We found that an ELF-MF (0.1 mT, 50 Hz) exposure was capable of entraining expression of clock genes BMAL1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, and CRY2. Moreover, ELF-MF treatment induced an alteration in circadian clock gene expression previously entrained by serum shock stimulation. These results support the hypothesis that ELF-MF may be able to drive circadian physiologic processes by modulating peripheral clock gene expression. Bioelectromagnetics. 2015;9999:XX-XX. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Bioelectromagnetics
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    ABSTRACT: A high risk of neoplastic transformation of nasal and paranasal sinuses mucosa is related to the occupational exposure to wood dust. However, the role of occupational exposures in the aetiology of the airway cancers remains largely unknown. Here, an in vitro model was performed to investigate the carcinogenic effect of wood dusts. Human bronchial epithelial cells were incubated with hard and soft wood dusts and the DNA damage and response to DNA damage evaluated. Wood dust exposure induced accumulation of oxidised DNA bases, which was associated with a delay in DNA repair activity. By exposing cells to wood dust at a prolonged time, wood dust-initiated cells were obtained. Initiated-cells were able to form colonies in soft agar, and to induce blood vessel formation. These cells showed extensive autophagy, reduced DNA repair, which was associated with reduced OGG1 expression and oxidised DNA base accumulation. These events were found related to the activation of EGFR/AKT/mTOR pathway, through phosphorylation and subsequent inactivation of tuberin. The persistence in the tissue of wood dusts, their repetitious binding with EGFR may continually trigger the activation switch, leading to chronic down-regulation of genes involved in DNA repair, leading to cell transformation and proliferation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Mutagenesis
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: MiR126 was found to be frequently lost in many types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma (MM), which represents one of the most challenging neoplastic diseases. In this study, we investigated the potential tumor suppressor function of MiR126 in MM cells. The effect of MiR126 was examined in response to oxidative stress, aberrant mitochondrial function induced by inhibition of complex I, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion, and hypoxia. Results: MiR126 was up-regulated by oxidative stress in nonmalignant mesothelial (Met5A) and MM (H28) cell lines. In Met5A cells, rotenone inhibited MiR126 expression, but mtDNA depletion and hypoxia up-regulated MiR126. However, these various stimuli suppressed the levels of MiR126 in H28 cells. MiR126 affected mitochondrial energy metabolism, reduced mitochondrial respiration, and promoted glycolysis in H28 cells. This metabolic shift, associated with insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS1)-modulated ATP-citrate lyase deregulation, resulted in higher ATP and citrate production. These changes were linked to the down-regulation of IRS1 by ectopic MiR126, reducing Akt signaling and inhibiting cytosolic sequestration of Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), which promoted the expression of genes involved in gluconeogenesis and oxidative stress defense. These metabolic changes induced hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) stabilization. Consequently, MiR126 suppressed the malignancy of MM cells in vitro, a notion corroborated by the failure of H28(MiR126) cells to form tumors in nude mice. Innovation and conclusion: MiR126 affects mitochondrial energy metabolism, resulting in MM tumor suppression. Since MM is a fatal neoplastic disease with a few therapeutic options, this finding is of potential translational importance.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of a panel of genes involved in toxicology in response to styrene exposure at levels below the occupational standard setting. Workers in a fiber glass boat industry were evaluated for a panel of stress- and toxicity-related genes and associated with biochemical parameters related to hepatic injury. Urinary styrene metabolites (MA+PGA) of subjects and environmental sampling data collected for air at workplace were used to estimate styrene exposure. Expression array analysis revealed massive upregulation of genes encoding stress-responsive proteins (HSPA1L, EGR1, IL-6, IL-1β, TNSF10 and TNFα) in the styrene-exposed group; the levels of cytokines released were further confirmed in serum. The exposed workers were then stratified by styrene exposure levels. EGR1 gene upregulation paralleled the expression and transcriptional protein levels of IL-6, TNSF10 and TNFα in styrene exposed workers, even at low level. The activation of the EGR1 pathway observed at low-styrene exposure was associated with a slight increase of hepatic markers found in highly exposed subjects, even though they were within normal range. The ALT and AST levels were not affected by alcohol consumption, and positively correlated with urinary styrene metabolites as evaluated by multiple regression analysis. The pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα are the primary mediators of processes involved in the hepatic injury response and regeneration. Here, we show that styrene induced stress responsive genes involved in cytoprotection and cytotoxicity at low-exposure, that proceed to a mild subclinical hepatic toxicity at high-styrene exposure.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The circadian clock can regulate the metabolic process of xenobiotics, but little is known as to circadian rhythms can be perturbed by xenobiotics. Styrene is a organic chemical widely used in occupational settings. The effects of styrene on the circadian genes of HuDE cells were evaluated after serum-shocking synchronization. A subtoxic dose of 100 µM of styrene altered the expression of clock genes BMAL1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, and REV-ERB-α.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The malignant mesothelioma (MM) is often complicated by thromboembolic episodes, with thrombomodulin (TM) playing a role in the anti-coagulant process. We analyzed TM expression in biopsies of MM patients and in normal mesothelial tissue. The role of DNA methylation-associated gene silencing in TM expression was investigated. A correlation between low TM expression and high level of TM promoter methylation was found in MM biopsies. Low expression of TM was restored in MM cells by their treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine while the epigenetic agent did not affect TM expression in Met-5A cells. Methylation of the TM promoter is responsible for silencing of TM expression in MM tissue.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the detection of individual miRNA as clinical biomarkers in the serum. miRNA-126 was quantified in serum using endogenous and exogenous controls for normalization and the accuracy and precision of the method evaluated. The diagnostic value of serum miRNA-126 was evaluated in malignant mesothelioma (MM) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients using both relative and absolute qRT-PCR methods. The use of endogenous invariant and exogenous synthetic controls as well sample dilution markedly improves the accuracy and precision of the assay. The inter- and intra-assay analyses revealed that relative qRT-PCR is a more reliable method. Circulating miR-126 detected in the serum by relative qRT-PCRs was found low-expressed in both malignancies, significantly differentiated MM patients from healthy controls and NSCLC from MM, but do not discriminate NSCLC patients from control subjects. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that low level of circulating miR-126 in MM patients was strongly associated with worse prognosis. We propose that this approach can be adopted for accurate analysis of other suitable circulating miRNA markers of different types of cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Clinical biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the toxic effect of asbestos, other materials with similar chemical-physical characteristics have been introduced to substitute it. We evaluate the angiogenic effect of certain asbestos substitute fibres such as glass fibres (GFs), ceramic fibres (CFs) and wollastonite fibres (WFs) and then compare angiogenic responses to those induced by crocidolite asbestos fibres (AFs). An in vitro model using human endothelial cells in small islands within a culture matrix of fibroblasts (Angio-Kit) was used to evaluate vessel formation. The release of IL-6, sIL-R6, IL-8, VEGF-A and their soluble receptors, sVEGFR-1, sVEGFR-2, was determined in the conditioning medium of Angio-Kit system after fibre treatment. ROS formation and cell viability were evaluated in cultured endothelial cells (HUVEC). To evaluate the involvement of intracellular mechanisms, EGFR signalling, ROS formation and nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) pathway were then inhibited by incubating HUVEC cells with AG1478, NAC and PDTC respectively, and the cytokine and growth factor release was analyzed in the culture medium after 7 days of fibre incubation. Among the mineral fibres tested, WFs markedly induced blood vessel formation which was associated with release of IL-6 and IL-8, VEGF-A and their soluble receptors. ROS production was observed in HUVEC after WFs treatment which was associated with cell cytotoxicity. The EGFR-induced ERK phosphorylation and ROS-mediated NFκB activation were involved in the cytokine and angiogenic factor release. However, only the EGFR activation was able to induce angiogenesis. The WFs are potential angiogenic agents that can induce regenerative cytokine and angiogenic factor production resulting in the formation of new blood vessels.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Toxicology
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    ABSTRACT: Shift-work, particularly night-work, interferes with the physiological circadian rhythm and has the potential to induce psycho-physiological disturbances. A nurse population was investigated to establish whether shift-work can induce changes in a number of immune variables. Lymphocyte immunophenotype and proliferative response, NK cytotoxicity, cytokines and cortisol were determined in 68 shift-working and 28 daytime nurses at baseline and at 12 months. None of the variables studied differed significantly between shift and daytime workers, either at baseline or at 12 months, except IL-1β and TNF-α, which were significantly higher among daytime nurses at baseline, but not at follow-up. No effect of shift-work on immune variable and cortisol levels was seen at 12 months after adjustment for baseline values and job seniority. The specific work schedule as well as job type likely influenced our results, suggesting that rotational shift-work does not necessarily affect the immune system adversely. The immune changes reported by other studies in shift-workers should not be generalized.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Industrial Health
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is often complicated by thromboembolic episodes, with thrombomodulin (TM) playing a critical role in the anticoagulant process. Heterogeneous expression of TM has been observed in cancer, and low or no TM expression in cancer cells is associated with poor prognosis. In this study, we analyzed TM expression in biopsies of MM patients and compared them with normal mesothelial tissue. The role of DNA methylation-associated gene silencing in TM expression was investigated. To evaluate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) as responsible for gene promoter epigenetic modifications, nonmalignant mesothelial cells (Met-5A) and MM cells (H28) were silenced for PARP1 and the DNA methylation/acetylation-associated TM expression evaluated. A correlation between low TM expression and high level of TM promoter methylation was found in MM biopsies. Low expression of TM was restored in MM cells by their treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and, to a lesser extent, with trichostatin, whereas the epigenetic agents did not affect TM expression in Met-5A cells. Silencing of PARP1 resulted in a strong down-regulation of TM expression in Met-5A cells, while restoring TM expression in H28 cells. PARP1 silencing induced TM promoter methylation in Met-5A cells and demethylation in MM cells, and this was paralleled by corresponding changes in the DNA methyltransferase activity. We propose that methylation of the TM promoter is responsible for silencing of TM expression in MM tissue, a process that is regulated by PARP1.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Asbestos is known to induce malignant mesothelioma (MM) and other asbestos-related diseases. It is directly genotoxic by inducing DNA strand breaks and cytotoxic by promoting apoptosis in lung target cells. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) is a nuclear zinc-finger protein with a function as a DNA damage sensor. To determine whether PARP1 is involved in asbestos-induced carcinogenesis, PARP1 expression and activity as well as DNA damage and repair were evaluated in circulating cells of asbestos-exposed subjects, MM patients and age-matched controls. PARP1 expression and activity were also evaluated in pleural biopsies of MM patients and compared with normal tissue. Accumulation of the pre-mutagenic 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine and elevated PARP1 expression were found both in asbestos-exposed subjects and MM patients. Although PARP1 was highly expressed, its activity was relatively low. Low DNA repair efficiency was observed in lymphocytes from MM patients. High expression of PARP1 associated with low PARP activity was also found in MM biopsies. To mimic PARP1 dysfunction, PARP1 expression and activity were induced in immortalised mesothelial cells by their exposure to asbestos in the presence of a PARP1 inhibitor, which resulted in transformation of the cells. We propose that exposure to asbestos inhibits the PARP1 activity possibly resulting in higher DNA instability, thus causing malignant transformation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Mutagenesis
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    ABSTRACT: Improved detection methods for diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) are essential for early and reliable detection as well as treatment. Since recent data point to abnormal levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) in tumors, we hypothesized that a profile of deregulated miRNAs may be a marker of MPM and that the levels of specific miRNAs may be used for monitoring its progress. miRNAs isolated from fresh-frozen biopsies of MPM patients were tested for the expression of 88 types of miRNA involved in cancerogenesis. Most of the tested miRNAs were downregulated in the malignant tissues compared with the normal tissues. Of eight significantly downregulated, three miRNAs were assayed in cancerous tissue and adjacent non-cancerous tissue sample pairs collected from 27 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded MPM tissues by quantitative RT-PCR. Among the miRNAs tested, only miR-126 significantly remained downregulated in the malignant tissues. Furthermore, the performance of the selected miR-126 as biomarker was evaluated in serum samples of asbestos-exposed subjects and MPM patients and compared with controls. MiR-126 was not affected by asbestos exposure, whereas it was found strongly associated with VEGF serum levels. Levels of miR-126 in serum, and its levels in patients' serum in association with a specific marker of MPM, SMRPs, correlate with subjects at high risk to develop MPM. We propose miR-126, in association with SMRPs, as a marker for early detection of MPM. The identification of tumor biomarkers used alone or, in particular, in combination could greatly facilitate the surveillance procedure for cohorts of subjects exposed to asbestos.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Healthcare workers may be exposed to a variety of biological hazards. Although many studies have shown that some immunological alterations were related to work stress and sleep disorders, few studies investigated effects of shiftwork on the immunological system. The aim of the study was to compare the immune status of a group of nurses on shiftwork with that of nurses working only day shifts. A total of 138 nurses were evaluated at baseline and after a year of follow-up, via tests for perceived stress, daytime sleepiness, number of lymphocytes and subpopulation of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+-CD57+, CD19+ and CD56+, cytotoxic activity and lympho-prolferative response of NK cells, serum concentrations of IL-1beta, IL-6, INFgamma and TNFalpha. No significant alterations of any of the studied parameters were found both at baseline and after a year of follow-up. The biological hazards for nurses do not seem to be increased by shiftwork.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · La Medicina del lavoro
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between job satisfaction, psychological distress, psychosocial processes and stress-related biological factors, and to evaluate whether over time changes of work satisfaction could affect the immunological-inflammatory status of workers. One hundred and one nurses were enrolled at the Clinic of Occupational Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy. Perceived job satisfaction, psychological distress, and social support were assessed every 4 mo over a 1-yr period using 4 self-reported questionnaires. T lymphocytes CD3, CD4(+), CD8(+), CD8(+)-CD57(+), B lymphocyte CD19(+), NK cells CD56(+), and NK cell activity were determined. Job satisfaction was associated with reduced psychological distress and was characterized by low cell numbers of CD8(+) suppressor T cells, CD8(+)-CD57(+) activated T cells, CD56(+) NK cells and low IL-6 levels. Over time changes in psychological parameters were related to changes in the immunological-inflammatory variables. Subjects who increased their job satisfaction showed a reduced psychological stress associated with reduced number of CD8(+)-CD57(+) activated T cells and inflammatory cytokines. Job (dis)satisfaction is related with psychological mechanisms in stress affecting cellular immune function.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of Occupational Health

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Toxicology Letters

Publication Stats

399 Citations
93.55 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2015
    • Università Politecnica delle Marche
      • • Department of Clinical and Molecular Sciences - DISCLIMO
      • • Department of Molecular Pathology and Innovative Therapies
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy
  • 1999
    • Ministry of Health, Italy
      Roma, Latium, Italy