Publications by authors named "Anna Maria Salvatore"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Organ-on-chip model shows that ATP release through connexin hemichannels drives spontaneous Ca signaling in non-sensory cells of the greater epithelial ridge in the developing cochlea.

Lab Chip 2020 08;20(16):3011-3023

CNR Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Monterotondo, Rome, Italy. and Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei", University of Padova, Padua, Italy.

Prior work supports the hypothesis that ATP release through connexin hemichannels drives spontaneous Ca2+ signaling in non-sensory cells of the greater epithelial ridge (GER) in the developing cochlea; however, direct proof is lacking. To address this issue, we plated cochlear organotypic cultures (COCs) and whole cell-based biosensors with nM ATP sensitivity (ATP-WCBs) at the bottom and top of an ad hoc designed transparent microfluidic chamber, respectively. By performing dual multiphoton Ca2+ imaging, we monitored the propagation of intercellular Ca2+ waves in the GER of COCs and ATP-dependent Ca2+ responses in overlying ATP-WCBs. Ca2+ signals in both COCs and ATP-WCBs were inhibited by supplementing the extracellular medium with ATP diphosphohydrolase (apyrase). Spontaneous Ca2+ signals were strongly depressed in the presence of Gjb6-/- COCs, in which connexin 30 (Cx30) is absent and connexin 26 (Cx26) is strongly downregulated. In contrast, spontaneous Ca2+ signals were not affected by replacement of Panx1-/- with Panx1+/+ COCs in the microfluidic chamber. Similar results were obtained by estimating ATP release from COCs using a classical luciferin-luciferase bioluminescence assay. Therefore, connexin hemichannels and not pannexin 1 channels mediate the release of ATP that is responsible for Ca2+ wave propagation in the developing mouse cochlea. The technological advances presented here have the potential to shed light on a plethora of unrelated open issues that involve paracrine signaling in physiology and pathology and cannot be addressed with standard methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0lc00427hDOI Listing
August 2020

A potent antagonist antibody targeting connexin hemichannels alleviates Clouston syndrome symptoms in mutant mice.

EBioMedicine 2020 Jul 15;57:102825. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 201210, China; CNR Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy; Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei", University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Numerous currently incurable human diseases have been causally linked to mutations in connexin (Cx) genes. In several instances, pathological mutations generate abnormally active Cx hemichannels, referred to also as "leaky" hemichannels. The goal of this study was to assay the in vivo efficacy of a potent antagonist antibody targeting Cx hemichannels.

Methods: We employed the antibody to treat Cx30 adult mutant mice, the only available animal model of Clouston syndrome, a rare orphan disease caused by Cx30 p.A88V leaky hemichannels. To gain mechanistic insight into antibody action, we also performed patch clamp recordings, Ca imaging and ATP release assay in vitro.

Findings: Two weeks of antibody treatment sufficed to repress cell hyperproliferation in skin and reduce hypertrophic sebaceous glands (SGs) to wild type (wt) levels. These effects were obtained whether mutant mice were treated topically, by application of an antibody cream formulation, or systemically, by intraperitoneal antibody injection. Experiments with mouse primary keratinocytes and HaCaT cells revealed the antibody blocked Ca influx and diminished ATP release through leaky Cx30 p.A88V hemichannels.

Interpretation: Our results show anti-Cx antibody treatment was effective in vivo and sufficient to counteract the effects of pathological connexin expression in Cx30 mice. In vitro experiments suggest antibodies gained control over leaky hemichannels and contributed to restoring epidermal homeostasis. Therefore, regulating cell physiology by antibodies targeting the extracellular domain of Cxs may enforce an entirely new therapeutic strategy. These findings support the further development of antibodies as drugs to address unmet medical needs for Cx-related diseases. FUND: Fondazione Telethon, GGP19148; University of Padova, SID/BIRD187130; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, DSB.AD008.370.003\TERABIO-IBCN; National Science Foundation of China, 31770776; Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, 16DZ1910200.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7378960PMC
July 2020

Photosensitizer Activation Drives Apoptosis by Interorganellar Ca Transfer and Superoxide Production in Bystander Cancer Cells.

Cells 2019 09 29;8(10). Epub 2019 Sep 29.

Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei", University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy.

In cells, photosensitizer (PS) activation by visible light irradiation triggers reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, followed by a cascade of cellular responses involving calcium (Ca) and other second messengers, resulting in cell demise. Cytotoxic effects spread to nearby cells not exposed to light by poorly characterized so-called "bystander effects". To elucidate the mechanisms involved in bystander cell death, we used both genetically encoded biosensors and fluorescent dyes. In particular, we monitored the kinetics of interorganellar Ca transfer and the production of mitochondrial superoxide anion (O) and hydrogen peroxide (HO) in irradiated and bystander B16-F10 mouse melanoma cancer cells. We determined that focal PS photoactivation in a single cell triggers Ca release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) also in the surrounding nonexposed cells, paralleled by mitochondrial Ca uptake. Efficient Ca efflux from the ER was required to promote mitochondrial O production in these bystander cells. Our results support a key role for ER-mitochondria communication in the induction of ROS-mediated apoptosis in both direct and indirect photodynamical cancer cell killing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8101175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6829494PMC
September 2019

A Human-Derived Monoclonal Antibody Targeting Extracellular Connexin Domain Selectively Modulates Hemichannel Function.

Front Physiol 2019 11;10:392. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

CNR Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Monterotondo, Italy.

Connexin hemichannels, which are plasma membrane hexameric channels (connexons) composed of connexin protein protomers, have been implicated in a host of physiological processes and pathological conditions. A number of single point pathological mutations impart a "leaky" character to the affected hemichannels, i.e., make them more active or hyperactive, suggesting that normal physiological condition could be recovered using selective hemichannel inhibitors. Recently, a human-derived monoclonal antibody named abEC1.1 has been shown to inhibit both wild type and hyperactive hemichannels composed of human (h) connexin 26 (hCx26) subunits. The aims of this work were (1) to characterize further the ability of abEC1.1 to selectively modulate connexin hemichannel function and (2) to assess its stability in view of future translational applications. analysis of abEC1.1 interaction with the hCx26 hemichannel identified critically important extracellular domain amino acids that are conserved in connexin 30 (hCx30) and connexin 32 (hCx32). Patch clamp experiments performed in HeLa DH cells confirmed the inhibition efficiency of abEC1.1 was comparable for hCx26, hCx30 and hCx32 hemichannels. Of note, even a single amino acid difference in the putative binding region reduced drastically the inhibitory effects of the antibody on all the other tested hemichannels, namely hCx30.2/31.3, hCx30.3, hCx31, hCx31.1, hCx37, hCx43 and hCx45. Plasma membrane channels composed of pannexin 1 were not affected by abEC1.1. Finally, size exclusion chromatography assays showed the antibody does not aggregate appreciably . Altogether, these results indicate abEC1.1 is a promising tool for further translational studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6584803PMC
June 2019

Cx26 partial loss causes accelerated presbycusis by redox imbalance and dysregulation of Nfr2 pathway.

Redox Biol 2018 10 7;19:301-317. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

CNR Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Monterotondo 00015, Italy; University of Padova, Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei", Padova, Italy. Electronic address:

Mutations in GJB2, the gene that encodes connexin 26 (Cx26), are the most common cause of sensorineural hearing impairment. The truncating variant 35delG, which determines a complete loss of Cx26 protein function, is the prevalent GJB2 mutation in several populations. Here, we generated and analyzed Gjb2 mice as a model of heterozygous human carriers of 35delG. Compared to control mice, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) worsened over time more rapidly in Gjb2 mice, indicating they were affected by accelerated age-related hearing loss (ARHL), or presbycusis. We linked causally the auditory phenotype of Gjb2 mice to apoptosis and oxidative damage in the cochlear duct, reduced release of glutathione from connexin hemichannels, decreased nutrient delivery to the sensory epithelium via cochlear gap junctions and deregulated expression of genes that are under transcriptional control of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a pivotal regulator of tolerance to redox stress. Moreover, a statistically significant genome-wide association with two genes (PRKCE and TGFB1) related to the Nrf2 pathway (p-value < 4 × 10) was detected in a very large cohort of 4091 individuals, originating from Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, with hearing phenotype (including 1076 presbycusis patients and 1290 healthy matched controls). We conclude that (i) elements of the Nrf2 pathway are essential for hearing maintenance and (ii) their dysfunction may play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of human presbycusis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2018.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129666PMC
October 2018

Apaf1-deficient cortical neurons exhibit defects in axonal outgrowth.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2015 Nov 15;72(21):4173-91. Epub 2015 May 15.

Laboratory of Skeletal Muscle Development and Metabolism, IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Via di Val Cannuta 247, 00166, Rome, Italy.

The establishment of neuronal polarity and axonal outgrowth are key processes affecting neuronal migration and synapse formation, their impairment likely leading to cognitive deficits. Here we have found that the apoptotic protease activating factor 1 (Apaf1), apart from its canonical role in apoptosis, plays an additional function in cortical neurons, where its deficiency specifically impairs axonal growth. Given the central role played by centrosomes and microtubules in the polarized extension of the axon, our data suggest that Apaf1-deletion affects axonal outgrowth through an impairment of centrosome organization. In line with this, centrosomal protein expression, as well as their centrosomal localization proved to be altered upon Apaf1-deletion. Strikingly, we also found that Apaf1-loss affects trans-Golgi components and leads to a robust activation of AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), this confirming the stressful conditions induced by Apaf1-deficiency. Since AMPK hyper-phosphorylation is known to impair a proper axon elongation, our finding contributes to explain the effect of Apaf1-deficiency on axogenesis. We also discovered that the signaling pathways mediating axonal growth and involving glycogen synthase kinase-3β, liver kinase B1, and collapsing-response mediator protein-2 are altered in Apaf1-KO neurons. Overall, our results reveal a novel non-apoptotic role for Apaf1 in axonal outgrowth, suggesting that the neuronal phenotype due to Apaf1-deletion could not only be fully ascribed to apoptosis inhibition, but might also be the result of defects in axogenesis. The discovery of new molecules involved in axonal elongation has a clinical relevance since it might help to explain neurological abnormalities occurring during early brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-015-1927-xDOI Listing
November 2015

The metabolic modulator trimetazidine triggers autophagy and counteracts stress-induced atrophy in skeletal muscle myotubes.

FEBS J 2013 Oct 12;280(20):5094-108. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

Pathophysiology and Treatment of Muscle Wasting Disorders Unit, I.R.C.C.S. San Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy.

It has recently been demonstrated that trimetazidine (TMZ), an anti-ischemic antianginal agent, is also able to improve exercise performance in patients with peripheral arterial disease. TMZ is a metabolic modulator, and the mechanisms underlying its cytoprotective anti-ischemic activity could be ascribed, at least in cardiomyocytes, to optimization of metabolism. However, regarding the cytoprotection exerted by TMZ on skeletal muscle and allowing the improvement of exercise performance, no information is yet available. In the present study, we investigated in detail the protective effects of this drug on in vitro skeletal muscle models of atrophy. Experiments carried out with murine C2C12 myotubes treated with TMZ revealed that this drug could efficiently counteract the cytopathic effects induced by the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α and by the withdrawal of growth factors. Indeed, TMZ significantly counteracted the reduction in myotube size induced by these treatments. TMZ also increased myosin heavy chain expression and induced hypertrophy in C2C12 myotubes, both effects strongly suggesting a role of TMZ in counteracting atrophy in vitro. In particular, we found that TMZ was able to activate the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin 2 pathway and to reduce the stress-induced transcriptional upregulation of atrogin-1, muscle ring finger protein 1, and myostatin, all of which are key molecules involved in muscle wasting. Moreover, this is the first demonstration that TMZ induces autophagy, a key mechanism involved in muscle mass regulation. On the basis of these results, it can be hypothesized that the improvement in exercise performance previously observed in patients could be ascribed to a cytoprotective mechanism exerted by TMZ on skeletal muscle integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.12484DOI Listing
October 2013

Apaf1 plays a pro-survival role by regulating centrosome morphology and function.

J Cell Sci 2011 Oct 7;124(Pt 20):3450-63. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Laboratory of Molecular Neuroembryology, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, 00143, Rome, Italy.

The apoptotic protease activating factor 1 (Apaf1) is the main component of the apoptosome, and a crucial factor in the mitochondria-dependent death pathway. Here we show that Apaf1 plays a role in regulating centrosome maturation. By analyzing Apaf1-depleted cells, we have found that Apaf1 loss induces centrosome defects that impair centrosomal microtubule nucleation and cytoskeleton organization. This, in turn, affects several cellular processes such as mitotic spindle formation, cell migration and mitochondrial network regulation. As a consequence, Apaf1-depleted cells are more fragile and have a lower threshold to stress than wild-type cells. In fact, we found that they exhibit low Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) expression and, under apoptotic treatment, rapidly release cytochrome c. We also show that Apaf1 acts by regulating the recruitment of HCA66, with which it interacts, to the centrosome. This function of Apaf1 is carried out during the cell life and is not related to its apoptotic role. Therefore, Apaf1 might also be considered a pro-survival molecule, whose absence impairs cell performance and causes a higher responsiveness to stressful conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.086298DOI Listing
October 2011

Mitochondrial redox signalling by p66Shc mediates ALS-like disease through Rac1 inactivation.

Hum Mol Genet 2011 Nov 9;20(21):4196-208. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Laboratory of Neurochemistry, Fondazione S. Lucia IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage are among the mechanisms whereby mutant SOD1 (mutSOD1) associated with familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) induces motoneuronal death. The 66 kDa isoform of the growth factor adapter Shc (p66Shc) is known to be central in the control of mitochondria-dependent oxidative balance. Here we report that expression of mutSOD1s induces the activation of p66Shc in neuronal cells and that the overexpression of inactive p66Shc mutants protects cells from mutSOD1-induced mitochondrial damage. Most importantly, deletion of p66Shc ameliorates mitochondrial function, delays onset, improves motor performance and prolongs survival in transgenic mice modelling ALS. We also show that p66Shc activation by mutSOD1 causes a strong decrease in the activity of the small GTPase Rac1 through a redox-sensitive regulation. Our results provide new insight into the potential mechanisms of mutSOD1-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddr347DOI Listing
November 2011

p120 catenin and phosphorylation: Mechanisms and traits of an unresolved issue.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2007 Jan 17;1773(1):47-58. Epub 2006 Jun 17.

Istituto di Biologia Cellulare, CNR, 00016 Monterotondo, Italy.

p120 catenin is a scaffold protein that interacts with cadherin cytoplasmic domain and acts as a crucial component of the signalling that regulates the cycle of adherens junction formation and disassembly. Here, we review the nature of stimuli that modulate p120ctn function and are translated as serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation events at this multisite substrate for a variety of protein kinases. We also highlight recent findings that tentatively link phosphorylation of p120ctn to its role as a signal integrator capable to influence the state of the cadherin adhesive bond, the cytoskeleton and cell motility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2006.06.001DOI Listing
January 2007

Targeted expression of RALT in mouse skin inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor signalling and generates a Waved-like phenotype.

EMBO Rep 2005 Aug;6(8):755-61

Istituto di Biologia Cellulare, CNR, Monterotondo, Italy.

Although it has been clearly established that negative feedback loops have a fundamental role in the regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling in flies, their role in the regulation of mammalian EGFR has been inferred only recently from in vitro studies. Here, we report on the forced expression of RALT/MIG-6, a negative feedback regulator of ErbB receptors, in mouse skin. A RALT transgene driven by the K14 promoter generated a dose-dependent phenotype resembling that caused by hypomorphic and antimorphic Egfr alleles-that is, wavy coat, curly whiskers and open eyes at birth. Ex vivo keratinocytes from K14-RALT mice showed reduced biochemical and biological responses when stimulated by ErbB ligands. Conversely, knockdown of RALT by RNA interference enhanced ErbB mitogenic signalling. Thus, RALT behaves as a suppressor of EGFR signalling in mouse skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.embor.7400458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1369136PMC
August 2005

p120 Catenin is required for growth factor-dependent cell motility and scattering in epithelial cells.

Mol Biol Cell 2003 May 6;14(5):1964-77. Epub 2003 Feb 6.

Istituto di Neurobiologia e Medicina Molecolare, CNR, 00137 Rome, Italy.

Cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is dynamically modulated during epithelial-mesenchymal transition triggered by activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) in epithelial cells. Several cadherin-binding proteins have been identified that control cell-cell adhesion. However, the mechanisms by which intercellular adhesion and cell motility are coregulated are still unknown. Here, we delineate a hitherto uncharted cooperation between RTKs, RhoA GTPase, and p120 catenin in instructing a motile behavior to epithelial cells. We found that expression of an N-terminus-deleted p120 catenin in a variety of epithelial cell types, including primary keratinocytes, effectively competes for endogenous p120 at cadherin binding sites and abrogates EGF-stimulated cell motility as well as HGF-induced cell scattering. The deleted mutant also inhibits the PI3K-dependent RhoA activation ensuing receptor activation. Conversely, we also show that the ectopic expression of full-length p120 in epithelial cells promotes cytoskeletal changes, stimulates cell motility, and activates RhoA. Both motogenic response to p120 and RhoA activation require coactivation of signaling downstream of RTKs as they are suppressed by ablation of the Ras/PI3K pathway. These studies demonstrate that p120 catenin is a necessary target of RTKs in regulating cell motility and help define a novel pathway leading to RhoA activation, which may contribute to the early steps of metastatic invasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.e02-08-0469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC165090PMC
May 2003
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