Publications by authors named "Eliana Amato"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Molecular alterations associated with metastases of solid pseudopapillary neoplasms of the pancreas.

J Pathol 2019 01 27;247(1):123-134. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

ARC-Net Research Centre, University and Hospital Trust of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms (SPN) of the pancreas are rare, low-grade malignant neoplasms that metastasise to the liver or peritoneum in 10-15% of cases. They almost invariably present somatic activating mutations of CTNNB1. No comprehensive molecular characterisation of metastatic disease has been conducted to date. We performed whole-exome sequencing and copy-number variation (CNV) analysis of 10 primary SPN and comparative sequencing of five matched primary/metastatic tumour specimens by high-coverage targeted sequencing of 409 genes. In addition to CTNNB1-activating mutations, we found inactivating mutations of epigenetic regulators (KDM6A, TET1, BAP1) associated with metastatic disease. Most of these alterations were shared between primary and metastatic lesions, suggesting that they occurred before dissemination. Differently from mutations, the majority of CNVs were not shared among lesions from the same patients and affected genes involved in metabolic and pro-proliferative pathways. Immunostaining of 27 SPNs showed that loss or reduction of KDM6A and BAP1 expression was significantly enriched in metastatic SPNs. Consistent with an increased transcriptional response to hypoxia in pancreatic adenocarcinomas bearing KDM6A inactivation, we showed that mutation or reduced KDM6A expression in SPNs is associated with increased expression of the HIF1α-regulated protein GLUT1 at both primary and metastatic sites. Our results suggest that BAP1 and KDM6A function is a barrier to the development of metastasis in a subset of SPNs, which might open novel avenues for the treatment of this disease. © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6588017PMC
January 2019

Whole-genome landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Nature 2017 03 15;543(7643):65-71. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston Road, Brisbane 4006, Australia.

The diagnosis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PanNETs) is increasing owing to more sensitive detection methods, and this increase is creating challenges for clinical management. We performed whole-genome sequencing of 102 primary PanNETs and defined the genomic events that characterize their pathogenesis. Here we describe the mutational signatures they harbour, including a deficiency in G:C > T:A base excision repair due to inactivation of MUTYH, which encodes a DNA glycosylase. Clinically sporadic PanNETs contain a larger-than-expected proportion of germline mutations, including previously unreported mutations in the DNA repair genes MUTYH, CHEK2 and BRCA2. Together with mutations in MEN1 and VHL, these mutations occur in 17% of patients. Somatic mutations, including point mutations and gene fusions, were commonly found in genes involved in four main pathways: chromatin remodelling, DNA damage repair, activation of mTOR signalling (including previously undescribed EWSR1 gene fusions), and telomere maintenance. In addition, our gene expression analyses identified a subgroup of tumours associated with hypoxia and HIF signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature21063DOI Listing
March 2017

Ampulla of Vater Carcinoma: Sequencing Analysis Identifies TP53 Status as a Novel Independent Prognostic Factor and Potentially Actionable ERBB, PI3K, and WNT Pathways Gene Mutations.

Ann Surg 2018 Jan;267(1):149-156

ARC-NET Research Centre, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Objective: To identify molecular prognostic factors and potentially actionable mutations in ampulla of Vater cancer (AVC).

Background: The largely variable outcomes of AVCs make clinical decisions difficult regarding the need of postsurgical therapy, which is based on morphological and immunohistochemical classification that do not adequately consider the varying degrees of heterogeneity present in many AVCs. No approved targeted therapies for AVC exist, but some show promising results requiring better molecular characterization to identify potential responders.

Methods: We assessed 80 AVCs for the prognostic value of mutations of kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS), neuroblastoma RAS (NRAS), B rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (BRAF), TP53, and 4 membrane erythroblastosis oncogene B (ERBB) receptor tyrosine kinases (EGFR-ERBB1, HER2-ERBB2, HER3-ERBB3, HER4-ERBB4) amenable to pharmacological inhibition. Moreover, we evaluated mutations in 16 key components of rat sarcoma (RAS), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K), protein 53 (P53), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), and wingless/integrated (WNT) pathways, recently associated to AVC by whole-exome sequencing.

Results: TP53 and KRAS were mutated in 41% and 35% of cases, respectively, and emerged as independent prognostic factors together with tumor stage and regardless of the histotype (TP53: P = 0.0006; KRAS: P = 0.0018; stage IIB: P = 0.0117; stage III-IV: P = 0.0020). ERBB, WNT and PI3K pathway genes were mutated in 37.5% of cases.

Conclusions: KRAS and TP53 mutations are negative predictors of survival in AVCs, regardless of histotype. Potentially actionable mutations in ERBB, WNT, and PI3K signaling pathway genes are present in 37.5% of all cases. These might be amenable to target therapy using available drugs like Everolimus in PI3K-mutated cases or compounds under active screening against ERBB and WNT signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000001999DOI Listing
January 2018

RASSF1 tumor suppressor gene in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: correlation of expression, chromosomal status and epigenetic changes.

BMC Cancer 2016 Jan 12;16:11. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

ARC-NET Centre for Applied Research on Cancer, Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, The Hospital and University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Background: The Ras Association Domain Family Member 1 (RASSF1) is one of the most frequently reported methylation-inactivated tumor suppressor genes in primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Limited information is still available about the impact of RASSF1 gene silencing on the expression of its different isoforms in neoplastic cells.

Methods: A series of 96 primary PDAC, with known clinico-pathological parameters, was tested for RASSF1 methylation status by methylation-specific PCR, RASSF1 locus copy number alterations by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and Rassf1a protein expression by immunohistochemistry. A further series of 14 xenografted primary PDAC and 8 PDAC-derived cell lines were tested to obtain a detailed methylation mapping of CpG islands A and C of the RASSF1 locus by pyrosequencing and to evaluate the expression of Rassf1 variants by qRT-PCR.

Results: Methylation of CpG island A of the RASSF1 gene was observed in 35% of the tumors and allelic loss of RASSF1 locus was seen in 30 disomic and in 20 polysomic cases (52%). Rassf1a immunohistochemical expression was downregulated in half of primary PDAC, and this downregulation was neither correlated with methylation of RASSF1 promoter nor with RASSF1 copy number alterations. RASSF1 status did not influence patients' prognosis. The expression of the seven RASSF1 isoforms in xenografts and cell lines showed that RASSF1A, RASSF1B, and RASSF1C isoforms were present in all xenografts and cell lines, whereas RASSF1D, RASSF1E, and RASSF1F isoforms were variably expressed among samples. RASSF1G was never expressed in either xenografts or cell lines. The variable expression of RASSF1 isoforms in PDAC xenografts and cell lines was not dependent on RASSF1 methylation status of CpG islands A and C.

Conclusions: RASSF1 alterations occurring in PDAC mainly consist in variations of expression of the different isoforms. Different genetic mechanisms seem to contribute to RASSF1 deregulation in this setting, but RASSF1 methylation does not seem to substantially affect RASSF1 isoforms expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-016-2048-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4710004PMC
January 2016

Meninges harbor cells expressing neural precursor markers during development and adulthood.

Front Cell Neurosci 2015 2;9:383. Epub 2015 Oct 2.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Diagnostics and Public Health, University of Verona Verona, Italy.

Brain and skull developments are tightly synchronized, allowing the cranial bones to dynamically adapt to the brain shape. At the brain-skull interface, meninges produce the trophic signals necessary for normal corticogenesis and bone development. Meninges harbor different cell populations, including cells forming the endosteum of the cranial vault. Recently, we and other groups have described the presence in meninges of a cell population endowed with neural differentiation potential in vitro and, after transplantation, in vivo. However, whether meninges may be a niche for neural progenitor cells during embryonic development and in adulthood remains to be determined. In this work we provide the first description of the distribution of neural precursor markers in rat meninges during development up to adulthood. We conclude that meninges share common properties with the classical neural stem cell niche, as they: (i) are a highly proliferating tissue; (ii) host cells expressing neural precursor markers such as nestin, vimentin, Sox2 and doublecortin; and (iii) are enriched in extracellular matrix components (e.g., fractones) known to bind and concentrate growth factors. This study underlines the importance of meninges as a potential niche for endogenous precursor cells during development and in adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2015.00383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591429PMC
October 2015

Molecular heterogeneity assessment by next-generation sequencing and response to gefitinib of EGFR mutant advanced lung adenocarcinoma.

Oncotarget 2015 May;6(14):12783-95

Department of Medicine, Medical Oncology, University of Verona, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Verona, Italy.

Cancer molecular heterogeneity might explain the variable response of EGFR mutant lung adenocarcinomas to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). We assessed the mutational status of 22 cancer genes by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in poor, intermediate or good responders to first-line gefitinib. Clinical outcome was correlated with Additional Coexisting Mutations (ACMs) and the EGFR Proportion of Mutated Alleles (PMA). Thirteen ACMs were found in 10/17 patients: TP53 (n=6), KRAS (n=2), CTNNB1 (n=2), PIK3CA, SMAD4 and MET (n=1 each). TP53 mutations were exclusive of poor/intermediate responders (66.7% versus 0, p=0.009). Presence of ACMs significantly affected both PFS (median 3.0 versus 12.3 months, p=0.03) and survival (3.6 months versus not reached, p=0.03). TP53 mutation was the strongest negative modifier (median PFS 4.0 versus 14.0 months). Higher EGFR PMA was present in good versus poor/intermediate responders. Median PFS and survival were longer in patients with EGFR PMA ≥0.36 (12.0 versus 4.0 months, p=0.31; not reached versus 18.0 months, p=0.59). Patients with an EGFR PMA ≥0.36 and no ACMs fared significantly better (p=0.03), with a trend towards increased survival (p=0.06). Our exploratory data suggest that a quantitative (PMA) and qualitative (ACMs) molecular heterogeneity assessment using NGS might be useful for a better selection of patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4494974PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3727DOI Listing
May 2015

Development of a semi-conductor sequencing-based panel for genotyping of colon and lung cancer by the Onconetwork consortium.

BMC Cancer 2015 Jan 31;15:26. Epub 2015 Jan 31.

Paris Sorbonne Cité; INSERM UMR-S775, Bases moléculaires des la réponses aux xénobiotiques, Paris, France.

Background: The number of predictive biomarkers that will be necessary to assess in clinical practice will increase with the availability of drugs that target specific molecular alterations. Therefore, diagnostic laboratories are confronted with new challenges: costs, turn-around-time and the amount of material required for testing will increase with the number of tests performed on a sample. Our consortium of European clinical research laboratories set out to test if semi-conductor sequencing provides a solution for these challenges.

Methods: We designed a multiplex PCR targeting 87 hotspot regions in 22 genes that are of clinical interest for lung and/or colorectal cancer. The gene-panel was tested by 7 different labs in their own clinical setting using ion-semiconductor sequencing.

Results: We analyzed 155 samples containing 112 previously identified mutations in the KRAS, EGFR en BRAF genes. Only 1 sample failed analysis due to poor quality of the DNA. All other samples were correctly genotyped for the known mutations, even as low as 2%, but also revealed other mutations. Optimization of the primers used in the multiplex PCR resulted in a uniform coverage distribution over the amplicons that allows for efficient pooling of samples in a sequencing run.

Conclusions: We show that a semi-conductor based sequencing approach to stratify colon and lung cancer patients is feasible in a clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-015-1015-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318366PMC
January 2015

Reporting tumor molecular heterogeneity in histopathological diagnosis.

PLoS One 2014 15;9(8):e104979. Epub 2014 Aug 15.

Applied Research on Cancer Network (ARC-NET) and Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University and Hospital Trust of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Background: Detection of molecular tumor heterogeneity has become of paramount importance with the advent of targeted therapies. Analysis for detection should be comprehensive, timely and based on routinely available tumor samples.

Aim: To evaluate the diagnostic potential of targeted multigene next-generation sequencing (TM-NGS) in characterizing gastrointestinal cancer molecular heterogeneity.

Methods: 35 gastrointestinal tract tumors, five of each intestinal type gastric carcinomas, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, pancreatic intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, ampulla of Vater carcinomas, hepatocellular carcinomas, cholangiocarcinomas, pancreatic solid pseudopapillary tumors were assessed for mutations in 46 cancer-associated genes, using Ion Torrent semiconductor-based TM-NGS. One ampulla of Vater carcinoma cell line and one hepatic carcinosarcoma served to assess assay sensitivity. TP53, PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations were validated by conventional Sanger sequencing.

Results: TM-NGS yielded overlapping results on matched fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, with a mutation detection limit of 1% for fresh-frozen high molecular weight DNA and 2% for FFPE partially degraded DNA. At least one somatic mutation was observed in all tumors tested; multiple alterations were detected in 20/35 (57%) tumors. Seven cancers displayed significant differences in allelic frequencies for distinct mutations, indicating the presence of intratumor molecular heterogeneity; this was confirmed on selected samples by immunohistochemistry of p53 and Smad4, showing concordance with mutational analysis.

Conclusions: TM-NGS is able to detect and quantitate multiple gene alterations from limited amounts of DNA, moving one step closer to a next-generation histopathologic diagnosis that integrates morphologic, immunophenotypic, and multigene mutational analysis on routinely processed tissues, essential for personalized cancer therapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0104979PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4134249PMC
December 2015

Targeted next-generation sequencing of cancer genes dissects the molecular profiles of intraductal papillary neoplasms of the pancreas.

J Pathol 2014 Jul;233(3):217-27

ARC-Net Research Centre and Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University and Hospital Trust of Verona, Italy.

Intraductal neoplasms are important precursors to invasive pancreatic cancer and provide an opportunity to detect and treat pancreatic neoplasia before an invasive carcinoma develops. The diagnostic evaluation of these lesions is challenging, as diagnostic imaging and cytological sampling do not provide accurate information on lesion classification, the grade of dysplasia or the presence of invasion. Moreover, the molecular driver gene mutations of these precursor lesions have yet to be fully characterized. Fifty-two intraductal papillary neoplasms, including 48 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) and four intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasms (ITPNs), were subjected to the mutation assessment in 51 cancer-associated genes, using ion torrent semiconductor-based next-generation sequencing. P16 and Smad4 immunohistochemistry was performed on 34 IPMNs and 17 IPMN-associated carcinomas. At least one somatic mutation was observed in 46/48 (96%) IPMNs; 29 (60%) had multiple gene alterations. GNAS and/or KRAS mutations were found in 44/48 (92%) of IPMNs. GNAS was mutated in 38/48 (79%) IPMNs, KRAS in 24/48 (50%) and these mutations coexisted in 18/48 (37.5%) of IPMNs. RNF43 was the third most commonly mutated gene and was always associated with GNAS and/or KRAS mutations, as were virtually all the low-frequency mutations found in other genes. Mutations in TP53 and BRAF genes (10% and 6%) were only observed in high-grade IPMNs. P16 was lost in 7/34 IPMNs and 9/17 IPMN-associated carcinomas; Smad4 was lost in 1/34 IPMNs and 5/17 IPMN-associated carcinomas. In contrast to IPMNs, only one of four ITPNs had detectable driver gene (GNAS and NRAS) mutations. Deep sequencing DNA from seven cyst fluid aspirates identified 10 of the 13 mutations detected in their associated IPMN. Using next-generation sequencing to detect cyst fluid mutations has the potential to improve the diagnostic and prognostic stratification of pancreatic cystic neoplasms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057302PMC
July 2014

Molecular typing of lung adenocarcinoma on cytological samples using a multigene next generation sequencing panel.

PLoS One 2013 13;8(11):e80478. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

ARC-NET Research Centre, University of Verona, Verona, Italy ; Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Identification of driver mutations in lung adenocarcinoma has led to development of targeted agents that are already approved for clinical use or are in clinical trials. Therefore, the number of biomarkers that will be needed to assess is expected to rapidly increase. This calls for the implementation of methods probing the mutational status of multiple genes for inoperable cases, for which limited cytological or bioptic material is available. Cytology specimens from 38 lung adenocarcinomas were subjected to the simultaneous assessment of 504 mutational hotspots of 22 lung cancer-associated genes using 10 nanograms of DNA and Ion Torrent PGM next-generation sequencing. Thirty-six cases were successfully sequenced (95%). In 24/36 cases (67%) at least one mutated gene was observed, including EGFR, KRAS, PIK3CA, BRAF, TP53, PTEN, MET, SMAD4, FGFR3, STK11, MAP2K1. EGFR and KRAS mutations, respectively found in 6/36 (16%) and 10/36 (28%) cases, were mutually exclusive. Nine samples (25%) showed concurrent alterations in different genes. The next-generation sequencing test used is superior to current standard methodologies, as it interrogates multiple genes and requires limited amounts of DNA. Its applicability to routine cytology samples might allow a significant increase in the fraction of lung cancer patients eligible for personalized therapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0080478PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827450PMC
July 2014

Methylation-associated down-regulation of RASSF1A and up-regulation of RASSF1C in pancreatic endocrine tumors.

BMC Cancer 2011 Aug 12;11:351. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Background: RASSF1A gene silencing by DNA methylation has been suggested as a major event in pancreatic endocrine tumor (PET) but RASSF1A expression has never been studied. The RASSF1 locus contains two CpG islands (A and C) and generates seven transcripts (RASSF1A-RASSF1G) by differential promoter usage and alternative splicing.

Methods: We studied 20 primary PETs, their matched normal pancreas and three PET cell lines for the (i) methylation status of the RASSF1 CpG islands using methylation-specific PCR and pyrosequencing and (ii) expression of RASSF1 isoforms by quantitative RT-PCR in 13 cases. CpG island A methylation was evaluated by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP); pyrosequencing was applied to quantify the methylation of 51 CpGs also encompassing those explored by MSP and qMSP approaches.

Results: MSP detected methylation in 16/20 (80%) PETs and 13/20 (65%) normal pancreas. At qMSP, 11/20 PETs (55%) and 9/20 (45%) normals were methylated in at least 20% of RASSF1A alleles.Pyrosequencing showed variable distribution and levels of methylation within and among samples, with PETs having average methylation higher than normals in 15/20 (75%) cases (P = 0.01). The evaluation of mRNA expression of RASSF1 variants showed that: i) RASSF1A was always expressed in PET and normal tissues, but it was, on average, expressed 6.8 times less in PET (P = 0.003); ii) RASSF1A methylation inversely correlated with its expression; iii) RASSF1 isoforms were rarely found, except for RASSF1B that was always expressed and RASSF1C whose expression was 11.4 times higher in PET than in normal tissue (P = 0.001). A correlation between RASSF1A expression and gene methylation was found in two of the three PET cell lines, which also showed a significant increase in RASSF1A expression upon demethylating treatment.

Conclusions: RASSF1A gene methylation in PET is higher than normal pancreas in no more than 75% of cases and as such it cannot be considered a marker for this neoplasm. RASSF1A is always expressed in PET and normal pancreas and its levels are inversely correlated with gene methylation. Isoform RASSF1C is overexpressed in PET and the recent demonstration of its involvement in the regulation of the Wnt pathway points to a potential pathogenetic role in tumor development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-11-351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170651PMC
August 2011

Chromosome 3p alterations in pancreatic endocrine neoplasia.

Virchows Arch 2011 Jan 28;458(1):39-45. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

ARC-NET Center for Applied Research on Cancer, Hospital Concern and University School of Medicine, Verona, Italy.

Pancreatic endocrine tumors (PET) are rare neoplasms classified as functioning (F-PET) or non-functioning (NF-PET) according to the presence of a clinical syndrome due to hormonal hypersecretion. PETs show variable degrees of clinical aggressiveness and loss of chromosome 3p has been suggested to be associated with an advanced stage of disease. We assessed chromosome 3p copy number in 113 primary PETs and 32 metastases by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using tissue microarrays. The series included 56 well-differentiated endocrine tumors (WDET), 62 well-differentiated endocrine carcinomas (WDEC), and 6 poorly differentiated endocrine carcinomas (PDEC). Chromosome 3p alterations were found in 23/113 (20%) primary tumors, with losses being predominant over gains (14% vs. 6%). Loss of 3p was found in 5/55 (9%) WDET, 11/52 (21%) WDEC, and never in PDEC. Gains of 3p were detected in 4/55 (7%) WDET, no WDEC, but notably in 3/6 (50%) PDEC (OR 23.6; P = 0.003). Metastases were more frequently monosomic for 3p compared to primary tumors (OR 3.6; P = 0.005). Monosomy was significantly associated with larger tumor size, more advanced tumor stage, and metastasis. No association was found with survival. Chromosome 3p copy number alterations are frequent events in advanced stage PET, with gains prevailing in PDEC while losses are more frequent in WDEC, supporting the view that a specific pattern of alterations are involved in these diverse disease subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-010-1001-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016198PMC
January 2011

Abnormal modulation of cell protective systems in response to ischemic/reperfusion injury is important in the development of mouse sickle cell hepatopathy.

Haematologica 2011 Jan 17;96(1):24-32. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Dept. of Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Background: Sickle cell disease, a genetic red cell disorder inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, occurs throughout the world. Hepatic dysfunction and liver damage may be present in sickle cell disease, but the pathogenesis of these conditions is only partially understood.

Design And Methods: Transgenic mice with sickle cell disease (SAD mice) and wild-type mice were exposed to an ischemic/reperfusion stress. The following parameters were evaluated: hematologic profile, transaminase and bilirubin levels, liver histopathology, and mRNA levels of nuclear factor-κB p65, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, inducible nitric oxide synthase, heme oxygenase-1 and phosphodiesterase-1, -2, -3, and -4 genes in hepatocytes obtained by laser-capture microdissection. Immunoblotting was used to analyze the expression of the following proteins: nuclear factor-κB p65 and phospho-nuclear factor-κB p65, heme oxygenase-1, biliverdin reductase, heat shock protein-70, heat shock protein-27 and peroxiredoxin-6. A subgroup of SAD mice was treated with the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor rolipram (30 mg/Kg/day by gavage) during the ischemic/reperfusion protocol.

Results: In SAD mice the ischemic/reperfusion stress induced liver damage compatible with sickle cell disease hepatopathy, which was associated with: (i) lack of hypoxia-induced nuclear factor-κB p65 activation; (ii) imbalance in the endothelial/inducible nitric oxide synthase response to ischemic/reperfusion stress; (iii) lack of hypoxia-induced increased expression of heme oxygenase-1/biliverdin reductase paralleled by a compensatory increased expression of heat shock proteins 70 and 27 and peroxiredoxin-6; and (iv) up-regulation of the phosphodiesterase-1, -2, -3, and -4 genes. In SAD mice the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor rolipram attenuated the ischemic/reperfusion-related microcirculatory dysfunction, reduced the inflammatory cell infiltration and induced the heme oxygenase-1/biliverdin reductase cytoprotective systems.

Conclusions: In SAD mice, sickle cell hepatopathy is associated with perturbed nuclear factor-κB p65 signaling with an imbalance of endothelial/inducible nitric oxide synthase levels, lack of heme oxygenase-1/biliverdin reductase expression and up-regulation of two novel cytoprotective systems: heat shock protein-27 and peroxiredoxin-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2010.028506DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012761PMC
January 2011

The puzzling uniqueness of the heterotrimeric G15 protein and its potential beyond hematopoiesis.

J Mol Endocrinol 2010 May 11;44(5):259-69. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza 20052, Italy.

Heterotrimeric G proteins transduce the signals of the largest family of membrane receptors (G protein-coupled receptors, GPCRs) hence triggering the activation of a wide variety of physiological responses. G15 is a G protein characterized by a number of functional peculiarities that make its signaling exceptional: 1) it can couple a variety of Gs-, Gi/o-, and Gq-linked receptors to phospholipase C activation; 2) relatively to other G proteins, it is poorly affected by beta-arrestin-dependent desensitization, the general mechanism that regulates GPCR function and 3) at the protein level, its expression is only detected in highly specific cell types (hematopoietic and epithelial cells). G15 alpha-subunit displays unique structural and biochemical properties, and is phylogenetically the most recent and divergent component of the Galphaq/11 subfamily. All these aspects shed a mysterious light on G15 biological role, which remains substantially elusive. Thus, far, G15 signaling has been analyzed in the context of hematopoiesis. Here, we highlight observations supporting the view that G15 functions may extend further beyond the immune system. In addition, we describe puzzling aspects of G15 signaling that offer a novel perspective in the understanding of its physiological role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1677/JME-09-0134DOI Listing
May 2010