Publications by authors named "Sonia Troiani"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Neutrophil Elastase Promotes Linker Cleavage and Paclitaxel Release from an Integrin-Targeted Conjugate.

Chemistry 2019 Feb 27;25(7):1696-1700. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via C. Golgi, 19, I-20133, Milan, Italy.

This work takes advantage of one of the hallmarks of cancer, that is, the presence of tumor infiltrating cells of the immune system and leukocyte-secreted enzymes, to promote the activation of an anticancer drug at the tumor site. The peptidomimetic integrin ligand cyclo(DKP-RGD) was found to accumulate on the surface of α β integrin-expressing human renal cell carcinoma 786-O cells. The ligand was conjugated to the anticancer drug paclitaxel through a Asn-Pro-Val (NPV) tripeptide linker, which is a substrate of neutrophil-secreted elastase. In vitro linker cleavage assays and cell antiproliferative experiments demonstrate the efficacy of this tumor-targeting conjugate, opening the way to potential therapeutic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201805447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471013PMC
February 2019

Synthesis and biological evaluation of RGD peptidomimetic-paclitaxel conjugates bearing lysosomally cleavable linkers.

Chemistry 2015 Apr 17;21(18):6921-9. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via C. Golgi, 19, 20133, Milan (Italy), Fax: (+39) 02-5031-4072.

Two small-molecule-drug conjugates (SMDCs, 6 and 7) featuring lysosomally cleavable linkers (namely the Val-Ala and Phe-Lys peptide sequences) were synthesized by conjugation of the αvβ3-integrin ligand cyclo[DKP-RGD]-CH2NH2 (2) to the anticancer drug paclitaxel (PTX). A third cyclo[DKP-RGD]-PTX conjugate with a nonpeptide "uncleavable" linker (8) was also synthesized to be tested as a negative control. These three SMDCs were able to inhibit biotinylated vitronectin binding to the purified αVβ3-integrin receptor at nanomolar concentrations and showed good stability at pH 7.4 and pH 5.5. Cleavage of the two peptide linkers was observed in the presence of lysosomal enzymes, whereas conjugate 8, which possesses a nonpeptide "uncleavable" linker, remained intact under these conditions. The antiproliferative activities of the conjugates were evaluated against two isogenic cell lines expressing the integrin receptor at different levels: the acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line CCRF-CEM (αVβ3-) and its subclone CCRF-CEM αVβ3 (αVβ3+). Fairly effective integrin targeting was displayed by the cyclo[DKP-RGD]-Val-Ala-PTX conjugate (6), which was found to differentially inhibit proliferation in antigen-positive CCRF-CEM αVβ3 versus antigen-negative isogenic CCRF-CEM cells. The total lack of activity displayed by the "uncleavable" cyclo[DKP-RGD]-PTX conjugate (8) clearly demonstrates the importance of the peptide linker for achieving the selective release of the cytotoxic payload.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201500158DOI Listing
April 2015

Discovery of 2-(cyclohexylmethylamino)pyrimidines as a new class of reversible valosine containing protein inhibitors.

J Med Chem 2014 Dec 12;57(24):10443-54. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. , Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano, Milan, Italy.

Valosine-containing protein (VCP), also known as p97 or cdc48 in yeast, is a highly abundant protein belonging to the AAA ATPase family involved in a number of essential cellular functions, including ubiquitin-proteasome mediated protein degradation, Golgi reassembly, transcription activation, and cell cycle control. Altered expression of VCP has been detected in many cancer types sometimes associated with poor prognosis. Furthermore, VCP mutations are causative of some neurodegenerative disorders. In this paper we report the discovery, synthesis, and structure-activity relationships of substituted 2-aminopyrimidines, representing a new class of reversible VCP inhibitors. This class of compounds, identified in a HTS campaign against recombinant VCP, has been progressively expanded and manipulated to increase biochemical potency and gain cellular activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm501313xDOI Listing
December 2014

Identification of candidate substrates for poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (PARP2) in the absence of DNA damage using high-density protein microarrays.

FEBS J 2011 Oct 6;278(19):3676-87. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Department of Biotechnology, BU Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl, Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (PARP2) belongs to the ADP-ribosyltransferase family of enzymes that catalyze the addition of ADP-ribose units to acceptor proteins, thus affecting many diverse cellular processes. In particular, PARP2 shares with PARP1 and, as recently highlighted, PARP3 the sole property of being catalytically activated by DNA-strand breaks, implying key downstream functions in the cellular response to DNA damage for both enzymes. However, evidence from several studies suggests unique functions for PARP2 in additional processes, possibly mediated through its basal, DNA-damage unstimulated ADP-ribosylating activity. Here, we describe the development and application of a protein microarray-based approach tailored to identify proteins that are ADP-ribosylated by PARP2 in the absence of DNA damage mimetics and might thus represent useful entry points to the exploration of novel PARP2 functions. Several candidate substrates for PARP2 were identified and global hit enrichment analysis showed a clear enrichment in translation initiation and RNA helicase molecular functions. In addition, the top scoring candidates FK506-binding protein 3 and SH3 and cysteine-rich domain-containing protein 1 were selected and confirmed in a complementary assay format as substrates for unstimulated PARP2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08286.xDOI Listing
October 2011

Structural basis for CARM1 inhibition by indole and pyrazole inhibitors.

Biochem J 2011 Jun;436(2):331-9

Bristol-Myers Squibb Research and Development, P.O. Box 4000, Princeton, NJ 08543-4000, USA.

CARM1 (co-activator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1) is a PRMT (protein arginine N-methyltransferase) family member that catalyses the transfer of methyl groups from SAM (S-adenosylmethionine) to the side chain of specific arginine residues of substrate proteins. This post-translational modification of proteins regulates a variety of transcriptional events and other cellular processes. Moreover, CARM1 is a potential oncological target due to its multiple roles in transcription activation by nuclear hormone receptors and other transcription factors such as p53. Here, we present crystal structures of the CARM1 catalytic domain in complex with cofactors [SAH (S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine) or SNF (sinefungin)] and indole or pyazole inhibitors. Analysis of the structures reveals that the inhibitors bind in the arginine-binding cavity and the surrounding pocket that exists at the interface between the N- and C-terminal domains. In addition, we show using ITC (isothermal titration calorimetry) that the inhibitors bind to the CARM1 catalytic domain only in the presence of the cofactor SAH. Furthermore, sequence differences for select residues that interact with the inhibitors may be responsible for the CARM1 selectivity against PRMT1 and PRMT3. Together, the structural and biophysical information should aid in the design of both potent and specific inhibitors of CARM1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20102161DOI Listing
June 2011

Phosphorylation of TCTP as a marker for polo-like kinase-1 activity in vivo.

Anticancer Res 2010 Dec;30(12):4973-85

BU Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences srl, 20014 Nerviano, Italy.

Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is the master regulator of mitosis and a target for anticancer therapy. To develop a marker of PLK1 activity in cells and tumour tissues, this study focused on translational controlled tumour protein (TCTP) and identified serine 46 as a site phosphorylated by PLK1 in vitro. Using an antibody raised against phospho-TCTP-Ser46, it was demonstrated that phosphorylation at this site correlates with PLK1 level and kinase activity in cells. Moreover, PLK1 depletion by siRNA or inactivation by specific inhibitors caused a correspondent decrease in phospho-TCTP-Ser46 signal validating this site as a direct marker of PLK1. Using this marker, the study characterized PLK1 inhibitors in cells by setting up a high-content assay and finally immunohistochemical assay suitable for following inhibitor activity in preclinical tumour models and possibly in clinical studies was developed.
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December 2010

Identification of Myb-binding protein 1A (MYBBP1A) as a novel substrate for aurora B kinase.

J Biol Chem 2010 Apr 22;285(16):11775-85. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Nerviano Medical Sciences, Nerviano 20014 MI, Italy.

Aurora kinases are mitotic enzymes involved in centrosome maturation and separation, spindle assembly and stability, and chromosome condensation, segregation, and cytokinesis and represent well known targets for cancer therapy because their deregulation has been linked to tumorigenesis. The availability of suitable markers is of crucial importance to investigate the functions of Auroras and monitor kinase inhibition in in vivo models and in clinical trials. Extending the knowledge on Aurora substrates could help to better understand their biology and could be a source for clinical biomarkers. Using biochemical, mass spectrometric, and cellular approaches, we identified MYBBP1A as a novel Aurora B substrate and serine 1303 as the major phosphorylation site. MYBBP1A is phosphorylated in nocodazole-arrested cells and is dephosphorylated upon Aurora B silencing or by treatment with Danusertib, a small molecule inhibitor of Aurora kinases. Furthermore, we show that MYBBP1A depletion by RNA interference causes mitotic progression delay and spindle assembly defects. MYBBP1A has until now been described as a nucleolar protein, mainly involved in transcriptional regulation. The results presented herein show MYBBP1A as a novel Aurora B kinase substrate and reveal a not yet recognized link of this nucleolar protein to mitosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.068312DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2852913PMC
April 2010

A Perl procedure for protein identification by Peptide Mass Fingerprinting.

BMC Bioinformatics 2009 Oct 15;10 Suppl 12:S11. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, Pavia, Italy.

Background: One of the topics of major interest in proteomics is protein identification. Protein identification can be achieved by analyzing the mass spectrum of a protein sample through different approaches. One of them, called Peptide Mass Fingerprinting (PMF), combines mass spectrometry (MS) data with searching strategies in a suitable database of known protein to provide a list of candidate proteins ranked by a score. To this aim, several algorithms and software tools have been proposed. However, the scoring methods and mainly the statistical evaluation of the results can be significantly improved.

Results: In this work, a Perl procedure for protein identification by PMF, called MsPI (Mass spectrometry Protein Identification), is presented. The implemented scoring methods were derived from the literature. MsPI implements a strategy to remove the contaminant masses present in the acquired spectra. Moreover, MsPI includes a statistical method to assign to each candidate protein, in addition to the scoring value, a p-value. Results obtained by MsPI on a dataset of 10 protein samples were compared with those achieved using two other software tools, i.e. Piums and Mascot. Piums implements one of the scoring methods available in MsPI, while Mascot is one of the most frequently used software tools in the protein identification field. MsPI scripts are available for downloading on the web site http://aimed11.unipv.it/MsPI.

Conclusion: The performances of MsPI seem to be better than those of Piums and Mascot. In fact, on the considered dataset, MsPI includes in its candidate proteins list, the "true" proteins nine times over ten, whereas Piums includes in its list the "true" proteins only four time over ten. Even if Mascot also correctly includes in the candidates list the "true" proteins nine times over ten, it provides longer candidate lists, therefore increasing the number of false positives when the molecular weight of the proteins in the sample is approximatively known (e.g. by the 1-D/2-D electrophoresis gel). Moreover, being MsPI a Perl tool, it can be easily extended and customized by the final users.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-10-S12-S11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762060PMC
October 2009

The structure of P-TEFb (CDK9/cyclin T1), its complex with flavopiridol and regulation by phosphorylation.

EMBO J 2008 Jul 19;27(13):1907-18. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) (CDK9/cyclin T (CycT)) promotes mRNA transcriptional elongation through phosphorylation of elongation repressors and RNA polymerase II. To understand the regulation of a transcriptional CDK by its cognate cyclin, we have determined the structures of the CDK9/CycT1 and free cyclin T2. There are distinct differences between CDK9/CycT1 and the cell cycle CDK CDK2/CycA manifested by a relative rotation of 26 degrees of CycT1 with respect to the CDK, showing for the first time plasticity in CDK cyclin interactions. The CDK9/CycT1 interface is relatively sparse but retains some core CDK-cyclin interactions. The CycT1 C-terminal helix shows flexibility that may be important for the interaction of this region with HIV TAT and HEXIM. Flavopiridol, an anticancer drug in phase II clinical trials, binds to the ATP site of CDK9 inducing unanticipated structural changes that bury the inhibitor. CDK9 activity and recognition of regulatory proteins are governed by autophosphorylation. We show that CDK9/CycT1 autophosphorylates on Thr186 in the activation segment and three C-terminal phosphorylation sites. Autophosphorylation on all sites occurs in cis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emboj.2008.121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2486423PMC
July 2008

Identification of Mcm2 phosphorylation sites by S-phase-regulating kinases.

J Biol Chem 2006 Apr 30;281(15):10281-90. Epub 2006 Jan 30.

Department of Biology, Nerviano Medical Sciences-Oncology, Via Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano, Italy.

Minichromosome maintenance 2-7 proteins play a pivotal role in replication of the genome in eukaryotic organisms. Upon entry into S-phase several subunits of the MCM hexameric complex are phosphorylated. It is thought that phosphorylation activates the intrinsic MCM DNA helicase activity, thus allowing formation of active replication forks. Cdc7, Cdk2, and ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related kinases regulate S-phase entry and S-phase progression and are known to phosphorylate the Mcm2 subunit. In this work, by in vitro kinase reactions and mass spectrometry analysis of the products, we have mapped phosphorylation sites in the N terminus of Mcm2 by Cdc7, Cdk2, Cdk1, and CK2. We found that Cdc7 phosphorylates Mcm2 in at least three different sites, one of which corresponds to a site also reported to be phosphorylated by ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related. Three serine/proline sites were identified for Cdk2 and Cdk1, and a unique site was phosphorylated by CK2. We raised specific anti-phosphopeptide antibodies and found that all the sites identified in vitro are also phosphorylated in cells. Importantly, although all the Cdc7-dependent Mcm2 phosphosites fluctuate during the cell cycle with kinetics similar to Cdc7 kinase activity and Cdc7 protein levels, phosphorylation of Mcm2 in the putative cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) consensus sites is constant during the cell cycle. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that the majority of the Mcm2 isoforms phosphorylated by Cdc7 are not stably associated with chromatin. This study forms the basis for understanding how MCM functions are regulated by multiple kinases within the cell cycle and in response to external perturbations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M512921200DOI Listing
April 2006

Searching for biomarkers of Aurora-A kinase activity: identification of in vitro substrates through a modified KESTREL approach.

J Proteome Res 2005 Jul-Aug;4(4):1296-303

Dept of Biology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Aurora-A, -B, and -C are members of a small family of mitotic serine/threonine kinases that regulate centrosome maturation, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. They are often overexpressed in different human tumor types and have been identified as attractive targets for anticancer drug development. As specific inhibitors of the Aurora kinases are entering phase I clinical trials, there is a high need for appropriate Aurora-A biomarkers to follow mechanism of action or response. To identify novel Aurora-A substrates potentially useful as specific biomarkers we applied several modifications to the original KESTREL (Kinase Substrate Tracking and Elucidation) method in conjunction with gel electrophoresis and MALDI-MS and LC-MS/MS. The major modifications to the method included the introduction of a heating step to inactivate endogenous kinases after cell lysis and the execution of the in vitro kinase reaction in the presence of 5 mM Mg(2+) and at high (1 mM) ATP concentration. Total and fractionated extracts from nocodazole-treated HeLa cells were used as a source of Aurora-A substrates. Using this approach, we were able to detect a number of Aurora-A specific phospholabeled signals and to identify vimentin as a putative Aurora-A substrate. Vimentin was then confirmed as an in vitro substrate of Aurora-A by the phosphorylation of the recombinant protein followed by MS and antibody detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr050018eDOI Listing
October 2005

Multidimensional proteomic analysis of photosynthetic membrane proteins by liquid extraction-ultracentrifugation-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Proteomics 2004 Dec;4(12):3909-20

Department of Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis and Bioanalysis, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.

The membrane protein components of photosystem I (PSI) and II (PSII) from different species were prefractionated by liquid extraction and sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation and subsequently analyzed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (RP-HPLC-ESI-MS) using poly-(styrene-divinylbenzene)-based monolithic capillary columns. The analytical method was shown to be very flexible and enabled the identification of antenna proteins as well as most of the proteins of the reaction center from PSI and PSII in various plant species with few RP-HPLC-ESI-MS analyses necessitating only minor adaptations in the gradients of acetonitrile in 0.05% aqueous trifluoroacetic acid. The membrane proteins, ranging in molecular mass (Mr) from 4196 (I protein) to more than 80,000 (PSI A/B) as well as isoforms were identified on the basis of their intact Mr and comparison with Mr deduced from known DNA or protein sequences. High quality mass spectra enabled the identification and quantitation of the nonphosphorylated and phosphorylated reaction center subunits D1, D2, and CP43 of PSII, containing five to seven membrane-spanning alpha-helices. Because of its high flexibility and suitability for proteins having a very wide range of Mr and hydrophobicities, the method is generally applicable to the analysis of complex mixtures of membrane proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.200400823DOI Listing
December 2004

Monolithic capillary columns for liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in proteomic and genomic research.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2002 Dec;782(1-2):111-25

Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens-University, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Peptides, proteins, single-stranded oligonucleotides, and double-stranded DNA fragments were separated with high resolution in micropellicular, monolithic capillary columns prepared by in situ radical copolymerization of styrene and divinylbenzene. Miniaturized chromatography both in the reversed-phase and the ion-pair reversed-phase mode could be realized in the same capillary column because of the nonpolar character of the poly-(styrene/divinylbenzene) stationary phase. The high chromatographic performance of the monolithic stationary phase facilitated the generation of peak capacities for the biopolymers in the range of 50-140 within 10 min under gradient elution conditions. Employing volatile mobile phase components, separations in the two chromatographic separation modes were on-line hyphenated to electrospray ionization (tandem) mass spectrometry, which yielded intact accurate molecular masses as well as sequence information derived from collision-induced fragmentation. The inaccuracy of mass determination in a quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer was in the range of 0.01-0.02% for proteins up to a molecular mass of 20000, and 0.02-0.12% for DNA fragments up to a molecular mass of 310000. High-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry utilizing monolithic capillary columns was applied to the identification of proteins by peptide mass fingerprinting, tandem mass spectrometric sequencing, or intact molecular mass determination, as well as to the accurate sizing of double-stranded DNA fragments ranging in size from 50 to 500 base pairs, and to the detection of sequence variations in DNA fragments amplified by the polymerase chain reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1570-0232(02)00667-0DOI Listing
December 2002