188 research outputs found

    Synthesis and characterisation of a new benzamide-containing nitrobenzoxadiazole as a GSTP1-1 inhibitor endowed with high stability to metabolic hydrolysis

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    The antitumor agent 6-((7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)thio)hexan-1-ol (1) is a potent inhibitor of GSTP1-1, a glutathione S-transferase capable of inhibiting apoptosis by binding to JNK1 and TRAF2. We recently demonstrated that, unlike its parent compound, the benzoyl ester of 1 (compound 3) exhibits negligible reactivity towards GSH, and has a different mode of interaction with GSTP1-1. Unfortunately, 3 is susceptible to rapid metabolic hydrolysis. In an effort to improve the metabolic stability of 3, its ester group has been replaced by an amide, leading to N-(6-((7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)thio)hexyl)benzamide (4). Unlike 3, compound 4 was stable to human liver microsomal carboxylesterases, but retained the ability to disrupt the interaction between GSTP1-1 and TRAF2 regardless of GSH levels. Moreover, 4 exhibited both a higher stability in the presence of GSH and a greater cytotoxicity towards cultured A375 melanoma cells, in comparison with 1 and its analog 2. These findings suggest that 4 deserves further preclinical testing

    The in vivo therapeutic efficacy of the oncolytic adenovirus Delta24-RGD is mediated by tumor-specific immunity

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    The oncolytic adenovirus Delta24-RGD represents a new promising therapeutic agent for patients with a malignant glioma and is currently under investigation in clinical phase I/II trials. Earlier preclinical studies showed that Delta24-RGD is able to effectively lyse tumor cells, yielding promising results in various immune-deficient glioma models. However, the role of the immune response in oncolytic adenovirus therapy for glioma has never been explored. To this end, we assessed Delta24-RGD treatment in an immune-competent orthotopic mouse model for glioma and evaluated immune responses against tumor and virus. Delta24-RGD treatment led to long-term survival in 50% of mice and this effect was completely lost upon administration of the immunosuppressive agent dexamethasone. Delta24-RGD enhanced intra-tumoral infiltration of F4/80+ macrophages, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, and increased the local production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. In treated mice, T cell responses were directed to the virus as well a

    A simulation tool for MRPC telescopes of the EEE project

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    The Extreme Energy Events (EEE) Project is mainly devoted to the study of the secondary cosmic ray radiation by using muon tracker telescopes made of three Multigap Resistive Plate Chambers (MRPC) each. The experiment consists of a telescope network mainly distributed across Italy, hosted in different building structures pertaining to high schools, universities and research centers. Therefore, the possibility to take into account the effects of these structures on collected data is important for the large physics programme of the project. A simulation tool, based on GEANT4 and using GEMC framework, has been implemented to take into account the muon interaction with EEE telescopes and to estimate the effects on data of the structures surrounding the experimental apparata.A dedicated event generator producing realistic muon distributions, detailed geometry and microscopic behavior of MRPCs have been included to produce experimental-like data. The comparison between simulated and experimental data, and the estimation of detector resolutions is here presented and discussed

    MAGIA, a web-based tool for miRNA and Genes Integrated Analysis

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    MAGIA (miRNA and genes integrated analysis) is a novel web tool for the integrative analysis of target predictions, miRNA and gene expression data. MAGIA is divided into two parts: the query section allows the user to retrieve and browse updated miRNA target predictions computed with a number of different algorithms (PITA, miRanda and Target Scan) and Boolean combinations thereof. The analysis section comprises a multistep procedure for (i) direct integration through different functional measures (parametric and non-parametric correlation indexes, a variational Bayesian model, mutual information and a meta-analysis approach based on P-value combination) of mRNA and miRNA expression data, (ii) construction of bipartite regulatory network of the best miRNA and mRNA putative interactions and (iii) retrieval of information available in several public databases of genes, miRNAs and diseases and via scientific literature text-mining. MAGIA is freely available for Academic users at http://gencomp.bio.unipd.it/magia

    Economic Policy Program and Economic Performance in U.K.

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    Purpose: To (a) evaluate whether the lysine-rich protein (LRP) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging reporter gene can be engineered into G47Δ, a herpes simplex-derived oncolytic virus that is currently being tested in clinical trials, without disrupting its therapeutic effectiveness and (b) establish the ability of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MR imaging to demonstrate G47Δ-LRP. Materials and Methods: The institutional subcommittee for research animal care approved all in vivo procedures. Oncolytic herpes simplex virus G47Δ, which carried the LRP gene, was constructed and tested for its capacity to replicate in cancer cells and express LRP in vitro. The LRP gene was detected through CEST imaging of lysates derived from cells infected with G47Δ-LRP or the control G47Δ-empty virus. G47Δ-LRP was then tested for its therapeutic effectiveness and detection with CEST MR imaging in vivo. Images of rat gliomas were acquired before and 8-10 hours after injection of G47Δ-LRP (n = 7) or G47Δ-empty virus (n = 6). Group comparisons were analyzed with a paired t test. Results: No significant differences were observed in viral replication or therapeutic effectiveness between G47Δ-LRP and G47Δ-empty virus. An increase in CEST image contrast was observed in cell lysates (mean ± standard deviation, 0.52% ± 0.06; P = .01) and in tumors (1.1% ± 0.3, P = .02) after infection with G47Δ-LRP but not G47Δ-empty viruses. No histopathologic differences were observed between tumors infected with G47Δ-LRP and G47Δ-empty virus. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated the ability of CEST MR imaging to show G47Δ-LRP at acute stages of viral infection. The introduction of the LRP transgene had no effect on the viral replication or therapeutic effectiveness. This can aid in development of the LRP gene as a reporter for the real-time detection of viral spread

    Viral-mediated oncolysis is the most critical factor in the late-phase of the tumor regression process upon vaccinia virus infection

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In principle, the elimination of malignancies by oncolytic virotherapy could proceed by different mechanisms - e.g. tumor cell specific oncolysis, destruction of the tumor vasculature or an anti-tumoral immunological response. In this study, we analyzed the contribution of these factors to elucidate the responsible mechanism for regression of human breast tumor xenografts upon colonization with an attenuated vaccinia virus (VACV).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Breast tumor xenografts were analyzed 6 weeks post VACV infection (p.i.; regression phase) by immunohistochemistry and mouse-specific expression arrays. Viral-mediated oncolysis was determined by tumor growth analysis combined with microscopic studies of intratumoral virus distribution. The tumor vasculature was morphologically characterized by diameter and density measurements and vessel functionality was analyzed by lectin perfusion and extravasation studies. Immunological aspects of viral-mediated tumor regression were studied in either immune-deficient mouse strains (T-, B-, NK-cell-deficient) or upon cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression (MHCII<sup>+</sup>-cell depletion) in nude mice.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Late stage VACV-infected breast tumors showed extensive necrosis, which was highly specific to cancer cells. The tumor vasculature in infected tumor areas remained functional and the endothelial cells were not infected. However, viral colonization triggers hyperpermeability and dilatation of the tumor vessels, which resembled the activated endothelium in wounded tissue. Moreover, we demonstrated an increased expression of genes involved in leukocyte-endothelial cell interaction in VACV-infected tumors, which orchestrate perivascular inflammatory cell infiltration. The immunohistochemical analysis of infected tumors displayed intense infiltration of MHCII-positive cells and colocalization of tumor vessels with MHCII<sup>+</sup>/CD31<sup>+ </sup>vascular leukocytes. However, GI-101A tumor growth analysis upon VACV-infection in either immunosuppressed nude mice (MHCII<sup>+</sup>-cell depleted) or in immune-deficient mouse strains (T-, B-, NK-cell-deficient) revealed that neither MHCII-positive immune cells nor T-, B-, or NK cells contributed significantly to VACV-mediated tumor regression. In contrast, tumors of immunosuppressed mice showed enhanced viral spreading and tumor necrosis.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Taken together, these results indicate that VACV-mediated oncolysis is the primary mechanism of tumor shrinkage in the late regression phase. Neither the destruction of the tumor vasculature nor the massive VACV-mediated intratumoral inflammation was a prerequisite for tumor regression. We propose that approaches to enhance viral replication and spread within the tumor microenvironment should improve therapeutical outcome.</p

    The Expression of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor 1 Is Negatively Modulated by MicroRNA 525-5p

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    Background: The human Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) is a neurokine with effects on the immune system where it is involved in promoting tolerance. In this context, one of its receptors, VPAC1, has been found to be down-modulated in cells of the immune network in response to activating stimuli. In particular, the bacterial liposaccaride (LPS), a strong activator of the innate immune system, induces a rapid decrease of VPAC1 expression in monocytes and this event correlates with polymorphisms in the 3'-UTR of the gene. Methodology/Principal Findings: MicroRNA 525-5p, having as putative target the 3'-UTR region of VPAC1, has been analysed for its expression in monocytes and for its role in down-modulating VPAC1 expression. We report here that miR-525-5p is promptly up-regulated in LPS-treated monocytes. This microRNA, when co-transfected in 293T cells together with a construct containing the 3'-UTR of the VPAC1 gene, significantly reduced the luciferase activity in a standard expression assay. The U937 cell line as well as primary monocytes enforced to express miR-525-5p, both down-modulate VPAC1 expression at similar extent. Conclusions/Significance: Our results show that the response to an inflammatory stimulus elicits in monocytes a rapid increase of miR-525-5p that targets a signaling pathway involved in the control of the immune homeostasis

    Foreign Policy and the Ideology of Post-ideology: The Case of Matteo Renzi’s Partito Democratico

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    The post-communist Italian Left has experienced a long phase of ideational misalignment between ideas placed at different levels, as a qualified discursive institutionalist approach demonstrates. Background public philosophies have often clashed with post-communist political ideology, while foreign policy programmes have often contradicted specific policies. Under the leadership of Matteo Renzi, however, the PD is now experiencing a moment of remarkable ideational consistency. Rather than being founded on entirely new premises, this new consensus folds old elements into new ones and shows all the defining traits of post-ideology. Yet, by espousing post-ideology, Renzi is making an ultimately ideological move whose limitations may soon start to show