74 research outputs found

    The molecular signature of therapeutic mesenchymal stem cells exposes the architecture of the hematopoietic stem cell niche synapse

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    BACKGROUND: The hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) niche of the bone marrow is comprised of HSCs, osteoblasts, endothelial cells and a stromal component of non-hematopoietic multipotent cells of mesenchymal origin named "mesenchymal stem cells" (MSCs). RESULTS: Here we studied the global transcriptional profile of murine MSCs with immuno-therapeutic potential and compared it with that of 486 publicly available microarray datasets from 12 other mouse tissues or cell types. Principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering identified a unique pattern of gene expression capable of distinctively classifying MSCs from other tissues and cells. We then performed an analysis aimed to identify absolute and relative abundance of transcripts in all cell types. We found that the set of transcripts uniquely expressed by MSCs is enriched in transcription factors and components of the Wnt signaling pathway. The analysis of differentially expressed genes also identified a set of genes specifically involved in the HSC niche and is complemented by functional studies that confirm the findings. Interestingly, some of these genes play a role in the maintenance of HSCs in a quiescent state supporting their survival and preventing them from proliferating and differentiating. We also show that MSCs modulate T cell functions in vitro and, upon in vivo administration, ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). CONCLUSION: Altogether, these findings provide novel and important insights on the mechanisms of T cell function regulation by MSCs and help to cement the rationale for their application in the treatment of autoimmune diseases

    Journey on VX-809-Based Hybrid Derivatives towards Drug-like F508del-CFTR Correctors: From Molecular Modeling to Chemical Synthesis and Biological Assays

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    open12Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas and causing progressive damage. CF is caused by mutations abolishing the function of CFTR, a protein whose role is chloride's mobilization in the epithelial cells of various organs. Recently a therapy focused on small molecules has been chosen as a main approach to contrast CF, designing and synthesizing compounds acting as misfolding (correctors) or defective channel gating (potentiators). Multi-drug therapies have been tested with different combinations of the two series of compounds. Previously, we designed and characterized two series of correctors, namely, hybrids, which were conceived including the aminoarylthiazole (AAT) core, merged with the benzodioxole carboxamide moiety featured by VX-809. In this paper, we herein proceeded with molecular modeling studies guiding the design of a new third series of hybrids, featuring structural variations at the thiazole moiety and modifications on position 4. These derivatives were tested in different assays including a YFP functional assay on models F508del-CFTR CFBE41o-cells, alone and in combination with VX-445, and by using electrophysiological techniques on human primary bronchial epithelia to demonstrate their F508del-CFTR corrector ability. This study is aimed (i) at identifying three molecules (9b, 9g, and 9j), useful as novel CFTR correctors with a good efficacy in rescuing the defect of F508del-CFTR; and (ii) at providing useful information to complete the structure-activity study within all the three series of hybrids as possible CFTR correctors, supporting the development of pharmacophore modelling studies, taking into account all the three series of hybrids. Finally, in silico evaluation of the hybrids pharmacokinetic (PK) properties contributed to highlight hybrid developability as drug-like correctors.openParodi, Alice; Righetti, Giada; Pesce, Emanuela; Salis, Annalisa; Tomati, Valeria; Pastorino, Cristina; Tasso, Bruno; Benvenuti, Mirko; Damonte, Gianluca; Pedemonte, Nicoletta; Cichero, Elena; Millo, EnricoParodi, Alice; Righetti, Giada; Pesce, Emanuela; Salis, Annalisa; Tomati, Valeria; Pastorino, Cristina; Tasso, Bruno; Benvenuti, Mirko; Damonte, Gianluca; Pedemonte, Nicoletta; Cichero, Elena; Millo, Enric

    Reliability of the Performance of Upper Limb assessment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

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    Abstract The Performance of Upper Limb was specifically designed to assess upper limb function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The aim of this study was to assess (1) a cohort of typically developing children from the age of 3 years onwards in order to identify the age when the activities assessed in the individual items are consistently achieved, and (2) a cohort of 322 Duchenne children and young adults to establish the range of findings at different ages. We collected normative data for the scale validation on 277 typically developing subjects from 3 to 25 years old. A full score was consistently achieved by the age of 5 years. In the Duchenne cohort there was early involvement of the proximal muscles and a proximal to distal progressive involvement. The scale was capable of measuring small distal movements, related to activities of daily living, even in the oldest and weakest patients. Our data suggest that the assessment can be reliably used in both ambulant and non ambulant Duchenne patients in a multicentric setting and could therefore be considered as an outcome measure for future trials

    Gain- and Loss-of-Function CFTR Alleles Are Associated with COVID-19 Clinical Outcomes

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    Carriers of single pathogenic variants of the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 and 14-day death. The machine learning post-Mendelian model pinpointed CFTR as a bidirectional modulator of COVID-19 outcomes. Here, we demonstrate that the rare complex allele [G576V;R668C] is associated with a milder disease via a gain-of-function mechanism. Conversely, CFTR ultra-rare alleles with reduced function are associated with disease severity either alone (dominant disorder) or with another hypomorphic allele in the second chromosome (recessive disorder) with a global residual CFTR activity between 50 to 91%. Furthermore, we characterized novel CFTR complex alleles, including [A238V;F508del], [R74W;D1270N;V201M], [I1027T;F508del], [I506V;D1168G], and simple alleles, including R347C, F1052V, Y625N, I328V, K68E, A309D, A252T, G542*, V562I, R1066H, I506V, I807M, which lead to a reduced CFTR function and thus, to more severe COVID-19. In conclusion, CFTR genetic analysis is an important tool in identifying patients at risk of severe COVID-19

    Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search

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    Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations. More importantly, annotations of the same document pairs contributed by different scientists were highly concordant. We further show that the three representative baseline methods used to generate recommended articles for evaluation (Okapi Best Matching 25, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency and PubMed Related Articles) had similar overall performances. Additionally, we found that these methods each tend to produce distinct collections of recommended articles, suggesting that a hybrid method may be required to completely capture all relevant articles. The established database server located at https://relishdb.ict.griffith.edu.au is freely available for the downloading of annotation data and the blind testing of new methods. We expect that this benchmark will be useful for stimulating the development of new powerful techniques for title and title/abstract-based search engines for relevant articles in biomedical research.Peer reviewe

    Piattaforme digitali: la dittatura vorace che piace

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    A livello internazionale tra le élites cresce l’allarme per l’eccessivo potere economico-finanziario dei colossi dell’economia digitale. Le autorità Antitrust cominciano a porsi il problema di modificare le norme anti-monopoli per adeguarle al nuovo contesto dell’economia delle reti, ma a tutto ciò non corrisponde una adeguata consapevolezza da parte dell’opinione pubblica. Questa contraddizione si spiega analizzando il rapporto particolare che le piattaforme digitali hanno instaurato con i singoli utenti-consumatori e la loro capacità di influenzare l’immaginario collettivo. La possibilità di personalizzare i servizi forniti a ciascun utente fornisce alle piattaforme un potere inedito nel monitorare e determinare le idee dei cittadini e la loro visione del mondo. L’articolo esplora le distorsioni generate dal rapporto tra i nuovi poteri economici e i cittadini. E denuncia i rischi per la democrazia creati dallo sviluppo di monopoli digitali sempre più invasivi

    Google, Facebook, the New Monopolies and Silicon Valley Ideologues

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    This article addresses the issues posed by the de facto monopolies created by digital platforms, focusing in particular on the cases of Google and Facebook. These two companies have assumed a dominant position in the fields of online research and of social networks. An analysis of their activity performed so far by the antitrust Authorities in the US and Europe shows the difficulty of dealing with these situations when applying methods which have traditionally been used to address questions of monopoly. The new element, compared to the past, is constituted by the huge data archives in possession of these companies: it’s the information on users to give Google and Facebook the ability to provide more competitive and customized services. Some scholars believe that it is necessary to regulate data collection, to redefine their property or even to oblige the dominant companies to share data with competitors. Others argue that “attention market” should be regulated, where a consumer’s attention is a scarce resource in the age of abundant information. However others believe that in the new world of the web and digital platforms the old categories of the economy are obsolete and monopolies are the natural and desirable outcome of the markets. The outcome of this battle will depend on the structure of economic power and the role of consumers in the near future. Video Extension Click on the thumbnail below for the video extension on YouTube

    Che fare per difenderci dai monopoli del web

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    Se è vero che i dati sono il nuovo petrolio, è necessario regolare l’attività di giganti come Amazon, Google e Facebook, che controllano immense quantità di dati, come un secolo fa si intervenne sul monopolio della Standard Oil di John Rockefeller? L’articolo cerca di rispondere a questa domanda, e discute le possibili misure da mettere in atto per limitare il potere dei nuovi monopolisti digitali
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