Other affiliations: University of Turin
Bio: Giusy Tornillo is an academic researcher from Cardiff University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Stem cell & Progenitor cell. The author has an hindex of 14, co-authored 29 publications receiving 507 citations. Previous affiliations of Giusy Tornillo include University of Turin.
TL;DR: Recent experimental and conceptual advances in integrin signaling are highlighted with particular emphasis on the ability of integrins to regulate Fak/Src family kinases (SFKs) activation and the cross-talk with soluble growth factors receptors and cytokines.
Abstract: Integrin signaling has a critical function in organizing cells in tissues during both embryonic development and tissue repair. Following their binding to the extracellular ligands, the intracellular signaling pathways triggered by integrins are directed to two major functions: organization of the actin cytoskeleton and regulation of cell behaviour including survival, differentiation and growth. Basic research conducted in the past twelve years has lead to remarkable breakthroughs in this field. Integrins are catalytically inactive and translate positional cues into biochemical signals by direct and/or functional association with intracellular adaptors, cytosolic tyrosine kinases or growth factor and cytokine receptors. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight recent experimental and conceptual advances in integrin signaling with particular emphasis on the ability of integrins to regulate Fak/Src family kinases (SFKs) activation and the cross-talk with soluble growth factors receptors and cytokines.
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that p130Cas is an essential transducer element in ErbB2 transformation and highlighted its potential use as a novel therapeutic target in ErBB2 positive human breast cancers.
Abstract: The ErbB2 oncogene is often overexpressed in breast tumors and associated with poor clinical outcome. p130Cas represents a nodal scaffold protein regulating cell survival, migration, and proliferation in normal and pathological cells. The functional role of p130Cas in ErbB2-dependent breast tumorigenesis was assessed by its silencing in breast cancer cells derived from mouse mammary tumors overexpressing ErbB2 (N202-1A cells), and by its reexpression in ErbB2-transformed p130Cas-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts. We demonstrate that p130Cas is necessary for ErbB2-dependent foci formation, anchorage-independent growth, and in vivo growth of orthotopic N202-1A tumors. Moreover, intranipple injection of p130Cas-stabilized siRNAs in the mammary gland of Balbc-NeuT mice decreases the growth of spontaneous tumors. In ErbB2-transformed cells, p130Cas is a crucial component of a functional molecular complex consisting of ErbB2, c-Src, and Fak. In human mammary cells, MCF10A.B2, the concomitant activation of ErbB2,...
TL;DR: GATA2 acts as a critical regulator of normal and leukemic stem cells and mediates transcriptional networks that may be exploited therapeutically to target key facets of LSC behavior in AML.
Abstract: Subversion of transcription factor (TF) activity in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) leads to the development of therapy-resistant leukemic stem cells (LSCs) that drive fulminant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using a conditional mouse model where zinc-finger TF Gata2 was deleted specifically in hematopoietic cells, we show that knockout of Gata2 leads to rapid and complete cell-autonomous loss of adult hematopoietic stem cells. By using short hairpin RNAi to target GATA2, we also identify a requirement for GATA2 in human HSPCs. In Meis1a/Hoxa9-driven AML, deletion of Gata2 impedes maintenance and self-renewal of LSCs. Ablation of Gata2 enforces an LSC-specific program of enhanced apoptosis, exemplified by attenuation of anti-apoptotic factor BCL2, and re-instigation of myeloid differentiation--which is characteristically blocked in AML. Thus, GATA2 acts as a critical regulator of normal and leukemic stem cells and mediates transcriptional networks that may be exploited therapeutically to target key facets of LSC behavior in AML.
TL;DR: It is demonstrated LYN is a downstream effector of c-KIT in normal mammary cells and protective of apoptosis upon genotoxic stress and dual mechanisms—uncoupling from upstream signals and splice isoform ratios—drive the activity of LYN in aggressive breast cancers.
Abstract: The SRC-family kinase LYN is highly expressed in triple-negative/basal-like breast cancer (TNBC) and in the cell of origin of these tumors, c-KIT-positive luminal progenitors. Here, we demonstrate LYN is a downstream effector of c-KIT in normal mammary cells and protective of apoptosis upon genotoxic stress. LYN activity is modulated by PIN1, a prolyl isomerase, and in BRCA1 mutant TNBC PIN1 upregulation activates LYN independently of c-KIT. Furthermore, the full-length LYN splice isoform (as opposed to the Δaa25-45 variant) drives migration and invasion of aggressive TNBC cells, while the ratio of splice variants is informative for breast cancer-specific survival across all breast cancers. Thus, dual mechanisms-uncoupling from upstream signals and splice isoform ratios-drive the activity of LYN in aggressive breast cancers.
TL;DR: More recent data on the contribution of p130Cas/BCAR1 in the regulation of tissue homeostasis and its potential implications in pathological conditions are discussed.
Abstract: BCAR1 (also known as p130Cas/BCAR1) is an adaptor protein that belongs to the CAS family of scaffold proteins In the past years, increasing evidence has demonstrated the ability of p130Cas/BCAR1 to activate signaling originating from mechanical stimuli, cell–extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion and growth factor stimulation cascades during normal development and disease in various biological models In this review we will specifically discuss the more recent data on the contribution of p130Cas/BCAR1 in the regulation of tissue homeostasis and its potential implications in pathological conditions
TL;DR: Recent evidence that shows that inherent material properties may be engineered to dictate stem cell fate decisions are discussed, and a subset of the operative signal transduction mechanisms that have begun to emerge are overviewed.
Abstract: The stem cell/material interface is a complex, dynamic microenvironment in which the cell and the material cooperatively dictate one another's fate: the cell by remodelling its surroundings, and the material through its inherent properties (such as adhesivity, stiffness, nanostructure or degradability). Stem cells in contact with materials are able to sense their properties, integrate cues via signal propagation and ultimately translate parallel signalling information into cell fate decisions. However, discovering the mechanisms by which stem cells respond to inherent material characteristics is challenging because of the highly complex, multicomponent signalling milieu present in the stem cell environment. In this Review, we discuss recent evidence that shows that inherent material properties may be engineered to dictate stem cell fate decisions, and overview a subset of the operative signal transduction mechanisms that have begun to emerge. Further developments in stem cell engineering and mechanotransduction are poised to have substantial implications for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
TL;DR: Findings indicate that human breast cancer progression and aggression, collagen linearization and stromal stiffening are linked and implicate tissue inflammation and TGF beta.
Abstract: Tumors are stiff and data suggest that the extracellular matrix stiffening that correlates with experimental mammary malignancy drives tumor invasion and metastasis. Nevertheless, the relationship between tissue and extracellular matrix stiffness and human breast cancer progression and aggression remains unclear. We undertook a biophysical and biochemical assessment of stromal–epithelial interactions in noninvasive, invasive and normal adjacent human breast tissue and in breast cancers of increasingly aggressive subtype. Our analysis revealed that human breast cancer transformation is accompanied by an incremental increase in collagen deposition and a progressive linearization and thickening of interstitial collagen. The linearization of collagen was visualized as an overall increase in tissue birefringence and was most striking at the invasive front of the tumor where the stiffness of the stroma and cellular mechanosignaling were the highest. Amongst breast cancer subtypes we found that the stroma at the invasive region of the more aggressive Basal-like and Her2 tumor subtypes was the most heterogeneous and the stiffest when compared to the less aggressive luminal A and B subtypes. Intriguingly, we quantified the greatest number of infiltrating macrophages and the highest level of TGF beta signaling within the cells at the invasive front. We also established that stroma stiffness and the level of cellular TGF beta signaling positively correlated with each other and with the number of infiltrating tumor-activated macrophages, which was highest in the more aggressive tumor subtypes. These findings indicate that human breast cancer progression and aggression, collagen linearization and stromal stiffening are linked and implicate tissue inflammation and TGF beta.
TL;DR: Multiple potential targets are present at the BTB for innovative contraceptive development and for better delivery of drugs to alleviate toxicant-induced reproductive dysfunction in men, as well as critically evaluate findings in the field regarding studies on drug transporters in the testis.
Abstract: The blood-testis barrier (BTB) is one of the tightest blood-tissue barriers in the mammalian body. It divides the seminiferous epithelium into the basal and the apical (adluminal) compartments. Meiosis I and II, spermiogenesis, and spermiation all take place in a specialized microenvironment behind the BTB in the apical compartment, but spermatogonial renewal and differentiation and cell cycle progression up to the preleptotene spermatocyte stage take place outside of the BTB in the basal compartment of the epithelium. However, the BTB is not a static ultrastructure. Instead, it undergoes extensive restructuring during the seminiferous epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis at stage VIII to allow the transit of preleptotene spermatocytes at the BTB. Yet the immunological barrier conferred by the BTB cannot be compromised, even transiently, during the epithelial cycle to avoid the production of antibodies against meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells. Studies have demonstrated that some unlikely partners, namely adhesion protein complexes (e.g., occludin-ZO-1, N-cadherin-β-catenin, claudin-5-ZO-1), steroids (e.g., testosterone, estradiol-17β), nonreceptor protein kinases (e.g., focal adhesion kinase, c-Src, c-Yes), polarity proteins (e.g., PAR6, Cdc42, 14-3-3), endocytic vesicle proteins (e.g., clathrin, caveolin, dynamin 2), and actin regulatory proteins (e.g., Eps8, Arp2/3 complex), are working together, apparently under the overall influence of cytokines (e.g., transforming growth factor-β3, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1α). In short, a “new” BTB is created behind spermatocytes in transit while the “old” BTB above transiting cells undergoes timely degeneration, so that the immunological barrier can be maintained while spermatocytes are traversing the BTB. We also discuss recent findings regarding the molecular mechanisms by which environmental toxicants (e.g., cadmium, bisphenol A) induce testicular injury via their initial actions at the BTB to elicit subsequent damage to germ-cell adhesion, thereby leading to germ-cell loss, reduced sperm count, and male infertility or subfertility. Moreover, we also critically evaluate findings in the field regarding studies on drug transporters in the testis and discuss how these influx and efflux pumps regulate the entry of potential nonhormonal male contraceptives to the apical compartment to exert their effects. Collectively, these findings illustrate multiple potential targets are present at the BTB for innovative contraceptive development and for better delivery of drugs to alleviate toxicant-induced reproductive dysfunction in men.
01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: The mechanisms by which tumour cells control the cross-regulation between dynamic E-cadherin- mediated cell–cell adhesions and integrin-mediated cell–matrix contacts, which govern the invasive and metastatic potential of tumours are reviewed.
Abstract: E-cadherin is a single-pass transmembrane protein that mediates homophilic cell-cell interactions. Tumour progression is often associated with the loss of E-cadherin function and the transition to a more motile and invasive phenotype. This requires the coordinated regulation of both E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions and integrin-mediated adhesions that contact the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Regulation of both types of adhesion is dynamic as cells respond to external cues from the tumour microenvironment that regulate polarity, directional migration and invasion. Here, we review the mechanisms by which tumour cells control the cross-regulation between dynamic E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions and integrin-mediated cell-matrix contacts, which govern the invasive and metastatic potential of tumours. In particular, we will discuss the role of the adhesion-linked kinases Src, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and integrin-linked kinase (ILK), and the Rho family of GTPases.