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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 3005 matches for " Francesca Zazzeroni "
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Targeting Costimulatory Molecules to Improve Antitumor Immunity
Daria Capece,Daniela Verzella,Mariafausta Fischietti,Francesca Zazzeroni,Edoardo Alesse
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/926321
Abstract: The full activation of T cells necessitates the concomitant activation of two signals, the engagement of T-cell receptor by peptide/major histocompatibility complex II and an additional signal delivered by costimulatory molecules. The best characterized costimulatory molecules belong to B7/CD28 and TNF/TNFR families and play crucial roles in the modulation of immune response and improvement of antitumor immunity. Unfortunately, tumors often generate an immunosuppressive microenvironment, where T-cell response is attenuated by the lack of costimulatory molecules on the surface of cancer cells. Thus, targeting costimulatory pathways represent an attractive therapeutic strategy to enhance the antitumor immunity in several human cancers. Here, latest therapeutic approaches targeting costimulatory molecules will be described.
Serum Biomarkers Identification by Mass Spectrometry in High-Mortality Tumors
Alessandra Tessitore,Agata Gaggiano,Germana Cicciarelli,Daniela Verzella,Daria Capece,Mariafausta Fischietti,Francesca Zazzeroni,Edoardo Alesse
International Journal of Proteomics , 2013, DOI: 10.1155/2013/125858
Abstract: Cancer affects millions of people worldwide. Tumor mortality is substantially due to diagnosis at stages that are too late for therapies to be effective. Advances in screening methods have improved the early diagnosis, prognosis, and survival for some cancers. Several validated biomarkers are currently used to diagnose and monitor the progression of cancer, but none of them shows adequate specificity, sensitivity, and predictive value for population screening. So, there is an urgent need to isolate novel sensitive, specific biomarkers to detect the disease early and improve prognosis, especially in high-mortality tumors. Proteomic techniques are powerful tools to help in diagnosis and monitoring of treatment and progression of the disease. During the last decade, mass spectrometry has assumed a key role in most of the proteomic analyses that are focused on identifying cancer biomarkers in human serum, making it possible to identify and characterize at the molecular level many proteins or peptides differentially expressed. In this paper we summarize the results of mass spectrometry serum profiling and biomarker identification in high mortality tumors, such as ovarian, liver, lung, and pancreatic cancer. 1. Introduction Cancer-related mortality is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The most effective treatment to fight cancer is still early diagnosis. On the other hand, it is known that the correct classification of the tumor, coupled to a suitable therapy and to a stringent follow-up, helps to prevent and detect relapses. Cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, and, at the diagnostic level, is defined by many indexes such as histological grade, tumor stage, patient age, sex and, more importantly, genetic background and profiles. Histological evaluation of tumor specimens obtained from tissue biopsy is the gold standard of diagnosis, but often tumors with the same histopathological features respond differently to the same therapy. New generation diagnostic platforms, previously unavailable, have enabled to better characterize transcriptomic signatures that predict tumor behaviour, helping to define diagnosis, prognosis, and the most appropriate therapies [1–3]. Tumor biomarker discovery in biological fluids, such as serum, plasma, and urine, is one of the most challenging aspects of proteomic research [4]. Many researchers have attempted to identify biomarkers in serum that reflect a particular pathophysiological state. Since the expressed proteins, native, fragmented, or posttranslationally modified, quickly change in response to environmental
The tumor suppressor gene KCTD11REN is regulated by Sp1 and methylation and its expression is reduced in tumors
M Michela Mancarelli, Francesca Zazzeroni, Lucia Ciccocioppo, Daria Capece, Agnese Po, Simona Murgo, Raffaello Di Camillo, Christian Rinaldi, Elisabetta Ferretti, Alberto Gulino, Edoardo Alesse
Molecular Cancer , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-172
Abstract: TSGs often locate at chromosomal regions, which are frequently deleted and/or methylated in tumors. High levels of 17p13 somatic alterations have been showed in several tumors, distal and independent of the p53 locus [1-4].Our group has identified KCTD11 as an immediate-early gene induced by neurogenic signals [5] and encoding a novel adaptor of Cullin3 ubiquitin E3 ligase complex targeting Histone Deacetylase 1 [6]. Importantly, KCTD11 is a novel TSG that inhibits cell growth and is mapping on human chromosome 17p13.2, whose expression is frequently lost in human MB [4].To analyze whether the down-regulation of KCTD11 represents a specific feature of MB, as well to other cancers, we performed a wide screening for KCTD11 expression, analyzing 177 human tumor samples and 177 normal matching samples, representing 18 different cancer types. Normal tissues, including larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, urinary bladder, lung, breast, gallbladder and endometrium, exhibited a nuclear KCTD11 positive immunohistochemical staining between 40 to 78% (Fig. 1B), whereas the matching tumor samples showed a significant reduction of 0 to 18% of nuclear KCTD11 staining (Fig. 1A and 1B). Reduced KCTD11 expression was not observed in thyroid and kidney tumor tissues vs normal suggesting a tumorigenic specific role of KCTD11 for the above mentioned tissues (Fig. 1A and 1B and data not shown). Moreover KCTD11 was undetected both in normal and cancer tissues from liver, lymph-node and exocrine pancreas (data not shown). Together, these findings clearly indicated that selective tissues expressing KCTD11 have down-regulated this gene during tumorigenesis.To understand the transcriptional regulation of KCTD11, we identified and analyzed the promoter region. Human KCTD11 proximal promoter is a 623 bp region (Fig. 2A). It turned out to be a TATA- and CAAT-less promoter. The transcription start site (TSS) was previously identified [4] (Fig. 2A). Using the TRANSFACT software, we identifie
A Novel, Non-canonical Splice Variant of the Ikaros Gene Is Aberrantly Expressed in B-cell Lymphoproliferative Disorders
Daria Capece, Francesca Zazzeroni, Maria Michela Mancarelli, Daniela Verzella, Mariafausta Fischietti, Ambra Di Tommaso, Rita Maccarone, Sara Plebani, Mauro Di Ianni, Alberto Gulino, Edoardo Alesse
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068080
Abstract: The Ikaros gene encodes a Krüppel-like zinc-finger transcription factor involved in hematopoiesis regulation. Ikaros has been established as one of the most clinically relevant tumor suppressors in several hematological malignancies. In fact, expression of dominant negative Ikaros isoforms is associated with adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia and adult and juvenile chronic myeloid leukemia. Here, we report the isolation of a novel, non-canonical Ikaros splice variant, called Ikaros 11 (Ik11). Ik11 is structurally related to known dominant negative Ikaros isoforms, due to the lack of a functional DNA-binding domain. Interestingly, Ik11 is the first Ikaros splice variant missing the transcriptional activation domain. Indeed, we demonstrated that Ik11 works as a dominant negative protein, being able to dimerize with Ikaros DNA-binding isoforms and inhibit their functions, at least in part by retaining them in the cytoplasm. Notably, we demonstrated that Ik11 is the first dominant negative Ikaros isoform to be aberrantly expressed in B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Aberrant expression of Ik11 interferes with both proliferation and apoptotic pathways, providing a mechanism for Ik11 involvement in tumor pathogenesis. Thus, Ik11 could represent a novel marker for B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.
The Use of Materials from Biomass as Construction Materials  [PDF]
Francesca Giglio
Open Journal of Civil Engineering (OJCE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojce.2013.32A009
Abstract:

The paper describes some studies conducted by the author, about low impact materials and, particularly, on alternative uses of biomass materials for building materials. Italy needs to develop renewable energy sources and agriculture offers many opportunities: biomass, vegetable residues for livestock breeding, food industry waste, organic waste, solid biofuels, biogas, and biofuels, will be the new renewable energy sources. Researches for promoting sustainable development, including chemistry field are increasing interest in the exploitation of vegetal biomass, in particular waste as a raw material for production of bio-products and biofuels. Not always, however, the use of waste materials such as biomass is the most appropriate, or in any case, the one with less energy expenditure. As ever more evident, in fact, the construction sector is approaching the possibility of using these materials for other purposes, combining the demands of saving natural resources, the need for energy efficiency in buildings and production processes.

Public Private Partnerships for Transportation Infrastructure Delivery  [PDF]
Francesca Leccis
Open Journal of Social Sciences (JSS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.35004
Abstract:

The term Public Private Partnerships includes different forms of collaboration between the public and the private sector. These formulas are adopted in a constantly increasing number of countries all over the world in order to overcome the chronic lack of funding and ensure the delivery of infrastructure projects. The paper illustrates the vital role of cooperation between public bodies and private entities in the delivery of public transportation infrastructure. In particular, it focuses on toll roads and highways. Key factors of success and risk are identified and illustrated through five case studies from Chile, Hungary, South Africa-Mozambique, United Kingdom and California.

Identity in Sport Teams  [PDF]
Cristina Zucchermaglio, Francesca Alby
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.23031
Abstract: In this paper we analyze identity in a soccer team using a discursive perspective, in which individual psycho-logical functioning is considered to be built in and through social interactions within groups. Analysis is based on naturally-occurring interactions that were audio recorded during technical meetings before and after the match. The data were collected within an ethnographic investigation of an Italian soccer tam carried out over a two-month period. The results show that the team’s members made rhetorical use of a complex repertoire of their own and others’ social identities, and that two main variables influenced the use of social identity markers: a) the role of the speakers (in particular the “power” role of the coach); b) the result of the match around which the interactive discourse revolved. Against this background, we discuss how narratives and identity positionings were used to achieve specific goals and to perform specific actions, such as the planning of future matches and the interpretation of victories and defeats.
Students’ Metaphors for Defining Their Learning Experience with Audio-Visible versus Invisible Authors. Results from a Case Study in a Social Science Discipline  [PDF]
Terry Inglese, Francesca Rigotti
Creative Education (CE) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2011.23025
Abstract: This article summarizes an instructional experience designed and conducted at the University of Lugano – Communication Sciences – (Switzerland) within a Political Theory’s freshmen course, which involved disciplines like: philosophy, political science and epistemology. We offered students two types of authors to be learned: one through a multimedia video interview in combination with written texts of these authors, defined as the audio-visible authors, and one type of author offered only through a text-based format (the invisible author). We gathered quantitative data (students’ performance on their written exam compositions, their grades; the number of written words they wrote; and the number of times students mentioned the two types of authors in their written compositions). We also collected qualitative data (through semi-structured interviews and thinking aloud protocols), analyzing the metaphors students used to define the reading and learning experience with the audio-visible and the invisible authors. Results show that students perform better when the author to be studied is offered with more media instructional supports, they tend to establish a social relationship with the author, and the quality of their critical thinking and the level of interest in a new subject both increase. The article is divided in three parts: we will first give some definitions of what a metaphor is; second, we will describe our case study and the results of the data analysis; third, we will discuss the results.
An Induced Demand Model for High Speed 1 in UK  [PDF]
Francesca Pagliara, John Preston
Journal of Transportation Technologies (JTTs) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2013.31005
Abstract:

Induced travel is an important component of travel demand and increasing attention has been paid to building analytical model to get more precise travel demand forecasting. In general, induced demand can be defined in terms of additional trips that would be made if travel conditions improved (less congested, lower vehicle costs or tolls). In this paper the induced demand resulting from higher design speeds and, therefore by less travel time, for the High Speed 1 in UK will be modelled on the basis of the relationship between existing High Speed Rail demand (dependent variable) to existing High Speed Rail travel times and costs. The covariates include socioeconomic variables related to population and employment in the zones connected by the High Speed Rail services. This model has been calibrated by mean of a before and after study carried on the corridor, when the new High Speed Rail services was introduced. Elasticities of induced travel (trips and VMT) have been computed with respect to fares, travel time and service frequency.

Wild food plants of popular use in Sicily
Francesca Lentini, Francesca Venza
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-3-15
Abstract: Numerous scientific researches conducted in the last few years have revealed that a diet rich in fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts, is the diet considered most ideal in order to maintain good health and prevent various illnesses. Fruit and vegetables are the food that contains a large quantity of vitamins and it is mainly because of this that many researchers have focused their attention on the studies of nutritional plants.Many species have already been examined concerning this aspect but there are nevertheless many more which merit examination. Ethnobotany is a preliminary method of research, suitable for gathering information on the nutritional use of plants. It has been proven, time and time again, that the 'quack' medical knowledge handed down by the common people constitutes sources of information useful for scientific research and that many plants utilised exclusively in popular tradition, when exposed under scientific examination, have been found to be useful for different sectors in the industry [1]. Therefore, science and tradition have a strong connection between them; science, in fact, has often traditional origins.Considering the fact that ethnobotany mainly concentrates on the individuation of plants with an applicative purpose, the authors, that have shown an interest in the argument for a long time, have completed a research conducted on the plants used as food and/or for aromatic purposes in popular, Sicilian tradition and have referred to, in this contribution, the results obtained.One of the main objectives of this research is to individuate, amongst the plants of the Sicilian flora, those more or less known for their nutritional use and to provide suggestions on how to embark upon researches in the medical-nutritional field. In fact, many nutritional plants are also utilised for medical purposes and are often advised as a remedy in order to stabilise alternative functions of the human organism or simply to purify or cure so
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