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Epigenetic processes--including DNA methylation--are increasingly seen as having a fundamental role in chronic diseases like cancer. It is well known that methylation levels at particular genes or loci differ between normal and diseased tissue. Here we investigate whether the intra-gene methylation architecture is corrupted in cancer and whether the(More)
Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) is an oncogenic lipid kinase that is overexpressed in breast tumours and linked with poor prognosis, however, its role in obesity-driven breast cancer was never elucidated. Human primary and secondary breast cancer tissues were analysed for SK1 and leptin receptor expression using(More)
Postmenopausal women with elevated serum sex steroids have an increased risk of breast cancer. Most of this risk is believed to be exerted through binding of the sex steroids to their receptors. For the first time, we investigate the association of estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR) serum bioactivity (SB) in addition to hormone levels in(More)
Recently, the network paradigm, an application of graph theory to biology, has proven to be a powerful approach to gaining insights into biological complexity, and has catalyzed the advancement of systems biology. In this perspective and focusing on the immune system, we propose here a more comprehensive view to go beyond the concept of network. We start(More)
BACKGROUND Penetrance for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both in carriers of BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations is disproportionately high. Sex hormone dysregulation and altered end-organ hormone sensitivity might explain this organ-specific penetrance. We sought to identify differences in hormone regulation between carriers of BRCA1/2 and women who are negative for(More)
Many cellular processes require decision making mechanisms, which must act reliably even in the unavoidable presence of substantial amounts of noise. However, the multistable genetic switches that underlie most decision-making processes are dominated by fluctuations that can induce random jumps between alternative cellular states. Here we show, via(More)
The identification of proteasome-generated spliced peptides (PSP) revealed a new unpredicted activity of the major cellular protease. However, so far characterization of PSP was entirely dependent on the availability of patient-derived cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTL) thus preventing a systematic investigation of proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing(More)
Induction of a specific transcriptional program by external signaling inputs is a crucial aspect of intracellular network functioning. The theoretical concept of coexisting attractors representing particular genetic programs is reasonably adapted to experimental observations of "genome-wide" expression profiles or phenotypes. Attractors can be associated(More)
Despite being governed by the principles of nonequilibrium transitions, gene expression dynamics underlying cell fate decision is poorly understood. In particular, the effect of signaling speed on cellular decision making is still unclear. Here we show that the decision between alternative cell fates, in a structurally symmetric circuit, can be biased(More)
Proteasomes are fundamental for the degradation of intracellular proteins, having a key role in several important metabolic and signaling pathways, in the cell cycle and in antigen presentation. In vitro proteasomal digestion assays are widely used in molecular biology and immunology. We developed a model, ProteaMAlg (proteasome modeling algorithm) that(More)