Alfredo A. Molinolo

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The Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) has been identified as the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), but initial events leading to KS development remain unclear. Characterization of the KSHV genome reveals the presence of numerous potential oncogenes. To address their contribution to the initiation of the endothelial cell-derived KS tumor, we(More)
Multiple genetic and epigenetic events, including the aberrant expression and function of molecules regulating cell signaling, growth, survival, motility, angiogenesis, and cell cycle control, underlie the progressive acquisition of a malignant phenotype in squamous carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC). In this regard, there has been a recent explosion(More)
The molecular mechanisms that contribute to the initiation and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not been completely delineated. Our observations indicate that defects in the transforming growth factor-β and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways are common in human HNSCCs. Conditional activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway due to Pten(More)
Despite recent emerging evidence suggesting that cancer stem cells subsist in a variety of tumors, it is not yet fully elucidated whether postnatal stem cells are directly involved in tumorigenesis. We used murine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) as a model to test a hypothesis that tumorigenesis may originate from spontaneous mutation of(More)
Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 (HAI-1) is a Kunitz-type transmembrane serine protease inhibitor that forms inhibitor complexes with several trypsin-like serine proteases and is required for mouse placental development and embryo survival. Here we show that the essential function of HAI-1 in placentation and all other embryonic processes is(More)
Squamous carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) represent the sixth most common cancer among men worldwide and a major cause of morbidity and mortality due to its relatively poor prognosis. As part of ongoing studies addressing the molecular events underlying tumor progression in HNSCC, we have explored the nature of the proliferative pathways in which(More)
Overexpression of the type II transmembrane serine protease matriptase is a highly consistent feature of human epithelial tumors. Here we show that matriptase possesses a strong oncogenic potential when unopposed by its endogenous inhibitor, HAI-1. Modest orthotopic overexpression of matriptase in the skin of transgenic mice caused spontaneous squamous cell(More)
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in females worldwide. It is accepted that breast cancer is not a single disease, but instead constitutes a spectrum of tumor subtypes with distinct cellular origins, somatic changes, and etiologies. Molecular gene expression studies have divided breast cancer into(More)
The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) has emerged as a potential regulator of cell adhesion, cell migration, proliferation, differentiation, and cell survival in multiple physiologic and pathologic contexts. The urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) was the first identified ligand for uPAR, but elucidation of the specific functions of the(More)
Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitors (HAI)-1 and -2 are recently identified and closely related Kunitz-type transmembrane serine protease inhibitors. Whereas HAI-1 is well established as an inhibitor of the serine proteases matriptase and hepatocyte growth factor activator, the physiological targets of HAI-2 are unknown. Here we show that HAI-2(More)