Federica Benvenuti

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Upon maturation, dendritic cells (DCs) acquire the unique ability to activate naïve T cells. We used time-lapse video microscopy and two-photon imaging of intact lymph nodes to show that after establishing initial contact between their dendrites and naïve T lymphocytes, mature DCs migrate toward the contacted lymphocytes. Subsequently, the DCs tightly(More)
Improvement of the strategy to target tumor Ags to dendritic cells (DCs) for immunotherapy requires the identification of the most appropriate ligand/receptor pairing. We screened a library of Ab fragments on mouse DCs to isolate new potential Abs capable of inducing protective immune responses. The screening identified a high-affinity Ab against CD36, a(More)
Vaccination with immunogenic formulations of lymphoma-derived immunoglobulin can elicit strong anti-idiotypic immune responses which have proved effective in murine B cell tumor challenge experiments and suggested possible benefits in recent human clinical trials. Naked plasmid DNA vaccines encoding the Id determinants as scFv fragments provide the most(More)
The initiation of adaptive immune responses requires the direct interaction of dendritic cells (DCs) with naive T lymphocytes. It is well established that the maturation state of DCs has a critical impact on the outcome of the response. We show here that mature DCs form stable conjugates with naive T cells and induce the formation of organized immune(More)
The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) is a key regulator of actin polimerization in hematopoietic cells. Mutations in WASp cause a severe immunodeficiency characterized by defective initiation of primary immune response and autoimmunity. The contribution of altered dendritic cells (DCs) functions to the disease pathogenesis has not been fully(More)
Mammary epithelial stem cells are fundamental to maintain tissue integrity. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are implicated in both treatment resistance and disease relapse, and the molecular bases of their malignant properties are still poorly understood. Here we show that both normal stem cells and CSCs of the breast are controlled by the prolyl-isomerase Pin1.(More)
The immune synapse (IS) forms as dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells interact in lymph nodes during initiation of adaptive immunity. Factors that contribute to the formation and maintenance of IS stability and function have been mostly studied in T cells, whereas little is known about events occurring during synapse formation in DCs. Here, we show that DCs(More)
Mutations in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) protein (WASp), a regulator of actin dynamics in hematopoietic cells, cause WAS, an X-linked primary immunodeficiency characterized by recurrent infections and a marked predisposition to develop autoimmune disorders. The mechanisms that link actin alterations to the autoimmune phenotype are still poorly(More)
DNA vaccines encoding the idiotype of immunoglobulins of tumour B cells were shown to induce protection in several mouse lymphoma models. The mechanism of rejection of tumour cells has not been fully understood, but there is strong evidence suggesting that engagement of the idiotype by anti-idiotypic antibodies may directly result in inhibition of tumour(More)