Francesca Degrassi

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In mitotic cells, an error in chromosome segregation occurs when a chromosome is left near the spindle equator after anaphase onset (lagging chromosome). In PtK1 cells, we found 1.16% of untreated anaphase cells exhibiting lagging chromosomes at the spindle equator, and this percentage was enhanced to 17.55% after a mitotic block with 2 microM nocodazole. A(More)
Molecular cytogenetic methods were applied to investigate the effect of the occupational exposure to low concentrations of benzene and petroleum fuels on genomic stability. Twelve male gasoline station attendants (average benzene exposure of 0.32 mg/m3 as 8h TWA) and 12 age- and smoking-matched unexposed controls were selected for the study. The incidence(More)
In this work we have applied in situ hybridization with alphoid centromeric probes specific to chromosomes 7 and 11 to ana-telophase cells from human primary fibroblasts. The aim was to visualize the events leading to aneuploidy directly during anaphase, analyse the induction of aneuploidy during this mitotic stage and compare the frequencies of chromosome(More)
The aim of the present work was to investigate the processes involved in the origin of trisomic karyotypes, i.e. co-migration of sister chromatids (mitotic non-disjunction, MND) and recovery of micronuclei (MN) originating from lagging chromosomes/chromatids at anaphase (mitotic indirect non-disjunction, MIND), and to evaluate their relative contribution to(More)
Centrosomes are the major sites for microtubule nucleation in mammalian cells, although both chromatin- and kinetochore-mediated microtubule nucleation have been observed during spindle assembly. As yet, it is still unclear whether these pathways are coregulated, and the molecular requirements for microtubule nucleation at kinetochore are not fully(More)
Intra- and interindividual variations of baseline frequencies of cytogenetic end points in lymphocytes of human populations have been reported by various authors. Personal characteristics seem to account for a significant proportion of this variability. Several studies investigating the role of age as a confounding factor in cytogenetic biomonitoring found(More)
BACKGROUND Highly Expressed in Cancer protein 1 (Hec1) is a constituent of the Ndc80 complex, a kinetochore component that has been shown to have a fundamental role in stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment, chromosome alignment and spindle checkpoint activation at mitosis. HEC1 RNA is found up-regulated in several cancer cells, suggesting a role for(More)
Glioblastomas are the most common brain tumors in humans. Previously, we demonstrated that the muscarinic receptor agonist, arecaidine propargyl ester, via M2 receptors, inhibits cell proliferation in a time and dose-dependent manner and induces a severe apoptosis in human U251 and U87 glioblastoma cell lines. In order to clarify the mechanisms causing(More)
The process of cell division represents an extraordinary target to develop antitumor therapies. Indeed, a large number of clinically relevant anti-cancer drugs, such as taxanes and vinca alkaloids, target mitosis by stimulating or inhibiting microtubule (MT) polymerization. During the past decades anti-tubulin drugs have proven very effective against a wide(More)