Laura Asnaghi

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Although Notch signaling has been widely implicated in neoplastic growth, direct evidence for in vivo initiation of neoplasia by the pathway in murine models has been limited to tumors of lymphoid, breast, and choroid plexus cells. To examine tumorigenic potential in the eye and brain, we injected retroviruses encoding activated forms of Notch1, Notch2, or(More)
PURPOSE To determine whether uveal melanoma, the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults, requires Notch activity for growth and metastasis. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Expression of Notch pathway members was characterized in primary tumor samples and in cell lines, along with the effects of Notch inhibition or activation on tumor growth and(More)
In cell lines from advanced lung cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma, endogenous tensin-3 contributes to cell migration, anchorage-independent growth, and tumorigenesis. Although SH2 domains have not been reported previously to be phosphorylated, the tensin-3 SH2 domain is a physiologic substrate for Src. Tyrosines in the SH2 domain contribute to the(More)
During eye development, apoptosis is vital to the maturation of highly specialized structures such as the lens and retina. Several forms of apoptosis have been described, including anoikis, a form of apoptosis triggered by inadequate or inappropriate cell-matrix contacts. The anoikis regulators, Bit1 (Bcl-2 inhibitor of transcription-1) and protein kinase-D(More)
PURPOSE Expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1-regulated gene product, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), correlates with tumor vascularity in patients with uveal melanoma (UM). While the relationship between HIF-1 and VEGF in cancer is well-studied, their relative contribution to the angiogenic phenotype in UM has not previously been(More)
Previously we reported the novel observation that astrocytes ensheath the persistent hyaloid artery, both in the Nuc1 spontaneous mutant rat, and in human PFV (persistent fetal vasculature) disease (Developmental Dynamics 234:36-47, 2005). We now show that astrocytes isolated from both the optic nerve and retina of Nuc1 rats migrate faster than wild type(More)
PURPOSE Uveal melanoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults. Although local disease can be controlled with radiation therapy or enucleation, many cases are complicated by metastases, which account for the significant mortality from this disease. To date, no chemotherapeutic regimens effectively treat local or metastatic disease.(More)
PURPOSE Controlling the spread of uveal melanoma is key to improving survival of patients with this common intraocular malignancy. The Notch ligand Jag2 has been shown to be upregulated in primary tumors that metastasize, and we therefore investigated its role in promoting invasion and clonogenic growth of uveal melanoma cells. METHODS mRNA and protein(More)
PURPOSE Transcription factors regulating the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program contribute to carcinogenesis and metastasis in many tumors, including cutaneous melanoma. However, little is known about the role of EMT factors in the growth and metastatic dissemination of uveal melanoma cells. Here, we analyzed the expression and functions of(More)
The transcriptional response promoted by hypoxia-inducible factors has been associated with metastatic spread of uveal melanoma. We found expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) protein in well-vascularized tumor regions as well as in four cell lines grown in normoxia, thus this pathway may be important even in well-oxygenated uveal melanoma(More)