Michele I. Vitolo

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The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase subunit PIK3CA is frequently mutated in human cancers. Here we used gene targeting to "knock in" PIK3CA mutations into human breast epithelial cells to identify new therapeutic targets associated with oncogenic PIK3CA. Mutant PIK3CA knockin cells were capable of epidermal growth factor and mTOR-independent cell(More)
A significant anticancer activity of the naturally occurring carbohydrate inositol hexaphosphate (IP(6)) has been reported against numerous cancer models. Since tumors require angiogenesis for growth and metastasis, we hypothesize that IP(6) reduces tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis. Because angiogenesis depends on the interaction between endothelial(More)
The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood predicts poor patient outcome and CTC frequency is correlated with higher risk of metastasis. Recently discovered, novel microtubule-based structures, microtentacles, can enhance reattachment of CTCs to the vasculature. Microtentacles are highly dynamic membrane protrusions formed in detached cells and(More)
Detyrosinated tubulin, a post-translational modification of α-tubulin and a hallmark of stable microtubules, has gained recent attention given its association with tumor progression, invasiveness, and chemoresistance. We also recently reported that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) promotes tubulin detyrosination through tubulin tyrosine ligase(More)
The Runt box domain DNA-binding transcription factors (RUNX) play key roles in hematopoietic, bone, and gastric development. These factors regulate angiogenesis and tumorigenic events, functioning as either activators or repressors of target genes. Although RUNX2 is an essential bone maturation factor, it has also been found to promote transformation in(More)
The PTEN tumor suppressor gene is one of the most commonly mutated genes in human cancer. Because inactivation of PTEN is a somatic event, PTEN mutations represent an important genetic difference between cancer cells and normal cells and therefore a potential anticancer drug target. However, it remains a substantial challenge to identify compounds that(More)
A high proportion of human tumors maintain activation of both the PI3K and Ras/MAPK pathways. In basal-like breast cancer (BBC), PTEN expression is decreased/lost in over 50% of cases, leading to aberrant activation of the PI3K pathway. Additionally, BBC cell lines and tumor models have been shown to exhibit an oncogenic Ras-like gene transcriptional(More)
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) is an important enzyme used in biochemical and medical studies and in several analytical methods that have industrial and commercial application. This work evaluated the extraction of G6PDH in aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) of poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)/phosphate buffer, using as enzyme source a medium prepared(More)
The presence of tumor cells in the circulation is associated with a higher risk of metastasis in patients with breast cancer. Circulating breast tumor cells use tubulin-based structures known as microtentacles (McTNs) to re-attach to endothelial cells and arrest in distant organs. McTN formation is dependent on the opposing cytoskeletal forces of stable(More)
Obscurins are RhoGEF-containing proteins whose downregulation has been implicated in the development and progression of breast cancer. Herein, we aim to elucidate the mechanism for increased motility of obscurin-deficient cells. We show that shRNA-mediated obscurin downregulation in MCF10A cells leads to >50% reduction in RhoA activity relative to scramble(More)