Maria Monti

Professor of Biochemistry

Name Maria
Surname Monti
Institution University of Naples – Federico II
Address UniNa: Department of Chemical Sciences, Via Cinthia, Complesso Monte Sant’Angelo 21, 80126 Naples, Italy. Ceinge: CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate, Via G. Salvatore 486, 80126 Naples, Italy
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Maria Monti


  • Association of human leukocyte antigen-G 14 bp polymorphism with recurrent pregnancy loss in European countries: a meta-analysis of literature studies.

    Publication Date: 04/07/2019 on Fertility and sterility
    by Monti M, Lupoli R, Sosa Fernandez LM, Cirillo F, Di Minno MND
    DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.05.003

    To study the controversial association between human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) 14 bp polymorphism and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). We performed a meta-analysis of studies in the literature that enrolled only women of European countries who experienced RPL spontaneously or after undergoing IVF.

  • Coordinate Modulation of Glycolytic Enzymes and OXPHOS by Imatinib in BCR-ABL Driven Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Cells.

    Publication Date: 27/06/2019 on International journal of molecular sciences
    by De Rosa V, Monti M, Terlizzi C, Fonti R, Del Vecchio S, Iommelli F
    DOI: 10.3390/ijms20133134

    Since many oncogenes, including , may promote the acquisition and maintenance of the glycolytic phenotype, we tested whether treatment of BCR-ABL-driven human leukemia cells with imatinib, a selective BCR-ABL inhibitor, can modulate the expression of key glycolytic enzymes and mitochondrial complex subunits thus causing alterations of glucose metabolism. BCR-ABL-driven K562 and KCL-22 cells were incubated with increasing concentrations of imatinib to preliminarily test drug sensitivity. Then untreated and treated cells were analyzed for levels of BCR-ABL signaling mediators and key proteins of glycolytic cascade and oxidative phosphorylation. Effective inhibition of BCR-ABL caused a concomitant reduction of p-ERK1/2, p-AKT, phosphorylated form of STAT3 (at Tyr705 and Ser727), c-Myc and cyclin D1 along with an increase of cleaved PARP and caspase 3 at 48 h after treatment. Furthermore, a strong reduction of the hexokinase II (HKII), phosphorylated form of PKM2 (at Tyr105 and Ser37) and lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A) was observed in response to imatinib along with a strong upregulation of mitochondrial complexes (OXPHOS). According to these findings, a significant reduction of glucose consumption and lactate secretion along with an increase of intracellular ATP levels was observed in response to imatinib. Our findings indicate that imatinib treatment of BCR-ABL-driven human leukemia cells reactivates mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation thus allowing potential co-targeting of BCR-ABL and OXPHOS.

  • Cardiotoxicity and pro-inflammatory effects of the immune checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab associated to Trastuzumab.

    Publication Date: 17/05/2019 on International journal of cardiology
    by Quagliariello V, Passariello M, Coppola C, Rea D, Barbieri A, Scherillo M, Monti MG, Iaffaioli RV, De Laurentiis M, Ascierto PA, Botti G, De Lorenzo C, Maurea N
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.05.028

    The immunotherapy has revolutionized the world of oncology in the last decades with considerable advantages in terms of overall survival in cancer patients. The association of Pembrolizumab and Trastuzumab was recently proposed in clinical trials for the treatment of Trastuzumab-resistant advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. Although immunotherapies are frequently associated with a wide spectrum of immune-related adverse events, the cardiac toxicity has not been properly studied.

  • The complex CBX7-PRMT1 has a critical role in regulating E-cadherin gene expression and cell migration.

    Publication Date: 28/02/2019 on Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene regulatory mechanisms
    by Federico A, Sepe R, Cozzolino F, Piccolo C, Iannone C, Iacobucci I, Pucci P, Monti M, Fusco A
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2019.02.006

    The Chromobox protein homolog 7 (CBX7) belongs to the Polycomb Group (PcG) family, and, as part of the Polycomb repressive complex (PRC1), contributes to maintain transcriptional gene repression. Loss of CBX7 expression has been reported in several human malignant neoplasias, where it often correlates with an advanced cancer state and poor survival, proposing CBX7 as a candidate tumor-suppressor gene in cancer progression. Indeed, CBX7 is able to positively or negatively regulate the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and cancer progression, such as E-cadherin, cyclin E, osteopontin, EGR1. To understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie the involvement of CBX7 in cancer progression, we designed a functional proteomic experiment based on CHIP-MS to identify novel CBX7 protein partners. Among the identified CBX7-interacting proteins we focused our attention on the Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) whose critical role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer cell migration and invasion has been already reported. We confirmed the interaction between CBX7 and PRMT1 and demonstrated that this interaction is crucial for PRMT1 enzymatic activity both in vitro and in vivo and for the regulation of E-cadherin expression, an important hallmark of EMT. These results suggest a general mechanism by which CBX7 interacting with histone modification enzymes like HDAC2 and PRMT1 enhances E-cadherin expression. Therefore, disruption of this equilibrium may induce impairment of E-cadherin expression and increased cell migration eventually leading to EMT and, then, cancer progression.

  • Platinum(II) <i>O</i>,<i>S</i> Complexes Inhibit the Aggregation of Amyloid Model Systems.

    Publication Date: 14/02/2019 on International journal of molecular sciences
    by Florio D, Malfitano AM, Di Somma S, Mügge C, Weigand W, Ferraro G, Iacobucci I, Monti M, Morelli G, Merlino A, Marasco D
    DOI: 10.3390/ijms20040829

    Platinum(II) complexes with different cinnamic acid derivatives as ligands were investigated for their ability to inhibit the aggregation process of amyloid systems derived from Aβ, Yeast Prion Protein Sup35p and the C-terminal domain of nucleophosmin 1. Thioflavin T binding assays and circular dichroism data indicate that these compounds strongly inhibit the aggregation of investigated peptides exhibiting IC values in the micromolar range. MS analysis confirms the formation of adducts between peptides and Pt(II) complexes that are also able to reduce amyloid cytotoxicity in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Overall data suggests that bidentate ligands based on β-hydroxy dithiocinnamic esters can be used to develop platinum or platinoid compounds with anti-amyloid aggregation properties.

  • TRIM8-driven transcriptomic profile of neural stem cells identified glioma-related nodal genes and pathways.

    Publication Date: 05/12/2018 on Biochimica et biophysica acta. General subjects
    by Venuto S, Castellana S, Monti M, Appolloni I, Fusilli C, Fusco C, Pucci P, Malatesta P, Mazza T, Merla G, Micale L
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.12.001

    We recently reported TRIM8, encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a gene aberrantly expressed in glioblastoma whose expression suppresses cell growth and induces a significant reduction of clonogenic potential in glioblastoma cell lines.

  • Neutrophil Extracellular Traps as an Adhesion Substrate for Different Tumor Cells Expressing RGD-Binding Integrins.

    Publication Date: 09/08/2018 on International journal of molecular sciences
    by Monti M, De Rosa V, Iommelli F, Carriero MV, Terlizzi C, Camerlingo R, Belli S, Fonti R, Di Minno G, Del Vecchio S
    DOI: 10.3390/ijms19082350

    Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), in addition to their function as a host defense mechanism, play a relevant role in thrombus formation and metastatic dissemination of cancer cells. Here we screened different cancer cell lines endogenously expressing a variety of integrins for their ability to bind to NETs. To this end, we used NETs isolated from neutrophil-like cells as a substrate for adhesion assays of HT1080, U-87 MG, H1975, DU 145, PC-3 and A-431 cells. Levels of α5, αIIb, αv, β1, β3 and β5 chains were determined by western blot analysis in all cell lines and levels of whole integrins on the plasma membrane were assessed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. We found that high levels of α5β1, αvβ3 and αvβ5 enhance cell adhesion to NETs, whereas low expression of α5β1 prevents cell attachment to NETs. Excess of cyclic RGD peptide inhibited cell adhesion to NETs by competing with fibronectin within NETs. The maximal reduction of such adhesion was similar to that obtained by DNase 1 treatment causing DNA degradation. Our findings indicate that NETs from neutrophil-like cells may be used as a substrate for large screening of the adhesion properties of cancer cells expressing a variety of RGD-binding integrins.

  • New insights on the functional role of URG7 in the cellular response to ER stress.

    Publication Date: 28/04/2018 on Biology of the cell
    by Armentano MF, Caterino M, Miglionico R, Ostuni A, Pace MC, Cozzolino F, Monti M, Milella L, Carmosino M, Pucci P, Bisaccia F
    DOI: 10.1111/boc.201800004

    Up-regulated Gene clone 7 (URG7) is an ER resident protein, whose expression is upregulated in the presence of hepatitis B virus X antigen (HBxAg) during HBV infection. In virus-infected hepatocytes, URG7 shows an anti-apoptotic activity due to the PI3K/AKT signaling activation, does not seem to have tumorigenic properties, but it appears to promote the development and progression of fibrosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying URG7 activity remain largely unknown.

  • Effects of iron on the aggregation propensity of the N-terminal fibrillogenic polypeptide of human apolipoprotein A-I.

    Publication Date: 05/04/2018 on Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine
    by Del Giudice R, Pesce A, Cozzolino F, Monti M, Relini A, Piccoli R, Arciello A, Monti DM
    DOI: 10.1007/s10534-018-0101-y

    Specific mutations in APOA1 gene lead to systemic, hereditary amyloidoses. In ApoA-I related amyloidosis involving the heart, amyloid deposits are mainly constituted by the 93-residue N-terminal region of the protein, here indicated as [1-93]ApoA-I. Oxidative stress is known to be an enhancing factor for protein aggregation. In healthy conditions, humans are able to counteract the formation and the effects of oxidative molecules. However, aging and atmospheric pollution increase the concentration of oxidative agents, such as metal ions. As the main effect of iron deregulation is proposed to be an increase in oxidative stress, we analysed the effects of iron on [1-93]ApoA-I aggregation. By using different biochemical approaches, we demonstrated that Fe(II) is able to reduce the formation of [1-93]ApoA-I fibrillar species, probably by stabilizing its monomeric form, whereas Fe(III) shows a positive effect on polypeptide fibrillogenesis. We hypothesize that, in healthy conditions, Fe(III) is reduced by the organism to Fe(II), thus inhibiting amyloid formation, whereas during ageing such protective mechanisms decline, thus exposing the organism to higher oxidative stress levels, which are also related to an increase in Fe(III). This alteration could contribute to the pathogenesis of amyloidosis.

  • Inositol trisphosphate receptor type 3-mediated enhancement of EGFR and MET co-targeting efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer detected by 18F-fluorothymidine.

    Publication Date: 04/04/2018 on Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
    by Iommelli F, De Rosa V, Terlizzi C, Monti M, Panico M, Fonti R, Del Vecchio S
    DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3657

    Our aim was to test whether imaging with F-fluorothymidine (F-FLT) PET/CT was able to detect the combined effects of EGFR and MET inhibitors in oncogene-driven non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the enhanced efficacy of drug combination.