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1.  The coding genome of splenic marginal zone lymphoma: activation of NOTCH2 and other pathways regulating marginal zone development 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2012;209(9):1537-1551.
Notch2 mutations represent the most frequent lesion in splenic marginal zone lymphoma.
Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) is a B cell malignancy of unknown pathogenesis, and thus an orphan of targeted therapies. By integrating whole-exome sequencing and copy-number analysis, we show that the SMZL exome carries at least 30 nonsilent gene alterations. Mutations in NOTCH2, a gene required for marginal-zone (MZ) B cell development, represent the most frequent lesion in SMZL, accounting for ∼20% of cases. All NOTCH2 mutations are predicted to cause impaired degradation of the NOTCH2 protein by eliminating the C-terminal PEST domain, which is required for proteasomal recruitment. Among indolent B cell lymphoproliferative disorders, NOTCH2 mutations are restricted to SMZL, thus representing a potential diagnostic marker for this lymphoma type. In addition to NOTCH2, other modulators or members of the NOTCH pathway are recurrently targeted by genetic lesions in SMZL; these include NOTCH1, SPEN, and DTX1. We also noted mutations in other signaling pathways normally involved in MZ B cell development, suggesting that deregulation of MZ B cell development pathways plays a role in the pathogenesis of ∼60% SMZL. These findings have direct implications for the treatment of SMZL patients, given the availability of drugs that can target NOTCH, NF-κB, and other pathways deregulated in this disease.
PMCID: PMC3428941  PMID: 22891273
2.  Analysis of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia coding genome: role of NOTCH1 mutational activation 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(7):1389-1401.
Next generation sequencing and copy number analysis provide insights into the complexity of the CLL coding genome, and reveal an association between NOTCH1 mutational activation and poor prognosis.
The pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia in adults, is still largely unknown. The full spectrum of genetic lesions that are present in the CLL genome, and therefore the number and identity of dysregulated cellular pathways, have not been identified. By combining next-generation sequencing and copy number analysis, we show here that the typical CLL coding genome contains <20 clonally represented gene alterations/case, including predominantly nonsilent mutations, and fewer copy number aberrations. These analyses led to the discovery of several genes not previously known to be altered in CLL. Although most of these genes were affected at low frequency in an expanded CLL screening cohort, mutational activation of NOTCH1, observed in 8.3% of CLL at diagnosis, was detected at significantly higher frequency during disease progression toward Richter transformation (31.0%), as well as in chemorefractory CLL (20.8%). Consistent with the association of NOTCH1 mutations with clinically aggressive forms of the disease, NOTCH1 activation at CLL diagnosis emerged as an independent predictor of poor survival. These results provide initial data on the complexity of the CLL coding genome and identify a dysregulated pathway of diagnostic and therapeutic relevance.
PMCID: PMC3135373  PMID: 21670202
3.  Lipid-based supramolecular systems for topical application: A preformulatory study 
AAPS PharmSci  2003;5(4):62-76.
This article describes the production and characterization of monoglyceride-based supramolecular systems by a simple processing technique, avoiding time-consuming procedures, high energy input, and the use of organic solvents. A preformulatory study was performed to study the influence of the experimental parameters on the production of monoglyceride-based disperse systems. In particular the effects of (1) stirring speed, (2) type and concentration of monoglyceride mixture, and (3) type and concentration of surfactant were investigated on the recovery, fraction of larger particles, mean diameter, and shape of smaller particles (so called nanosomes). Dispersions were first characterized by optical microscopy and freeze-fracture electron microscopy. The mean diameter of standard nanosomes, analyzed by photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) after elimination of larger particles by filtration, was 193.5 nm. Cryotransmission electron microscopy studies, conducted in order to investigate the structure of dispersions, showed the coexistence of vesicles and particles characterized by a cubic organization. X-ray diffraction data revealed the coexistence of 2 different cubic phases, the first being a bicontinuous cubic phase of spatial symmetry Im3m (Q229) and the second belonging to the Pn3m spatial symmetry. A study on the stability of monoglyceride-based dispersions based on macroscopical analysis of organoleptic properties and dimensional analysis by time was performed after elimination of larger particles by filtration. Organoleptic and morphological features do not change by time, appearing free from phase-separation phenomena for almost 1 year from production. PCS studies showed that nanosomes undergo an initial increase in mean diameter within the first month following production; afterwards they generally maintain their dimensions for the next 4 months.
PMCID: PMC2750992  PMID: 15198518
monoglycerides; nanosome dispersions; photon correlation spectroscopy

Results 1-3 (3)