Why Is Autophagy Important for Melanoma? Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications.

Why is Autophagy Important for Melanoma? Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications.

Semin Cancer Biol. 2013 Jul 12;
Corazzari M, Fimia GM, Lovat P, Piacentini M

As the principle lysosomal mediated mechanism for the degradation of aged or damaged organelles and proteins, autophagy (self-eating) is generally considered a pro-survival process activated by cells to sustain life in presence of adverse environmental conditions such as nutrient shortage and/or in presence of cytotoxic compounds [1]. Upon activation, cytoplasmic material is sequestered into double-membrane vesicles (autophagosomes) then targeted for degradation by fusion with lysosomes (autolysosomes); metabolic activity and cell survival are consequently sustained by recycling the degradation products. Basal autophagy occurs in almost all cell types, though at different degree, as a finely regulated “quality control” process to prevent cell damage, for the demolition of cellular structures during cell/tissue remodelling, and to ensure the maintenance of cellular homeostasis through recycling cellular components/molecules [2,3]. Autophagy is stimulated in response to both physiological and pathological conditions such as starvation, hypoxia and low energy, pathogen infection and protein aggregates. Although it’s clear that autophagy is also involved in cancer, its role, however, is complex since it can both suppress and promote tumorigenesis [4]. Consequently it is generally accepted that while autophagy is used by advanced stage cancers to maintain tumour survival, loss of autophagy in earlier stages is associated with tumour development. Accordingly, it is now apparent that aberrant control of autophagy is among key hallmarks of cancer, with several studies now demonstrating this process is deregulated also in melanoma [5,6]. HubMed – eating

Brain volumetric abnormalities in patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa: A Voxel-based morphometry study.

Psychiatry Res. 2013 Jul 12;
Amianto F, Caroppo P, D’Agata F, Spalatro A, Lavagnino L, Caglio M, Righi D, Bergui M, Abbate-Daga G, Rigardetto R, Mortara P, Fassino S

Recent studies focussing on neuroimaging features of eating disorders have observed that anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by significant grey matter (GM) atrophy in many brain regions, especially in the cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. To date, no studies have found GM atrophy in bulimia nervosa (BN) or have directly compared patients with AN and BN. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to characterize brain abnormalities in AN and BN patients, comparing them with each other and with a control group, and correlating brain volume with clinical features. We recruited 17 AN, 13 BN and 14 healthy controls. All subjects underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a T1-weighted 3D image. VBM analysis was carried out with the FSL-VBM 4.1 tool. We found no global atrophy, but regional GM reduction in AN with respect to controls and BN in the cerebellum, fusiform area, supplementary motor area, and occipital cortex, and in the caudate in BN compared to AN and controls. Both groups of patients had a volumetric increase bilaterally in somatosensory regions with respect to controls, in areas that are typically involved in the sensory-motor integration of body stimuli and in mental representation of the body image. Our VBM study documented, for the first time in BN patients, the presence of volumetric alterations and replicated previous findings in AN patients. We evidenced morphological differences between AN and BN, demonstrating in the latter atrophy of the caudate nucleus, a region involved in reward mechanisms and processes of self-regulation, perhaps involved in the genesis of the binge-eating behaviors of this disorder. HubMed – eating

Formative research on HAPA model determinants for fruit and vegetable intake: target beliefs for audiences at different stages of change.

Health Educ Res. 2013 Jul 15;
Godinho CA, Alvarez MJ, Lima ML

Theoretically driven health communications are needed to promote fruit and vegetable intake among people at different stages of change. The Health Action Process Approach, a clearly specified model and good predictor of fruit and vegetable intake, was used as a framework to guide a formative research for the development of health messages targeting individuals at either a non-intentional or intentional stage of change. A mixed-method approach was used, combining eight focus groups (n = 45) and a questionnaire (n = 390). Target beliefs for people at both stages were identified under five theoretical constructs (risk perception, outcome expectancies, action planning, coping planning and self-efficacy). Highlighting health problems due to low fruit and vegetable consumption, health benefits, weight reduction and pleasure and enhancing self-efficacy to increase fruit and vegetable intake are the main guidelines for designing messages to non-intenders. For intenders, messages should reassure them of their ability to maintain adequate fruit and vegetable consumption, outline specific plans for increased consumption, identify barriers such as preparation, forgetting or being tired and unwilling to eat fruits and vegetables and suggest strategies to overcome them, such as presenting some practical examples on how to include fruits and vegetables when eating out. HubMed – eating