The Molecular Endocrinology Programme integrates in-house know-how and the complementary expertise of a large network of collaborators to provide for a multidisciplinary approach involving biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, pathology, medicinal and natural products chemistry and molecular modelling in the study of the above topics. Within the last 5 years, the R&D activities the Programme were supported by 9 competitively funded projects from National and EU sources. During this period, researchers of the Programme were also involved in the training of 5 undergraduate, 3 postgraduate and 4 PhD students and 6 postdoctoral fellows and in transfer of know-how to the industry in the context of 5 joint projects.
Fig. 1. Immunostaining of normal (A) and hyperplastic (B) human breast tissue using home made monoclonal antibody B1C1 to estrogen receptor beta (ERâ1) (x400). (Chantzi et al, Insights into ectopic estrogen receptor expression, nucleocytoplasmic distribution and interaction with chromatin obtained with new antibodies to estrogen receptor á and â.Steroids 2011;76:974-85).
Fig. 2.Differential Estrogen Receptor Subtype Modulators: Crystal structure of (A) estradiol-ERá and (B) raloxifene-ERâ complex (red) superimposed to the global minimum structure of compound 8 on ERá and ERâ, respectively, (blue), as obtained using docking calculations. Only the most important amino acid residues of the ER-binding cavity are shown (Alexi et al, Differential estrogen receptor subtype modulators: assessment of estrogen receptor subtype-binding selectivity and transcription-regulating properties of new cycloalkyl pyrazoles. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009;117:159-67).
Fig. 3. Genome-wide profiles of GR and p65 (NF-kB subunit) binding sites and target genes. RNA Pol II (RNAPII) and GR (left panel) or p65 ChIP-seq data (right panel) illustrate RNAPII occupancy and GR and p65 binding in the promoter and/or within the gene body of target genes upon ligand treatment. RNAPII occupancy was used as a direct read-out of transcription of the regulated genes (Rao et al, Co-activation of GR and NFKB alters the repertoire of their binding sites and target genes. Genome Research 2011 Jul 12).
Competitively funded Projects (2008 - ):
Hellenic General Secretariat for Research and Technology:
Research Funding Program THALES: Project 80038 (2012-15): Development of new selective estrogen receptor modulators for preventing menopause consequences (SERMENCO). Participants: Dept of Pharmacognosy & Natural Products Chemistry - School of Pharmacy - Univ. of Athens, Molecular Endocrinology Programme - IBCMB - NHRF, Dept of Chemistry - Agricultural Univ. of Athens.
Research Funding Program THALES: Project 85355 (2012-15): Molecular sub-typing of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). Participants: Dept of Medical Oncology - School of Medicine - Univ. of Thessaloniki, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory - National Centre of Scientific Research 'Demokritos', Molecular Endocrinology Programme - IBCMB - NHRF and Dept of Basic Medical Sciences - School of Medicine - Univ. of Athens.
Research Funding Programme KRIPIS (2012-2015): Targeted therapeutic approaches against degenerative diseases with emphasis on cancer and aging (STHENOS). IBCMB - NHRF.
09ÓÕÍ-11-1076 (2011-2014): National action 'Cooperation' - Sub-action É: Medium & Small Scale Cooperative Projects: 'Development of natural products and analogues for osteoporosis prevention: transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches. Participants: Dept of Pharmacognosy & Natural Products Chemistry - School of Pharmacy - Univ. of Athens, Molecular Endocrinology Programme - IBCMB - NHRF, Dept of Surgery - School of Medicine - Univ. of Athens, Lavipharm SA.
09ÓÕÍ-11-675 (2010-2014): National action 'Cooperation' - Sub-action ÉÉ: Large Scale Cooperative Projects: "PIK3CA Oncogenic Mutations in Breast and Colon Cancers: Development of Targeted Anticancer Drugs and Diagnostics". Participants: Genetics Division - BRFAA, Signal-mediated Gene Expression - Molecular Endocrinology - Metabolic Engineering & Bioinformatics Programmes - IBCMB - NHRF, BRI - FORTH, ProActina SA, Pharmathen Pharmaceuticals, Bioiatriki.
PENED03-ED644 (2006-09): "In search of a role for estrogen receptor beta in breast cancer". Participants: Molecular Endocrinology Programme - IBRB - NHRF and Dept of Basic Medical Sciences - School of Medicine - Univ. of Athens.
MEST-CT-2005-020575 (2006-10): ''A European Research Training Site for the Design and Synthesis of Novel Neuroprotective and Hypoglycaemic Agents through a Multi-disciplinary approach''. Coordinator: IOPC-NHRF.
FOOD-CT-2005-513943 (2005-10):"ECNIS-Environmental Cancer risks, Nutrition and Individual Susceptibility", Network of Excellence. Coordinator: Dr K Rydzynski. IBRB participants: Chemical Carcinogenesis and Genetic Toxicilogy, Molecular Endocrinology & Enzymology Programmes.
MTKD-CT-2004-509836 (2004-08): "Macromolecular assemblies involved in regulated gene expression: Structure/functional characteristics, interplay and novel functions". Coordinator: Dr A Guialis, IBRB-Molecular Biology Programme. Participants: IBRB-Signal Mediated Gene Expression and Molecular Endocrinology Programmes.
Peer-reviewed publications of the Programme† (2008 - ):
1. Polasek J, Queiroz EF, Marcourt L, Meligova AK, Halabalaki M, Skaltsounis AL, Alexis MN, Prajogo B, Wolfender JL, Hostettmann K. Peltogynoids and 2-Phenoxychromones from Peltophorum pterocarpum and Evaluation of Their Estrogenic Activity. Planta Med. 2013 Apr;79(6):480-6
Roumeliotis TI, Halabalaki M, Alexi X, Ankrett D, Giannopoulou EG, Skaltsounis AL, Sayan BS, Alexis MN, Townsend PA, Garbis SD. Pharmaco-proteomic Study of the Natural Product Ebenfuran III in DU-145 Prostate Cancer Cells: The Quantitative and Temporal Interrogation of Chemically Induced Cell Death at the Protein Level. J Proteome Res. 2013 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print].
Fokialakis N, Alexi X, Aligiannis N, Siriani D, Meligova AK, Pratsinis H, Mitakou S, Alexis MN. Ester and carbamate ester derivatives of Biochanin A: synthesis and in vitro evaluation of estrogenic and antiproliferative activities. Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 May 1;20(9):2962-70.
Simoes DC, Psarra AM, Mauad T, Pantou I, Roussos C, Sekeris CE, Gratziou C. Glucocorticoid and estrogen receptors are reduced in mitochondria of lung epithelial cells in asthma. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39183.
Psarra AM, Sekeris CE. Glucocorticoids induce mitochondrial gene transcription in HepG2 cells Role of the mitochondrial glucocorticoid receptor. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Oct;1813(10):1814-21.
Chantzi NI, Meligova AK, Dhimolea E, Petrou CC, Mitsiou DJ, Pechtelidou A, Florentin I, Kitraki E, Cordopatis P, Tiniakos DG, Alexis MN. Insights into ectopic estrogen receptor expression, nucleocytoplasmic distribution and interaction with chromatin obtained with new antibodies to estrogen receptor á and â. Steroids 2011 Sep-Oct;76(10-11):974-85.
Rao NRA, McCalman MT, Moulos P, Francoijs KJ, Chatziioannou A, Kolisis FN, Alexis MN, Mitsiou DJ, Stunnenberg HG. Co-activation of GR and NFKB alters the repertoire of their binding sites and target genes. Genome Res. 2011 Sep;21(9):1404-16.
Koufaki M, Tsatsaroni A, Alexi X, Guerrand H, Zerva S, Alexis MN. Isoxazole substituted chromans against oxidative stress-induced neuronal damage. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Aug 15;19(16):4841-50.
Koukoulitsa C, Durdagi S, Siapi E, Villalonga-Barber C, Alexi X, Steele BR, Micha-Screttas M, Alexis MN, Tsantili-Kakoulidou A, Mavromoustakos T. Comparison of thermal effects of stilbenoid analogs in lipid bilayers using differential scanning calorimetry and molecular dynamics: correlation of thermal effects and topographical position with antioxidant activity. Eur Biophys J. 2011 Jul;40(7):865-75.
Lagiou A, Samoli E, Georgila C, Zourna P, Barbouni A, Vassilarou D, Tsikkinis A, Sekeris CE, Trichopoulos D, Lagiou P. Diet and expression of estrogen alpha and progesterone receptors in malignant mammary tissue. Nutr Cancer. 2011 Jan;63(1):65-72.
Villalonga-Barber C, Meligova AK, Alexi X, Steele BR, Kouzinos CE, Screttas CG, Katsanou ES, Micha-Screttas M, Alexis MN. New hydroxystilbenoid derivatives endowed with neuroprotective activity and devoid of interference with estrogen and aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated transcription. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011Jan 1;19(1):339-51.
Koufaki M, Theodorou E, Alexi X, Alexis MN. Synthesis of a second generation chroman/catechol hybrids and evaluation of their activity in protecting neuronal cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Jun 1;18(11):3898-909.
Tchokouaha RF, Alexi X, Chosson E, Besson T, Skaltsounis AL, Seguin E, Alexis MN, Wandji J. Erymildbraedin A and B, two novel cytotoxic dimethylpyrano-isoflavones from the stem bark of Erythrina mildbraedii: evaluation of their activity toward endocrine cancer cells. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2010 Apr;25(2):228-33.
Koufaki M, Theodorou E, Alexi X, Nikoloudaki F, Alexis MN. Synthesis of tropolone derivatives and evaluation of their in vitro neuroprotective activity. Eur J Med Chem. 2010 Mar;45(3):1107-12.
Calogeropoulou T, Avlonitis N, Minas V, Alexi X, Pantzou A, Charalampopoulos I, Zervou M, Vergou V, Katsanou ES, Lazaridis I, Alexis MN, Gravanis A. Novel dehydroepiandrosterone derivatives with antiapoptotic, neuroprotective activity. J Med Chem. 2009 Nov 12;52(21):6569-87.
Alexi X, Kasiotis KM, Fokialakis N, Lambrinidis G, Meligova AK, Mikros E, Haroutounian SA, Alexis MN. Differential estrogen receptor subtype modulators: assessment of estrogen receptor subtype-binding selectivity and transcription-regulating properties of new cycloalkyl pyrazoles. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Nov;117(4-5):159-67.
Djiogue S, Halabalaki M, Alexi X, Njamen D, Fomum ZT, Alexis MN, Skaltsounis AL. Isoflavonoids from Erythrina poeppigiana: evaluation of their binding affinity for the estrogen receptor. J Nat Prod. 2009 Sep;72(9):1603-7.
Koufaki M, Kiziridi C, Alexi X, Alexis MN. Design and synthesis of novel neuroprotective 1,2-dithiolane/chroman hybrids. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Sep 1;17(17):6432-41.
Ioannou E, Abdel-Razik AF, Alexi X, Vagias C, Alexis MN, Roussis V. 9,11-Secosterols with antiproliferative activity from the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Jul 1;17(13):4537-41.
Lagiou P, Samoli E, Lagiou A, Georgila C, Zourna P, Barbouni A, Gkiokas G, Vassilarou D, Tsikkinis A, Sfikas C, Sekeris CE, Hsieh CC, Adami HO, Trichopoulos D. Diet and expression of estrogen alpha and progesterone receptors in the normal mammary gland. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Jul;20(5):601-7.
Psarra AM, Sekeris CE. Glucocorticoid receptors and other nuclear transcription factors in mitochondria and possible functions. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 May;1787(5):431-6. Review.
Lagiou P, Georgila C, Samoli E, Lagiou A, Zourna P, Minaki P, Vassilarou D, Papadiamandis I, Sfikas C, Kalapothaki V, Sekeris CE, Trichopoulos D. Estrogen alpha and progesterone receptor expression in the normal mammary epithelium in relation to breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2009 Jan 15;124(2):440-2.
Ioannou E, Abdel-Razik AF, Zervou M, Christofidis D, Alexi X, Vagias C, Alexis MN, Roussis V. 5alpha,8alpha-Epidioxysterols from the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini and the ascidian Trididemnum inarmatum: isolation and evaluation of their antiproliferative activity. Steroids. 2009 Jan;74(1):73-80.
Halabalaki M, Alexi X, Aligiannis N, Alexis MN, Skaltsounis AL. Ebenfurans IV-VIII from Onobrychis ebenoides: Evidence that C-Prenylation is the Key Determinant of the Cytotoxicity of 3-Formyl-2-arylbenzofurans. J Nat Prod. 2008 Nov 6; 71(11):1934-1937.
Psarra AM, Sekeris CE. Steroid and thyroid hormone receptors in mitochondria. IUBMB Life. 2008 Apr;60(4):210-23. Review.
Ioannou E, Abdel-Razik AF, Alexi X, Vagias C, Alexis MN, Roussis V. Pregnanes with antiproliferative activity from the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini. Tetrahedron 2008; 64:11797-11801.
Tenta R, Pitulis N, Tiblalexi D, Consoulas C, Katopodis H, Konstantinidou E, Manoussakis M, Kletsas D, Alexis MN, Poyatzi A, Koutsilieris M. Mechanisms of the action of zoledronic acid on human MG-63 osteosarcoma cells. Horm Metab Res. 2008 Nov;40(11):737-45.
Bakas P, Liapis A, Vlahopoulos S, Giner M, Logotheti S, Creatsas G, Meligova AK, Alexis MN, Zoumpourlis V. Estrogen receptor alpha and beta in uterine fibroids: a basis for altered estrogen responsiveness. Fertil Steril. 2008 Nov;90(5):1878-85.
Psarra AM, Sekeris CE. Nuclear receptors and other nuclear transcription factors in mitochondria: regulatory molecules in a new environment. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jan;1783(1):1-11.
† Includes publications by former MEP researcher Professor CE Sekeris (deceased Sept 2009).
Fokialakis N, Aligiannis N, Mitakou S, Skaltsounis AL, Pratsinis H, Alexis MN. Ïnobrychis and Genista products for the prevention and treatment of hormone-dependent disorders. Ï.Â.É. 1004825
Alexis MN, Dimolea E, Florentin I, Pechtelidou A and Sekeris CE. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to glucococorticoid and estrogen receptors as immunodiagnostics for cancer prognosis. Ï.Â.É. 1005417
Micha-Screttas M, Steele BR, Villalonga-Barber C, Alexis MN. New substituted stilbenoid derivatives with meuroprotective activity. O.B.I. 1005435
Alexis MN, Papahatjis D, Sekeris CE, Assimomitis N, Siriani D. Tissue specific antiestrogens selective for estrogen receptor alpha. Ï.Â.É. 1005694
Gravanis A, Calogeropouloy T, Kastanas E, Margioris A, Charalambopoulos I, Avlonitis N, Minas V, Alexaki VI, Tsatsanis C, Alexis MN, Remboutsika E, Vergou B, Neophytou C. Neurosteroid compounds. W02008155534 Á2. AE, AG, AL, AM, AO, AT, AU, AZ, BA, BB, BG, BH, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, DK, DM, DO, DZ, EC, FF, EG, ES, FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM, GT, HN, HR, HU, ID, IL, IN, IS, JP, KE, KG, KM, KN, KP, KR, KZ, LA, LC, LK, LR, LS, LT, LU, LY, MA, MD, ME, MG, MK, MN, MW, MX, MY, MZ, NA, NG, NI, NO, NZ, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RS, RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, SL, SM, SV, SY, TJ, TM, TN, TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG, US, UZ, VC, VN, ZA, ZM, ZW.
Calogeropoulou T, Alexis MN, Koini E, Avlonitis N, Alexi X. 1,4-Benzoxazine Derivatives. O.B.I. O.B.I. 1007084.