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Special Issue "HMG Proteins in Development and Disease"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Riccardo Sgarra

Department of Life Sciences, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 040 5588721
Interests: high mobility group A (HMGA) proteins; chromatin; protein-protein interactions; post-translational modifications (PTMs); epigenetic; cancer; mass spectrometry; proteomic
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Sabrina Battista

Istituto per l’Endocrinologia e l’Oncologia Sperimentale “G. Salvatore” (IEOS), CNR, Naples, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: HMGA proteins; stem cells; cancer stem cells; cancer; regulation of gene expression; asymmetric division; metabolism; nutrition; translational medicine; tissue engineering
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Manfioletti Guidalberto

Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: high mobility group A (HMGA) proteins; chromatin; regulation of gene expression; protein–protein interactions; post-translational modifications (PTMs); epithelial–mesenchymal transition; proteomics; tumor microenvironment; breast cancer; metastasis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The High Mobility Group (HMG) proteins are chromatin architectural proteins subdivided into three distinct superfamilies: HMGA, HMGB, and HMGN. Each of them has specific and unusual relaxed interaction properties that enable them to interact with different DNA/chromatin sites and several cellular factors. These properties make them relevant hubs in the cellular network; indeed, they have been demonstrated to be key factors in different processes such as transcriptional regulation, embryonic development, cell signalling, DNA repair, apoptosis, maintenance of stemness, and senescence. As a consequence, HMG deregulations and misexpression lead to the development of several diseases/pathologies such as cancer, inflammation, and metabolic-related disorders. Moreover, during the last decades HMG have been demonstrated to have also extra nuclear functions, and indeed they have been found to be present in the cytoplasm and to be secreted/released in the extracellular environment. These peculiarities have significantly enlarged their already huge impact on cellular biology.

This Special Issue of IJMS will focus on the role HMG proteins play in development and disease. Articles submitted can either be original works regarding HMG functional/structural insight or full reviews; however, we kindly encourage authors to provide short and highly focused reviews on specific and hot topics related to HMGA, HMGB, or HMGN proteins.

Dr. Riccardo Sgarra
Dr. Sabrina Battista
Prof. G. Manfioletti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • High Mobility Group proteins
  • chromatin architecture
  • signalling
  • regulatory networks
  • AT-hooks
  • HMG box
  • nucleosome binding domain

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) Chromatin Architectural Factor Modulates Nuclear Stiffness in Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112733
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Plasticity is an essential condition for cancer cells to invade surrounding tissues. The nucleus is the most rigid cellular organelle and it undergoes substantial deformations to get through environmental constrictions. Nuclear stiffness mostly depends on the nuclear lamina and chromatin, which in turn [...] Read more.
Plasticity is an essential condition for cancer cells to invade surrounding tissues. The nucleus is the most rigid cellular organelle and it undergoes substantial deformations to get through environmental constrictions. Nuclear stiffness mostly depends on the nuclear lamina and chromatin, which in turn might be affected by nuclear architectural proteins. Among these is the HMGA1 (High Mobility Group A1) protein, a factor that plays a causal role in neoplastic transformation and that is able to disentangle heterochromatic domains by H1 displacement. Here we made use of atomic force microscopy to analyze the stiffness of breast cancer cellular models in which we modulated HMGA1 expression to investigate its role in regulating nuclear plasticity. Since histone H1 is the main modulator of chromatin structure and HMGA1 is a well-established histone H1 competitor, we correlated HMGA1 expression and cellular stiffness with histone H1 expression level, post-translational modifications, and nuclear distribution. Our results showed that HMGA1 expression level correlates with nuclear stiffness, is associated to histone H1 phosphorylation status, and alters both histone H1 chromatin distribution and expression. These data suggest that HMGA1 might promote chromatin relaxation through a histone H1-mediated mechanism strongly impacting on the invasiveness of cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HMG Proteins in Development and Disease)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Therapeutic strategies targeting HMGB1 to treat
Authors: Sajjad Muhammad, Shafqat Rasul Chaudhry, Nima Etminan, Mika Niemelä and Daniel Hänggi

Title: HMG proteins, from genome architects and regulators to strong inflammatory instigators
Authors: Carme Barrot-Feixat and Jovita Mezquita-Pla

Title: High Mobility Group Box 1 and TLR4 Pathway in the intestine in Gnotobiotic Piglets Colonized/Infected with L. amylovorus, L. mucosae, E. coli Nissle 1917 and S. Typhimurium
Authors: Igor Splichal, Sharon M. Donovan, Vera Jenistova, Iva Splichalova, Eva Vlkova, Vera Neuzil Bunesova, Jiri Killer, Roman Svejstil, Eva Skrivanova, Alla Splichalova *

Title: Role of HMGB1 in Liver Pathogenesis
Authors: Bilon Khambu and Xiao-Ming Yin

Title: HMGA genes and proteins in development and evolution
Authors: Robert Vignali, Silvia Marracci

Title: Clinical Implications of Extracellular HMGA1 in Breast Cancer
Authors: Olga Méndez, Esther Zamora, Cristina Saura, Javier Cortés and Josep Villanueva

Title: Effect of HMGB1 mediated inflammation in hyperglycemic cardiac cells
Authors: Vikram Thakur, Binata Joddar and Munmun  Chattopadhyay *

Title: The role of the mammalian high mobility group protein AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) in adipogenesis
Authors: Linjia Su and Fenfei Leng

Title: HMGA proteins in stem cell fate
Authors: S. Parisi *, D. Castaldo, F. Passaro, G. Minopoli, T. Russo

Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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