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See detailTissue factor induced by epithelial-mesenchymal transition triggers a pro-coagulant state that drives metastasis of circulating tumor cells.
Bourcy, Morgane ULg; Suarez-Carmona, Meggy ULg; Lambert, Justine ULg et al

in Cancer Research (2016)

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is prominent in circulating tumor cells (CTC), but how it influences metastatic spread in this setting is obscure. Insofar as blood provides a specific ... [more ▼]

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is prominent in circulating tumor cells (CTC), but how it influences metastatic spread in this setting is obscure. Insofar as blood provides a specific microenvironment for tumor cells, we explored a potential link between EMT and coagulation that may provide EMT-positive CTC with enhanced colonizing properties. Here we report that EMT induces tissue factor (TF), a major cell-associated initiator of coagulation and related pro-coagulant properties in the blood. TF blockade by antibody or shRNA diminished the pro-coagulant activity of EMT-positive cells, confirming a functional role for TF in these processes. Silencing the EMT transcription factor ZEB1 inhibited both EMT-associated TF expression and coagulant activity, further strengthening the link between EMT and coagulation. Accordingly, EMT-positive cells exhibited a higher persistance/survival in the lungs of mice colonized after intravenous injection, a feature diminished by TF or ZEB1 silencing. In tumor cells with limited metastatic capability, enforcing expression of the EMT transcription factor Snail increased TF, coagulant properties and early metastasis. Clinically, we identified a subpopulation of CTC expressing vimentin and TF in the blood of metastatic breast cancer patients consistent with our observations. Overall, our findings define a novel EMT-TF regulatory axis which triggers local activation of coagulation pathways to support metastatic colonization of EMT-positive CTC. [less ▲]

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See detailInterplay between KLF4 and ZEB2/SIP1 in the regulation of E-cadherin expression.
Koopmansch, Benjamin ULg; Berx, Geert; Foidart, Jean-Michel ULg et al

in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2013), 431(4), 652

E-cadherin expression is repressed by ZEB2/SIP1 while it is induced by KLF4. Independent data from the literature indicate that these two transcription factors could bind close to each other in the ... [more ▼]

E-cadherin expression is repressed by ZEB2/SIP1 while it is induced by KLF4. Independent data from the literature indicate that these two transcription factors could bind close to each other in the proximal region of the E-cadherin gene promoter. We have here explored a potential competition between ZEB2 and KLF4 for the binding to the E-cadherin promoter. We show an inverse correlation between ZEB2 expression levels and KLF4 recruitment on the E-cadherin promoter in three breast cancer cell lines and in A431/HA.ZEB2 cells in which ZEB2 expression is induced by doxycycline (DOX). We identified a region of the E-cadherin promoter bound by KLF4 which is necessary for the activation of the E-cadherin promoter activity after KLF4 overexpression. This region is localized between positions -28 and -10 and thus overlaps with one of the ZEB2 binding sites. Deleting the bipartite ZEB2 binding site results in increased KLF4 induced E-cadherin promoter activity. Taken together, our results suggest that E-cadherin expression in cancer cells is controlled by a balance between ZEB2 and KLF4 expression levels. [less ▲]

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See detailTransforming growth factor-beta1-mediated Slug and Snail transcription factor up-regulation reduces the density of Langerhans cells in epithelial metaplasia by affecting E-cadherin expression
Herfs, Michael ULg; Hubert, Pascale ULg; Kholod, Natalia et al

in American Journal of Pathology (2008), 172(5), 1391-402

Epithelial metaplasia (EpM) is an acquired tissue abnormality resulting from the transformation of epithelium into another tissue with a different structure and function. This adaptative process is ... [more ▼]

Epithelial metaplasia (EpM) is an acquired tissue abnormality resulting from the transformation of epithelium into another tissue with a different structure and function. This adaptative process is associated with an increased frequency of (pre)cancerous lesions. We propose that EpM is involved in cancer development by altering the expression of adhesion molecules important for cell-mediated antitumor immunity. Langerhans cells (LCs) are intraepithelial dendritic cells that initiate immune responses against viral or tumor antigens on both skin and mucosal surfaces. In the present study, we showed by immunohistology that the density of CD1a LCs is reduced in EpM of the uterine cervix compared with native squamous epithelium and that the low number of LCs observed in EpM correlates with the down-regulation of cell-surface E-cadherin. We also demonstrated that transforming growth factor- 1 is not only overexpressed in metaplastic tissues but also reduces E-cadherin expression in keratinocytes in vitro by inducing the promoter activity of Slug and Snail transcription factors. Finally, we showed that in vitro-generated LCs adhere poorly to keratinocytes transfected with either Slug or Snail DNA. These data suggest that transforming growth factor- 1 indirectly reduces antigenpresenting cell density in EpM by affecting E-cadherin expression, which might explain the increased susceptibility of abnormal tissue differentiation to the development of cancer by the establishment of local immunodeficiency responsible for EpM tumorigenesis. [less ▲]

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