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See detailNew and Paradoxical Roles of Matrix Metalloproteinases in the Tumor Microenvironment.
Noël, Agnès ULg; Gutierrez-Fernandez, A; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg et al

in Frontiers in Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Drugs (2012), 3(140), 1

Processes such as cell proliferation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, or invasion are strongly influenced by the surrounding microenvironment of the tumor. Therefore, the ability to change these surroundings ... [more ▼]

Processes such as cell proliferation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, or invasion are strongly influenced by the surrounding microenvironment of the tumor. Therefore, the ability to change these surroundings represents an important property through which tumor cells are able to acquire specific functions necessary for tumor growth and dissemination. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) constitute key players in this process, allowing tumor cells to modify the extracellular matrix (ECM) and release cytokines, growth factors, and other cell-surface molecules, ultimately facilitating protease-dependent tumor progression. Remodeling of the ECM by collagenolytic enzymes such as MMP1, MMP8, MMP13, or the membrane-bound MT1-MMP as well as by other membrane-anchored proteases is required for invasion and recruitment of novel blood vessels. However, the multiple roles of the MMPs do not all fit into a simple pattern. Despite the pro-tumorigenic function of certain metalloproteinases, recent studies have shown that other members of these families, such as MMP8 or MMP11, have a protective role against tumor growth and metastasis in animal models. These studies have been further expanded by large-scale genomic analysis, revealing that the genes encoding metalloproteinases, such as MMP8, MMP27, ADAM7, and ADAM29, are recurrently mutated in specific tumors, while several ADAMTSs are epigenetically silenced in different cancers. The importance of these proteases in modifying the tumor microenvironment highlights the need for a deeper understanding of how stroma cells and the ECM can modulate tumor progression. [less ▲]

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See detailHigher sensitivity of Adamts12-deficient mice to tumor growth and angiogenesis.
El Hour, Mehdi ULg; Moncada-Pazos, A.; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in Oncogene (2010), 29(20), 3025-32

ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs) constitute a family of endopeptidases related to matrix metalloproteinases. These proteases have been largely implicated in ... [more ▼]

ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs) constitute a family of endopeptidases related to matrix metalloproteinases. These proteases have been largely implicated in tissue remodeling and angiogenesis associated with physiological and pathological processes. To elucidate the in vivo functions of ADAMTS-12, we have generated a knockout mouse strain (Adamts12−/−) in which Adamts12 gene was deleted. The mutant mice had normal gestations and no apparent defects in growth, life span and fertility. By applying three different in vivo models of angiogenesis (malignant keratinocyte transplantation, Matrigel plug and aortic ring assays) to Adamts12−/− mice, we provide evidence for a protective effect of this host enzyme toward angiogenesis and cancer progression. In the absence of Adamts-12, both the angiogenic response and tumor invasion into host tissue were increased. Complementing results were obtained by using medium conditioned by cells overexpressing human ADAMTS-12, which inhibited vessel outgrowth in the aortic ring assay. This angioinhibitory effect of ADAMTS-12 was independent of its enzymatic activity as a mutated inactive form of the enzyme was similarly efficient in inhibiting endothelial cell sprouting in the aortic ring assay than the wild-type form. Altogether, our results show that ADAMTS-12 displays antiangiogenic properties and protect the host toward tumor progression. [less ▲]

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