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See detailUnravelling the roles of lysine acetylation by Elp3 during inner ear development
Mateo Sanchez, Susana ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Laguesse, Sophie ULg et al

Poster (2013, May 31)

Given the importance of acetylation homeostasis in controlling developmental processes, we planned to investigate its role in inner ear formation and focused our attention on Elp3 acetyl-transferase, a ... [more ▼]

Given the importance of acetylation homeostasis in controlling developmental processes, we planned to investigate its role in inner ear formation and focused our attention on Elp3 acetyl-transferase, a member of the Elongator complex recently implicated in neurogenesis. We first analysed the spatio-temporal pattern of ELp3 mRNA expression and showed that it was expressed in the early otocyst at E11.5 and persisted later in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea, the spiral ganglion, the stria vascularis and the vestibule. To unravel functions of Elp3 in the inner ear, we used conditional knock-out mice in which Elp3 gene is deleted from early otocyst (Elp3 cKO). We submitted these mice to a battery of vestibular testing and found significant abnormalities. Besides, the auditory brain stem response of Elp3 cKO indicated that these mice are severely deaf. At the cellular level, we detected some defaults in the planar orientation of the auditory hair cell bundle. In addition, the length of the kinocilium was significantly reduced both in vestibular and cochlear hair cells from Elp3 cKO mice. We were also able to demonstrate an increased level of apoptosis in the Elp3 cKO spiral ganglion at E14.5 leading to a reduced number of fibers innervating the cochlear hair cells as well as a reduced number of their synaptic ribbons. In conclusion, our results clearly show a role for Elp3 both in hearing and balance. We plan to go deeper in the mechanisms involved through the identification of the proteins that are targeted for acetylation by Elp3. [less ▲]

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See detailUnravelling the roles of lysine acetylation by Elp3 during inner ear development
Mateo Sanchez, Susana ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Laguesse, Sophie ULg et al

Poster (2013, January 28)

The inner ear is composed of the vestibular system that controls balance, and the cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing. In both parts of the inner ear, sensory epithelia comprise supporting cells ... [more ▼]

The inner ear is composed of the vestibular system that controls balance, and the cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing. In both parts of the inner ear, sensory epithelia comprise supporting cells surrounding the sensory hair cells. These cells bear at their apical surface a staircase-structured bundle, consisting of multiple rows of actin-based stereocilia and a single tubulin-based kinocilium. This hair bundle allows the transduction from mechanical stimuli, initiated by sound or gravitational changes, to electrical signals that will then be transmitted by neurons from the spiral ganglion (innervating hair cells of the cochlea) or the vestibular ganglion. The inner ear organogenesis requires a tightly regulated transcriptional program that can be affected by post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications among which lysine acetylation. Given the importance of acetylation homeostasis in controlling developmental processes, we planned to investigate its role in inner ear formation and focused our attention on Elp3 acetyl-transferase, a member of the Elongator complex recently implicated in neurogenesis. To determine the role of Elp3 in the inner ear, we first determine the spatio-temporal pattern of ELp3 mRNA expression and showed that it was expressed in the entire early otocyst at E11.5 and persisted later in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea (the organ of Corti), in the spiral ganglion, in the stria vascularis and in the vestibule. To unravel in vivo functions of Elp3 in the inner ear, we have generated conditional knock-out mice (Elp3 cKO). We submitted these mice to a battery of vestibular testing (i.e. stereotyped circling ambulation, head bobbing, retropulsion, and absence of reaching response in the tail-hanging test) and found significant abnormalities. Besides, compared to wild-type mice, the auditory brain stem response of Elp3 cKO indicated that these mice are severely deaf. At the cellular level, we did not found any structural abnormalities nor cell patterning impairments that could explain deafness or balance dysfunction in Elp3 cKO mice. However, we detected some defaults in the planar orientation of their auditory hair cell bundle. In addition, the length of the kinocilium was significantly reduced both in vestibular and cochlear hair cells from Elp3 cKO mice compared with wild type littermates. We were also able to demonstrate an increased level of apoptosis in the Elp3 cKO spiral ganglion at E14.5 leading to a reduced number of fibers innervating the cochlear hair cells as well as a reduced number of their synaptic ribbons at P0 and P15. In conclusion, our results clearly showed a role of Elp3 both in hearing and balance. We plan to go deeper in the mechanisms involved through the identification of the proteins acetylated by Elp3. [less ▲]

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See detailGene transfer in inner ear cells: a challenging race
Sacheli, Rosalie ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Van Den Ackerveken, Priscilla ULg et al

in Gene Therapy (2013), 20

Recent advances in human genomics led to the identification of numerous defective genes causing deafness, which represent novel putative therapeutic targets. Future gene-based treatment of deafness ... [more ▼]

Recent advances in human genomics led to the identification of numerous defective genes causing deafness, which represent novel putative therapeutic targets. Future gene-based treatment of deafness resulting from genetic or acquired sensorineural hearing loss may include strategies ranging from gene therapy to antisense delivery. For successful development of gene therapies, a minimal requirement involves the engineering of appropriate gene carrier systems. Transfer of exogenous genetic material into the mammalian inner ear using viral or non-viral vectors has been characterized over the last decade. The nature of inner ear cells targeted, as well as the transgene expression level and duration, are highly dependent on the vector type, the route of administration and the strength of the promoter driving expression. This review summarizes and discusses recent advances in inner ear gene-transfer technologies aimed at examining gene function or identifying new treatment for inner ear disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluating Effects of Tyrosine Phosphatase Inhibitors on T Cell Receptor Signaling
Rahmouni, Souad ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Liu, Wallace et al

in Phosphatase Modulators, Methods in Molecular Biology (2013)

The importance of tyrosine phosphorylation in normal cell physiology is well established, highlighted by the many human diseases that stem from abnormalities in protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) and protein ... [more ▼]

The importance of tyrosine phosphorylation in normal cell physiology is well established, highlighted by the many human diseases that stem from abnormalities in protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) and protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) function. Contrary to earlier assumptions, it is now clear that both PTKs and PTPs are highly specific, non-redundant, and tightly regulated enzymes. Hematopoietic cells express particularly high numbers of PTKs and PTPs, and aberrant function of these proteins have been linked to many hematopoietic disorders. While PTK inhibitors are among FDA approved drugs for the treatment of leukemia and other cancers, efforts to develop therapeutics that target specific PTPs are still in its infancy. Here, we describe methods on how to evaluate effects of PTP inhibitors on T cell receptor signaling. Moreover, we provide a comprehensive strategy for compound prioritization, applicable to any drug discovery project involving T cells. We present a testing funnel that starts with relatively high-throughput luciferase reporter assays, followed by immunoblot, calcium flux, flow cytometry, and proliferation assays, continues with cytokine bead arrays, and finishes with specificity assays that involve RNA interference. We provide protocols for experiments in the Jurkat T cell line, but more importantly give detailed instructions, paired with numerous tips, on how to prepare and work with primary human T cells. [less ▲]

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See detailRetinoic acid receptors recognise the mouse genome through binding elements with diverse spacing and topology
Moutier, Emmanuel; Ye, Tao; Choukrallah, Mohamed-Amin et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2012)

Retinoic Acid Receptors (RARs) heterodimerise with Retinoid X Receptors (RXRs) and bind to RA-response elements (RAREs) in the regulatory regions of their target genes. While previous studies on limited ... [more ▼]

Retinoic Acid Receptors (RARs) heterodimerise with Retinoid X Receptors (RXRs) and bind to RA-response elements (RAREs) in the regulatory regions of their target genes. While previous studies on limited sets of RA-regulated genes have defined canonical RAREs as direct repeats of the consensus RGKTCA separated by 1, 2 or 5 nucleotides (DR1, DR2, DR5), we show that in mouse embryoid bodies or F9 embryonal carcinoma cells, RARs occupy a large repertoire of sites with DR0, DR8 and IR0 (inverted repeat 0) elements. Recombinant RAR-RXR binds these non-canonical spacings in vitro with comparable affinities to DR2 and DR5. Most DR8 elements comprise three half sites with DR2 and DR0 spacings. This specific half site organisation constitutes a previously unrecognised, but frequent signature of RAR binding elements. In functional assays, DR8 and IR0 elements act as independent RAREs, while DR0 does not. Our results reveal an unexpected diversity in the spacing and topology of binding elements for the RAR-RXR heterodimer. The differential ability of RAR-RXR bound to DR0 compared to DR2, DR5 and DR8 to mediate RA-dependent transcriptional activation indicates that half site spacing allosterically regulates RAR function. [less ▲]

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See detailUnravelling the roles of lysine acetylation by Elp3 during inner ear development
Mateo Sanchez, Susana ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Laguesse, Sophie ULg et al

Poster (2012, May 04)

The inner ear is composed of a vestibular part that controls balance, and the cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing. In both parts of the inner ear, sensory epithelia comprise supporting cells ... [more ▼]

The inner ear is composed of a vestibular part that controls balance, and the cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing. In both parts of the inner ear, sensory epithelia comprise supporting cells surrounding the sensory hair cells. These cells bear at their apical surface a staircase-structured hair bundle, consisting of multiple rows of actin-based stereocilia and a single tubulin-based kinocilium. This hair bundle allows the transduction from mechanical stimuli, initiated by sound or gravitational changes, to electrical signals that will then be transmitted by neurons from the spiral ganglion (innervating hair cells of the cochlea) or the vestibular ganglion. The inner ear organogenesis requires a tightly regulated transcriptional program that can be affected by post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications among which lysine acetylation. Given the importance of acetylation homeostasis in controlling developmental processes, we planned to investigate its role in inner ear formation and focused our attention on Elp3 acetyl-transferase, a member of the Elongator complex recently implicated in neurogenesis. First, we have analysed Elp3 expression by in situ hybridization on wild type mice at different developmental stages (from E11.5 until P6) and showed that it was expressed in the entire early otocyst at E11.5 and persisted later in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea (the organ of Corti), in the stria vascularis and in the vestibule. To study the functional consequences of protein acetylation by the Elongator complex in the inner ear, we studied conditional knock-out mice (Elp3 cKO) in which Elp3 is depleted from the otic vesicle at E8.5. These mice, at stage P15, showed obvious balance dysfunction that was confirmed by a complete battery of behavioural tests: stereotyped circling ambulation, head bobbing, retropulsion, and absence of reaching response in the tail-hanging test. Unfortunately, the Elp3 cKO mice die before the onset of hearing, thus precluding any evaluation of hearing disorders. Balance defects in mice depleted for Elp3 is not due to vestibular structural abnormalities, since paint-filling experiments showed a normal inner ear anatomy compared to wild type mice. Moreover, immunostainings in the vestibule and in the organ of Corti indicated that cell patterning was not impaired in the absence of Elp3 since specialised cells are present and correctly organised at embryonic day E18.5 and later on. However, we were able to detect some defaults in hair cell bundle integrity and orientation in the auditory portion of inner ear from Elp3 cKO mice. We were also able to demonstrate an increased level of apoptosis in the Elp3 cKO spiral ganglion at E14.5 leading to a reduced number of fibers innervating the cochlear hair cells at P0 and P15. In conclusion, we have confirmed the expression of Elp3 in the inner ear and pointed out a role for this acetyl-transferase in balance function. Our results clearly show the implication of Elp3 in ciliogenesis, hair cell innervation and neuronal survival and we plan to go deeper in the mechanisms involved through the identification of the proteins acetylated by Elp3. [less ▲]

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See detailAn improved protocol for efficient engraftment in NOD/LTSZ-SCIDIL-2Rgammanull mice allows HIV replication and development of anti-HIV immune responses.
Singh, Maneesh; Singh, Pratibha; Gaudray, Gilles et al

in PloS one (2012), 7(6), 38491

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rgamma(null) (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rgamma(null) (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long ... [more ▼]

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rgamma(null) (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rgamma(null) (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 replication studies. Total body irradiation (TBI) is a classical myeloablation regimen used to improve engraftment levels of human cells in these humanized mice. Some recent reports suggest the use of busulfan as a myeloablation regimen to transplant HPCs in neonatal and adult NSG mice. In the present study, we further ameliorated the busulfan myeloablation regimen with fresh CB-CD34+cell transplantation in 3-4 week old NSG mice. In this CB-CD34+transplanted NSG mice engraftment efficiency of human CD45+cell is over 90% in peripheral blood. Optimal engraftment promoted early and increased CD3+T cell levels, with better lymphoid tissue development and prolonged human cell chimerism over 300 days. These humanized NSG mice have shown long-lasting viremia after HIV-1JRCSF and HIV-1Bal inoculation through intravenous and rectal routes. We also saw a gradual decline of the CD4+T cell count, widespread immune activation, up-regulation of inflammation marker and microbial translocation after HIV-1 infection. Humanized NSG mice reconstituted according to our new protocol produced, moderate cellular and humoral immune responses to HIV-1 postinfection. We believe that NSG mice reconstituted according to our easy to use protocol will provide a better in vivo model for HIV-1 replication and anti-HIV-1 therapy trials. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Improved Protocol for Efficient Engraftment in NOD/ LTSZ-SCIDIL-2RcNULL Mice Allows HIV Replication and Development of Anti-HIV Immune Responses
Singh, Maneesh; Singh; Gaudray et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(6), 38491

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rcnull (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rcnull (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 ... [more ▼]

Cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (CB-HPCs) transplanted immunodeficient NOD/LtsZ-scidIL2Rcnull (NSG) and NOD/SCID/IL2Rcnull (NOG) mice need efficient human cell engraftment for long-term HIV-1 replication studies. Total body irradiation (TBI) is a classical myeloablation regimen used to improve engraftment levels of human cells in these humanized mice. Some recent reports suggest the use of busulfan as a myeloablation regimen to transplant HPCs in neonatal and adult NSG mice. In the present study, we further ameliorated the busulfan myeloablation regimen with fresh CB-CD34+cell transplantation in 3–4 week old NSG mice. In this CB-CD34+transplanted NSG mice engraftment efficiency of human CD45+cell is over 90% in peripheral blood. Optimal engraftment promoted early and increased CD3+T cell levels, with better lymphoid tissue development and prolonged human cell chimerism over 300 days. These humanized NSG mice have shown long-lasting viremia after HIV-1JRCSF and HIV-1Bal inoculation through intravenous and rectal routes. We also saw a gradual decline of the CD4+T cell count, widespread immune activation, up-regulation of inflammation marker and microbial translocation after HIV-1 infection. Humanized NSG mice reconstituted according to our new protocol produced, moderate cellular and humoral immune responses to HIV-1 postinfection. We believe that NSG mice reconstituted according to our easy to use protocol will provide a better in vivo model for HIV-1 replication and anti-HIV-1 therapy trials. [less ▲]

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See detailLYP inhibits T-cell activation when dissociated from CSK
Vang; Liu, Wallace H; Delacroix, Laurence ULg et al

in Nature Chemical Biology (2012)

Lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase (LYP) and C-terminal Src kinase (CSK) are negative regulators of signaling mediated through the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) and are thought to act in a cooperative manner ... [more ▼]

Lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase (LYP) and C-terminal Src kinase (CSK) are negative regulators of signaling mediated through the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) and are thought to act in a cooperative manner when forming a complex. Here we studied the spatiotemporal dynamics of the LYP–CSK complex in T cells. We demonstrate that dissociation of this complex is necessary for recruitment of LYP to the plasma membrane, where it downmodulates TCR signaling. Development of a potent and selective chemical probe of LYP confirmed that LYP inhibits T-cell activation when removed from CSK. Our findings may explain the reduced TCR-mediated signaling associated with a single-nucleotide polymorphism that confers increased risk for certain autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and results in expression of a mutant LYP that is unable to bind CSK. Our compound also represents a starting point for the development of a LYP-based treatment of autoimmunity. [less ▲]

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See detailCell-specific interaction of retinoic acid receptors with target genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and embryonic stem cells.
Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Moutier, Emmanuel; Altobelli, Gioia et al

in Molecular & Cellular Biology (2010), 30(1), 231-44

All-trans retinoic acid (RA) induces transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-dependent autocrine growth of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We have used chromatin immunoprecipitation to map 354 RA ... [more ▼]

All-trans retinoic acid (RA) induces transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-dependent autocrine growth of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We have used chromatin immunoprecipitation to map 354 RA receptor (RAR) binding loci in MEFs, most of which were similarly occupied by the RAR alpha and RAR gamma receptors. Only a subset of the genes associated with these loci are regulated by RA, among which are several critical components of the TGF-beta pathway. We also show RAR binding to a novel series of target genes involved in cell cycle regulation, transformation, and metastasis, suggesting new pathways by which RA may regulate proliferation and cancer. Few of the RAR binding loci contained consensus direct-repeat (DR)-type elements. The majority comprised either degenerate DRs or no identifiable DRs but anomalously spaced half sites. Furthermore, we identify 462 RAR target loci in embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that their occupancy is cell type specific. Our results also show that differences in the chromatin landscape regulate the accessibility of a subset of more than 700 identified loci to RARs, thus modulating the repertoire of target genes that can be regulated and the biological effects of RA. [less ▲]

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See detailAndrogen receptor controls EGFR and ERBB2 gene expression at different levels in prostate cancer cell lines.
Pignon, Jean-Christophe ULg; Koopmansch, Benjamin ULg; Nolens, Grégory ULg et al

in Cancer Research (2009), 69(7), 2941-2949

EGFR or ERBB2 contributes to prostate cancer (PCa) progression by activating the androgen receptor (AR) in hormone-poor conditions. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which androgens regulate EGFR ... [more ▼]

EGFR or ERBB2 contributes to prostate cancer (PCa) progression by activating the androgen receptor (AR) in hormone-poor conditions. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which androgens regulate EGFR and ERBB2 expression in PCa cells. In steroid-depleted medium (SDM), EGFR protein was less abundant in androgen-sensitive LNCaP than in androgen ablation-resistant 22Rv1 cells, whereas transcript levels were similar. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment increased both EGFR mRNA and protein levels and stimulated RNA polymerase II recruitment to the EGFR gene promoter, whereas it decreased ERBB2 transcript and protein levels in LNCaP cells. DHT altered neither EGFR or ERBB2 levels nor the abundance of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), TMEPA1, or TMPRSS2 mRNAs in 22Rv1 cells, which express the full-length and a shorter AR isoform deleted from the COOH-terminal domain (ARDeltaCTD). The contribution of both AR isoforms to the expression of these genes was assessed by small interfering RNAs targeting only the full-length or both AR isoforms. Silencing of both isoforms strongly reduced PSA, TMEPA1, and TMPRSS2 transcript levels. Inhibition of both AR isoforms did not affect EGFR and ERBB2 transcript levels but decreased EGFR and increased ERBB2 protein levels. Proliferation of 22Rv1 cells in SDM was inhibited in the absence of AR and ARDeltaCTD. A further decrease was obtained with PKI166, an EGFR/ERBB2 kinase inhibitor. Overall, we showed that ARDeltaCTD is responsible for constitutive EGFR expression and ERBB2 repression in 22Rv1 cells and that ARDeltaCTD and tyrosine kinase receptors are necessary for sustained 22Rv1 cell growth. [less ▲]

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See detailThe combined immunodetection of AP-2alpha and YY1 transcription factors is associated with ERBB2 gene overexpression in primary breast tumors.
Allouche, Abdelkader; Nolens, Gregory ULg; Tancredi, Annalisa ULg et al

in Breast Cancer Research [=BCR] (2008), 10(1), 9

INTRODUCTION: Overexpression of the ERBB2 oncogene is observed in about 20% of human breast tumors and is the consequence of increased transcription rates frequently associated with gene amplification ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION: Overexpression of the ERBB2 oncogene is observed in about 20% of human breast tumors and is the consequence of increased transcription rates frequently associated with gene amplification. Several studies have shown a link between activator protein 2 (AP-2) transcription factors and ERBB2 gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, the Yin Yang 1 (YY1) transcription factor has been shown to stimulate AP-2 transcriptional activity on the ERBB2 promoter in vitro. In this report, we examined the relationships between ERBB2, AP-2alpha, and YY1 both in breast cancer tissue specimens and in a mammary cancer cell line. METHODS: ERBB2, AP-2alpha, and YY1 protein levels were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in a panel of 55 primary breast tumors. ERBB2 gene amplification status was determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Correlations were evaluated by a chi2 test at a p value of less than 0.05. The functional role of AP-2alpha and YY1 on ERBB2 gene expression was analyzed by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in the BT-474 mammary cancer cell line followed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. RESULTS: We observed a statistically significant correlation between ERBB2 and AP-2alpha levels in the tumors (p < 0.01). Moreover, associations were found between ERBB2 protein level and the combined high expression of AP-2alpha and YY1 (p < 0.02) as well as between the expression of AP-2alpha and YY1 (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the levels of both AP-2alpha and YY1 proteins were inversely correlated to ERBB2 gene amplification status in the tumors (p < 0.01). Transfection of siRNAs targeting AP-2alpha and AP-2gamma mRNAs in the BT-474 breast cancer cell line repressed the expression of the endogenous ERBB2 gene at both the mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, the additional transfection of an siRNA directed against the YY1 transcript further reduced the ERBB2 protein level, suggesting that AP-2 and YY1 transcription factors cooperate to stimulate the transcription of the ERBB2 gene. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the role of both AP-2alpha and YY1 transcription factors in ERBB2 oncogene overexpression in breast tumors. Our results also suggest that high ERBB2 expression may result either from gene amplification or from increased transcription factor levels. [less ▲]

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See detailRetinoic acid induces TGFbeta-dependent autocrine fibroblast growth.
Fadloun, A.; Kobi, D.; Delacroix, Laurence ULg et al

in Oncogene (2008), 27(4), 477-89

To evaluate the role of murine TFIID subunit TAF4 in activation of cellular genes by all-trans retinoic acid (T-RA), we have characterized the T-RA response of taf4(lox/-) and taf4(-/-) embryonic ... [more ▼]

To evaluate the role of murine TFIID subunit TAF4 in activation of cellular genes by all-trans retinoic acid (T-RA), we have characterized the T-RA response of taf4(lox/-) and taf4(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts. T-RA regulates almost 1000 genes in taf4(lox/-) cells, but less than 300 in taf4(-/-) cells showing that TAF4 is required for T-RA regulation of most, but not all cellular genes. We further show that T-RA-treated taf4(lox/-) cells exhibit transforming growth factor (TGF)beta-dependent autocrine growth and identify a set of genes regulated by loss of TAF4 and by T-RA corresponding to key mediators of the TGFbeta signalling pathway. T-RA rapidly and potently induces expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) via a conserved DR2 type response element in its proximal promoter leading to serum-free autocrine growth. These results highlight the role of TAF4 as a cofactor in the cellular response to T-RA and identify the genetic programme of a novel cross talk between the T-RA and TGFbeta pathways that leads to deregulated cell growth. [less ▲]

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See detailHedgehog signaling pathway is inactive in colorectal cancer cell lines
Chatel, Guillaume; Ganeff, Corinne ULg; Boussif, Naima et al

in International Journal of Cancer = Journal International du Cancer (2007), 121(12), 2622-2627

The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an important role in human development. Abnormal activation of this pathway has been observed in several types of human cancers, such as the upper gastro ... [more ▼]

The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an important role in human development. Abnormal activation of this pathway has been observed in several types of human cancers, such as the upper gastro-intestinal tract cancers. However, activation of the Hh pathway in colorectal cancers is controversial. We analyzed the expression of the main key members of the Hh pathway in 7 colon cancer cell lines in order to discover whether the pathway is constitutively active in these cells. We estimated the expression of SHH, IHH, PTCH, SMO, GLI1, GLI2, GLI3, SUFU and HHIP genes by RT-PCR. Moreover, Hh ligand, Gli3 and Sufu protein levels were quantified by western blotting. None of the cell lines expressed the complete set of Hh pathway members. The ligands were absent from Colo320 and HCT116 cells, Smo from Colo205, HT29 and WiDr. GLI1 gene was not expressed in SW480 cells nor were GLI2/GLI3 in Colo205 or Caco-2 cells. Furthermore the repressive form of Gli3, characteristic of an inactive pathway, was detected in SW480 and Colo320 cells. Finally treatment of colon cancer cells with cyclopamine, a specific inhibitor of the Hh pathway, did not downregulate PTCH and GLI1 genes expression in the colorectal cells, whereas it did so in PANC1 control cells. Taken together, these results indicate that the aberrant activation of the Hh signaling pathway is not common in colorectal cancer cell lines. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailRegulation by androgens of EGF receptor family members in prostate cancer cells
Pignon, Jean-Christophe; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Waltregny, David ULg et al

in Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research (2006)

After an initial positive response to anti-androgen treatment, prostate cancer (PCa) cells usually become hormone-refractory in spite of their persistent expression of the androgen receptor (AR ... [more ▼]

After an initial positive response to anti-androgen treatment, prostate cancer (PCa) cells usually become hormone-refractory in spite of their persistent expression of the androgen receptor (AR). Overexpression of tyrosine kinase receptors in androgen-deprived PCa cells, such as those of the EGF receptor (EGFR) family, may be responsible for AR activation and growth of androgen-deprived tumours. Our goal is to understand the control of the expression of the EGFR family members by androgens in PCa. Hormone response was compared in hormone-sensitive LNCaP and hormone-insensitive DU145 PCa cell lines. These cells do not express ErbB4. EGFR, erbB2 and erbB3 protein half-life is much longer in DU145 than in LNCaP cells grown in complete medium. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) modulates EGFR and erbB2 transcript and protein levels only in LNCaP cells. ErbB3 is not an androgen-responsive gene. EGFR mRNA and protein levels are increased while erbB2 mRNA and protein levels are decreased after DHT treatment of cells cultured in steroid-deprived medium. ErbB2 mRNA and protein levels are increased in LNCaP cells following DHT withdrawal. In order to understand the mechanisms by which androgens control the expression of EGFR and ERBB2 genes, half lifes of the corresponding mRNAs and proteins were compared in cells grown in presence or absence of DHT. The effect of DHT on EGFR gene expression is complex. Indeed, DHT stabilizes the protein. Moreover, a superinduction of EGFR mRNA was observed in cells treated with cycloheximide (CHX) before addition of the hormone, suggesting an effect on transcript stability. In contrast, erbB2 mRNA and protein stability was not affected by DHT. CHX treatment for 2h before addition of DHT suppresses the androgen-induced down-regulation of erbB2 mRNA levels. In summary, androgen-mediated regulation of EGFR and ERBB2 genes expression is complex. DHT influences EGFR gene transcription, mRNA and protein stability. DHT does not affect erbB2 mRNA and protein stability but acts indirectly on transcription. Current experiments are undertaken to verify these observations by Chromatin-IP experiments on both genes promoters. [less ▲]

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See detailDistal ERBB2 promoter fragment displays specific transcriptional and nuclear binding activities in ERBB2 overexpressing breast cancer cells
Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Begon, Dominique ULg; Chatel, Guillaume et al

in DNA & Cell Biology (2005), 24(9), 582-594

Overexpression of the ERBB2 gene occurs in 30% of human breast cancers and is correlated with poor prognosis. The deregulation is the consequence of an increased transcription level and gene amplification ... [more ▼]

Overexpression of the ERBB2 gene occurs in 30% of human breast cancers and is correlated with poor prognosis. The deregulation is the consequence of an increased transcription level and gene amplification. Several laboratories, including our own, have identified, in the proximal promoter, enhancers implicated in the gene overexpression. However, our previous studies of a 6-kb ERBB2 promoter fragment revealed the presence of repressing fragments, which were able to overcome the effect of the proximal enhancers. These repressing elements were functional in all cell lines, regardless of their endogenous ERBB2 expression level. Here, we show that a distal ERBB2 promoter region restores high transcription rates specifically in ERBB2 overexpressing breast cancer cells. This distal promoter region thus contains enhancers essential for the overexpression of the gene. By EMSA, performed with nuclear extract of cells overexpressing (BT-474) or not (MDA-MB-231) the ERBB2 gene, we show that at least two sequences of the distal promoter region are bound exclusively by BT-474 extract. Further experiments reveal that AP-2 transcription factors contribute to this differential binding activity, by binding recognition sequences located 4500 bp and 4000 bp upstream of the transcription start site. These sites are occupied by AP2 in vivo, as demonstrated by ChIP assay. Inactivation of AP-2 proteins in ERBB2 overexpressing cells reduces the distal promoter activity up to 70%, indicating the AP-2 factors are implicated in the strong distal enhancing effect. Moreover, we identified a 54-bp fragment that is bound specifically by BT-474 nuclear extract. Further experiments did not lead to the identification of the protein responsible for this binding. Our results thus highlight the importance of ERBB2 distal promoter region and further implicate AP-2 in ERBB2 overexpression in breast cancer cells. [less ▲]

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See detailYin Yang 1 cooperates with activator protein 2 to stimulate ERBB2 gene expression in mammary cancer cells.
Begon, Dominique ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg; Vernimmen, Douglas et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2005), 280(26), 24428-34

Overexpression of the ERBB2 oncogene is observed in about 30% of breast cancers and is generally correlated with a poor prognosis. Previous results from our and other laboratories indicated that elevated ... [more ▼]

Overexpression of the ERBB2 oncogene is observed in about 30% of breast cancers and is generally correlated with a poor prognosis. Previous results from our and other laboratories indicated that elevated transcriptional activity contributes significantly to the overexpression of ERBB2 mRNA in mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines. Activator protein 2 (AP-2) transcription factors account for this overexpression through two recognition sequences located 215 and 500 bp upstream from the transcription start site. Furthermore, AP-2 transcription factors are highly expressed in cancer cell lines overexpressing ERBB2. In this report, we examined the cooperative effect of Yin Yang 1 (YY1) on AP-2-induced activation of ERBB2 promoter activity. We detected high levels of YY1 transcription factor in mammary cancer cell lines. Notably, we showed that YY1 enhances AP-2alpha transcriptional activation of the ERBB2 promoter through an AP-2 site both in HepG2 and in HCT116 cells, whereas a carboxyl-terminal-truncated form of YY1 cannot. Moreover, we demonstrated the interaction between endogenous AP-2 and YY1 factors in the BT-474 mammary adenocarcinoma cell line. In addition, inhibition of endogenous YY1 protein by an antisense decreased the transcription of an AP-2-responsive ERBB2 reporter plasmid in BT-474 breast cancer cells. Finally, we detected in vivo AP-2 and YY1 occupancy of the ERBB2 proximal promoter in chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Our data thus provide evidence that YY1 cooperates with AP-2 to stimulate ERBB2 promoter activity through the AP-2 binding sites. [less ▲]

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See detailCaspase-8-dependent HER-2 cleavage in response to tumor necrosis factor alpha stimulation is counteracted by nuclear factor kappa B through c-FLIP-L expression
Benoit, Valérie; Chariot, Alain ULg; Delacroix, Laurence ULg et al

in Cancer Research (2004), 64(8), 2684-2691

The oncoprotein HER-2/neu is a prosurvival factor, and its overexpression has been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. We report that HER-2 is a new substrate for caspase-8 and ... [more ▼]

The oncoprotein HER-2/neu is a prosurvival factor, and its overexpression has been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. We report that HER-2 is a new substrate for caspase-8 and that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) stimulation leads to an early caspase-8-dependent HER-2 cleavage in MCF7 A/Z breast adenocarcinoma cells defective for nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) activation. We show that the antiapoptotic transcription factor NFkappaB counteracts this cleavage through induction of the caspase-8 inhibitor c-FLIP. Our results also demonstrate that this HER-2 cleavage contributes to the TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis pathway because ectopic expression of an uncleavable HER-2 protects NFkappaB-defective cells against TNF-alpha-mediated cell death. Therefore, we propose an original model in which NFkappaB exerts a new antiapoptotic function by counteracting TNF-alpha-triggered cleavage of the HER-2 survival factor. [less ▲]

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