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See detailChemoresistance to Valproate Treatment of Bovine Leukemia Virus-Infected Sheep; Identification of Improved HDAC Inhibitors
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; De Brogniez, Alix ULg et al

in Pathogens (2012), (2012-1), 65-82

We previously proved that a histone deacetylase inhibitor (valproate, VPA) decreases the number of leukemic cells in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. Here, we characterize the mechanisms ... [more ▼]

We previously proved that a histone deacetylase inhibitor (valproate, VPA) decreases the number of leukemic cells in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. Here, we characterize the mechanisms initiated upon interruption of treatment. We observed that VPA treatment is followed by a decrease of the B cell counts and proviral loads (copies per blood volume). However, all sheep eventually relapsed after different periods of time and became refractory to further VPA treatment. Sheep remained persistently infected with BLV. B lymphocytes isolated throughout treatment and relapse were responsive to VPA-induced apoptosis in cell culture. B cell proliferation is only marginally affected by VPA ex vivo. Interestingly, in four out of five sheep, ex vivo viral expression was nearly undetectable at the time of relapse. In two sheep, a new tumoral clone arose, most likely revealing a selection process exerted by VPA in vivo. We conclude that the interruption of VPA treatment leads to the resurgence of the leukemia in BLV-infected sheep and hypothesize that resistance to further treatment might be due to the failure of viral expression induction. The development of more potent HDAC inhibitors and/or the combination with other compounds can overcome chemoresistance. These observations in the BLV model may be important for therapies against the related Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1. [less ▲]

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See detailThérapie du mésothéliome pleural : compréhension des mécanismes de résistance à la chimiothérapie
Costa, Chrisostome ULg; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; Reddy, NS Sathyanarayana ULg et al

Diverse speeche and writing (2011)

Thérapie du mésothéliome pleural : compréhension des mécanismes de résistance à la chimiothérapie. Chrisostome Costa 1, Fabian Vandermeers 2, Sathyanarayana Reddy 2, Céline Mascaux 3, Pascale Hubert 2 ... [more ▼]

Thérapie du mésothéliome pleural : compréhension des mécanismes de résistance à la chimiothérapie. Chrisostome Costa 1, Fabian Vandermeers 2, Sathyanarayana Reddy 2, Céline Mascaux 3, Pascale Hubert 2, Philippe Delvenne 2, Luc Willems 1,2 1 Laboratoire de biologie cellulaire et moléculaire, ULg, Gemboux Agro Bio-Tech, 13 av. Maréchal Juin, 5030 Gembloux ; Tél. : 32-(0)-81-622157 ; Fax : 32-(0)-81-6138 88 ; Courriel: ccosta@doct.ulg.ac.be 2 GIGA, ULg, Liège 3 Institut Bordet, ULB, Bruxelles - Introduction : Le mésothéliome pleural malin (MPM) est un cancer de la plèvre causé principalement par l’inhalation de fibres d’amiante. Nous avons montré précédemment que les inhibiteurs d’histones deacetylases (tel que le valproate, VPA) augmentent significativement l’efficacité des composés utilisés en chimiothérapie (pemetrexed et cisplatin) et prolonge la survie des patients atteints de MPM. Malheureusement, une proportion importante des patients développe une résistance au traitement de seconde ligne avec la doxorubicine et le VPA. - But du projet : L’objectif du travail est de disséquer les mécanismes qui régissent la réponse au traitement de seconde ligne du MPM. - Méthodes et résultats : Nous avons tout d’abord comparé deux types de lignées cellulaires présentant soit une sensibilité (cellules M14K) soit une résistance (cellules H28) au traitement combiné VPA+doxorubicine. En utilisant des microdamiers (Agilent), nous avons analysé le profil d’expression génique de cellules M14K et H28 traitées avec le VPA et la doxorubicine. Après quantification des fluorescences, une analyse statistique (Genespring GX) et une modélisation bioinformatique (Ingenuity) ont permis d’identifier les gènes candidats les plus relevants. En fonction de la p-value et du fold change, un nombre limité de gènes ont été sélectionnés et validés par la technique de qRT-PCR. Parmi ceux-ci, nous avons identifié le gène TGFA dont l’expression corrèle avec la résistance au traitement. En effet, nous avons observé que le niveau d’expression basale du gène TGFA est beaucoup plus important dans la lignée résistante H28 que dans la lignée sensible M14K. Dans le but de valider son implication dans la réponse à la thérapie, nous avons diminué (par interférence ARN) ou augmenté (par transfection d’un vecteur d’expression) l’expression de TGFA respectivement dans les lignées H28 ou M14K. Nous avons ensuite déterminé les taux d’apoptose en évaluant la fragmentation de l’ADN en présence de doxorubicine et de VPA. Les résultats montrent que la diminution de l’expression de TGFA permet une augmentation sensible de l’apoptose induite par le traitement combiné doxorubicine et VPA dans la lignée résistante H28 (de 9% à 36%). A l’inverse, la surexpression de TGFA est associée avec une diminution d’apoptose dans la lignée sensible M14K (de 28% à 18%). Ces observations ont été confirmées par une analyse de l’activité des caspases 3 et 7. En accord avec la propriété de la protéine TGFAd’induire la prolifération cellulaire via le récepteur à l’EGF, des inhibiteurs de l’activité tyrosine kinase (l’Iressa et le Tarceva) augmentent l’apoptose induite par la doxorubicine et le VPA dans la lignée résistante H28 (de 16% à 40%). L’efficacité du traitement combiné VPA+doxorubicine+Iressa/Tarceva est actuellement évaluée en modèle murin (souris SCID). - Conclusions : Nous avons identifié un gène, le TGFA, dont l’expression corrèle avec la résistance à l’apoptose induite par la doxorubicine et le VPA. L’utilisation d’inhibiteurs du récepteur EGF pourrait donc améliorer le traitement de seconde ligne du MPM. [less ▲]

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See detailPreclinical evidence for a beneficial impact of valproate on the response of small cell lung cancer to first-line chemotherapy
Hubaux, Roland; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; Crisanti, Cecilia et al

in European Journal of Cancer (2010), 46

Prognosis of small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is particularly poor, less than 5% of patients with extensive stage being alive after two years.We hypothesized that SCLC chemotherapy could be improved by ... [more ▼]

Prognosis of small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is particularly poor, less than 5% of patients with extensive stage being alive after two years.We hypothesized that SCLC chemotherapy could be improved by using histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors based on their ability to interfere with lysine acetylation and to alter gene expression. The goal of this study was to evaluate the anticancer efficacy of a HDAC inhibitor (valproate: VPA) on SCLC cells in combination with the standard chemotherapeutic first-line regimen (cisplatin + etoposide). We show that VPA induces apoptosis of small cell lung cancer cell lines and improves efficacy of cisplatin combined with etoposide. Both mitochondrial and death receptor pathways are involved in VPA-induced apoptosis. As expected for an HDAC inhibitor, VPA hyperacetylates histone H3. The mechanism of VPA pro-apoptotic activity involves induction of p21, inhibition of Bcl-xL, cleavage of Bid and phosphorylation of Erk and H2AX. In the presence of VPA, Bax is translocated from the cytoplasm to the mitochondria and cleaved in an 18 kDa isoform. Cytochrome c is released from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Transcriptomic analyses by microarray show that VPA modulates transcription of genes (Na+/ K+ ATPase, Bcl-xL) involved in chemoresistance to cisplatin and etoposide. Finally, the efficacy of VPA combined with cisplatin and etoposide is supported by preclinical models of SCLC cells engrafted into SCID mice. Together, these data demonstrate that VPA augments anticancer activity of cisplatin and etoposide, two components of the standard first-line chemotherapy of small cell lung cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HDAC inhibitor panobinostat (LBH589) inhibits mesothelioma and lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo with particular efficacy for small cell lung cancer
Crisanti, Cecilia; Wallace, Africa; Kapoor, Veena et al

in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (2009), 8(8), 2221-2231

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Current therapies are inadequate. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are a recently developed class of anticancer agents that ... [more ▼]

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Current therapies are inadequate. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are a recently developed class of anticancer agents that cause increased acetylation of core histones and nonhistone proteins leading to modulation of gene expression and protein activityin - volved in cancer cell growth and survival pathways. We examined the efficacyof the HDACi panobinostat (LBH589) in a wide range of lung cancers and mesotheliomas. Panobinostat was cytotoxic in almost all 37 cancer cell lines tested. IC50 and LD50 values were in the low nmol/L range (4–470 nmol/L; median, 20 nmol/L). Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines were among the most sensitive lines, with LD50 values consistently <25 nmol/L. In lung cancer and mesothelioma animal models, panobinostat significantlyde creased tumor growth byan average of 62% when compared with vehicle control. Panobinostat was equallye ffective in immunocompetent and severe combined immunodeficiencymic e, indicating that the inhibition of tumor growth by panobinostat was not due to direct immunologic effects.Panobinostat was, however, particularlyeffective in SCLC xenografts, and the addition of the chemotherapyag ent etoposide augmented antitumor effects. Protein analysis of treated tumor biopsies revealed elevated amounts of cell cycle regulators such as p21 and proapoptosis factors, such as caspase 3 and 7 and cleaved poly[ADP-ribose] polymerase, coupled with decreased levels of antiapoptotic factors such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL. These studies together suggest that panobinostat maybe a useful adjunct in the treatment of thoracic malignancies, especiallySCLC. [less ▲]

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See detailValproate, in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin, provides additional efficacy to the treatment of malignant mesothelioma.
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; Hubert, Pascale ULg; Delvenne, Philippe ULg et al

in Clinical Cancer Research : An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (2009), 15(8), 2818-28

PURPOSE: Present chemotherapeutic regimens are marginally efficient in tumor cells being particularly resistant to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. We hypothesized that unresponsiveness of tumors to ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: Present chemotherapeutic regimens are marginally efficient in tumor cells being particularly resistant to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. We hypothesized that unresponsiveness of tumors to conventional therapeutic agents might be due to inappropriate gene expression resulting from epigenetic modifications and leading to transcriptional silencing. The goal of this study was to evaluate the anticancer effect of a histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproate, on mesothelioma cells in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin, the usual first-line regimen of chemotherapy for this tumor. Experimental Design and RESULTS: We show that valproate augments apoptosis induced by pemetrexed and cisplatin in mesothelioma cell lines and in tumor cells from patient's biopsies. Onset of apoptosis involves both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways requiring enzymatic activities of caspases 8 and 9, respectively. Valproate but not suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid efficiently stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species. The free radical scavenger N-acetylcysteine inhibits apoptosis, indicating that reactive oxygen species are major mediators of valproate activity. As expected, valproate alone or combined with pemetrexed and cisplatin triggers hyperacetylation of histone H3. Bid protein processing in truncated t-Bid and cytochrome c release from mitochondria are significantly increased in the presence of valproate, providing a mechanistic rationale for improvement of the proapoptotic efficacy of cisplatin and pemetrexed. Finally, valproate when combined with pemetrexed and cisplatin prevents tumor growth in mouse models of epithelioid mesothelioma. CONCLUSIONS: These observations support the potential additional efficacy of valproate in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin for treatment of malignant mesothelioma. [less ▲]

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See detailThérapie du mésothéliome pleural malin par l’utilisation du valproate, un inhibiteur de désacétylases
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg

Doctoral thesis (2008)

Le mésothéliome pleural est un cancer de la plèvre provoqué principalement par l’inhalation de fibres d’amiante. Nous avons émis l’hypothèse que la dérégulation de l’expression génique est un paramètre ... [more ▼]

Le mésothéliome pleural est un cancer de la plèvre provoqué principalement par l’inhalation de fibres d’amiante. Nous avons émis l’hypothèse que la dérégulation de l’expression génique est un paramètre important du développement de cette maladie. Or, les histones désacétylases (HDACs) peuvent jouer le rôle de répresseur transcriptionnel en modifiant la conformation de la chromatine. Dans ce contexte, nous avons étudié l’activité anticancéreuse du valproate, un inhibiteur d’HDAC, en combinaison avec différents types de traitements utilisés en chimiothérapie. Nous avons démontré l’effet synergique entre la chimiothérapie et le valproate dans des lignées cellulaires et dans des biopsies isolées à partir de patients. Nous avons étudié les processus impliqués dans l’apoptose et révélé l’implication des caspases, des espèces oxygéno-réactives et le rôle important de la protéine Bid. Nous avons ensuite réalisé une étude transcriptomique par microdamiers dans le but de mieux caractériser les mécanismes impliqués. Enfin, nous avons démontré l’efficacité du valproate dans un modèle préclinique murin. Ces recherches ont permis la mise en place d’un essai clinique de deuxième ligne sur des patients réfractaires à une première chimiothérapie. [less ▲]

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See detailEmphasis on cell turnover in two hosts infected by bovine leukemia virus: a rationale for host susceptibility to disease.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg et al

in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology (2008), 125(1-2), 1-7

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus that infects and induces accumulation of B-lymphocytes in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues of cattle, leading to leukemia/lymphoma. BLV can also ... [more ▼]

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus that infects and induces accumulation of B-lymphocytes in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues of cattle, leading to leukemia/lymphoma. BLV can also be experimentally transmitted to sheep, in which disease appears earlier and at higher frequencies. Abnormal accumulation of leukemic B-lymphocytes results from an alteration of different parameters that include cell proliferation and death as well as migration to lymphoid tissues. Interestingly, B lymphocyte turnover is increased in BLV-infected sheep but reduced in cattle, revealing a potential relationship between cell kinetics and disease progression. [less ▲]

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See detailImplication des modifications épigénétiques dans les cancers : développement de nouvelles approches thérapeutiques
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2008), 12(2),

Involvement of epigenetic modifications in cancers: development of new therapeutic approaches. Since cancer is the second cause of death after cardiovascular diseases in industrialized countries, it is ... [more ▼]

Involvement of epigenetic modifications in cancers: development of new therapeutic approaches. Since cancer is the second cause of death after cardiovascular diseases in industrialized countries, it is urgent to elaborate new therapeutic approaches. Besides DNA mutations of essential genes, expansion of a cancer cell is frequently associated with epigenetic modifications i.e. not directly coded by the DNA sequence. Amongst epigenetic modifications, histones acetylation and DNA methylation are known to play important roles. In this context, a very promising anticancer therapy would be to correct epigenetic errors using compounds modulating histone acetylation and DNA methylation alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. [less ▲]

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See detailMechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by bovine leukemia virus: prospects for novel anti-retroviral therapies in human.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2007), 4(1), 18

In 1871, the observation of yellowish nodules in the enlarged spleen of a cow was considered to be the first reported case of bovine leukemia. The etiological agent of this lymphoproliferative disease ... [more ▼]

In 1871, the observation of yellowish nodules in the enlarged spleen of a cow was considered to be the first reported case of bovine leukemia. The etiological agent of this lymphoproliferative disease, bovine leukemia virus (BLV), belongs to the deltaretrovirus genus which also includes the related human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). This review summarizes current knowledge of this viral system, which is important as a model for leukemogenesis. Recently, the BLV model has also cast light onto novel prospects for therapies of HTLV induced diseases, for which no satisfactory treatment exists so far. [less ▲]

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See detailCell dynamics and immune response to BLV infection: a unifying model
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca et al

in Frontiers in Bioscience : A Journal and Virtual Library (2007), 12

Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the ... [more ▼]

Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the pathogenesis is more acute. Although both susceptible species develop a strong anti-viral immune response, the virus persists indefinitely throughout life, apparently at a transcriptionally silent stage, at least in a proportion of infected cells. Soon after infection, these humoral and cytotoxic activities very efficiently abolish the viral replicative cycle, permitting only mitotic expansion of provirus-carrying cells. Short term cultures of these infected cells initially indicated that viral expression protects against spontaneous apoptosis, suggesting that leukemia is a process of accumulation of long-lived cells. This conclusion was recently reconsidered following in vivo dynamic studies based on perfusions of nucleoside (bromodeoxyuridine) or fluorescent protein markers (CFSE). In sheep, the turnover rate of infected cells is increased, suggesting that a permanent clearance process is exerted by the immune system. Lymphocyte trafficking from and to the secondary lymphoid organs is a key component in the maintenance of cell homeostasis. The net outcome of the immune selective pressure is that only cells in which the virus is transcriptionally silenced survive and accumulate, ultimately leading to lymphocytosis. Activation of viral and/or cellular expression in this silent reservoir with deacetylase inhibitors causes the collapse of the proviral loads. In other words, modulation of viral expression appears to be curative in lymphocytic sheep, an approach that might also be efficient in patients infected with the related Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1. In summary, a dynamic interplay between BLV and the host immune response modulates a complex equilibrium between (i) viral expression driving (or) favoring proliferation and (ii) viral silencing preventing apoptosis. As conclusion, we propose a hypothetical model unifying all these mechanisms. [less ▲]

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See detailValproate activates bovine leukemia virus gene expression, triggers apoptosis, and induces leukemia/lymphoma regression in vivo.
Achachi, Amine; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2005), 102(29), 10309-14

Leukemogenic viruses like human T-lymphotropic virus and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) presumably persist in the host partly by latent integration of the provirus in a fraction of infected cells, leading to ... [more ▼]

Leukemogenic viruses like human T-lymphotropic virus and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) presumably persist in the host partly by latent integration of the provirus in a fraction of infected cells, leading to accumulative increase in the outgrowth of transformed cells. Furthermore, viral infection also correlates with a blockade of the apoptotic mechanisms concomitant with an apparent latency of the host cell. Conceptually, induction of viral or cellular gene expression could thus also be used as a therapeutic strategy against retroviral-associated leukemia. Here, we provide evidence that valproate, an inhibitor of deacetylases, activates BLV gene expression in transient transfection experiments and in short-term cultures of primary B-lymphocytes. In vivo, valproate injection into newly BLV-inoculated sheep did not abrogate primary infection. However, valproate treatment, in the absence of any other cytotoxic drug, was efficient for leukemia/lymphoma therapy in the sheep model leading to decreased lymphocyte numbers (respectively from 25.6, 35.7, and 46.5 x 10(3) cells per mm3 to 1.0, 10.6, and 24.3 x 10(3) cells per mm3 in three leukemic sheep) and tumor regression (from >700 cm3 to undetectable). The concept of a therapy that targets the expression of viral and cellular genes might be a promising treatment of adult T cell leukemia or tropical spastic paraparesis/human T-lymphotropic virus-associated myelopathy, diseases for which no satisfactory treatment exists so far. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de l'activité anticancéreuse des inhibiteurs de désacétylases chez des cellules isolées de patients atteints de mésothéliome pleural
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg

Master of advanced studies dissertation (2005)

Le mésothéliome pleural est un cancer de la plèvre provoqué par l’inhalation de fibres d’amiante. Bien que cette maladie soit encore assez rare, une augmentation de sa fréquence est attendue vers 2010 ... [more ▼]

Le mésothéliome pleural est un cancer de la plèvre provoqué par l’inhalation de fibres d’amiante. Bien que cette maladie soit encore assez rare, une augmentation de sa fréquence est attendue vers 2010-2020. Dans le développement de cette maladie incurable, la dérégulation de l’expression de certains gènes semble jouer un rôle essentiel. Les histones désacétylases (HDACs), en modifiant la conformation de la chromatine, jouent le rôle de répresseur transcriptionnel. L’utilisation d’inhibiteurs d’ HDACs serait donc une façon de lutter contre ce type de cancer. Notre travail a tout d’abord consisté à étudier l’effet de deux de ces molécules (valproate et SAHA) sur l’apoptose, sur le cycle cellulaire et sur l’acétylation des histones. Ensuite, des combinaisons de molécules (inhibiteurs d’HDACs et composés de chimiothérapie) ont été testées de manière à rechercher un effet de synergie. Nos résultats mettent en évidence que les inhibiteurs d’HDACs provoquent l’augmentation des niveaux d’apoptose et l’arrêt du cycle cellulaire en phase G1. Différentes combinaisons de molécules permettent d’obtenir un effet additif voire une synergie. Parmi ces combinaisons, l’utilisation de l’adriamycine, de l’etoposide, du taxotère ou du TRAIL donne les meilleurs résultats. [less ▲]

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See detailMode d’action du valproate, un inhibiteur de désacétylases, sur des lymphocytes isolés de moutons infectés par le virus de la leucémie bovine.
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg

Master's dissertation (2004)

La leucose bovine est une maladie qui affecte les lymphocytes B bovins et ovins et qui est causée par le virus de la leucémie bovine (BLV). Celui-ci est utilisé comme modèle pour l’étude de leucémies ... [more ▼]

La leucose bovine est une maladie qui affecte les lymphocytes B bovins et ovins et qui est causée par le virus de la leucémie bovine (BLV). Celui-ci est utilisé comme modèle pour l’étude de leucémies humaines induites par des rétrovirus comme HTLV-1. Dans le développement de telles maladies, la dérégulation de l’expression de certains gènes semble jouer un rôle essentiel. Les histones désacétylases (HDACs), en modifiant la conformation de la chromatine, jouent le rôle de répresseur transcriptionnel. L’utilisation d’un inhibiteur de HDACs (le valproate) serait donc une façon de lutter contre les leucémies viro-induites. Notre travail a alors consisté d’une part, à étudier l’effet de cette molécule sur l’apoptose et sur l’expression virale de cellules mises en culture et, d’autre part, à réaliser une étude de l’expression différentielle des gènes par une analyse microdamier. Nos résultats mettent en évidence que l’acide valproique a un effet sur la mort cellulaire en augmentant les niveaux d’apoptose. L’analyse microdamier nous a permis d’identifier une quarantaine de gènes communs à toutes les expériences. Parmi ces gènes, huit interviennent dans la régulation du cycle cellulaire, la prolifération ou l’apoptose. [less ▲]

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