References of "Artesi, Maria"
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See detailCis-perturbation of cancer drivers by the HTLV-1/BLV proviruses is an early determinant of leukemogenesis
Rosewick, Nicolas; Durkin, Keith ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg et al

in Nature Communications (2017), 8

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See detailInvestigating non-coding viral transcripts in Bovine Leukemia Virus induced leukemia
Hahaut, Vincent ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg; Durkin, Keith ULg et al

Poster (2017, March 08)

Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus closely related to the Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). The natural host of BLV is cattle and much like the case of HTLV-1 in humans, about ~5% of ... [more ▼]

Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus closely related to the Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). The natural host of BLV is cattle and much like the case of HTLV-1 in humans, about ~5% of infected individuals develop leukemia/lymphoma following a long period of asymptomatic infection (~7 years in cattle, several decades in human). Experimental infection of sheep with BLV results in a reduced latency period (2 years on average), making for an attractive cancer model. A further advantage of the BLV system is that it is possible to infect sheep via injection of a cloned provirus, facilitating the mutation of specific parts of the viral genome to examine the function of viral products in vivo. Like HTLV-1, the BLV mRNAs/proteins are transcribed from the viral 5’ long terminal repeat (LTR), a region rich in regulatory elements. It was previously believed that the BLV provirus was transcriptionally silent in tumors, however we identified a cluster of five abundantly expressed non-canonical RNA polymerase III dependent microRNAs (miRNAs) encoded by BLV (Rosewick et al., PNAS 2013). In addition, using RNA sequencing we recently discovered viral antisense transcripts originating in the 3' Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) of the BLV provirus (Durkin et al., Retrovirology 2016) . While 5'LTR dependent transcription is absent in malignant cells, both the viral miRNAs and the antisense transcripts are expressed in all BLV induced leukemic and pre-leukemic samples examined to date, pointing to a vital role in the life cycle of the virus and a critical function in cellular transformation. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved high throughput DNA-seq based mapping of HTLV-1 integration sites: a tool to define response to treatment, ATL prognosis and guide therapeutic strategies
Marçais, Ambroise; Artesi, Maria ULg; Durkin, Keith ULg et al

Conference (2017)

Background Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive CD4+ T-cell malignancy caused by HTLV-1 infection and associated with extremely poor prognosis. In France, treatment strategies mainly ... [more ▼]

Background Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive CD4+ T-cell malignancy caused by HTLV-1 infection and associated with extremely poor prognosis. In France, treatment strategies mainly include chemotherapy, antiviral therapy and allogeneic stem cell transplantation, based on clinical subtype and therapeutic responses. Response to treatment is evaluated based on consensus criteria defined in 2009 (Tsukasaki K, Hermine O et al, JCO 2009). Although immuno-phenotyping, TCRγ rearrangement and HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) quantification are often assayed, complete clinical remission (CR) is currently defined by morphological and cytological criteria i.e. complete blood cell counts (CBC) and the presence of abnormal lymphocytes. Given the extremely poor prognosis and high rates of early relapse, a revision of the response criteria is required, calling for improved tools that integrate specific aspects of the pathophysiology of ATL to better estimate response to treatment. Methods We retrospectively analyzed longitudinal PBMC samples from 6 ATL patients diagnosed with a leukemic subtype (5 acute and 1 chronic-aggressive) which all achieved CR upon therapy, yet relapsed after a median time of 15,9 months (range 2,4-70,7). CR was assessed by morphological and cytological criteria. An improved high throughput sequencing (HTS) based method was utilized to map and quantify the abundance of HTLV-1 genomic integration sites (IS), overcoming some of the limitations of previously published protocols. The dynamic range was increased by assaying both the 5’LTR and 3’LTRs, allowing better determination of clone abundance and revealing 5’ deletions. An enrichment step limited PCR duplicates. The addition of off-the-shelf Illumina primers simplified library multiplexing and reduced the costs to the point where the protocol could be applied to a clinical setting. Results HTS- mapping of HTLV-1 IS at diagnosis revealed in all cases a unique IS that constituted 92-99% of proviral genomes, with PVLs of 33-510%. All patients were treated and achieved CR which was characterized by normalized CBC, <5% abnormal lymphocytes and the absence of measurable tumors for >4 weeks. For 3/6 patients, the clone frequency distribution of HTLV-1 infected cells at CR was composed of multiple low abundance clones, of which the unique presumed malignant IS contributed to less than 2% of proviral genomes. In contrast, clonality analysis of the remaining 3/6 patients revealed that the relative abundance of the malignant clone detected at diagnosis remained dominant at CR (36-83% of PVL), despite clinical response criteria typical of CR and a 3-20-fold decrease in PVLs. These patients relapsed after 2.4, 2.9 and 3.4 months respectively with a dominant malignant clone >95% while patients with a polyclonal architecture showed significantly longer CR (28, 59 and 71 months). Conclusions Our observations highlight the great heterogeneity within an identical CR group, underlining the need for revisiting response criteria for ATL. Our results call for the use of this improved HTS-based method to measure HTLV-1 clonality as a tool to better estimate response to treatment, predict relapse and guide therapeutic choices in the course of treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification and characterization of novel bovine leukemia virus (BLV) antisense transcripts in leukemic and pre-leukemic clones
Durkin, Keith ULg; Rosewick, Nicolas; Artesi, Maria ULg et al

Conference (2016, May 21)

The deltaretrovirus Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is closely related to the Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). Cattle are the natural host of BLV where it integrates into B-cells, produces a lifelong ... [more ▼]

The deltaretrovirus Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is closely related to the Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). Cattle are the natural host of BLV where it integrates into B-cells, produces a lifelong infection. Most infected animals remain asymptomatic but following a protracted latency period about ~5% develop an aggressive leukemia/lymphoma, mirroring the disease trajectory of HTLV-1. Like the case in HTLV-1 the 5’LTR BLV provirus is transcriptionally silent in tumors, however the provirus is not entirely quiescent, constitutively express the BLV microRNAs in tumors. Using RNA-seq, we found that in addition to microRNAs, the BLV provirus also constitutively expresses two antisense transcripts in all BLV infected samples examined. The first transcript (AS1) has alternate potential polyadenylation sites generating a short transcript of ~600bp (AS1-S) and a less abundant longer transcript of ~2200bp (AS1-L). Alternative splicing also creates a second transcript of ~400bp (AS2) utilizing the first exon of AS1. Production of AS transcripts from the 3’LTR was supported by reporter assays demonstrating that the BLV LTR has substantial and Tax-independent antisense promoter activity. BLV AS transcripts predominantly localize in the nucleus. Examination of protein coding potential showed AS2 to be non-coding, while the AS1-S/L transcripts coding potential is ambiguous, with a small potential open reading frame (ORF) of 264bp present. The AS1-L transcript overlaps the BLV microRNAs transcribed in the sense direction. Using high throughput sequencing of RNA-ligase-mediated (RLM) 5' RACE products, we show that the perfect complementary between the transcripts leads to RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) mediated cleavage of AS1-L. Furthermore, experiments using BLV proviruses where the microRNAs were removed or inverted point to additional transcriptional interactions between the two viral RNA species. Knock down of AS1-S/L using locked nucleic acids (LNAs) showed no obvious effect on the cells phenotype. While a detailed elucidation of the BLV antisense transcripts function remains in the future, the constitutive expression in all samples examined, points to a vital role for the transcripts in the life cycle and oncogenic potential of BLV. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the methodology for high throughput mapping of proviral integration sites
Artesi, Maria ULg; Durkin, Keith ULg; Rosewick, Nicolas et al

Conference (2016)

Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) are closely related delta-retroviruses provoking a polyclonal expansion of infected B- and T-cells respectively, with monoclonal ... [more ▼]

Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) are closely related delta-retroviruses provoking a polyclonal expansion of infected B- and T-cells respectively, with monoclonal leukemia/lymphoma developing in about ~5% of infected individuals. To date, the molecular mechanisms leading to cellular transformation remain unclear. Both proviruses are largely transcriptionally silent in tumors and their integration sites in the host genome appear very variable. Mapping proviral insertion sites using high throughput sequencing techniques has provided insights into the evolution of BLV/HTLV-1 infections and the expansion of transformed clones in delta-retrovirus induced leukemia/lymphoma. The methods currently used have a number of limitations such as the utilisation of custom sequencing primers, relatively high sequencing costs, no examination of the 5’LTR host flanking region and a limited dynamic range for determining clone abundance. We have developed an alternative high-throughput sequencing protocol for tracking proviral integration sites and determining clonal abundance in BLV and HTLV-1 infected individuals. We implemented the use of off-the-shelf Illumina primers for the addition of adapters and indexes, which facilitates library multiplexing and avoids the need for custom sequencing primers. Our method reduces the amount of sequencing of PCR duplicates by reducing the number of PCR cycles via an enrichment of BLV- and HTLV-1-carrying DNA fragments. Moreover, in addition to the proviral 3’LTR, our approach also assays the 5’LTR, providing additional information on the frequency of 5’-end deletions in proviruses and increasing the dynamic range of the assay. We have tested the approach on over 100 BLV and HTLV-1 samples, representing both tumors and asymptomatic stages. Our approach allowed for a more accurate determination of clone abundance in tumors and by assaying the provirus 5’ end, identified clones overlooked with previously published methods. Finally, by facilitating greater multiplexing of libraries we have reduced the cost to a level where the technique may be attractive in a clinical setting. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of novel Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) antisense transcripts by deep sequencing reveals constitutive expression in tumors and transcriptional interaction with viral microRNAs.
Durkin, Keith ULg; Rosewick, Nicolas; Artesi, Maria ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2016), 13(1), 33

BACKGROUND: Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus closely related to the Human T cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). Cattle are the natural host of BLV where it integrates into B-cells, producing a ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus closely related to the Human T cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). Cattle are the natural host of BLV where it integrates into B-cells, producing a lifelong infection. Most infected animals remain asymptomatic but following a protracted latency period about 5 % develop an aggressive leukemia/lymphoma, mirroring the disease trajectory of HTLV-1. The mechanisms by which these viruses provoke cellular transformation remain opaque. In both viruses little or no transcription is observed from the 5'LTR in tumors, however the proviruses are not transcriptionally silent. In the case of BLV a cluster of RNA polymerase III transcribed microRNAs are highly expressed, while the HTLV-1 antisense transcript HBZ is consistently found in all tumors examined. RESULTS: Here, using RNA-seq, we demonstrate that the BLV provirus also constitutively expresses antisense transcripts in all leukemic and asymptomatic samples examined. The first transcript (AS1) can be alternately polyadenylated, generating a transcript of ~600 bp (AS1-S) and a less abundant transcript of ~2200 bp (AS1-L). Alternative splicing creates a second transcript of ~400 bp (AS2). The coding potential of AS1-S/L is ambiguous, with a small open reading frame of 264 bp, however the transcripts are primarily retained in the nucleus, hinting at a lncRNA-like role. The AS1-L transcript overlaps the BLV microRNAs and using high throughput sequencing of RNA-ligase-mediated (RLM) 5'RACE, we show that the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) cleaves AS1-L. Furthermore, experiments using altered BLV proviruses with the microRNAs either deleted or inverted point to additional transcriptional interference between the two viral RNA species. CONCLUSIONS: The identification of novel viral antisense transcripts shows the BLV provirus to be far from silent in tumors. Furthermore, the consistent expression of these transcripts in both leukemic and nonmalignant clones points to a vital role in the life cycle of the virus and its tumorigenic potential. Additionally, the cleavage of the AS1-L transcript by the BLV encoded microRNAs and the transcriptional interference between the two viral RNA species suggest a shared role in the regulation of BLV. [less ▲]

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See detailHTLV-1/BLV antisense-RNA dependent host gene perturbation in pre-leukemic and leukemic clones
Rosewick, Nicolas; Durkin, Keith ULg; Marçais, Ambroise et al

in Retrovirology (2015, August 28), 12(1),

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See detailImproving the methodology for the detection of proviral integration sites in the host genome via high throughput sequencing.
Durkin, Keith ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg; Rosewick, Nicolas et al

in Retrovirology (2015, August 28), 12(1),

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See detailImproving proviral integration site detection with high throughput sequencing
Durkin, Keith ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg; Rosewick, Nicolas et al

Poster (2015, May)

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See detailCx30 (GJB6) inhibits cell growth in human malignant gliomas but mediates radiation resistance
Artesi, Maria ULg; Kroonen, Jerome; Poulet, Christophe ULg et al

in Neuro-Oncology (2014)

Connexins (Cxs) are potentially key players in the control of tumor cell proliferation. Normal astrocytes express large amounts of connexin30 and we have previously demonstrated its underexpression in rat ... [more ▼]

Connexins (Cxs) are potentially key players in the control of tumor cell proliferation. Normal astrocytes express large amounts of connexin30 and we have previously demonstrated its underexpression in rat glioma cells. Here we report that a Cx30 gene deletion occurs in approximately 30% of human glioblastomas (GBMs). Cx30 mRNA levels are decreased in these tumors compared to glial tumors of lower grade and to non tumoral tissues. At the protein level, Cx30 is lost in approximately one third of the tumors in our cohort of 230 glioblastoma biopsies. Restoration of Cx30 in U87 glioma cell lines and in glioma primary cultures (GM1), effectively retards cell proliferation in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in vivo. This correlates with a decrease in TCF, CK2 and NFkappaB activity and with altered expression levels of cell cycle control proteins such as cyclin D1, P27, P21 and c-myc. In patient biopsies, Cx30 expression was found in tumor regions displaying a lower Ki-67 proliferative index. Interestingly, in our cohort of malignant glioma patients, Cx30 expression proved to be an adverse prognostic factor. Here, we demonstrate its role in mediating cell survival and a hypermetabolic state after radiation treatment in human glioma cells. Mechanistically, we propose that a HSP90- mediated Cx30 translocation into mitochondria occurs after radiation treatment. The inhibition of the HSP90 molecular chaperone with geldamycin inhibits the radiation- induced translocation of Cx30 into mitochondria, decreasing the hypermetabolic state and restoring radiation sensitivity in those cells. These results demonstrate the central regulatory role of connexin30 in the biology of human gliomas. [less ▲]

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See detailConnexin 30 expression inhibits growth of human malignant gliomas but protects them against radiation therapy.
Artesi, Maria ULg; Kroonen, Jerome; Bredel, Markus et al

in Neuro-oncology (2014)

BACKGROUND: Glioblastomas remain ominous tumors that almost invariably escape treatment. Connexins are a family of transmembrane, gap junction-forming proteins, some members of which were reported to act ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Glioblastomas remain ominous tumors that almost invariably escape treatment. Connexins are a family of transmembrane, gap junction-forming proteins, some members of which were reported to act as tumor suppressors and to modulate cellular metabolism in response to cytotoxic stress. METHODS: We analyzed the copy number and expression of the connexin (Cx)30 gene gap junction beta-6 (GJB6), as well as of its protein immunoreactivity in several public and proprietary repositories of glioblastomas, and their influence on patient survival. We evaluated the effect of the expression of this gap junction protein on the growth, DNA repair and energy metabolism, and treatment resistance of these tumors. RESULTS: The GJB6 gene was deleted in 25.8% of 751 analyzed tumors and mutated in 15.8% of 158 tumors. Cx30 immunoreactivity was absent in 28.9% of 145 tumors. Restoration of Cx30 expression in human glioblastoma cells reduced their growth in vitro and as xenografts in the striatum of immunodeficient mice. Cx30 immunoreactivity was, however, found to adversely affect survival in 2 independent retrospective cohorts of glioblastoma patients. Cx30 was found in clonogenic assays to protect glioblastoma cells against radiation-induced mortality and to decrease radiation-induced DNA damage. This radioprotection correlated with a heat shock protein 90-dependent mitochondrial translocation of Cx30 following radiation and an improved ATP production following this genotoxic stress. CONCLUSION: These results underline the complex relationship between potential tumor suppressors and treatment resistance in glioblastomas and single out GJB6/Cx30 as a potential biomarker and target for therapeutic intervention in these tumors. [less ▲]

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See detailCasein kinase 2 inhibition modulates the DNA damage response but fails to radiosensitize malignant glioma cells.
KROONEN, Jérôme ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg; CAPRARO, Valérie ULg et al

in International Journal of Oncology (2012), 41(2), 776-82

Inhibitors of casein kinase 2 (CK2), a regulator of cell proliferation and mediator of the DNA damage response, are being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of cancers. Apigenin was capable of ... [more ▼]

Inhibitors of casein kinase 2 (CK2), a regulator of cell proliferation and mediator of the DNA damage response, are being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of cancers. Apigenin was capable of inhibiting the activation of CK2 following gamma irradiation in LN18 and U87 malignant glioma cells. Apigenin and siRNA-mediated CK2 protein depletion further inhibited NF-kappaB activation and altered the Tyr68 phosphorylation of Chk2 kinase, a DNA damage response checkpoint kinase, following irradiation. However, CK2 inhibition did not decrease the ability of these glioma cells to repair double-strand DNA breaks, as assessed by COMET assays and gamma-H2Ax staining. Likewise, apigenin and siRNA-induced depletion of CK2 failed to sensitize glioma cells to the cytotoxic effect of 2 to 10 G-rays of gamma irradiation, as assessed by clonogenic assays. These results contrast with those found in other cancer types, and urge to prudence regarding the inclusion of malignant glioma patients in clinical trials that assess the radiosensitizing role of CK2 inhibitors in solid cancers. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly termination of ISRCTN45828668, a phase 1/2 prospective, randomized study of sulfasalazine for the treatment of progressing malignant gliomas in adults.
Robe, Pierre ULg; Martin, Didier ULg; Nguyen-Khac, Minh-Tuan ULg et al

in BMC Cancer (2009), 9

BACKGROUND: Sulfasalazine, a NF-kappaB and x(c)-cystine/glutamate antiport inhibitor, has demonstrated a strong antitumoral potential in preclinical models of malignant gliomas. As it presents an ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Sulfasalazine, a NF-kappaB and x(c)-cystine/glutamate antiport inhibitor, has demonstrated a strong antitumoral potential in preclinical models of malignant gliomas. As it presents an excellent safety profile, we initiated a phase 1/2 clinical study of this anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of recurrent WHO grade 3 and 4 astrocytic gliomas in adults. METHODS: 10 patients with advanced recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma (n = 2) or glioblastoma (n = 8) aged 32-62 years were recruited prior to the planned interim analysis of the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to daily doses of 1.5, 3, 4.5, or 6 grams of oral sulfasalazine, and treated until clinical or radiological evidence of disease progression or the development of serious or unbearable side effects. Primary endpoints were the evaluation of toxicities according to the CTCAE v.3.0, and the observation of radiological tumor responses based on MacDonald criteria. RESULTS: No clinical response was observed. One tumor remained stable for 2 months with sulfasalazine treatment, at the lowest daily dose of the drug. The median progression-free survival was 32 days. Side effects were common, as all patients developed grade 1-3 adverse events (mean: 7.2/patient), four patients developed grade 4 toxicity. Two patients died while on treatment or shortly after its discontinuation. CONCLUSION: Although the proper influence of sulfasalazine treatment on patient outcome was difficult to ascertain in these debilitated patients with a large tumor burden (median KPS = 50), ISRCTN45828668 was terminated after its interim analysis. This study urges to exert cautiousness in future trials of Sulfasalazine for the treatment of malignant gliomas. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN45828668. [less ▲]

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