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See detailMMP-Mediated Collagen Remodeling and Vessel Functions
Noël, Agnès ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg

in BRIX, K.; STOCKER, W. (Eds.) Proteases: Structure and Function, (2014)

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See detailMMP-Mediated Collagen Remodeling and Vessel Functions
Noël, Agnès ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg

in Brix, Klaudia; Stocker, Walter (Eds.) Proteases: Structure and Function (2013)

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See detailTowards Lipidomics of Low-Abundant Species for Exploring Tumor Heterogeneity Guided by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Imaging
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Calligaris, David; Far, Johann ULg et al

in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2013), 14

Many studies have evidenced the main role of lipids in physiological and also pathological processes such as cancer, diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases. The identification and the in situ localization ... [more ▼]

Many studies have evidenced the main role of lipids in physiological and also pathological processes such as cancer, diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases. The identification and the in situ localization of specific low-abundant lipid species involved in cancer biology are still challenging for both fundamental studies and lipid marker discovery. In this paper, we report the identification and the localization of specific isobaric minor phospholipids in human breast cancer xenografts by FTICR MALDI imaging supported by histochemistry. These potential candidates can be further confirmed by liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) after extraction from the region of interest defined by MALDI imaging. Finally, this study highlights the importance of characterizing the heterogeneous distribution of low-abundant lipid species, relevant in complex histological samples for biological purposes. [less ▲]

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See detailLaser-induced choroidal neovascularization model to study age-related macular degeneration in mice.
LAMBERT, Vincent ULg; Lecomte, Julie ULg; Hansen, Sylvain ULg et al

in Nature Protocols (2013), 8(11), 2197-2211

The mouse model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) has been used extensively in studies of the exudative form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This experimental in vivo model ... [more ▼]

The mouse model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) has been used extensively in studies of the exudative form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This experimental in vivo model relies on laser injury to perforate Bruch's membrane, resulting in subretinal blood vessel recruitment from the choroid. By recapitulating the main features of the exudative form of human AMD, this assay has served as the backbone for testing antiangiogenic therapies. This standardized protocol can be applied to transgenic mice and can include treatments with drugs, recombinant proteins, antibodies, adenoviruses and pre-microRNAs to aid in the search for new molecular regulators and the identification of novel targets for innovative treatments. This robust assay requires 7-14 d to complete, depending on the treatment applied and whether immunostaining is performed. This protocol includes details of how to induce CNV, including laser induction, lesion excision, processing and different approaches to quantify neoformed vasculature. [less ▲]

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See detailSunitinib inhibits inflammatory corneal lymphangiogenesis.
Detry, Benoît ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg; Erpicum, Charlotte ULg et al

in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (2013), 54(5), 3082-93

PURPOSE: To evaluate the antilymphangiogenic potential of multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib in corneal neovascularization (NV). METHODS: Inflammatory corneal NV was induced by thermal ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: To evaluate the antilymphangiogenic potential of multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib in corneal neovascularization (NV). METHODS: Inflammatory corneal NV was induced by thermal cauterization applied in the central cornea of mice, to which sunitinib malate was daily administered by gavage or not. At days 6, 11, or 17 post cauterization, lymphatic and blood vessels, as well as inflammatory cells were immunostained and quantified in whole-mounted corneas. RT-PCRs were performed to evidence VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, placental growth factor (PlGF), and soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-1 and -2 (sVEGFR-1, sVEGFR-2) expressions. Macrophages were isolated from mice peritoneal cavity following thioglycollate injection to produce conditioned medium. The effects of sunitinib were evaluated in vitro in the aortic and lymphatic ring assays in the presence or not of macrophage conditioned medium. RESULTS: Sunitinib treatment drastically reduced pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. Reduced F4/80+ cell infiltration was evidenced in sunitinib-treated mice and was associated to decreased VEGF-A (by 50%, P < 0.01) and VEGF-C (by 35%, P < 0.01) expressions, while VEGF-D and sVEGFR-2 expressions were not affected. In vitro, sunitinib dose-dependently inhibited aortic ring outgrowth, but failed to affect lymphangiogenesis in the lymphatic ring assay. However, macrophage conditioned medium-enhanced angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were both strongly counteracted by sunitinib treatment. Mechanistically, sunitinib blocked VEGFR-2 phosphorylation induced by VEGF-A released by macrophages. CONCLUSIONS: Sunitinib exerts antihemangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic effects in vivo by reducing F4/80+ cell recruitment and interacting with their released factors. [less ▲]

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See detailNew prospects in the roles of the C-terminal domains of VEGF-A and their cooperation for ligand binding, cellular signaling and vessels formation.
Delcombel, Romain ULg; Janssen, Lauriane ULg; Vassy, Roger et al

in Angiogenesis (2013), 16(2), 353-71

VEGF-A is a crucial growth factor for blood vessel homeostasis and pathological angiogenesis. Due to alternative splicing of its pre-mRNA, VEGF-A is produced under several isoforms characterized by the ... [more ▼]

VEGF-A is a crucial growth factor for blood vessel homeostasis and pathological angiogenesis. Due to alternative splicing of its pre-mRNA, VEGF-A is produced under several isoforms characterized by the combination of their C-terminal domains, which determines their respective structure, availability and affinity for co-receptors. As controversies still exist about the specific roles of these exon-encoded domains, we systematically compared the properties of eight natural and artificial variants containing the domains encoded by exons 1-4 and various combinations of the domains encoded by exons 5, 7 and 8a or 8b. All the variants (VEGF(111)a, VEGF(111)b, VEGF(121)a, VEGF(121)b, VEGF(155)a, VEGF(155)b, VEGF(165)a, VEGF(165)b) have a similar affinity for VEGF-R2, as determined by Surface plasmon resonance analyses. They strongly differ however in terms of binding to neuropilin-1 and heparin/heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Data indicate that the 6 amino acids encoded by exon 8a must be present and cooperate with those of exons 5 or 7 for efficient binding, which was confirmed in cell culture models. We further showed that VEGF(165)b has inhibitory effects in vitro, as previously reported, but that the shortest VEGF variant possessing also the 6 amino acids encoded by exon 8b (VEGF(111)b) is remarkably proangiogenic, demonstrating the critical importance of domain interactions for defining the VEGF properties. The number, size and localization of newly formed blood vessels in a model of tumour angiogenesis strongly depend also on the C-terminal domain composition, suggesting that association of several VEGF isoforms may be more efficient for treating ischemic diseases than the use of any single variant. [less ▲]

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See detailTargeting the tumor microenvironment for cancer therapy.
Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Noël, Agnès ULg

in Clinical Chemistry (2013), 59(1), 85-93

BACKGROUND: With the emergence of the tumor microenvironment as an essential ingredient of cancer malignancy, therapies targeting the host compartment of tumors have begun to be designed and applied in ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: With the emergence of the tumor microenvironment as an essential ingredient of cancer malignancy, therapies targeting the host compartment of tumors have begun to be designed and applied in the clinic. CONTENT: The malignant features of cancer cells cannot be manifested without an important interplay between cancer cells and their local environment. The tumor infiltrate composed of immune cells, angiogenic vascular cells, lymphatic endothelial cells, and cancer-associated fibroblastic cells contributes actively to cancer progression. The ability to change these surroundings is an important property by which tumor cells are able to acquire some of the hallmark functions necessary for tumor growth and metastatic dissemination. Thus in the clinical setting the targeting of the tumor microenvironment to encapsulate or destroy cancer cells in their local environment has become mandatory. The variety of stromal cells, the complexity of the molecular components of the tumor stroma, and the similarity with normal tissue present huge challenges for therapies targeting the tumor microenvironment. These issues and their interplay are addressed in this review. After a decade of intensive clinical trials targeting cellular components of the tumor microenvironment, more recent investigations have shed light on the important role in cancer progression played by the noncellular stromal compartment composed of the extracellular matrix. SUMMARY: A better understanding of how the tumor environment affects cancer progression should provide new targets for the isolation and destruction of cancer cells via interference with the complex crosstalk established between cancer cells, host cells, and their surrounding extracellular matrix. [less ▲]

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See detailSéminaire des chercheurs Télévie 2013
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Calligaris, David ULg et al

Poster (2012, December 10)

Séminaire des chercheurs Télévie 2013

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See detailDetermination of the molecular players of adaptation to anti-angiogenic therapy in breast cancer by quantitative proteomic and high molecular MALDI Imaging.
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Calligaris, David ULg et al

Poster (2012, October 13)

Breast carcinoma is the most common and second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive ... [more ▼]

Breast carcinoma is the most common and second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing antibodies (bevacizumab) and VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKs:Sunitinib). The Sunitinib has been used clinically in patients with breast cancer refractory to other therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, like the cytotoxic therapies, these drugs do not produce lasting effects and resistance to treatment appeared clinically. Questions have emerged about the failure of anti-angiogenic therapy in clinic and the limitations of predictive preclinical models, and also about the molecular assessment of all stages of tumor adaptation and me<x>tastatic disease. To this end, we applied quantitative proteomics and imaging mass spectrometry tools to visualize and study the profiles of proteins and small molecules associated with tumor treated or not with Sunitinib using a novel preclinical model of breast carcinoma cells. In this project, we first developed a reproducible model of resistance to Sunitinib of human triple negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells expressing luciferase gene. Cells were subcutaneously injected into mice RAG1-/- and divided into four experimental groups including, control mice treated with vehicle or Sunitinib for 30 days and sacrificed 1 days after treatment withdrawal or when tumor reached a volume of 300 mm3. In the second step. Tumors were analyzed using a nanoAcquity UPLC Synapt TM HDMS TM G1 (Waters, Manchester,UK) and Mass Spectrometry Imaging. For quantitative proteomic analyses of tumors, a bioinformatics analysis was used with the Protein lynx global server 2.2.5 software. Imaging mass spectrometry was performed on tissue sections of tumors and organs subsequently colonized by me<x>tastases. Matrix sublimation was used to coat tumor sections (14 µm-tick) with 1.5 Diaminonaphthalene for lipids analysis and Sinapinic acid for entire proteins analysis. Ion cartographies were recorded with a Solarix 9.4T FTMS instrument for lipids and with an Ultraflex II TOF-TOF instrument for entire proteins (Bruker Daltonics, Germany) with a spatial resolution of 100 µm. Global protemic revealed different protein profiles between tumor treated or not with Sunitinib. The Mass Spectrometry Imaging detected differences in intensity and location of some proteins and lipids are also associated with some histological features including inflammatory, necrotic and angiogenic areas. Bioinformatics analysis will be applied to ensure the integration of all data in order to provide the basis for identifying molecular pathways activated during the acquisition of refractoriness to drug treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy  of  breast  cancer  adaptation  to  anti-­angiogenic  therapies  by   molecular  imaging  on  tissue  slides
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Calligaris, David ULg; Debois, Delphine ULg et al

Conference (2012, September 04)

Breast   carcinoma   is   the   most   common   and   second   leading   cause   of   cancer   mortality   in   women1.   The   ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣ ␣␣␣␣-­‐limiting   ... [more ▼]

Breast   carcinoma   is   the   most   common   and   second   leading   cause   of   cancer   mortality   in   women1.   The   ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣ ␣␣␣␣-­‐limiting   secondary   step   in   tumorigenesis   led   to   extensive   pre-­‐clinical   researches   on   angiogenesis   and   finally   the   approval   of   VEGF-­‐neutralizing   antibodies   (bevacizumab)  and  VEGF  receptor  tyrosine  kinase  inhibitors  (RTKs:sunitinib).  The  Sunitinib  has  been  used   clinically   in   patients   with   breast   cancer   refractory   to   other   therapeutic   agents2.   Unfortunately,   like   the   cytotoxic   therapies,   these   drugs   do   not   produce   lasting   effects   and   resistance   to   treatment   appeared   clinically3.   Recently,   independent   laboratories   have   reported   experimental   data   demonstrating   that   anti-­‐ angiogenic   treatments   inhibit   tumor   growth,   but   also   stimulate   the   formation   of   lung   metastases   after   treatment   discontinuation4.   The   field   of   imaging   mass   spectrometry   provides   new   tools   to   visualize   and   study  the  profiles  of  proteins  and  small  molecules  associated  with  biomedical  problems5.   To  this  aim,  we  conducted  a  series  of  experiments  to  setup  a  reproductible  model  of  resistance  to  sunitinib.   The   cells   MDA-­‐MB-­‐231   triple   negative,   from   human   breast   cancer   and   expressing   luciferase   are   injected   subcutaneously  into  mice  RAG1-­‐/-­‐.  The  mice  were  divided  into  four  experimental  groups  including,  on  the   one  hand,  control  mice  treated  with  placebo  (Carboxymethyl  cellulose,  CMC)  sacrificed  on  day  30  (group  1)   or  when  the  tumor  reached  a  volume  of  300  mm3  (group  2).    On  the  other  hand,  Sunitinib-­‐treated  mice  (LC   Laboratories,   40mg/kg/day),   sacrificed   at   day   30   (group   3),   or   when   the   tumor   reached   a   volume   of   300   mm3  (group  4).  MALDI  mass  spectrometry  imaging  was  performed  on  tissue  sections  of  tumors  and  organs   subsequently   colonized   by   metastases.   Matrix   sublimation   was   used   to   coat   tumor   sections   (14   μm-­‐tick)   with   1.5   Diaminonaphthalene   (1.5   DAN)   for   lipids   analysis   and   Sinapinic   acid   (SA)   for   entire   proteins   analysis.   Ion   cartographies   were   recorded   with   a   Solarix9.4T   FTMS   instrument   for   lipids   and   with   an   Ultraflex   II   TOF-­‐TOF   instrument   for   entire   proteins   (BrukerDaltonics,   Bremen,   Germany)   with   a   spatial   resolution  of  100  μm.     The  analysis  of  differential  protein/lipid  profiles  with  high  mass  accuracy  and  broadband  resolution  allows   detection   of   intense   signals   from   lipid   families   such   as   Phosphatidylcholine   (PC),   Triglyceride   (TAG),   Sphingomyelin   (SM)   and   precise   lipid   droplets   or   tumor   cells   differentiated   location   in   the   Sunitinib   resistant   tumor   cells   compared   to   control   cells.The   protein   profiles   of   the   4   groups   of   mice   show   differences   in   intensity   and   location,   enabling   a   correlation   to   inflammatory   (highlighted   by   histological   staining)  and  angiogenic  phenomenon.   [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular imaging through in combinaison with quantitative proteomic approaches unraveling the molecular players of breast cancer adaptation to anti-angiogenic therapy.
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Calligaris, David ULg et al

Poster (2012, June 22)

Breast carcinoma is the most common and second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive ... [more ▼]

Breast carcinoma is the most common and second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing antibodies (bevacizumab) and VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKs:Sunitinib). The Sunitinib has been used clinically in patients with breast cancer refractory to other therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, like the cytotoxic therapies, these drugs do not produce lasting effects and resistance to treatment appeared clinically. Questions have emerged about the failure of anti-angiogenic therapy in clinic and the limitations of predictive preclinical models, and also about the molecular assessment of all stages of tumor adaptation and metastatic disease. To this end, we applied quantitative proteomics and imaging mass spectrometry tools to visualize and study the profiles of proteins and small molecules associated with tumor treated or not with Sunitinib using a novel preclinical model of breast carcinoma cells. In this project, we first developed a reproducible model of resistance to Sunitinib of human triple negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells expressing luciferase gene. Cells were subcutaneously injected into mice RAG1-/- and divided into four experimental groups including, control mice treated with vehicle or Sunitinib for 30 days and sacrificed 1 days after treatment withdrawal or when tumor reached a volume of 300 mm3. In the second step. Tumors were analyzed using a nanoAcquity UPLC Synapt TM HDMS TM G1 (Waters, Manchester,UK) and Mass Spectrometry Imaging. For quantitative proteomic analyses of tumors, a bioinformatics analysis was used with the Protein lynx global server 2.2.5 software. Imaging mass spectrometry was performed on tissue sections of tumors and organs subsequently colonized by metastases. Matrix sublimation was used to coat tumor sections (14 µm-tick) with 1.5 Diaminonaphthalene for lipids analysis and Sinapinic acid for entire proteins analysis. Ion cartographies were recorded with a Solarix 9.4T FTMS instrument for lipids and with an Ultraflex II TOF-TOF instrument for entire proteins (Bruker Daltonics, Germany) with a spatial resolution of 100 µm. Global protemic revealed different protein profiles between tumor treated or not with Sunitinib. The Mass Spectrometry Imaging detected differences in intensity and location of some proteins and lipids are also associated with some histological features including inflammatory, necrotic and angiogenic areas. Bioinformatics analysis will be applied to ensure the integration of all data in order to provide the basis for identifying molecular pathways activated during the acquisition of refractoriness to drug treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of molecular imaging in combination with quantitative proteomic approaches to determine the molecular players of adaptation to anti-angiogenic therapy in breast cancer.
Cimino, Jonathan ULg; Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Calligaris, David ULg et al

Poster (2012, May 04)

The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing ... [more ▼]

The recognition of the “angiogenic switch” as a rate-limiting secondary step in tumorigenesis led to extensive pre-clinical researches on angiogenesis and finally the approval of VEGF-neutralizing antibodies (bevacizumab) and VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKs:Sunitinib). The Sunitinib has been used clinically in patients with breast cancer refractory to other therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, like the cytotoxic therapies, these drugs do not produce lasting effects and resistance to treatment appeared clinically. Questions have emerged about the failure of anti-angiogenic therapy in clinic and the limitations of predictive preclinical models, and also about the molecular assessment of all stages of tumor adaptation and metastatic disease. To this end, we applied a quantitative proteomics and imaging mass spectrometry tools to visualize and study the profiles of proteins and small molecules associated with tumor treated or not with Sunitinib using a novel preclinical model of breast carcinoma cells. [less ▲]

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See detailUnexpected function of MT-MMP in cancer progression
Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg

Conference (2012, February 12)

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See detailThe proteolytic activity of MT4-MMP is required for its proangiogenic and pro-metastatic promoting effects
Host, Lorin; Paye, Alexandra ULg; Detry, Benoît ULg et al

in International Journal of Cancer = Journal International du Cancer (2012), 131(7), 1537-1548

MT4-MMP expression in breast adenocarcinoma stimulates tumor growth and metastatic spreading to the lung. However whether these pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic effects of MT4-MMP are related to a ... [more ▼]

MT4-MMP expression in breast adenocarcinoma stimulates tumor growth and metastatic spreading to the lung. However whether these pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic effects of MT4-MMP are related to a proteolytic action is not known yet. Through site directed mutagenesis MT4-MMP has been inactivated in cancer cells through Glutamic acid 249 substitution by Alanine in the active site. Active MT4-MMP triggered an angiogenic switch at day 7 after tumor implantation and drastically accelerated subcutaneous tumor growth as well as lung colonization in RAG -/- mice. All these effects were abrogated upon MT4-MMP inactivation. In sharp contrast to most MMPs being primarily of stromal origin, we provide evidence that tumor-derived MT4-MMP, but not host-derived MT4-MMP contributes to angiogenesis. A genetic approach using MT4-MMP-deficient mice revealed that the status of MT4-MMP produced by host cells did not affect the angiogenic response. Despite of this tumor intrinsic feature, to exert its tumor promoting effect, MT4-MMP requires a permissive microenvironment. Indeed, tumor-derived MT4-MMP failed to circumvent the lack of an host angio-promoting factor such as lasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1). Overall, our study demonstrates the key contribution of MT4-MMP catalytic activity in the tumor compartment, at the interface with host cells. It identifies MT4-MMP as a key intrinsic tumor cell determinant that contributes to the elaboration of a permissive microenvironment for metastatic dissemination [less ▲]

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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 detailInhibition of Experimental Corneal Neovascularization by Sunitinib Administration
Detry, Benoît ULg; BLACHER, Silvia ULg; Erpicum, Charlotte ULg et al

Poster (2011, October)

Cornea engraftment is the most common organ transplantation practiced around the world. The cornea is totally devoid of blood or lymphatic vessels, except in a peripheral zone called the limbus. This ... [more ▼]

Cornea engraftment is the most common organ transplantation practiced around the world. The cornea is totally devoid of blood or lymphatic vessels, except in a peripheral zone called the limbus. This property, named “corneal angiogenic privilege”, is conserved among all mammals to maintain cornea transparency and optimal visual acuity. In pathological conditions such as trauma, infections or hypoxia, blood and lymphatic vessels can grow into the avascular cornea, reducing visual acuity. In case of keratoplasty, it also considerably increases the risk of cornea graft rejection and is so considered as a high-risk keratoplasty. Treatments improving cornea survival after transplantation need to be developed, notably aiming at blocking corneal neovascularization. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of Sunitinib, a broad-spectrum tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitor, to reduce experimental corneal neovascularization. Cornea vascularization was induced by thermal cauterization applied in the center of C57Bl6 mice cornea, daily feeded with 40mg/kg Sunitinib or vehicule. Corneas were immunolabeled as whole mounts for CD31 and Lyve-1 to evidence blood and lymphatic vessels, 7, 11 and 17 days after cauterization. Whole mount pictures were analyzed by computer-assisted quantification, and relative vascular area, end-point density, node density, length density and maximal length of the vessels were determined to finely characterize blood and lymphatic vascular networks. We observed an inhibition of angiogenesis after 17 days in Sunitinib treated mice, where blood vessel relative surface, end-point density, branching density and length density were 1.8-fold decreased. Maximum length of blood vessels was also significantly reduced in the Sunitinib treated group at days 11 and 17. Lymphangiogenesis was strongly inhibited from day 6 to day 17 after cauterization where all parameters, except maximum length of lymphatic vessels, were significantly decreased. In case of transient Sunitinib administration (feeding during the 7 first days), we did not observe any reduction in the extent of blood or lymphatic networks developing 21 days after lesion induction. In vitro experimentations using the aortic and lymphatic ring assays showed a strong angiogenesis inhibition induced by Sunitinib while lymphangiogenesis was not inhibited. Our results show that the use of Sunitinib can strongly affect corneal neovascularisation and could enter in early treatment of such eye lesions to avoid vision loss and risk of cornea graft rejection. However, a punctual use of such tyrosine kinase inhibitor is not sufficient to stem neovascular reaction. In vitro experimentations show strong angiogenesis inhibition but normal lymphangiogenesis, suggesting indirect inhibitory effect of Sunitinib on corneal lymphangiogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailMT-MMPs as regulators of vessel stability associated with angiogenesis
Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Paye, Alexandra ULg; Host, Lorin et al

in Frontiers in Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Drugs (2011), 2:111

The development of vascular system depends on the coordinated activity of a number of distinct families of molecules including growth factors and their receptors, cell adhesion molecules, extracellular ... [more ▼]

The development of vascular system depends on the coordinated activity of a number of distinct families of molecules including growth factors and their receptors, cell adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, and proteolytic enzymes. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of ECM degrading enzymes required for both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Increasing evidence, point to a direct role of membrane type-MMPs (MT-MMPs) in vascular system stabilization, maturation, and leakage. Our understanding of the nature of MT-MMP interaction with extracellular and cell surface molecules and their multiple roles in vessel walls and perivascular stroma may provide new insights into mechanisms underlying vascular cell-ECM interactions and cell fate decisions in pathological conditions. Regulation of vascular leakage by MT-MMP interactions with the ECM could also lead to novel targeting opportunities for drug delivery in tumor. This review will shed lights on the emerging roles of MT1-MMP and MT4-MMP in vascular system alterations associated with cancer progression. [less ▲]

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