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See detailCirculating microRNA-based screening tool for breast cancer
Freres, Pierre ULg; Wenric, Stéphane ULg; Boukerroucha, Meriem et al

in Oncotarget (2015)

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly recognized as powerful biomarkers in several pathologies, including breast cancer. Here, their plasmatic levels were measured to be used as an alternative ... [more ▼]

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly recognized as powerful biomarkers in several pathologies, including breast cancer. Here, their plasmatic levels were measured to be used as an alternative screening procedure to mammography for breast cancer diagnosis. A plasma miRNA profile was determined by RT-qPCR in a cohort of 378 women. A diagnostic model was designed based on the expression of 8 miRNAs measured first in a profiling cohort composed of 41 primary breast cancers and 45 controls, and further validated in diverse cohorts composed of 108 primary breast cancers, 88 controls, 35 breast cancers in remission, 31 metastatic breast cancers and 30 gynecologic tumors. A receiver operating characteristic curve derived from the 8-miRNA random forest based diagnostic tool exhibited an area under the curve of 0.81. The accuracy of the diagnostic tool remained unchanged considering age and tumor stage. The miRNA signature correctly identified patients with metastatic breast cancer. The use of the classification model on cohorts of patients with breast cancers in remission and with gynecologic cancers yielded prediction distributions similar to that of the control group. Using a multivariate supervised learning method and a set of 8 circulating miRNAs, we designed an accurate, minimally invasive screening tool for breast cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailN-Hydroxy-6-(5-Nitro- Naphtalimide)-Hexanamide Inhibits Lysine Deacetylation, Mitigates Angiogenesis and Reduces Tumor Growth
Shankar, T.V. Shiva; Sulka, B.; Hubert, P. et al

in Journal of Cancer Sciences (2015), 2(1),

In this report, we present a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) (N-Hydroxy-6-(5-nitro-naphtalimide)-hexanamide: ES8) that efficiently inhibits angiogenesis in relevant ex vivo models (Human ... [more ▼]

In this report, we present a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) (N-Hydroxy-6-(5-nitro-naphtalimide)-hexanamide: ES8) that efficiently inhibits angiogenesis in relevant ex vivo models (Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), 3D aortic ring assay) and in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), Zebrafish). Transcriptomic profiling reveals a set of ES8 specific genes that are not affected by the prototypical HDACi suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA). Finally, ES8 also reduced tumor growth in mouse models of small cell lung cancer. Availability of a novel compound not centered exclusively on inhibition of angiogenic factors and inducing a characteristic transcription profile may be of interest to overcome resistance to currently used chemotherapies. [less ▲]

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See detailThe interaction of uPAR with VEGFR2 promotes VEGF-induced angiogenesis.
Herkenne, Stephanie; Paques, Cécile ULg; Nivelles, Olivier et al

in Science signaling (2015), 8(403), 117

In endothelial cells, binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to the receptor VEGFR2 activates multiple signaling pathways that trigger processes such as proliferation, survival, and ... [more ▼]

In endothelial cells, binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to the receptor VEGFR2 activates multiple signaling pathways that trigger processes such as proliferation, survival, and migration that are necessary for angiogenesis. VEGF-bound VEGFR2 becomes internalized, which is a key step in the proangiogenic signal. We showed that the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) interacted with VEGFR2 and described the mechanism by which this interaction mediated VEGF signaling and promoted angiogenesis. Knockdown of uPAR in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) impaired VEGFR2 signaling, and uPAR deficiency in mice prevented VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Upon exposure of HUVECs to VEGF, uPAR recruited the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1) to VEGFR2, which induced VEGFR2 internalization. Thus, the uPAR-VEGFR2 interaction is crucial for VEGF signaling in endothelial cells. [less ▲]

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See detailEndothelial exosomes contribute to the antitumor response during breast cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy via microRNA transfer.
Bovy, Nicolas ULg; Blomme, Benoît ULg; Freres, Pierre ULg et al

in Oncotarget (2015)

The interaction between tumor cells and their microenvironment is an essential aspect of tumor development. Therefore, understanding how this microenvironment communicates with tumor cells is crucial for ... [more ▼]

The interaction between tumor cells and their microenvironment is an essential aspect of tumor development. Therefore, understanding how this microenvironment communicates with tumor cells is crucial for the development of new anti-cancer therapies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that inhibit gene expression. They are secreted into the extracellular medium in vesicles called exosomes, which allow communication between cells via the transfer of their cargo. Consequently, we hypothesized that circulating endothelial miRNAs could be transferred to tumor cells and modify their phenotype. Using exogenous miRNA, we demonstrated that endothelial cells can transfer miRNA to tumor cells via exosomes. Using miRNA profiling, we identified miR-503, which exhibited downregulated levels in exosomes released from endothelial cells cultured under tumoral conditions. The modulation of miR-503 in breast cancer cells altered their proliferative and invasive capacities. We then identified two targets of miR-503, CCND2 and CCND3. Moreover, we measured increased plasmatic miR-503 in breast cancer patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which could be partly due to increased miRNA secretion by endothelial cells. Taken together, our data are the first to reveal the involvement of the endothelium in the modulation of tumor development via the secretion of circulating miR-503 in response to chemotherapy treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailNeoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer induces miR-34a and miR-122 expression
FRERES, Pierre ULg; JOSSE, Claire ULg; Bovy, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of Cellular Physiology (2014)

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been extensively studied in cancer as biomarkers but little is known regarding the influence of anti-cancer drugs on their expression levels. In this article, we ... [more ▼]

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been extensively studied in cancer as biomarkers but little is known regarding the influence of anti-cancer drugs on their expression levels. In this article, we describe the modifications of circulating miRNAs profile after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for breast cancer. The expression of 188 circulating miRNAs was assessed in the plasma of 25 patients before and after NAC by RT-qPCR. Two miRNAs, miR- 34a and miR-122, that were significantly increased after NAC, were measured in tumor tissue before and after chemotherapy in 7 patients with pathological partial response (pPR) to NAC. These 2 chemotherapy-induced miRNAs were further studied in the plasma of 22 patients with adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) as well as in 12 patients who did not receive any chemotherapy. Twenty-five plasma miRNAs were modified by NAC. Among these miRNAs, miR-34a and miR-122 were highly upregulated, notably in pPR patients with aggressive breast cancer. Furthermore, miR-34a level was elevated in the remaining tumor tissue after NAC treatment. Studying the kinetics of circulating miR-34a and miR-122 expression during NAC revealed that their levels were especially increased after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Comparisons of the plasma miRNA profiles after NAC and AC suggested that chemotherapy-induced miRNAs originated from both tumoral and non-tumoral compartments. This study is the first to demonstrate that NAC specifically induces miRNA expression in plasma and tumor tissue, which might be involved in the anti-tumor effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. [less ▲]

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See detailGrowth Factors-Induced Angiogenesis Requires uPAR on Endothelial Cells
Paques, Cécile ULg; Herkenne, Stéphanie ULg; Pollenus, Thomas et al

Poster (2014, May)

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See detailPAI-1 mediates the antiangiogenic and profibrinolytic effects of 16K prolactin.
Bajou, Khalid ULg; Herkenne, Stéphanie ULg; Thijssen, Victor L. et al

in Nature Medicine (2014), sous presse

The N-terminal fragment of prolactin (16K PRL) inhibits tumor growth by impairing angiogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we found that 16K PRL binds the fibrinolytic inhibitor ... [more ▼]

The N-terminal fragment of prolactin (16K PRL) inhibits tumor growth by impairing angiogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we found that 16K PRL binds the fibrinolytic inhibitor plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which is known to contextually promote tumor angiogenesis and growth. Loss of PAI-1 abrogated the antitumoral and antiangiogenic effects of 16K PRL. PAI-1 bound the ternary complex PAI-1-urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)-uPA receptor (uPAR), thereby exerting antiangiogenic effects. By inhibiting the antifibrinolytic activity of PAI-1, 16K PRL also protected mice against thromboembolism and promoted arterial clot lysis. Thus, by signaling through the PAI-1-uPA-uPAR complex, 16K PRL impairs tumor vascularization and growth and, by inhibiting the antifibrinolytic activity of PAI-1, promotes thrombolysis. [less ▲]

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See detailmiRNA cargo within exosome-like vesicle transfer influences metastatic bone colonization.
Valencia, Karmele; Luis-Ravelo, Diego; Bovy, Nicolas ULg et al

in Molecular oncology (2014), 8(3), 689-703

Bone metastasis represents one of the most deleterious clinical consequences arising in the context of many solid tumors. Severe osteolysis results from tumor cell colonization of the bone compartment, a ... [more ▼]

Bone metastasis represents one of the most deleterious clinical consequences arising in the context of many solid tumors. Severe osteolysis results from tumor cell colonization of the bone compartment, a process which entails reciprocal exchange of soluble signals between tumor cells and their osseous microenvironment. Recent evidence indicates that tumor-intrinsic miRNAs are pleiotropic regulators of gene expression. But they are also frequently released in exosome-like vesicles (ELV). Yet the functional relevance of the transference of tumor-derived ELV and their miRNA cargo to the extracellular milieu during osseous colonization is unknown. Comparative transcriptomic profiling using an in vivo murine model of bone metastasis identified a repressed miRNA signature associated with high prometastatic activity. Forced expression of single miRNAs identified miR-192 that markedly appeased osseous metastasis in vivo, as shown by X-ray, bioluminescence imaging and microCT scans. Histological examination of metastatic lesions revealed impaired tumor-induced angiogenesis in vivo, an effect that was associated in vitro with decreased hallmarks of angiogenesis. Isolation and characterization of ELV by flow cytometry, Western blot analysis, transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis revealed the ELV cargo enrichment in miR-192. Consistent with these findings, fluorescent labeled miR-192-enriched-ELV showed the in vitro transfer and release of miR-192 in target endothelial cells and abrogation of the angiogenic program by repression of proangiogenic IL-8, ICAM and CXCL1. Moreover, in vivo infusion of fluorescent labeled ELV efficiently targeted cells of the osseous compartment. Furthermore, treatment with miR-192 enriched ELV in a model of in vivo bone metastasis pre-conditioned osseous milieu and impaired tumor-induced angiogenesis, thereby reducing the metastatic burden and tumor colonization. Changes in the miRNA-cargo content within ELV represent a novel mechanism heavily influencing bone metastatic colonization, which is most likely relevant in other target organs. Mechanistic mimicry of this phenomenon by synthetic nanoparticles could eventually emerge as a novel therapeutic approach. [less ▲]

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See detailEndothelium-specific expression of the microRNA miR-146a by using the RCAS system
Fontaine, Marie ULg; Halkein, Julie; Tabruyn, Sébastien et al

Poster (2013, May 17)

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See detailLymphangiogenesis and extracellular matrix remodeling
Erpicum, Charlotte ULg; Detry, Benoît ULg; Paupert, Jenny ULg et al

Conference (2013, January 28)

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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 detailMicroRNA-146a is a therapeutic target and biomarker for peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Halkein, Julie ULg; Tabruyn, Sebastien P.; Ricke-Hoch, Melanie et al

in Journal of Clinical Investigation (2013), 123(5), 2143-54

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a life-threatening pregnancy-associated cardiomyopathy in previously healthy women. Although PPCM is driven in part by the 16-kDa N-terminal prolactin fragment (16K PRL ... [more ▼]

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a life-threatening pregnancy-associated cardiomyopathy in previously healthy women. Although PPCM is driven in part by the 16-kDa N-terminal prolactin fragment (16K PRL), the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We found that 16K PRL induced microRNA-146a (miR-146a) expression in ECs, which attenuated angiogenesis through downregulation of NRAS. 16K PRL stimulated the release of miR-146a-loaded exosomes from ECs. The exosomes were absorbed by cardiomyocytes, increasing miR-146a levels, which resulted in a subsequent decrease in metabolic activity and decreased expression of Erbb4, Notch1, and Irak1. Mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted Stat3 knockout (CKO mice) exhibited a PPCM-like phenotype and displayed increased cardiac miR-146a expression with coincident downregulation of Erbb4, Nras, Notch1, and Irak1. Blocking miR-146a with locked nucleic acids or antago-miRs attenuated PPCM in CKO mice without interrupting full-length prolactin signaling, as indicated by normal nursing activities. Finally, miR-146a was elevated in the plasma and hearts of PPCM patients, but not in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. These results demonstrate that miR-146a is a downstream-mediator of 16K PRL that could potentially serve as a biomarker and therapeutic target for PPCM. [less ▲]

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See detailMiR-205 is downregulated in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and impairs TGF-beta signaling pathways in endothelial cells.
Tabruyn, Sebastien P.; Hansen, Sylvain ULg; Ojeda-Fernandez, Maria-Luisa et al

in Angiogenesis (2013)

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by arteriovenous malformations and hemorrhages. This vascular disease results mainly from mutations in 2 genes ... [more ▼]

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by arteriovenous malformations and hemorrhages. This vascular disease results mainly from mutations in 2 genes involved in the TGF-beta pathway (ENG and ALK1) that are exclusively expressed by endothelial cells. The present study identified miR-27a and miR-205 as two circulating miRNAs differentially expressed in HHT patients. The plasma levels of miR-27a are elevated while those of miR-205 are reduced in both HHT1 and HHT2 patients compared to healthy controls. The role of miR-205 in endothelial cells was further investigated. Our data indicates that miR-205 expression displaces the TGF-beta balance towards the anti-angiogenic side by targeting Smad1 and Smad4. In line, overexpression of miR-205 in endothelial cells reduces proliferation, migration and tube formation while its inhibition shows opposite effects. This study not only suggests that detection of circulating miRNA (miR-27a and miR-205) could help for the screening of HHT patients but also provides a functional link between the deregulated expression of miR-205 and the HHT phenotype. [less ▲]

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