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See detailViral expression directs the fate of B cells in BLV-infected sheep.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; De Brogniez, Alix ULg; Elemans, M. et al

in Journal of Virology (2012), 86(1), 621-624

The host immune response is believed to tightly control viral replication of deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV). However, this assumption ... [more ▼]

The host immune response is believed to tightly control viral replication of deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV). However, this assumption has not been definitely proven in vivo. In order to further evaluate the importance of immune response in the BLV model, we studied the fate of cells in which viral expression was transiently induced. Using a dual fluorochrome labeling approach, we show that ex vivo induction of viral expression induces higher death rates of B cells in vivo. Furthermore, cyclosporine treatment of these animals indicated that an efficient immune response is required to control virus expressing cells. [less ▲]

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See detailSafety of long-term treatment of HAM/TSP patients with valproic acid
Olindo, Stéphane; Belrose, Gildas; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Blood (2011), 118(24), 6306-6309

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential ... [more ▼]

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential therapeutic approach, we previously suggested reducing the proviral load (PVL) by modulating lysine deacetylase activity using valproic acid (VPA) and exposing virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We conducted a single-center, two-year open-label trial, with 19 HAM/TSP volunteers treated with oral VPA. PVL, CD38/HLA-DR expression and CD8+ lysis efficiency were not significantly affected by VPA. Mean scores of HAM/TSP disability did not differ between baseline and final visit. Walking Time Test (WTT) increased significantly (>20%) in 3 patients and was in keeping with minor VPA side effects (drowsiness and tremor). WTT improved rapidly after VPA discontinuation. We conclude that long term treatment with VPA is safe in HAM/TSP. [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 detailOpposite effects of valproate on Tax and HBZ expressions in T-lymphocytes from HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers and HAM/TSP patients.
Belrose, Gildas; Gross, Antoine; Olindo, Stéphane et al

in Blood (2011), 118(9), 2483-2491

A determinant of human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1)–associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) development is the HTLV-1–infected cell burden. Viral proteins Tax and HBZ, encoded by ... [more ▼]

A determinant of human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1)–associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) development is the HTLV-1–infected cell burden. Viral proteins Tax and HBZ, encoded by the sense and antisense strands of th pX region, respectively, play key roles in HTLV-1 persistence. Tax drives CD4 - cel clonal expansion and is the immunodominant viral antigen recognized by the immune response. Valproate (2-n-propylpentanoic acid, VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, was thought to trigger Tax expression, thereby exposing the latent HTLV-1 reservoir to immune destruction. We evaluated the impact of VPA on Tax, Gag, and HBZ expressions in cultured lymphocytes from HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers and HAM/TSP patients. Approximately one-fifth of proviruspositive CD4 T cells spontaneously became Tax-positive, but this fraction rose to two-thirds of Tax positive–infected cells when cultured with VPA. Valproate enhanced Gag-p19 release. Tax- and GagmRNA levels peaked spontaneously, before declining concomitantly to HBZmRNA increase. VPA enhanced and prolonged Tax-mRNA expression, whereas it blocked HBZ expression. Our findings suggest that, in addition to modulating Tax expression, another mechanism involving HBZ repression might determine the outcome ofVPAtreatment on HTLV-1–infected– cell proliferation and survival. [less ▲]

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See detailPreventive and Therapeutic Strategies for Bovine Leukemia Virus: Lessons for HTLV
Rodriguez, Sabrina ULg; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Viruses (2011), 3(7), 1210-1248

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus closely related to the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). BLV is a major animal health problem worldwide causing important economic losses. A series of ... [more ▼]

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus closely related to the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). BLV is a major animal health problem worldwide causing important economic losses. A series of attempts were developed to reduce prevalence, chiefly by eradication of infected cattle, segregation of BLV-free animals and vaccination. Although having been instrumental in regions such as the EU, these strategies were unsuccessful elsewhere mainly due to economic costs, management restrictions and lack of an efficient vaccine. This review, which summarizes the different attempts previously developed to decrease seroprevalence of BLV, may be informative for management of HTLV-1 infection. We also propose a new approach based on competitive infection with virus deletants aiming at reducing proviral loads. [less ▲]

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See detailEpigenetic regulation of angiogenesis
Shiva Shankar, Thammadihalli Veerasangaiah ULg; Sulka, Béatrice ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

Speech (2011)

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA ... [more ▼]

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibitors are potent anti-angiogenic compounds. Though combination of HDAC and DNMT inhibitors are now being examined in clinical trials of hematological malignancies, little work has been done to understand the effect of this combination on physiological and tumoral angiogenesis. We designed a family of twin drugs with intrinsic HDAC and DNMT inhibitory activities and tested in relevant models of angiogenesis in vitro (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells – HUVEC and aortic ring) and in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane and Zebrafish). We have identified a lead compound (EPI) affecting global histone acetylation and having quantifiable anti-angiogenic action without cytotoxic and apoptotic effect. In order to elucidate its anti-angiogenic mechanism, we characterized gene expression pattern simultaneously with the methylation profile of HUVEC cells treated with EPI and reference epigenetic modulators. This approach based on parallel microarray analyses permitted us to underscore a list of genes exclusively affected by EPI but not by other HDAC or DNMT inhibitors. These genes were then analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software revealing potential involvement of a subset of genes in angiogenesis. Our present aim is to validate the expression levels of a series of genes with respect to epigenetic mechanisms (histone modifications and DNA methylation). Finally, the biological relevance of the target genes will be explored by RNA silencing. Hence, we are using these novel epigenetic modulators as a tool to understand the regulatory mechanism of angiogenesis and to develop effective approaches to treat cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailNovel HDAC/DNMT Twin inhibitors interfere with angiogenesis
Shiva Shankar, Thammadihalli Veerasangaiah ULg; Sulka, Béatrice ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

Poster (2011, January 31)

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA ... [more ▼]

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibitors are potent anti-angiogenic compounds. Though combination of HDAC and DNMT inhibitors are now being examined in clinical trials of hematological malignancies, little work has been done to understand the effect of this combination on physiological and tumoral angiogenesis. We have designed and tested a family of twin drugs with intrinsic HDAC and DNMT inhibitory activities in relevant models of angiogenesis in vitro (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells – HUVEC and aortic ring) and in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane and Zebrafish). We have identified a lead compound having quantifiable anti-angiogenic effect without cytotoxicity affecting global histone acetylation and DNA methylation levels. In order to elucidate its anti-angiogenic mechanism, we characterized gene expression pattern simultaneously with the methylation profile of HUVEC cells treated with the lead compound and reference epigenetic modulators. This approach based on parallel microarray analyses permitted us to underscore a list of genes exclusively affected by the lead compound but not by other HDAC or DNMT inhibitors. These genes were then analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathway software revealing potential involvement of a subset of genes in angiogenesis. Our present aim is to validate the expression levels of a series of genes with respect to epigenetic mechanisms (histone modifications and DNA methylation). Finally, the biological relevance of the target genes will be explored by RNA silencing. Hence, we are using these novel epigenetic modulators as a tool to understand the regulatory mechanism of angiogenesis and to develop effective approaches to treat cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailValproate–doxorubicin: promising therapy for progressing mesothelioma. A phase II study
Scherpereel, a; Berghmans, t; Lafitte, j.j et al

in European Respiratory Journal (2011), 37

No treatment is recommended for patients with malignant mesothelioma (MM) failing after first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy. In vitro data suggested that valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor ... [more ▼]

No treatment is recommended for patients with malignant mesothelioma (MM) failing after first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy. In vitro data suggested that valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), had a proapoptotic effect and synergised with doxorubicin to induce apoptosis in MM cells. Our primary end-point was to determine response rate of combined valproic acid and doxorubicin in patients with unresectable MM failing after platinum based chemotherapy. Treatment consisted of doxorubicin (60 mg?m-2) plus valproic acid. An interim analysis for response rate was planned after the first 16 registered patients. All the cases were centrally reviewed. From July 2006 to March 2009, 45 eligible patients with pleural MM were registered. The majority of the patients were male (73%), had a performance status (PS) o80 (76%) and an epithelioid subtype (80%). There were seven partial responses (response rate 16%; 95% CI 3– 25%), all in patients with PS 80–100. The best disease control rate was 36% (95% CI 22–51%). Two toxic deaths were observed (febrile neutropenia and cerebral thrombotic event), both in patients with poor PS (60–70). Valproic acid, an HDACi, plus doxorubicin appeared an effective chemotherapy regimen in good PS (80–100) patients with refractory or recurrent MM, for which no standard therapy was available. [less ▲]

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See detailNovel HDAC/DNMT Twin Inhibitors Interfere with Angiogenesis
Shiva Shankar, Thammadihalli Veerasangaiah ULg; Sulka, Béatrice ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

Poster (2011)

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA ... [more ▼]

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibitors are potent anti-angiogenic compounds. Though combination of HDAC and DNMT inhibitors are now being examined in clinical trials of hematological malignancies, little work has been done to understand the effect of this combination on physiological and tumoral angiogenesis. We have designed and tested a family of twin drugs with intrinsic HDAC and DNMT inhibitory activities in relevant models of angiogenesis in vitro (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells – HUVEC and aortic ring) and in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane and Zebrafish). We have identified a lead compound having quantifiable anti-angiogenic effect without cytotoxicity affecting global histone acetylation and DNA methylation levels. In order to elucidate its anti-angiogenic mechanism, we characterized gene expression pattern simultaneously with the methylation profile of HUVEC cells treated with the lead compound and reference epigenetic modulators. This approach based on parallel microarray analyses permitted us to underscore a list of genes exclusively affected by the lead compound but not by other HDAC or DNMT inhibitors. These genes were then analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathway software revealing potential involvement of a subset of genes in angiogenesis. Our present aim is to validate the expression levels of a series of genes with respect to epigenetic mechanisms (histone modifications and DNA methylation). Finally, the biological relevance of the target genes will be explored by RNA silencing. Hence, we are using these novel epigenetic modulators as a tool to understand the regulatory mechanism of angiogenesis and to develop effective approaches to treat cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo ribosomal RNA turnover is down-regulated in leukaemic cells in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
Defoiche, Julien; Zhang, Yan; Lagneaux, Laurence et al

in British Journal of Haematology (2010), 151

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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 detailFacilitating studies of cell proliferation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Macallan, Derek C.; Defoiche, Julien; Willems, Luc ULg

in Leukemia Research (2010), 34

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See detailNovel HDAC/DNMT twin inhibitors interfere with angiogenesis
Shiva Shankar, Thammadihalli Veerasangaiah ULg; Sulka, Béatrice; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

Poster (2010)

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA ... [more ▼]

DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two key epigenetic modifications that play central role in regulation of gene expression. Several studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibitors are potent antiangiogenic compounds. Though combination of HDAC and DNMT inhibitors are now being examined in clinical trials of hematological malignancies, very little work has been done to understand the effect of this combination on normal and tumoral angiogenesis. We have designed and tested a family of twin drugs with intrinsic HDAC and DNMT inhibitory activities in relevant models of angiogenesis in vitro (endothelial cells, pericytes and the 3D aortic ring assay) and in vivo (the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay). We have identified a lead compound having quantifiable antiangiogenic effect without cytotoxicity associated with increased global acetylation and decreased DNA methylation levels. This compound is presently used to develop effective approaches to treat cancer by modulating the process of angiogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term treatment with valproic acid does not alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP
Olindo, S.; Belrose, G.; Lezin, A. et al

in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (2009, July 01), 25(11), 21

Long-Term Treatment with Valproic Acid Does Not Alleviate the Condition of HAM/TSP Olindo, S.,1 Belrose, G.,2 Lezin, A.,2 Gillet, N.,3 Defoiche, J.,4 Rodriguez, S.,4 Signaté, A.,1 Verlaeten, O.,4 Smadja ... [more ▼]

Long-Term Treatment with Valproic Acid Does Not Alleviate the Condition of HAM/TSP Olindo, S.,1 Belrose, G.,2 Lezin, A.,2 Gillet, N.,3 Defoiche, J.,4 Rodriguez, S.,4 Signaté, A.,1 Verlaeten, O.,4 Smadja, D.,1 Césaire, R.,2 Willems, L.4 1Service de Neurologie and JE 2503, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fort-de-France, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique, France; 2Laboratoire de Virologie-Immunologie and JE 2503, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fort-de-France, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique, France; 3Department of Immunology, Imperial College, London, UK; 4Molecular and Cellular Biology, University Academia ‘‘Wallonie-Europe’’, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium. LW is Research Director of the FNRS. We previously proposed to interfere with proviral loads in HAM/TSP patients by modulating lysine deacetylase activity using valproic acid (VPA). The strategy aims at activating viral gene expression in order to expose virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We conducted a single-center, two-year open-label trial, with 19 HAM/TSP volunteers treated with oral doses of VPA (20mg/Kg/day). Objectives were to assess biological response and clinical safety to VPA treatment in HAM/TSP patients. By microarray analysis, we show that VPA treatment moderately stimulated expression of cyclinD2 and Rho GTPase activating protein 18 in CD4-T cells. CD8-mediated lysis efficiency of Tax-expressing cells was unaltered by VPA treatment. The CD4-T cell turnover rate was calculated by GC/MS analysis from quantitative incorporation of deuterium into DNA. Transient increase in proviral loads correlated with accelerated proliferation. After 2 years, the proviral loads reached levels similar to those before treatment. The main clinical side effects were drowsiness (52%), tremor (47%), digestive symptoms (37%), vertigo (26%), and alopecia (10%). The frequency of side symptoms tended to decrease over the trial course. The neurological status over the study constituted the primary clinical safety measures. Disability Status Scale, muscle testing score, Ashworth score, and urinary dysfunction score showed no significant changes. Walking Time Test (WTT) slightly varied over the study except in 3 patients in whom the WTT variation rates were>20%. These 3 patients experienced drowsiness and tremor and improved rapidly after treatment discontinuation. Together, these observations indicated that long term treatment with VPA is safe but does not alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP. [less ▲]

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See detailGene activation therapy: from the BLV model to HAM/TSP patients.
Lezin, Agnes; Olindo, Stephane; Belrose, Gildas et al

in Frontiers in Bioscience (Scholar Edition) (2009), 1

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host ... [more ▼]

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host-pathogen interplay is characterized by very dynamic kinetics resulting in equilibrium between the virus, which attempts to proliferate, and the immune response, which seeks to exert tight control of the virus. A major determinant of disease induction by both viruses is the accumulation of provirus in peripheral blood. In the absence of viral proteins, virus infected cells escape recognition and destruction by the host immune response. We propose a novel therapeutic strategy based on transient activation of viral expression using epigenetic modulators; this exposes infected cells to the immune response and results in significant reductions in proviral loads. In the absence of satisfactory therapies, this viral gene-activation strategy might delay progression, or even be curative, for HTLV-1 induced myelopathy / tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). [less ▲]

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See detailEarlier onset of delta-retrovirus-induced leukemia after splenectomy.
Florins, ARNAUD-FRANCOIS ULg; Reichert, Michal; Asquith, Becca et al

in PLoS ONE (2009), 4(9), 6943

Infection by delta-retroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is mostly asymptomatic. Indeed, only a minority (<5%) of delta-retrovirus infected hosts ... [more ▼]

Infection by delta-retroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is mostly asymptomatic. Indeed, only a minority (<5%) of delta-retrovirus infected hosts will develop either lymphoproliferative or neurodegenerative diseases after long latency periods. In fact, the host immune response is believed to tightly control viral replication but this assumption has not been definitely proven in vivo. Here, we provide direct experimental evidence demonstrating that integrity of the spleen is required to control pathogenesis. In the BLV model, we show that asplenia decreases efficiency of the immune response and induces an imbalance in cell dynamics resulting in accelerated onset of leukemia. These observations enlighten a potential threat in splenectomized HTLV-1 carriers and justify a regular preventive evaluation. [less ▲]

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See detailReduced levels of reactive oxygen species correlate with inhibition of apoptosis, rise in thioredoxin expression and increased bovine leukemia virus proviral loads.
Bouzar, Amel ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Florins, ARNAUD-FRANCOIS ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2009), 6

BACKGROUND: Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus that induces lymphoproliferation and leukemia in ruminants. In ex vivo cultures of B lymphocytes isolated from BLV-infected sheep show that ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is a deltaretrovirus that induces lymphoproliferation and leukemia in ruminants. In ex vivo cultures of B lymphocytes isolated from BLV-infected sheep show that spontaneous apoptosis is reduced. Here, we investigated the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in this process. RESULTS: We demonstrate that (i) the levels of ROS and a major product of oxidative stress (8-OHdG) are reduced, while the thioredoxin antioxidant protein is highly expressed in BLV-infected B lymphocytes, (ii) induction of ROS by valproate (VPA) is pro-apoptotic, (iii) inversely, the scavenging of ROS with N-acetylcysteine inhibits apoptosis, and finally (iv) the levels of ROS inversely correlate with the proviral loads. CONCLUSION: Together, these observations underline the importance of ROS in the mechanisms of inhibition of apoptosis linked to BLV infection. [less ▲]

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See detailA Dose-Effect Relationship For Deltaretrovirus-Dependent Leukemogenesis In Sheep
Pomier, Carole; Alcaraz, Maria Teresa Sanchez; Debacq, Christo^phe et al

in Retrovirology (2009), 6

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See detailValproate synergizes with purine nucleoside analogues to induce apoptosis of B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells.
Bouzar, Amel ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Defoiche, Julien et al

in British journal of haematology (2009), 144(1),

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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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