References of "Willems, Luc"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMechanisms of HTLV-1 persistence and transformation.
Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in British Journal of Cancer (2009), 101(9), 1497-501

Adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL) is caused by the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). HTLV-1 has elaborated strategies to persist and replicate in the presence of a strong immune response. In ... [more ▼]

Adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL) is caused by the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). HTLV-1 has elaborated strategies to persist and replicate in the presence of a strong immune response. In this review, we summarise these mechanisms and their contribution to T-cell transformation and ATL development. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 20 (6 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe 14th International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and related retroviruses (July 1-4, 2009; Salvador, Brazil).
Willems, Luc ULg

in Retrovirology (2009), 6

The "14th International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and Related Retroviruses" was held in Salvador, Bahia, from July 1st to July 4th 2009. The aim of this biennial meeting is to promote ... [more ▼]

The "14th International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and Related Retroviruses" was held in Salvador, Bahia, from July 1st to July 4th 2009. The aim of this biennial meeting is to promote discussion and share new findings between researchers and clinicians for the benefit of patients infected by human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV). HTLV infects approximately 15-20 million individuals worldwide and causes a broad spectrum of diseases including neurodegeneration and leukemia. The scientific program included a breadth of HTLV research topics: epidemiology, host immune response, basic mechanisms of protein function, virology, pathogenesis, clinical aspects and treatment. Exciting new findings were presented in these different fields, and the new advances have led to novel clinical trials. Here, highlights from this conference are summarized. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (8 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMeasurement of ribosomal RNA turnover in vivo by use of deuterium-labeled glucose.
Defoiche, Julien; Zhang, Yan; Lagneaux, Laurence et al

in Clinical Chemistry (2009), 55(10), 1824-33

BACKGROUND: Most methods for estimation of rates of RNA production are not applicable in human in vivo clinical studies. We describe here an approach for measuring ribosomal RNA turnover in vivo using [6 ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Most methods for estimation of rates of RNA production are not applicable in human in vivo clinical studies. We describe here an approach for measuring ribosomal RNA turnover in vivo using [6,6-(2)H(2)]-glucose as a precursor for de novo RNA synthesis. Because this method involves neither radioactivity nor toxic metabolites, it is suitable for human studies. METHODS: For method development in vitro, a lymphocyte cell line (PM1) was cultured in the presence of [6,6-(2)H(2)]-glucose. RNA was extracted, hydrolyzed enzymatically to ribonucleosides, and derivatized to either the aldonitrile tetra-acetate or the pentafluoro triacetate derivative of the pentose before GC-MS. We identified optimum derivatization and analysis conditions and demonstrated quantitative incorporation of deuterium from glucose into RNA of dividing cells. RESULTS: Pilot clinical studies demonstrated the applicability of this approach to blood leukocytes and solid tissues. A patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia received [6,6-(2)H(2)]-glucose (1 g/kg) orally in aliquots administered every 30 min for a period of 10 h. When we analyzed CD3(-) B cells that had been purified by gradient centrifugation and magnetic-bead adhesion, we observed deuterium enrichment, a finding consistent with a ribosomal RNA production rate of about 7%/day, despite the slow division rates observed in concurrent DNA-labeling analysis. Similarly, in 2 patients with malignant infiltration of lymph nodes, administration of [6,6-(2)H(2)]-glucose (by intravenous infusion for 24 h) before excision biopsy allowed estimation of DNA and RNA turnover in lymph node samples. CONCLUSIONS: Our study results demonstrate the proof-of-principle that deuterium-labeled glucose may be used to analyze RNA turnover, in addition to DNA production/cell proliferation, in clinical samples. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 45 (5 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEmphasis on cell turnover in two hosts infected by bovine leukemia virus: a rationale for host susceptibility to disease.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg et al

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

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

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

Detailed reference viewed: 40 (20 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEarly and transient reverse transcription during primary deltaretroviral infection of sheep.
Pomier, Carole; Alcaraz, Maria Teresa Sanchez; Debacq, Christophe et al

in Retrovirology (2008), 5

BACKGROUND: Intraindividual genetic variability plays a central role in deltaretrovirus replication and associated leukemogenesis in animals as in humans. To date, the replication of these viruses has ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Intraindividual genetic variability plays a central role in deltaretrovirus replication and associated leukemogenesis in animals as in humans. To date, the replication of these viruses has only been investigated during the chronic phase of the infection when they mainly spread through the clonal expansion of their host cells, vary through a somatic mutation process without evidence for reverse transcriptase (RT)-associated substitution. Primary infection of a new organism necessary involves allogenic cell infection and thus reverse transcription. RESULTS: Here we demonstrate that the primary experimental bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection of sheep displays an early and intense burst of horizontal replicative dissemination of the virus generating frequent RT-associated substitutions that account for 69% of the in vivo BLV genetic variability during the first 8 months of the infection. During this period, evidence has been found of a cell-to-cell passage of a mutated sequence and of a sequence having undergone both RT-associated and somatic mutations. The detection of RT-dependent proviral substitution was restricted to a narrow window encompassing the first 250 days following seroconversion. CONCLUSION: In contrast to lentiviruses, deltaretroviruses display two time-dependent mechanisms of genetic variation that parallel their two-step nature of replication in vivo. We propose that the early and transient RT-based horizontal replication helps the virus escape the first wave of host immune response whereas somatic-dependent genetic variability during persistent clonal expansion helps infected clones escape the persistent and intense immune pressure that characterizes the chronic phase of deltaretrovirus infection. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 37 (21 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailImplication des modifications épigénétiques dans les cancers : développement de nouvelles approches thérapeutiques
Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

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

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

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

Detailed reference viewed: 37 (11 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe HTLV-1 Tax interactome.
Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Twizere, Jean-Claude ULg; Legros, Sebastien et al

in Retrovirology (2008), 5

The Tax1 oncoprotein encoded by Human T-lymphotropic virus type I is a major determinant of viral persistence and pathogenesis. Tax1 affects a wide variety of cellular signalling pathways leading to ... [more ▼]

The Tax1 oncoprotein encoded by Human T-lymphotropic virus type I is a major determinant of viral persistence and pathogenesis. Tax1 affects a wide variety of cellular signalling pathways leading to transcriptional activation, proliferation and ultimately transformation. To carry out these functions, Tax1 interacts with and modulates activity of a number of cellular proteins. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge of the Tax1 interactome and propose a rationale for the broad range of cellular proteins identified so far. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 65 (31 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHow HTLV-1 may subvert miRNAs for persistence and transformation.
Bouzar, Amel ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Retrovirology (2008), 5

Distinct mechanisms are used by viruses to interact with cellular miRNAs. The role of microRNAs in viral replication and persistence ranges from viral-encoded microRNAs to suppressors of RNA interference ... [more ▼]

Distinct mechanisms are used by viruses to interact with cellular miRNAs. The role of microRNAs in viral replication and persistence ranges from viral-encoded microRNAs to suppressors of RNA interference. Viruses can also exploit cellular miRNAs for influencing cellular metabolism to ensure efficient replication or latency. In particular, two recent studies provide examples of how HTLV-1 may co-opt or subvert cellular miRNAs for persistent replication and oncogenic purposes. The pathways modulated by these described miRNAs are critically involved in apoptosis, proliferation and innate immune response. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 62 (29 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailReduction of B cell turnover in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Defoiche, Julien; Debacq, Christophe; Asquith, Becca et al

in British Journal of Haematology (2008), 143(2), 240-7

Whether chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a latent or a proliferating disease has been intensively debated. Whilst the dogma that CLL results from accumulation of dormant lymphocytes is supported by ... [more ▼]

Whether chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a latent or a proliferating disease has been intensively debated. Whilst the dogma that CLL results from accumulation of dormant lymphocytes is supported by the unresponsiveness of leukaemic cells to antigens and polyclonal activators, recent in vivo kinetic measurements indicate that B lymphocytes do divide at significant rates in CLL. However, an important and still unanswered question is whether CLL cells proliferate faster or slower compared with their normal counterparts. This report addressed directly this point and compared B-cell kinetics in CLL subjects and healthy controls, using a pulse-chase approach based on incorporation of deuterium from 6,6-(2)H(2)-glucose into DNA. We confirmed that B cells proliferated at significant levels in CLL but found that the proliferation rates were reduced compared with healthy subjects (mean 0.47 vs. 1.31%/d respectively, P = 0.007), equivalent to an extended doubling time of circulating B cells (147 d vs. 53 d). In conclusion, CLL B cells proliferate at reduced levels compared with healthy controls. CLL is thus characterized by an aberrant B-cell kinetics with a decrease in cell turnover, an observation that may impact on elaboration of efficient therapeutic strategies. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 47 (12 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailLe virus de la leucemie bovine et l'homeostasie du compartiment lymphocytaire peripherique.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007), 11(1),

Detailed reference viewed: 18 (6 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by bovine leukemia virus: prospects for novel anti-retroviral therapies in human.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

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

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

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

Detailed reference viewed: 65 (14 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEven attenuated bovine leukemia virus proviruses can be pathogenic in sheep.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

in Journal of virology (2007), 81(18), 10195-200

Based on a reverse genetics approach, we previously reported that bovine leukemia virus (BLV) mutants harboring deletions in the accessory R3 and G4 genes persist at very low proviral loads and are unable ... [more ▼]

Based on a reverse genetics approach, we previously reported that bovine leukemia virus (BLV) mutants harboring deletions in the accessory R3 and G4 genes persist at very low proviral loads and are unable to induce leukemia or lymphoma in sheep, indicating that these R3 and G4 gene sequences are required for pathogenesis. We now show that lymphoma can occur, albeit infrequently (1 case of 20) and after extended periods of latency (7 years). Direct sequencing and reinfection experiments demonstrated that lymphomagenesis was not due to the reversion of the mutant to the wild type. Similar observations with another type of attenuated mutant impaired in the transmembrane protein (TM) YXXL signaling motifs were made. We conclude that the R3 and G4 genes and the TM YXXL motifs are not strictly required for pathogenesis but that their integrity contributes to disease frequency and latency. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 69 (29 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCell dynamics and immune response to BLV infection: a unifying model
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca et al

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

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

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

Detailed reference viewed: 203 (41 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailValproic acid induces apoptosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells through activation of the death receptor pathway and potentiates TRAIL response.
Lagneaux, Laurence; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Stamatopoulos, Basile et al

in Experimental hematology (2007), 35(10), 1527-37

OBJECTIVE: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells develop chemoresistance over time associated with defects in apoptosis pathway. Novel treatment strategies are required to overcome resistance of cells ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells develop chemoresistance over time associated with defects in apoptosis pathway. Novel treatment strategies are required to overcome resistance of cells to commonly used agents. The effects of valproic acid (VPA), an antiepileptic drug with histone deacetylase inhibitory activity, on mononuclear cells isolated from 40 CLL patients were evaluated. METHODS: CLL cells were treated with increasing doses of VPA (0.5, 1, 2, and 5 mM). The mode of cytotoxic drug action was determined by annexin binding, DNA fragmentation, and caspase activation. RESULTS: Exposure of CLL cells to VPA resulted in dose-dependent cytotoxicity and apoptosis in the 40 CLL patients. VPA treatment induced apoptotic changes in CLL cells including phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation. The mean apoptotic rates were similar between IgV(H) mutated and unmutated patients, the latter presenting a more aggressive clinical course. VPA induced apoptosis via the extrinsic pathway involving engagement of the caspase-8-dependent cascade. Although CLL cells are commonly resistant to death receptor-induced apoptosis, VPA significantly increased sensitivity of leukemic cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and led to downregulation of c-FLIP (L) expression. VPA caused no potentialization of TRAIL-induced apoptosis on normal B cells. In addition, VPA overcame the prosurvival effects of bone marrow stromal cells. CONCLUSION: These findings point out that the combination of TRAIL and VPA, at clinically relevant concentration, may be valuable in the treatment of CLL. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 50 (4 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHistone deacetylase mediated transcriptional activation reduces proviral loads in HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis patients.
Lezin, Agnes; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Olindo, Stephane et al

in Blood (2007), 110(10), 3722-8

Epigenetic modifications of chromatin may play a role in maintaining viral latency and thus persistence of the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is responsible for HTLV-associated ... [more ▼]

Epigenetic modifications of chromatin may play a role in maintaining viral latency and thus persistence of the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is responsible for HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). A major determinant of disease progression is increased peripheral blood proviral load (PVL), possibly via the accumulation of infected cells in the central nervous system (CNS) creating a damaging inflammatory response. Current therapeutic approaches that focus on reducing either cell proliferation, viral replication, or tissue invasion are still unsatisfactory. Contrasting with these inhibitory strategies, we evaluated the efficacy of a novel approach aimed, paradoxically, at activating viral gene expression to expose virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We used valproate (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor that has been used for decades as a chronic, safe treatment for epileptic disorders. Based on in vitro and in vivo data, we provide evidence that transient activation of the latent viral reservoir causes its collapse, a process that may alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP. This represents the first such approach to treating HAM/TSP, using gene activation therapy to tilt the host-pathogen balance in favor of an existing antiviral response. This trial is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov/as no. NCT00519181. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 29 (19 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHomologies entre les deux retrovirus BLV et HTLV-1 et developpement d'une nouvelle approche therapeutique basee sur la levee de la latence virale.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007), 11(2),

Detailed reference viewed: 13 (5 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailLes chémokines et leurs récepteurs : rôle dans les infections virales et dans les pathologies cancéreuses
Burteau, C.; Willems, Luc ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007)

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHuman T-cell leukemia virus type-1 Tax oncoprotein regulates G-protein signaling.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ULg; Springael, Jean-Yves; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

in Blood (2007), 109(3), 1051-60

Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological syndromes. HTLV-1 encodes the oncoprotein Tax-1, which modulates viral and cellular gene ... [more ▼]

Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological syndromes. HTLV-1 encodes the oncoprotein Tax-1, which modulates viral and cellular gene expression leading to T-cell transformation. Guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest family of membrane proteins known and are involved in the regulation of most biological functions. Here, we report an interaction between HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein and the G-protein beta subunit. Interestingly, though the G-protein beta subunit inhibits Tax-mediated viral transcription, Tax-1 perturbs G-protein beta subcellular localization. Functional evidence for these observations was obtained using conditional Tax-1-expressing transformed T-lymphocytes, where Tax expression correlated with activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. Our data indicated that HTLV-1 developed a strategy based on the activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis in the infected cell; this could have tremendous implications for new therapeutic strategies. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 232 (40 ULg)