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See detailMyoferlin, a promising therapeutic target in PDAC, is located in mitochondria-associated membranes
Anania, Sandy ULiege; Boumahd, Yasmine ULiege; Peiffer, Raphaël ULiege et al

Poster (2021, June)

Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates with more than 90% of patients dying of the disease. It is predicted that pancreatic cancer will surpass breast cancer death by 2025. Therefore ... [more ▼]

Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates with more than 90% of patients dying of the disease. It is predicted that pancreatic cancer will surpass breast cancer death by 2025. Therefore, finding new therapeutic strategies is of major importance. Recently, myoferlin, a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, has been shown to impact mitochondrial dynamics and respiration. Because myoferlin has been showed to be a potential therapeutic target in PDAC, understanding its function and determining its localization in PDAC is of major importance. We focused our interest on mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs). [less ▲]

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See detailMyoferlin is a yet unknown interactor of the mitochondrial dynamics’ machinery in pancreas cancer cells
Anania, Sandy ULiege; Peiffer, Raphaël ULiege; Rademaker, Gilles ULiege et al

in Cancers (2020), 12(6), 1643

Pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the deadliest cancers where surgery remains the main survival factor. Mitochondria were described to be involved in tumor aggressiveness in several cancer types ... [more ▼]

Pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the deadliest cancers where surgery remains the main survival factor. Mitochondria were described to be involved in tumor aggressiveness in several cancer types including pancreas cancer. We have previously reported that myoferlin controls mitochondrial structure and function, and demonstrated that myoferlin depletion disturbs the mitochondrial dynamics culminating to a mitochondrial fission. In order to unravel the mechanism underlying this observation, we explored the myoferlin localization in pancreatic cancer cells and showed a colocalization with the mitochondrial dynamic machinery element: mitofusin. This colocalization was confirmed in several pancreas cancer cell lines and in normal cell lines as well. Moreover, in pancreas cancer cell lines, it appeared that myoferlin interacted with mitofusin. These discoveries open-up new research avenue aiming at modulating mitofusin function in pancreas cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailMethylglyoxal Scavengers Resensitize KRAS-Mutated Colorectal Tumors to Cetuximab
Bellier, Justine ULiege; Nokin, Marie-Julie ULiege; Caprasse, Maurine ULiege et al

in Cell Reports (2020), 30(5), 1400-14166

The use of cetuximab anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) antibodies has opened the era of targeted and personalized therapy in colorectal cancer (CRC). Poor response rates have been ... [more ▼]

The use of cetuximab anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) antibodies has opened the era of targeted and personalized therapy in colorectal cancer (CRC). Poor response rates have been unequivocally shown in mutant KRAS and are even observed in a majority of wild-type KRAS tumors. Therefore, patient selection based on mutational profiling remains problematic. We previously identified methylglyoxal (MGO), a by-product of glycolysis, as a metabolite promoting tumor growth and metastasis. Mutant KRAS cells under MGO stress show AKT-dependent survival when compared with wild-type KRAS isogenic CRC cells. MGO induces AKT activation through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/mammalian target of rapamycin 2 (mTORC2) and Hsp27 regulation. Importantly, the sole induction of MGO stress in sensitive wild-type KRAS cells renders them resistant to cetuximab. MGO scavengers inhibit AKT and resensitize KRAS-mutated CRC cells to cetuximab in vivo. This study establishes a link between MGO and AKT activation and pinpoints this oncometabolite as a potential target to tackle EGFR-targeted therapy resistance in CRC. [less ▲]

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See detailMyoferlin contributes to the metastatic phenotype of pancreatic cancer cells by enhancing their migratory capacity through the control of oxidative phosphorylation
Rademaker, Gilles ULiege; Costanza, Brunella ULiege; Anania, Sandy ULiege et al

in Cancers (2019), 11(6),

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest malignancies with an overall survival of 5%, and is the second cause of death by cancer, mainly linked to its high metastatic aggressiveness ... [more ▼]

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest malignancies with an overall survival of 5%, and is the second cause of death by cancer, mainly linked to its high metastatic aggressiveness. Accordingly, understanding the mechanisms sustaining the PDAC metastatic phenotype remains a priority. In this study, we have generated and used a murine in vivo model to select clones from the human PANC-1 PDAC cell line that exhibit a high propensity to seed and metastasized into the liver. We showed that myoferlin, a protein previously reported to be overexpressed in PDAC, is significantly involved in the migratory abilities of the selected cells. We first report that highly PANC-1 metastatic clones expressed significantly higher myoferlin level than the corresponding low metastatic ones. Using scratch wound and Boyden’s chamber assays, we show that cells expressing high myoferlin level have higher migratory potential than cells characterized by a low myoferlin abundance. Moreover, we demonstrate that myoferlin silencing leads to a migration decrease associated to a reduction of mitochondrial respiration. Since mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation has been shown to be implicated in the tumor progression and dissemination, our data identify myoferlin as a valid potential therapeutic target in PDAC. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman colon cancer cells highly express myoferlin to maintain a fit mitochondrial network and escape p53-driven apoptosis.
Rademaker, Gilles ULiege; Costanza, Brunella ULiege; Bellier, Justine ULiege et al

in Oncogenesis (2019)

Colon adenocarcinoma is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second deadliest one. Metabolic reprogramming, described as an emerging hallmark of malignant cells, includes the predominant use ... [more ▼]

Colon adenocarcinoma is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second deadliest one. Metabolic reprogramming, described as an emerging hallmark of malignant cells, includes the predominant use of glycolysis to produce energy. Recent studies demonstrated that mitochondrial electron transport chain inhibitor reduced colon cancer tumour growth. Accumulating evidence show that myoferlin, a member of the ferlin family, is highly expressed in several cancer types, where it acts as a tumour-promoter and participates in the metabolic rewiring towards oxidative metabolism. In this study, we showed that myoferlin expression in colon cancer lesions is associated with low patient survival and is higher than in non-tumoural adjacent tissue. Human colon cancer cells silenced for myoferlin exhibit a reduced oxidative phosphorylation activity associated with mitochondrial fission leading, ROS accumulation, decreased cell growth, and increased apoptosis. We observed the triggering of a DNA damage response culminating to a cell cycle arrest in wild-type p53 cells. The use of a p53 null cell line or a compound able to restore p53 activity (Prima-1) reverted the effects induced by myoferlin silencing, confirming the involvement of p53. The recent identification of a compound interacting with a myoferlin C2 domain and bearing anti-cancer potency identifies, together with our demonstration, this protein as a suitable new therapeutic target in colon cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of Bone Sialoprotein in Human Lung Cancer
Bellahcene, Akeila ULiege; Maloujahmoum, Naïma ULiege; Fisher, L. W. et al

in Calcified Tissue International (1997), 61(3), 183-8

Lung cancer belongs to the group of malignant lesions that specifically select bone as secondary implantation site. The molecular bases for this property, defined as osteotropism, is still largely unknown ... [more ▼]

Lung cancer belongs to the group of malignant lesions that specifically select bone as secondary implantation site. The molecular bases for this property, defined as osteotropism, is still largely unknown. The recent demonstration that human breast cancer cells express and attach to bone sialoprotein (BSP), a sulfated phosphoprotein rich in bone and other mineralized tissues, could provide a clue to elucidating bone metastases formation. BSP contains the integrin binding peptide Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD), as well as non-RGD cell attachment domain. Using an immunoperoxidase technique and a specific polyclonal antibody directed against a BSP synthetic peptide, we examined the expression of BSP in 48 lung lesions including 25 squamous carcinoma, 21 adenocarcinoma, and 2 bronchioloalveolar cancers, as well as 38 human ovarian carcinoma that constitute a group of generally nonosteotropic cancers. BSP was not specifically detected in normal lung tissue with the exception of cartilage associated with bronchi. Most of the adenocarcinoma (74%) and all squamous carcinoma of the lung examined exhibited detectable levels of BSP. Staining was mainly cytoplasmic and membrane associated. The two bronchioloalveolar lung cancers examined did not show detectable amounts of BSP. When microcalcifications were observed in pulmonary malignant lesions, they were usually associated with cancer cells expressing BSP. Only 21% of the ovarian cancers examined contained malignant cells with 2+ or 3+ positivity for BSP. We further demonstrated that in 8 of 10 additional lung cancers, BSP was detected at the mRNA level. Our observation is the first demonstration that BSP is expressed in non-small cell lung carcinoma. Lung cancer cells are now the second type of osteotropic malignant cells described to express BSP. Added to the observation that BSP expression is not frequent in ovarian carcinoma, a low osteotropic cancer, our study supports our hypothesis that BSP could play a role in determining the affinity of cancer cells to bone. [less ▲]

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