Publications of Elettra BIANCHI
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See detailLa vignette diagnostique de l’étudiant. Ataxie subaiguë et chutes chez une patiente de 62 ans
JEDIDI, Zayd ULiege; Moonen, Gustave ULiege; Bianchi, Elettra ULiege et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2020), 75(3), 190-198

ésumé : Nous discutons la démarche sémiologique et diagnostique d’un cas d’ataxie chez une patiente de 62 ans, indemne de tout antécédent médical significatif. A l’occasion de cette vignette diagnostique ... [more ▼]

ésumé : Nous discutons la démarche sémiologique et diagnostique d’un cas d’ataxie chez une patiente de 62 ans, indemne de tout antécédent médical significatif. A l’occasion de cette vignette diagnostique, nous insistons sur trois aspects : 1. La nécessité de contextualiser la démarche pour éviter d’évoquer des diagnostics différentiels irréalistes; 2. La nécessité de choisir les examens complémentaires pertinents en les hiérarchisant en fonction de la probabilité de contribuer au diagnostic, de leur invasivité et de leur disponibilité, y compris de leur coût et 3. Le caractère évolutif de la démarche diagnostique qu’il faut pouvoir remettre en question au fil des informations que fournissent l’évolution du patient et les résultats des investigations. [less ▲]

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See detailTGFBI, an ECM interacting protein, enhances glycolysis and promotes pancreatic cancer cell migration
Costanza, Brunella ULiege; Rademaker, Gilles ULiege; Tiamiou, Assia ULiege et al

in International Journal of Cancer (2019)

Pancreatic cancer (PDAC) remains a deadly malignancy with no efficient therapy available up-to-date. Glycolysis is the main provider of energetic substrates to sustain cancer dissemination of PDAC ... [more ▼]

Pancreatic cancer (PDAC) remains a deadly malignancy with no efficient therapy available up-to-date. Glycolysis is the main provider of energetic substrates to sustain cancer dissemination of PDAC. Accordingly, altering the glycolytic pathway is foreseen as a sound approach to trigger pancreatic cancer regression. Here, we show for the first time that high TGFBI expression in PDAC patients is associated with a poor outcome. We demonstrate that, although usually secreted by stromal cells, PDAC cells synthesize and secrete TGFBI in quantity correlated with their migratory capacity. Mechanistically, we show that TGFBI activates FAK signaling pathway through its binding to integrin αVβ5, leading to a significant enhancement of glycolysis and to the acquisition of an invasive phenotype. Finally, we show that TGFBI silencing significantly inhibits PDAC tumor development in a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay model. Our study highlights TGFBI as an oncogenic ECM interacting protein that bears the potential to serve as a target for new anti-PDAC therapeutic strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailAsporin Is a Fibroblast-Derived TGF-beta1 Inhibitor and a Tumor Suppressor Associated with Good Prognosis in Breast Cancer.
Maris, Pamela; Blomme, Arnaud ULiege; Palacios, Ana Perez et al

in PLoS Medicine (2015), 12(9), 1001871

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a leading malignancy affecting the female population worldwide. Most morbidity is caused by metastases that remain incurable to date. TGF-beta1 has been identified as a key ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a leading malignancy affecting the female population worldwide. Most morbidity is caused by metastases that remain incurable to date. TGF-beta1 has been identified as a key driving force behind metastatic breast cancer, with promising therapeutic implications. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Employing immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis, we report, to our knowledge for the first time, that asporin is overexpressed in the stroma of most human breast cancers and is not expressed in normal breast tissue. In vitro, asporin is secreted by breast fibroblasts upon exposure to conditioned medium from some but not all human breast cancer cells. While hormone receptor (HR) positive cells cause strong asporin expression, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells suppress it. Further, our findings show that soluble IL-1beta, secreted by TNBC cells, is responsible for inhibiting asporin in normal and cancer-associated fibroblasts. Using recombinant protein, as well as a synthetic peptide fragment, we demonstrate the ability of asporin to inhibit TGF-beta1-mediated SMAD2 phosphorylation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and stemness in breast cancer cells. In two in vivo murine models of TNBC, we observed that tumors expressing asporin exhibit significantly reduced growth (2-fold; p = 0.01) and metastatic properties (3-fold; p = 0.045). A retrospective IHC study performed on human breast carcinoma (n = 180) demonstrates that asporin expression is lowest in TNBC and HER2+ tumors, while HR+ tumors have significantly higher asporin expression (4-fold; p = 0.001). Assessment of asporin expression and patient outcome (n = 60; 10-y follow-up) shows that low protein levels in the primary breast lesion significantly delineate patients with bad outcome regardless of the tumor HR status (area under the curve = 0.87; 95% CI 0.78-0.96; p = 0.0001). Survival analysis, based on gene expression (n = 375; 25-y follow-up), confirmed that low asporin levels are associated with a reduced likelihood of survival (hazard ratio = 0.58; 95% CI 0.37-0.91; p = 0.017). Although these data highlight the potential of asporin to serve as a prognostic marker, confirmation of the clinical value would require a prospective study on a much larger patient cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that asporin is a stroma-derived inhibitor of TGF-beta1 and a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. High asporin expression is significantly associated with less aggressive tumors, stratifying patients according to the clinical outcome. Future pre-clinical studies should consider options for increasing asporin expression in TNBC as a promising strategy for targeted therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailAccessibilome of human glioblastoma: collagen-VI-alpha-1 is a new target and a marker of poor outcome
Turtoi, Andrei ULiege; Blomme, Arnaud ULiege; BIANCHI, Elettra ULiege et al

in Journal of Proteome Research (2014), 13(12), 5660-5669

Functional targeted therapy has unfortunately failed to improve the outcome of glioblastoma patients. Success stories evidenced by the use of antibody-drug conjugates in other tumor types are encouraging ... [more ▼]

Functional targeted therapy has unfortunately failed to improve the outcome of glioblastoma patients. Success stories evidenced by the use of antibody-drug conjugates in other tumor types are encouraging, but targets specific to glioblastoma and accessible through the bloodstream remain scarce. In the current work, we have identified and characterized novel and accessible proteins using an innovative proteomic approach on six human glioblastomas; the corresponding data have been deposited in the PRIDE database identifier PXD001398. Among several clusters of uniquely expressed proteins, we highlight collagen-VI-alpha-1 (COL6A1) as a highly expressed tumor biomarker with low levels in most normal tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis of glioma samples from 61 patients demonstrated that COL6A1 is a significant and consistent feature of high-grade glioma. Deposits of COL6A1 were evidenced in the perivascular regions of the tumor-associated vasculature and in glioma cells found in pseudopalisade structures. Retrospective analysis of public gene-expression data sets from over 300 glioma patients demonstrated a significant correlation of poor patient outcome and high COL6A1 expression. In a proof-of-concept study, we use chicken chorioallantoic membrane in vivo model to show that COL6A1 is a reachable target for IV-injected antibodies. The present data warrant further development of human COL6A1 antibodies for assessing the quantitative biodistribution in the preclinical tumor models. [less ▲]

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See detailBone mass of the calvarium
SIMONI, Paolo ULiege; STULKO, Jennifer ULiege; BEN MUSTAPHA, Selma ULiege et al

in Skeletal Radiology (2013), 42

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See detailMyoferlin is a key regulator of EGFR activity in breast cancer.
Turtoi, Andrei ULiege; Blomme, Arnaud ULiege; Bellahcene, Akeila ULiege et al

in Cancer Research (2013), 73

Myoferlin is a member of the ferlin family of proteins that participate in plasma membrane fusion, repair and endocytosis. While some reports have implicated myoferlin in cancer, the extent of its ... [more ▼]

Myoferlin is a member of the ferlin family of proteins that participate in plasma membrane fusion, repair and endocytosis. While some reports have implicated myoferlin in cancer, the extent of its expression in and contributions to cancer are not well established. In this study, we show that myoferlin is overexpressed in human breast cancers and that it is has a critical role in controlling degradation of the EGFR after its activation and internalization in breast cancer cells. Myoferlin depletion blocked EGF-induced cell migration and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Both effects were induced as a result of impaired degradation of phosphorylated EGFR via dysfunctional plasma membrane caveolae and alteration of caveolin homooligomerization. In parallel, myoferlin depletion reduced tumor development in a chicken chorioallantoic membrane xenograft model of human breast cancer. Considering the therapeutic significance of EGFR targeting, our findings identify myoferlin as an novel candidate function to target for future drug development. [less ▲]

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