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1.  NF-κB-induced KIAA1199 promotes survival through EGFR signalling 
Nature Communications  2014;5:5232.
Constitutive activation of EGFR- and NF-κB-dependent pathways is a hallmark of cancer, yet signalling proteins that connect both oncogenic cascades are poorly characterized. Here we define KIAA1199 as a BCL-3- and p65-dependent gene in transformed keratinocytes. KIAA1199 expression is enhanced on human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and is aberrantly expressed in clinical cases of cervical (pre)neoplastic lesions. Mechanistically, KIAA1199 binds Plexin A2 and protects from Semaphorin 3A-mediated cell death by promoting EGFR stability and signalling. Moreover, KIAA1199 is an EGFR-binding protein and KIAA1199 deficiency impairs EGF-dependent Src, MEK1 and ERK1/2 phosphorylations. Therefore, EGFR stability and signalling to downstream kinases requires KIAA1199. As such, KIAA1199 promotes EGF-mediated epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Taken together, our data define KIAA1199 as an oncogenic protein induced by HPV infection and constitutive NF-κB activity that transmits pro-survival and invasive signals through EGFR signalling.
The cross-talk between constitutively active EGFR- and NF-κB-dependent pathways in cancer is poorly understood. Here, the authors identify KIAA1199 as a BCL3 and NF-κB-regulated protein that is expressed in cervical lesions and promotes tumorigenesis through Plexin A2 binding and regulation of EGFR stability.
PMCID: PMC4241993  PMID: 25366117
2.  In vivo skin fluorescence imaging in young Caucasian adults with early malignant melanomas 
Human cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is an aggressive cancer showing a dramatic worldwide increase in incidence over the past few decades. The most prominent relative epidemiological increase has been disclosed in young women. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of chronic sun exposures in order to rate the extend of melanocytic stimulations in the vicinity of CMM.
The study was designed to evaluate the melanin distribution and density using ultraviolet light illumination. The present study was performed on surgical excision specimens of thin CMM lesion removed from the upper limbs of 55 Caucasian adults (37 women and 18 men). Two control groups comprised 23 men and 21 women of similar ages who had medium-size congenital melanocytic nevi, also present on the upper limbs. The peritumoral skin was scrutinized using a Visioscan® VC98 device, revealing the faint mosaic melanoderma (FMM) pattern that grossly indicates early signs of chronic photodamage in epidermal melanin units.
The median extent of relative FMM was significantly higher in the CMM male group. By contrast, the CMM female group showed a reverse bimodal distribution in FMM size. Only 12/37 (32.5%) of the CMM female group had an increased FMM size, whereas 25/37 (67.5%) of females with CMM had a global FMM extent in the normal range, relative to the controls.
Thin CMM supervening in young women appear unrelated to repeat photoexposure. Other mechanisms are possibly involved.
PMCID: PMC4149332  PMID: 25187731
gender; HOX gene; ULEV method; genotoxicity; faint mosaic melanoderma
3.  Cyanoacrylate Skin Surface Stripping and the 3S-Biokit Advent in Tropical Dermatology: A Look from Liège 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:462634.
In the dermatopathology field, some simple available laboratory tests require minimum equipment for establishing a diagnosis. Among them, the cyanoacrylate skin surface stripping (CSSS), formerly named skin surface biopsy or follicular biopsy, represents a convenient low cost procedure. It is a minimally invasive method collecting a continuous sheet of stratum corneum and horny follicular casts. In the vast majority of cases, it is painless and is unassociated with adverse events. CSSS can be performed in subjects of any age. The method has a number of applications in diagnostic dermatopathology and cosmetology, as well as in experimental dermatology settings. A series of derived analytic procedures include xerosis grading, comedometry, corneofungimetry, corneodynamics of stratum corneum renewal, corneomelametry, corneosurfametry, and corneoxenometry.
PMCID: PMC4142174  PMID: 25177726
4.  Triple negative tumors accumulate significantly less methylglyoxal specific adducts than other human breast cancer subtypes 
Oncotarget  2014;5(14):5472-5482.
Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes are associated with increased risk of breast cancer development and progression. Methylglyoxal (MG), a glycolysis by-product, is generated through a non-enzymatic reaction from triose-phosphate intermediates. This dicarbonyl compound is highly reactive and contributes to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products. In this study, we analyzed the accumulation of Arg-pyrimidine, a MG-arginine adduct, in human breast adenocarcinoma and we observed a consistent increase of Arg-pyrimidine in cancer cells when compared with the non-tumoral counterpart. Further immunohistochemical comparative analysis of breast cancer subtypes revealed that triple negative lesions exhibited low accumulation of Arg-pyrimidine compared with other subtypes. Interestingly, the activity of glyoxalase 1 (Glo-1), an enzyme that detoxifies MG, was significantly higher in triple negative than in other subtype lesions, suggesting that these aggressive tumors are able to develop an efficient response against dicarbonyl stress. Using breast cancer cell lines, we substantiated these clinical observations by showing that, in contrast to triple positive, triple negative cells induced Glo-1 expression and activity in response to MG treatment. This is the first report that Arg-pyrimidine adduct accumulation is a consistent event in human breast cancer with a differential detection between triple negative and other breast cancer subtypes.
PMCID: PMC4170620  PMID: 24978626
methylglyoxal; breast cancer; advanced glycation end-products; Arg-pyrimidine adducts; glyoxalase 1
6.  ΔNp63 isoform-mediated β-defensin family up-regulation is associated with (lymph)angiogenesis and poor prognosis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma 
Oncotarget  2014;5(7):1856-1868.
Beside a role in normal development/differentiation, high p63 immunoreactivity is also frequently observed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Due to the complexity of the gene, the role of each p63 isotype in tumorigenesis is still confusing. Constitutively produced or induced in inflammatory conditions, human beta-defensins (HβDs) are cationic peptides involved in host defenses against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Here, we investigated both the role of p63 proteins in the regulation of HβDs and the implication of these antimicrobial peptides in tumor (lymph)angiogenesis. Thus, in contrast to TAp63 isotypes, we observed that ΔNp63 proteins (α, β, γ) induce HβD1, 2 and 4 expression. Similar results were observed in cancer tissues and cell lines. We next demonstrated that ΔNp63-overexpressing SCC are associated with both a poor prognosis and a high tumor vascularisation and lymphangiogenesis. Moreover, we showed that HβDs exert a chemotactic activity for (lymphatic) endothelial cells in a CCR6-dependent manner. The ability of HβDs to enhance (lymph)angiogenesis in vivo was also evaluated. We observed that HβDs increase the vessel number and induce a significant increase in relative vascular area compared to negative control. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that ΔNp63-regulated HβD could promote tumor (lymph)angiogenesis in SCC microenvironment.
PMCID: PMC4039122  PMID: 24732135
p63; defensins; (lymph)angiogenesis; prognosis; squamous cell carcinoma
7.  A Clinical and Pathological Overview of Vulvar Condyloma Acuminatum, Intraepithelial Neoplasia, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:480573.
Condyloma acuminatum, intraepithelial neoplasia, and squamous cell carcinoma are three relatively frequent vulvar lesions. Condyloma acuminatum is induced by low risk genotypes of human papillomavirus (HPV). Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) and squamous cell carcinoma have different etiopathogenic pathways and are related or not with high risk HPV types. The goal of this paper is to review the main pathological and clinical features of these lesions. A special attention has been paid also to epidemiological data, pathological classification, and clinical implications of these diseases.
PMCID: PMC3956289  PMID: 24719870
8.  Vulvar Skin Disorders throughout Lifetime: About Some Representative Dermatoses 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:595286.
The objective of this paper is to present general considerations which should be kept in mind by clinicians in charge of women with vulvar diseases. Four representative vulvar dermatoses are described. Lichen simplex chronicus is a pathological condition related to chemical and mechanical irritant agents. Detrimental effects of these irritants, in the presence of other dermatoses, have to be considered when therapeutic responses are unsatisfactory. Lichen sclerosus is the most common vulvar dermatosis in elderly. However, it should be kept in mind that it may be diagnosed at any age. Lichen planus, in spite of sharing a similar range of etiological factors with lichen sclerosus, is a very distinct entity. Finally, Paget's disease, although rare, is also described especially because of the challenge it represents both clinically and therapeutically.
PMCID: PMC3910662  PMID: 24511539
9.  The Anti-Tumor Effect of HDAC Inhibition in a Human Pancreas Cancer Model Is Significantly Improved by the Simultaneous Inhibition of Cyclooxygenase 2 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75102.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with no satisfactory treatment to date. In this study, we tested whether the combined inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and class I histone deacetylase (HDAC) may results in a better control of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The impact of the concomitant HDAC and COX-2 inhibition on cell growth, apoptosis and cell cycle was assessed first in vitro on human pancreas BxPC-3, PANC-1 or CFPAC-1 cells treated with chemical inhibitors (SAHA, MS-275 and celecoxib) or HDAC1/2/3/7 siRNA. To test the potential antitumoral activity of this combination in vivo, we have developed and characterized, a refined chick chorioallantoic membrane tumor model that histologically and proteomically mimics human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The combination of HDAC1/3 and COX-2 inhibition significantly impaired proliferation of BxPC-3 cells in vitro and stalled entirely the BxPC-3 cells tumor growth onto the chorioallantoic membrane in vivo. The combination was more effective than either drug used alone. Consistently, we showed that both HDAC1 and HDAC3 inhibition induced the expression of COX-2 via the NF-kB pathway. Our data demonstrate, for the first time in a Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) model, a significant action of HDAC and COX-2 inhibitors on cancer cell growth, which sets the basis for the development of potentially effective new combinatory therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients.
PMCID: PMC3770617  PMID: 24040391
10.  In Vivo Evaluation of the Skin Tensile Strength by the Suction Method: Pilot Study Coping with Hysteresis and Creep Extension 
ISRN Dermatology  2013;2013:841217.
From an engineering standpoint, both the skin and subcutaneous tissue act as interconnected load-transmitting structures. They are subject to a variety of intrinsic and environmental influences. Changes in the cutaneous viscoelasticity represent an important aspect in a series of skin conditions. The aim of this work was to explore the methodology of biomechanical measurements in order to better appreciate the evolution and severity of some connective tissue diseases. The Cutometer MPA 580 (C+K electronic) was used in the steep and progressive suction procedures. Adapting measurement modalities was explored in order to mitigate any variability in data collection. The repeat steep suction procedure conveniently reveals the creep phenomenon. By contrast, the progressive suction procedure highlights the hysteresis phenomenon. These viscoelastic characteristics are presently described using the 2 and 4 mm probes on normal skin and in scleroderma, acromegaly, corticosteroid-induced dermatoporosis, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The apposition of an additional outer contention on the skin altered differently the manifestations of the creep extension and hysteresis among the tested skin conditions. Any change in the mechanical test procedure affects the data. In clinical and experimental settings, it is mandatory to adhere to a strict and controlled protocol.
PMCID: PMC3748421  PMID: 23986871
11.  The skin landscape in diabetes mellitus. Focus on dermocosmetic management 
Some relationships are established between diabetes mellitus (DM) and a series of cutaneous disorders. Specific dermatoses are markers for undiagnosed DM. Other disorders represent supervening complications in an already treated DM patient.
To review the information about dermocosmetic care products and their appropriate use in the management and prevention of dermatoses related to DM.
The peer-reviewed literature and empiric findings are covered. Owing to the limited clinical evidence available for the use of dermocosmetics, a review of the routine practices and common therapies in DM-related dermatoses was conducted.
Some DM-related dermatoses (acanthosis nigricans, pigmented purpuric dermatosis) are markers of macrovascular complications. The same disorders and some others (xerosis, Dupuytren’s disease) have been found to be more frequently associated with microangiopathy. Other skin diseases (alopecia areata, vitiligo) were found to be markers of autoimmunity, particularly in type 1 DM. Unsurprisingly, using dermocosmetics and appropriate skin care has shown objective improvements of some DM-related dermatoses, such effects improve the quality of life. The most common skin manifestations of DM fall along continuum between “dry skin,” xerosis, and acquired ichthyosis, occurring predominately on the shins and feet. Dermocosmetic products improve the feeling of well-being for DM patients.
PMCID: PMC3658433  PMID: 23696712
diabetes mellitus; skin; dermocosmetics; diabetic xerosis
12.  Echocardiographic integrated backscatter for detecting progression and regression of aortic valve calcifications in rats 
Calcification is an independent predictor of mortality in calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of non-invasive, non-ionizing echocardiographic calibrated integrated backscatter (cIB) for monitoring progression and subsequent regression of aortic valvular calcifications in a rat model of reversible renal failure with CAVD, compared to histology.
28 male Wistar rats were prospectively followed during 21 weeks. Group 1 (N=14) was fed with a 0.5% adenine diet for 9 weeks to induce renal failure and CAVD. Group 2 (N=14) received a standard diet. At week 9, six animals of each group were killed. The remaining animals of group 1 (N=8) and group 2 (N=8) were kept on a standard diet for an additional 12 weeks. cIB of the aortic valve was calculated at baseline, 9 and 21 weeks, followed by measurement of the calcified area (Ca Area) on histology.
At week 9, cIB values and Ca Area of the aortic valve were significantly increased in the adenine-fed rats compared to baseline and controls. After 12 weeks of adenine diet cessation, cIB values and Ca Area of group 1 decreased compared to week 9, while there was no longer a significant difference compared to age-matched controls of group 2.
cIB is a non-invasive tool allowing quantitative monitoring of CAVD progression and regression in a rat model of reversible renal failure, as validated by comparison with histology. This technique might become useful for assessing CAVD during targeted therapy.
PMCID: PMC3598438  PMID: 23351880
Aortic valve calcifications; Calcific aortic valve disease; Echocardiography; Integrated backscatter; Renal failure; Small animal
13.  Dermal Ultrastructure in Low Beighton Score Members of 17 Families with Hypermobile-Type Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome 
The distinction between the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobile type (EDSH) and the benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS) is unclear. The aim of the present study was to compare skin ultrastructural abnormalities of EDSH and BJHS among different families. Skin of 23 EDSH, 27 BJHS, and 41 asymptomatic subjects from 17 families was examined using transmission electron microscopy. Similar ultrastructural abnormalities were found irrespective of the Beighton score. Flower-like collagen fibrils represented the key change and elastic fibers were altered as well. Beighton score is a clinical parameter rating joint mobility that appeared unrelated to quantitative and qualitative collagen ultrastructural alterations in the skin. Some EDSH family members fit with BJHS diagnosis. BJHS possibly represents a mild variant of EDSH.
PMCID: PMC3471064  PMID: 23091361
14.  Aberrant Promoter Methylation and Expression of UTF1 during Cervical Carcinogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42704.
Promoter methylation profiles are proposed as potential prognosis and/or diagnosis biomarkers in cervical cancer. Up to now, little is known about the promoter methylation profile and expression pattern of stem cell (SC) markers during tumor development. In this study, we were interested to identify SC genes methylation profiles during cervical carcinogenesis. A genome-wide promoter methylation screening revealed a strong hypermethylation of Undifferentiated cell Transcription Factor 1 (UTF1) promoter in cervical cancer in comparison with normal ectocervix. By direct bisulfite pyrosequencing of DNA isolated from liquid-based cytological samples, we showed that UTF1 promoter methylation increases with lesion severity, the highest level of methylation being found in carcinoma. This hypermethylation was associated with increased UTF1 mRNA and protein expression. By using quantitative RT-PCR and Western Blot, we showed that both UTF1 mRNA and protein are present in epithelial cancer cell lines, even in the absence of its two main described regulators Oct4A and Sox2. Moreover, by immunofluorescence, we confirmed the nuclear localisation of UTF1 in cell lines. Surprisingly, direct bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed that the inhibition of DNA methyltransferase by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine was associated with decreased UTF1 gene methylation and expression in two cervical cancer cell lines of the four tested. These findings strongly suggest that UTF1 promoter methylation profile might be a useful biomarker for cervical cancer diagnosis and raise the questions of its role during epithelial carcinogenesis and of the mechanisms regulating its expression.
PMCID: PMC3411846  PMID: 22880087
15.  Malignant Melanoma and Its Stromal Nonimmune Microecosystem 
Journal of Oncology  2012;2012:584219.
In recent years, rapid advances were reached in the understanding of a series of biologic signals influencing cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) cells. CMM is in close contact with a peculiar dermal extracellular matrix (ECM). Stromal cells store and release various structural ECM components. The impact on CMM growth and progression is mediated through strong and long-lasting effects of ECM products. This paper summarizes some peculiar aspects of the peri-CMM stroma showing intracytoplasmic loads in Factor XIIIa, CD34, versican, and α (IV) collagen chains. The restricted peri-CMM skin territory exhibiting such changes corresponds to the area showing neoangiogenesis and extravascular unicellular metastatic spread. The latter inconspicuous migratory CMM cells possibly correspond to CMM stem cells or to CMM cells with aberrant HOX gene expression. Their presence is associated with an increased risk for metastases in the regional sentinel lymph nodes. In conclusion, the CMM-stroma connection appears crucial to the growth regulation, invasiveness and initial metastatic spread of CMM cells. Although much remains to be learned in this field, the active intervention of the peri-CMM stroma is likely involved in the inconspicuous early metastatic migration of CMM cells.
PMCID: PMC3395267  PMID: 22811710
16.  Ustekinumab in Psoriasis Immunopathology with Emphasis on the Th17-IL23 Axis: A Primer 
Psoriasis is a chronic relapsing immunoinflammatory dermatosis that is commonly associated with systemic comorbidities. The pathogenic importance of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 is beyond doubt, as well as the involvement of T helper cells (Th)1 and Th17 cells. There is upregulation of the p40 subunit shared by IL-12 and IL-23 and of the IL-23 p19 subunit, but not an increased expression of the IL-12 p35 subunit. This indicates that IL-23 appears more involved than IL-12 in the pathogenesis of psoriatic plaques. Ustekinumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody of the immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 class targeting the p40 subunit common to both IL-12 and IL-23, thus inhibiting both IL-12 and IL-23 receptor-mediated signalling. Ustekinumab is part of the recent biologic therapies active in psoriasis, autoimmune arthritides, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
PMCID: PMC3384985  PMID: 22754278
17.  Natural killer cells: role in local tumor growth and metastasis 
Historically, the name of natural killer (NK) cells came from their natural ability to kill tumor cells in vitro. From the 1970s to date, accumulating data highlighted the importance of NK cells in host immune response against cancer and in therapy-induced antitumor response. The recognition and the lysis of tumor cells by NK cells are regulated by a complex balance of inhibitory and activating signals. This review summarizes NK cell mechanisms to kill cancer cells, their role in host immune responses against tumor growth or metastasis, and their implications in antitumor immunotherapies via cytokines, antibodies, or in combination with other therapies. The regulatory role of NK cells in autoimmunity is also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3333822  PMID: 22532775
natural killer; tumor; cytotoxicity; natural cytotoxicity receptor
18.  The human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in European patients with advanced colorectal cancer harbors infrequent mutations in its tyrosine kinase domain 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:144.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a member of the ErbB family of receptors, is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase (TK) activated by the binding of extracellular ligands of the EGF-family and involved in triggering the MAPK signaling pathway, which leads to cell proliferation. Mutations in the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain are frequent in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, to date, only very few, mainly non-European, studies have reported rare EGFR mutations in colorectal cancer (CRC).
We screened 236 clinical tumor samples from European patients with advanced CRC by direct DNA sequencing to detect potential, as yet unknown mutations, in the EGFR gene exons 18 to 21, mainly covering the EGFR TK catalytic domain.
EGFR sequences showed somatic missense mutations in exons 18 and 20 at a frequency of 2.1% and 0.4% respectively. Somatic SNPs were also found in exons 20 and 21 at a frequency of about 3.1% and 0.4% respectively. Of these mutations, four have not yet been described elsewhere.
These mutation frequencies are higher than in a similarly sized population characterized by Barber and colleagues, but still too low to account for a major role played by the EGFR gene in CRC.
PMCID: PMC3215960  PMID: 22026926
19.  Immune Suppression in Head and Neck Cancers: A Review 
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are the sixth most common cancer in the world. Despite significant advances in the treatment modalities involving surgery, radiotherapy, and concomitant chemoradiotherapy, the 5-year survival rate remained below 50% for the past 30 years. The worse prognosis of these cancers must certainly be link to the fact that HNSCCs strongly influence the host immune system. We present a critical review of our understanding of the HNSCC escape to the antitumor immune response such as a downregulation of HLA class I and/or components of APM. Antitumor responses of HNSCC patients are compromised in the presence of functional defects or apoptosis of T-cells, both circulating and tumor-infiltrating. Langerhans cells are increased in the first steps of the carcinogenesis but decreased in invasive carcinomas. The accumulation of macrophages in the peritumoral areas seems to play a protumoral role by secreting VEGF and stimulating the neoangiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3061296  PMID: 21437225
20.  Progression Model Tissue Microarray (TMA) for the Study of Uterine Carcinomas 
Disease markers  2010;28(5):267-272.
Cervical and endometrial uterine carcinomas are heterogeneous groups of cancers, which are preceded by preneoplastic lesions. More accurate tools are needed to improve the diagnosis and to define markers which may be relevant for the diagnosis, prediction of disease progression and therapeutic response.
High throughput technologies for testing and validating molecular targets in cancer lesions and in their precursors are presently available. Among them, the tissue microarray (TMA) presents the advantage of a morphological control of the analyzed tissue fragment. In this article, we review the different aspects of the TMA technology with a special consideration to a uterine carcinogenesis model.
PMCID: PMC3833607  PMID: 20592449
21.  Combined analysis of HPV DNA, p16, p21 and p53 to predict prognosis in patients with stage IV hypopharyngeal carcinoma 
We examined p16, p21 and p53 expression in combination with the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA as molecular markers to predict survival in patients with stage IV hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HSCC).
Paraffin-embedded tumours from HSCC patients (n = 75) were evaluated for p16, p21 and p53 expression by immunohistochemistry. HPV DNA was detected by GP5+/6+ consensus PCR and subsequent genotyping by E6/E7 type-specific PCR for HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68.
Among the 61 specimens that tested positive for the β-globin, HPV typing identified 50 patients with high-risk (hr) HPV types. HPV 16E7 DNA was detected in 74% (37 cases) of these specimens. Twelve patients were found to be infected with multiple HPV types. However, the presence of hrHPV DNA was not found to correlate with the proportion of disease-free patients. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 73% in p53− tumours versus 48% in p53+ tumours (P = 0.008).
In our series of patients with stage IV HSCC, the hrHPV+ subgroup had a similar prognosis (in terms of recurrence risk) as the HPV− subgroup. p53 overexpression was associated with a worse prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3015171  PMID: 20376678
Human papillomavirus; PCR; Typing; Hypopharynx; Carcinoma
22.  Mechanisms of cell entry by human papillomaviruses: an overview 
Virology Journal  2010;7:11.
As the primary etiological agents of cervical cancer, human papillomaviruses (HPVs) must deliver their genetic material into the nucleus of the target cell. The viral capsid has evolved to fulfil various roles that are critical to establish viral infection. The particle interacts with the cell surface via interaction of the major capsid protein, L1, with heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of a secondary receptor and a possible role for the minor capsid protein, L2, in cell surface interactions.
The entry of HPV in vitro is initiated by binding to a cell surface receptor in contrast to the in vivo situation where the basement membrane has recently been identified as the primary site of virus binding. Binding of HPV triggers conformational changes, which affect both capsid proteins L1 and L2, and such changes are a prerequisite for interaction with the elusive uptake receptor. Most HPV types that have been examined, appear to enter the cell via a clathrin-dependent endocytic mechanism, although many data are inconclusive and inconsistent. Furthermore, the productive entry of HPV is a process that occurs slowly and asynchronously and it is characterised by an unusually extended residence on the cell surface.
Despite the significant advances and the emergence of a general picture of the infectious HPV entry pathway, many details remain to be clarified. The impressive technological progress in HPV virion analysis achieved over the past decade, in addition to the improvements in general methodologies for studying viral infections, provide reasons to be optimistic about further advancement of this field.
This mini review is intended to provide a concise overview of the literature in HPV virion/host cell interactions and the consequences for endocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2823669  PMID: 20089191
23.  Cervix carcinoma is associated with an up-regulation and nuclear localization of the dual-specificity protein phosphatase VHR 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:147.
The 21-kDa Vaccinia virus VH1-related (VHR) dual-specific protein phosphatase (encoded by the DUSP3 gene) plays a critical role in cell cycle progression and is itself regulated during the cell cycle. We have previously demonstrated using RNA interference that cells lacking VHR arrest in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle and show signs of beginning of cell senescence.
In this report, we evaluated successfully the expression levels of VHR protein in 62 hysterectomy or conization specimens showing the various (pre) neoplastic cervical epithelial lesions and 35 additional cases of hysterectomy performed for non-cervical pathologies, from patients under 50 years of age. We used a tissue microarray and IHC technique to evaluate the expression of the VHR phosphatase. Immunofluorescence staining under confocal microscopy, Western blotting and RT-PCR methods were used to investigate the localization and expression levels of VHR.
We report that VHR is upregulated in (pre) neoplastic lesions (squamous intraepithelial lesions; SILs) of the uterine cervix mainly in high grade SIL (H-SIL) compared to normal exocervix. In the invasive cancer, VHR is also highly expressed with nuclear localization in the majority of cells compared to normal tissue where VHR is always in the cytoplasm. We also report that this phosphatase is highly expressed in several cervix cancer cell lines such as HeLa, SiHa, CaSki, C33 and HT3 compared to primary keratinocytes. The immunofluorescence technique under confocal microscopy shows that VHR has a cytoplasmic localization in primary keratinocytes, while it localizes in both cytoplasm and nucleus of the cancer cell lines investigated. We report that the up-regulation of this phosphatase is mainly due to its post-translational stabilization in the cancer cell lines compared to primary keratinocytes rather than increases in the transcription of DUSP3 locus.
These results together suggest that VHR can be considered as a new marker for cancer progression in cervix carcinoma and potential new target for anticancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC2413255  PMID: 18505570
24.  The combined immunodetection of AP-2α and YY1 transcription factors is associated with ERBB2 gene overexpression in primary breast tumors 
Overexpression of the ERBB2 oncogene is observed in about 20% of human breast tumors and is the consequence of increased transcription rates frequently associated with gene amplification. Several studies have shown a link between activator protein 2 (AP-2) transcription factors and ERBB2 gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, the Yin Yang 1 (YY1) transcription factor has been shown to stimulate AP-2 transcriptional activity on the ERBB2 promoter in vitro. In this report, we examined the relationships between ERBB2, AP-2α, and YY1 both in breast cancer tissue specimens and in a mammary cancer cell line.
ERBB2, AP-2α, and YY1 protein levels were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in a panel of 55 primary breast tumors. ERBB2 gene amplification status was determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Correlations were evaluated by a χ2 test at a p value of less than 0.05. The functional role of AP-2α and YY1 on ERBB2 gene expression was analyzed by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in the BT-474 mammary cancer cell line followed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting.
We observed a statistically significant correlation between ERBB2 and AP-2α levels in the tumors (p < 0.01). Moreover, associations were found between ERBB2 protein level and the combined high expression of AP-2α and YY1 (p < 0.02) as well as between the expression of AP-2α and YY1 (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the levels of both AP-2α and YY1 proteins were inversely correlated to ERBB2 gene amplification status in the tumors (p < 0.01). Transfection of siRNAs targeting AP-2α and AP-2γ mRNAs in the BT-474 breast cancer cell line repressed the expression of the endogenous ERBB2 gene at both the mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, the additional transfection of an siRNA directed against the YY1 transcript further reduced the ERBB2 protein level, suggesting that AP-2 and YY1 transcription factors cooperate to stimulate the transcription of the ERBB2 gene.
This study highlights the role of both AP-2α and YY1 transcription factors in ERBB2 oncogene overexpression in breast tumors. Our results also suggest that high ERBB2 expression may result either from gene amplification or from increased transcription factor levels.
PMCID: PMC2374961  PMID: 18218085
25.  Delivery of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor in Bioadhesive Hydrogel Stimulates Migration of Dendritic Cells in Models of Human Papillomavirus-Associated (Pre)Neoplastic Epithelial Lesions 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2004;48(11):4342-4348.
Because of the central role of dendritic cells and/or Langerhans cells(DC/LC) in the induction of cellular immune responses, pharmacological agents that modulate the recruitment of these cells might have a clinical interest. The present study was designed to evaluate the capacity of several pharmaceutical formulations to topically deliver granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated genital (pre)neoplastic lesions. The formulations were evaluated for their bioactivity and for their potential to recruit DC in organotypic cultures of HPV-transformed keratinocytes. We found that a bioadhesive polycarbophil gel (Noveon) at pH 5.5 is able to maintain the bioactivity of GM-CSF at 4 or 37°C for at least 7 days, whereas a decreased activity of GM-CSF was observed when the molecule is included in other polymer gels. GM-CSF incorporated in the polycarbophil gel was also a potent factor in enhancing the colonization of DC into organotypic cultures of HPV-transformed keratinocytes since the infiltration of DC in the in vitro-formed (pre)neoplastic epithelium was very low under basal conditions and dramatically increased in the presence of GM-CSF gel. We next demonstrated that GM-CSF incorporated in polycarbophil gel induces the recruitment of human DC in a human (pre)neoplastic epithelium grafted into NOD/SCID mice. The efficacy of GM-CSF in this formulation was equivalent to that observed with liquid GM-CSF. These results suggest that GM-CSF incorporated in polycarbophil gel could play an important role in the recruitment of DC/LC in mucosal surfaces and be useful as a new immunotherapeutic approach for genital HPV-associated (pre)neoplastic lesions.
PMCID: PMC525404  PMID: 15504863

Results 1-25 (28)