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1.  Pharmacological targeting of the protein synthesis mTOR/4E-BP1 pathway in cancer-associated fibroblasts abrogates pancreatic tumour chemoresistance 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2015;7(6):735-753.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is extremely stroma-rich. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) secrete proteins that activate survival and promote chemoresistance of cancer cells. Our results demonstrate that CAF secretome-triggered chemoresistance is abolished upon inhibition of the protein synthesis mTOR/4E-BP1 regulatory pathway which we found highly activated in primary cultures of α-SMA-positive CAFs, isolated from human PDAC resections. CAFs selectively express the sst1 somatostatin receptor. The SOM230 analogue (Pasireotide) activates the sst1 receptor and inhibits the mTOR/4E-BP1 pathway and the resultant synthesis of secreted proteins including IL-6. Consequently, tumour growth and chemoresistance in nude mice xenografted with pancreatic cancer cells and CAFs, or with pieces of resected human PDACs, are reduced when chemotherapy (gemcitabine) is combined with SOM230 treatment. While gemcitabine alone has marginal effects, SOM230 is permissive to gemcitabine-induced cancer cell apoptosis and acts as an antifibrotic agent. We propose that selective inhibition of CAF protein synthesis with sst1-directed pharmacological compounds represents an anti-stromal-targeted therapy with promising chemosensitization potential.
PMCID: PMC4459815  PMID: 25834145
cancer-associated fibroblasts; chemoresistance; pancreatic cancer; pharmacotherapy; protein synthesis and secretion
2.  Control of Paip1-Eukayrotic Translation Initiation Factor 3 Interaction by Amino Acids through S6 Kinase 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(6):1046-1053.
The simultaneous interaction of poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) with eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) and the mRNA 3′ poly(A) tail promotes translation initiation. We previously showed that the interaction of PABP-interacting protein 1 (Paip1) with PABP and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 (eIF3; via the eIF3g subunit) further stimulates translation. Here, we demonstrate that the interaction of eIF3 with Paip1 is regulated by amino acids through the mTORC1 signaling pathway. The Paip1-eIF3 interaction is impaired by the mTORC1 inhibitors, rapamycin and PP242. We show that ribosomal protein S6 kinases 1 and 2 (S6K1/2) promote the interaction of eIF3 with Paip1. The enhancement of Paip1-eIF3 interaction by amino acids is abrogated by an S6K inhibitor or shRNA against S6K1/2. S6K1 interacts with eIF3f and, in vitro, phosphorylates eIF3. Finally, we show that S6K inhibition leads to a reduction in translation by Paip1. We propose that S6K1/2 phosphorylate eIF3 to stimulate Paip1-eIF3 interaction and consequent translation initiation. Taken together, these data demonstrate that eIF3 is a new translation target of the mTOR/S6K pathway.
PMCID: PMC3958023  PMID: 24396066
3.  Targeting protein synthesis in cancer cells 
Oncoscience  2014;1(7):484-485.
PMCID: PMC4278317  PMID: 25594050
4.  Changes in Translational Control after Pro-Apoptotic Stress 
In stressed cells, a general decrease in the rate of protein synthesis occurs due to modifications in the activity of translation initiation factors. Compelling data now indicate that these changes also permit a selective post-transcriptional expression of proteins necessary for either cell survival or completion of apoptosis when cells are exposed to severe or prolonged stress. In this review, we summarize the modifications that inhibit the activity of the main canonical translation initiation factors, and the data explaining how certain mRNAs encoding proteins involved in either cell survival or apoptosis can be selectively translated.
PMCID: PMC3565257  PMID: 23344027
translation initiation; eIF2; eIF4F; 4E-BPs; apoptosis; uORF; IRES
5.  A Switch of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Binding Preference from Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase (PI3K)–p85 to Filamin A Negatively Controls the PI3K Pathway 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(5):1004-1016.
Frequent oncogenic alterations occur in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, urging identification of novel negative controls. We previously reported an original mechanism for restraining PI3K activity, controlled by the somatostatin G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) sst2 and involving a ligand-regulated interaction between sst2 with the PI3K regulatory p85 subunit. We here identify the scaffolding protein filamin A (FLNA) as a critical player regulating the dynamic of this complex. A preexisting sst2-p85 complex, which was shown to account for a significant basal PI3K activity in the absence of ligand, is disrupted upon sst2 activation. FLNA was here identified as a competitor of p85 for direct binding to two juxtaposed sites on sst2. Switching of GPCR binding preference from p85 toward FLNA is determined by changes in the tyrosine phosphorylation of p85- and FLNA-binding sites on sst2 upon activation. It results in the disruption of the sst2-p85 complex and the subsequent inhibition of PI3K. Knocking down FLNA expression, or abrogating FLNA recruitment to sst2, reversed the inhibition of PI3K and of tumor growth induced by sst2. Importantly, we report that this FLNA inhibitory control on PI3K can be generalized to another GPCR, the mu opioid receptor, thereby providing an unprecedented mechanism underlying GPCR-negative control on PI3K.
PMCID: PMC3295190  PMID: 22203038
6.  NAD(P)H Quinone-Oxydoreductase 1 Protects Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4GI from Degradation by the Proteasome ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;30(4):1097-1105.
The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) serves as a central adapter in cap-binding complex assembly. Although eIF4GI has been shown to be sensitive to proteasomal degradation, how the eIF4GI steady-state level is controlled remains unknown. Here, we show that eIF4GI exists in a complex with NAD(P)H quinone-oxydoreductase 1 (NQO1) in cell extracts. Treatment of cells with dicumarol (dicoumarol), a pharmacological inhibitor of NQO1 known to preclude NQO1 binding to its protein partners, provokes eIF4GI degradation by the proteasome. Consistently, the eIF4GI steady-state level also diminishes upon the silencing of NQO1 (by transfection with small interfering RNA), while eIF4GI accumulates upon the overexpression of NQO1 (by transfection with cDNA). We further reveal that treatment of cells with dicumarol frees eIF4GI from mRNA translation initiation complexes due to strong activation of its natural competitor, the translational repressor 4E-BP1. As a consequence of cap-binding complex dissociation and eIF4GI degradation, protein synthesis is dramatically inhibited. Finally, we show that the regulation of eIF4GI stability by the proteasome may be prominent under oxidative stress. Our findings assign NQO1 an original role in the regulation of mRNA translation via the control of eIF4GI stability by the proteasome.
PMCID: PMC2815573  PMID: 20028737
7.  Fibroblast growth factor 1 induced during myogenesis by a transcription–translation coupling mechanism 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;37(16):5267-5278.
Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) is involved in muscle development and regeneration. The FGF1 gene contains four tissue-specific promoters allowing synthesis of four transcripts with distinct leader regions. Two of these transcripts contain internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs), which are RNA elements allowing mRNA translation to occur in conditions of blockade of the classical cap-dependent mechanism. Here, we investigated the function and the regulation of FGF1 during muscle differentiation and regeneration. Our data show that FGF1 protein expression is induced in differentiating myoblasts and regenerating mouse muscle, whereas siRNA knock-down demonstrated FGF1 requirement for myoblast differentiation. FGF1 induction occurred at both transcriptional and translational levels, involving specific activation of both promoter A and IRES A, whereas global cap-dependent translation was inhibited. Furthermore, we identified, in the FGF1 promoter A distal region, a cis-acting element able to activate the IRES A-driven translation. These data revealed a mechanism of molecular coupling of mRNA transcription and translation, involving a unique process of IRES activation by a promoter element. The crucial role of FGF1 in myoblast differentiation provides physiological relevance to this novel mechanism. This finding also provides a new insight into the molecular mechanisms linking different levels of gene expression regulation.
PMCID: PMC2760804  PMID: 19561198
8.  Restoration of Functional Gap Junctions through Internal Ribosome Entry Site-Dependent Synthesis of Endogenous Connexins in Density-Inhibited Cancer Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(10):4034-4045.
Gap junctions are composed of connexins and are critical for the maintenance of the differentiated state. Consistently, connexin expression is impaired in most cancer cells, and forced expression of connexins following cDNA transfection reverses the tumor phenotype. We have found that the restoration of density inhibition of human pancreatic cancer cells by the antiproliferative somatostatin receptor 2 (sst2) is due to overexpression of endogenous connexins Cx26 and Cx43 and consequent formation of functional gap junctions. Immunoblotting along with protein metabolic labeling and mRNA monitoring revealed that connexin expression is enhanced at the level of translation but is not sensitive to the inhibition of cap-dependent translation initiation. Furthermore, we identified a new internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the Cx26 mRNA. The activity of Cx26 IRES and that of the previously described Cx43 IRES are enhanced in density-inhibited cells. These data indicate that the restoration of functional gap junctions is likely a critical event in the antiproliferative action of the sst2 receptor. We further suggest that the existence of IRESes in connexin mRNAs permits connexin expression in density-inhibited or differentiated cells, where cap-dependent translation is generally reduced.
PMCID: PMC1087721  PMID: 15870276
9.  Translational Homeostasis: Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4E Control of 4E-Binding Protein 1 and p70 S6 Kinase Activities 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(6):4302-4310.
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is the mRNA 5′ cap binding protein, which plays an important role in the control of translation. The activity of eIF4E is regulated by a family of repressor proteins, the 4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs), whose binding to eIF4E is determined by their phosphorylation state. When hyperphosphorylated, 4E-BPs do not bind to eIF4E. Phosphorylation of the 4E-BPs is effected by the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase signal transduction pathway and is inhibited by rapamycin through its binding to FRAP/mTOR (FK506 binding protein–rapamycin-associated protein or mammalian target of rapamycin). Phosphorylation of 4E-BPs can also be induced by protein synthesis inhibitors. These observations led to the proposal that FRAP/mTOR functions as a “sensor” of the translational apparatus (E. J. Brown and S. L. Schreiber, Cell 86:517–520, 1996). To test this model, we have employed the tetracycline-inducible system to increase eIF4E expression. Removal of tetracycline induced eIF4E expression up to fivefold over endogenous levels. Strikingly, upon induction of eIF4E, 4E-BP1 became dephosphorylated and the extent of dephosphorylation was proportional to the expression level of eIF4E. Dephosphorylation of p70S6k also occurred upon eIF4E induction. In contrast, the phosphorylation of Akt, an upstream effector of both p70S6k and 4E-BP phosphorylation, was not affected by eIF4E induction. We conclude that eIF4E engenders a negative feedback loop that targets a component of the PI 3-kinase signalling pathway which lies downstream of PI 3-kinase.
PMCID: PMC104390  PMID: 10330171

Results 1-9 (9)