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1.  Heterozygous and Homozygous JAK2V617F States Modeled by Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74257.
JAK2V617F is the predominant mutation in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Modeling MPN in a human context might be helpful for the screening of molecules targeting JAK2 and its intracellular signaling. We describe here the derivation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from 2 polycythemia vera patients carrying a heterozygous and a homozygous mutated JAK2V617F, respectively. In the patient with homozygous JAK2V617F, additional ASXL1 mutation and chromosome 20 allowed partial delineation of the clonal architecture and assignation of the cellular origin of the derived iPS cell lines. The marked difference in the response to erythropoietin (EPO) between homozygous and heterozygous cell lines correlated with the constitutive activation level of signaling pathways. Strikingly, heterozygous iPS cells showed thrombopoietin (TPO)-independent formation of megakaryocytic colonies, but not EPO-independent erythroid colony formation. JAK2, PI3K and HSP90 inhibitors were able to block spontaneous and EPO-induced growth of erythroid colonies from GPA+CD41+ cells derived from iPS cells. Altogether, this study brings the proof of concept that iPS can be used for studying MPN pathogenesis, clonal architecture, and drug efficacy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074257
PMCID: PMC3774801  PMID: 24066127
2.  A novel monoclonal antibody for detection of galectin-9 in tissue sections: application to human tissues infected by oncogenic viruses 
Background
Galectin-9 is a mammalian lectin which possesses immunosuppressive properties. Excessive production of galectin-9 has been reported in two types of human virus-associated diseases chronic hepatitis C and nasopharyngeal carcinoma associated to the Epstein-Barr virus. The objective of this study was to produce new monoclonal antibodies targeting galectin-9 in order to improve its detection in clinical samples, especially on tissue sections analysed by immunohistochemistry.
Methods
Hybridomas were produced through immunization of mice with the recombinant c-terminus part of galectin-9 (residues 191 to 355 of the long isoform) and semi-solid fusion of spleen cells with Sp2/0 cells. Monoclonal antibodies were characterized using ELISA, epitope mapping, western blot and immunohistochemistry.
Results
We selected seven hybridomas producing antibodies reacting with our recombinant c-terminus galectin-9 in ELISA. Five of them reacted with the epitope “TPAIPPMMYPHPA” (common to all isoforms, residues 210 to 222 of the long isoform) and stained all three isoforms of galectin-9 analysed by western blot. One of them, 1G3,demonstrated very good sensitivity and specificity when used for immunohistochemistry. Using 1G3, we could confirm the intense and constant expression of galectin-9 by Epstein-Barr virus positive malignant cells from nasopharyngeal carcinomas. In most samples, specific staining was detected in both cytoplasm and nuclei. Galectin-9 was also detected in liver biopsies from patients infected by the human hepatitis C or B viruses with expression not only in inflammatory leucocytes and Kupffer cells, but also in hepatocytes. In contrast, galectin-9 was virtually absent in non-infected liver specimens.
Conclusion
The 1G3 monoclonal antibody will be a powerful tool to assess galectin-9 expression and distribution especially in diseases related to oncogenic viruses.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-7-16
PMCID: PMC3464730  PMID: 22805533
3.  The IGR-CaP1 Xenograft Model Recapitulates Mixed Osteolytic/Blastic Bone Lesions Observed in Metastatic Prostate Cancer12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2012;14(5):376-387.
Bone metastases have a devastating impact on quality of life and bone pain in patients with prostate cancer and decrease survival. Animal models are important tools in investigating the pathogenesis of the disease and in developing treatment strategies for bone metastases, but few animal models recapitulate spontaneous clinical bone metastatic spread. In the present study, IGR-CaP1, a new cell line derived from primary prostate cancer, was stably transduced with a luciferase-expressing viral vector to monitor tumor growth in mice using bioluminescence imaging. The IGR-CaP1 tumors grew when subcutaneously injected or when orthotopically implanted, reconstituted the prostate adenocarcinoma with glandular acini-like structures, and could disseminate to the liver and lung. Bone lesions were detected using bioluminescence imaging after direct intratibial or intracardiac injections. Anatomic bone structure assessed using high-resolution computed tomographic scans showed both lytic and osteoblastic lesions. Technetium Tc 99m methylene diphosphonate micro single-photon emission computed tomography confirmed the mixed nature of the lesions and the intensive bone remodeling. We also identified an expression signature for responsiveness of IGR-CaP1 cells to the bone microenvironment, namely expression of CXCR4, MMP-9, Runx2, osteopontin, osteoprotegerin, ADAMTS14, FGFBP2, and HBB. The IGR-CaP1 cell line is a unique model derived from a primary tumor, which can reconstitute human prostate adenocarcinoma in animals and generate experimental bone metastases, providing a novel means for understanding the mechanisms of bone metastasis progression and allowing preclinical testing of new therapies.
PMCID: PMC3384425  PMID: 22745584
5.  Novel Anti-Metastatic Action of Cidofovir Mediated by Inhibition of E6/E7, CXCR4 and Rho/ROCK Signaling in HPV+ Tumor Cells 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(3):e5018.
Cervical cancer is frequently associated with HPV infection. The expression of E6 and E7 HPV oncoproteins is a key factor in its carcinogenicity and might also influence its virulence, including metastatic conversion. The cellular mechanisms involved in metastatic spread remain elusive, but pro-adhesive receptors and their ligands, such as SDF-1α and CXCR4 are implicated. In the present study, we assessed the possible relationship between SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling, E6/E7 status and the metastatic process. We found that SDF-1α stimulated the invasion of E6/E7-positive cancer cell lines (HeLa and TC-1) in Matrigel though CXCR4 and subsequent Rho/ROCK activation. In pulmonary metastatic foci generated by TC-1 cells IV injection a high proportion of cells expressed membrane-associated CXCR4. In both cases models (in vitro and in vivo) cell adhesion and invasion was abrogated by CXCR4 immunological blockade supporting a contribution of SDF-1α/CXCR4 to the metastatic process. E6 and E7 silencing using stable knock-down and the approved anti-viral agent, Cidofovir decreased CXCR4 gene expression as well as both, constitutive and SDF-1α-induced cell invasion. In addition, Cidofovir inhibited lung metastasis (both adhesion and invasion) supporting contribution of E6 and E7 oncoproteins to the metastatic process. Finally, potential signals activated downstream SDF-1α/CXCR4 and involved in lung homing of E6/E7-expressing tumor cells were investigated. The contribution of the Rho/ROCK pathway was suggested by the inhibitory effect triggered by Cidofovir and further confirmed using Y-27632 (a small molecule ROCK inhibitor). These data suggest a novel and highly translatable therapeutic approach to cervix cancer, by inhibition of adhesion and invasion of circulating HPV-positive tumor cells, using Cidofovir and/or ROCK inhibition.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005018
PMCID: PMC2657827  PMID: 19325708
6.  Tumor Ablation with Irreversible Electroporation 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1135.
We report the first successful use of irreversible electroporation for the minimally invasive treatment of aggressive cutaneous tumors implanted in mice. Irreversible electroporation is a newly developed non-thermal tissue ablation technique in which certain short duration electrical fields are used to permanently permeabilize the cell membrane, presumably through the formation of nanoscale defects in the cell membrane. Mathematical models of the electrical and thermal fields that develop during the application of the pulses were used to design an efficient treatment protocol with minimal heating of the tissue. Tumor regression was confirmed by histological studies which also revealed that it occurred as a direct result of irreversible cell membrane permeabilization. Parametric studies show that the successful outcome of the procedure is related to the applied electric field strength, the total pulse duration as well as the temporal mode of delivery of the pulses. Our best results were obtained using plate electrodes to deliver across the tumor 80 pulses of 100 µs at 0.3 Hz with an electrical field magnitude of 2500 V/cm. These conditions induced complete regression in 12 out of 13 treated tumors, (92%), in the absence of tissue heating. Irreversible electroporation is thus a new effective modality for non-thermal tumor ablation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001135
PMCID: PMC2065844  PMID: 17989772
7.  Radiation and inhibition of angiogenesis by canstatin synergize to induce HIF-1α–mediated tumor apoptotic switch 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(7):1844-1855.
Tumor radioresponsiveness depends on endothelial cell death, which leads in turn to tumor hypoxia. Radiation-induced hypoxia was recently shown to trigger tumor radioresistance by activating angiogenesis through hypoxia-inducible factor 1–regulated (HIF-1–regulated) cytokines. We show here that combining targeted radioiodide therapy with angiogenic inhibitors, such as canstatin, enhances direct tumor cell apoptosis, thereby overcoming radio-induced HIF-1–dependent tumor survival pathways in vitro and in vivo. We found that following dual therapy, HIF-1α increases the activity of the canstatin-induced αvβ5 signaling tumor apoptotic pathway and concomitantly abrogates mitotic checkpoint and tetraploidy triggered by radiation. Apoptosis in conjunction with mitotic catastrophe leads to lethal tumor damage. We discovered that HIF-1 displays a radiosensitizing activity that is highly dependent on treatment modalities by regulating key apoptotic molecular pathways. Our findings therefore support a crucial role for angiogenesis inhibitors in shifting the fate of radiation-induced HIF-1α activity from hypoxia-induced tumor radioresistance to hypoxia-induced tumor apoptosis. This study provides a basis for developing new biology-based clinically relevant strategies to improve the efficacy of radiation oncology, using HIF-1 as an ally for cancer therapy.
doi:10.1172/JCI30269
PMCID: PMC1884687  PMID: 17557121
8.  High vaccination efficiency of low-affinity epitopes in antitumor immunotherapy 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;113(3):425-433.
Most of the human tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) characterized thus far are derived from nonmutated “self”-proteins. Numerous strategies have been developed to break tolerance to TAAs, combining various forms of antigens with different vectors and adjuvants. However, no study has yet determined how to select epitopes within a given TAA to induce the highest antitumor effector response. We addressed this question by evaluating in HLA-A*0201-transgenic HHD mice the antitumor vaccination efficacy of high- and low-affinity epitopes from the naturally expressed murine telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTERT). Immunity against low-affinity epitopes was induced with heteroclitical variants. We show here that the CTL repertoire against high-affinity epitopes is partially tolerized, while that against low-affinity epitopes is composed of frequent CTLs with high avidity. The high-affinity p797 and p545 mTERT epitopes are not able to protect mice from a lethal challenge with the mTERT-expressing EL4-HHD tumor. In contrast, mice developing CTL responses against the p572 and p988 low-affinity epitopes exhibit potent antitumor immunity and no sign of autoimmune reactivity against TERT-expressing normal tissues. Our results strongly argue for new TAA epitope selection and modification strategies in antitumor immunotherapy applications in humans.
doi:10.1172/JCI200419418
PMCID: PMC324537  PMID: 14755339
9.  Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Stimulates Expression of the Epstein-Barr Virus BZLF1 Immediate-Early Gene Product ZEBRA by an Indirect Mechanism Which Requires the MAPK Kinase Pathway 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(13):5810-5818.
Disruption of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latency is mediated by ZEBRA, the protein product of the immediate-early EBV gene, BZLF1. In vitro, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a potent activator of protein kinase C (PKC), induces reactivation of EBV. However, the physiological stimuli responsible for the disruption of viral latency are not well characterized. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) has also been shown to trigger the reactivation of EBV in Burkitt lymphoma cell lines; however, the effect of TGF-β1 on ZEBRA expression has not been reported. To further understand this phenomenon, we have investigated the effect of TGF-β1 on ZEBRA expression. Our results indicate that the treatment of different EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines with TGF-β1 induces a time-dependent activation of BZLF1 transcription with a corresponding increase in the production of the protein ZEBRA. TGF-β1 has been shown to exert its effects through a wide range of intracellular routes; in the present study, we have explored these pathways. Transient expression of Smad proteins on their own had no effect on ZEBRA expression. A specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), SB203580, did not affect TGF-β1-induced ZEBRA expression, whereas treatment with the MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitors, PD98059 and U0126, dramatically decreased this induction. This suggests that TGF-β1 effect on BZLF1 expression requires the MAPK pathway. However, in Raji and B95-8 cells additional routes can be used, as (i) the inhibition of ZEBRA induction by PD98059 or U0126 was incomplete, whereas these inhibitors completely abolished PMA-induced ZEBRA expression, (ii) TGF-β1 induction of ZEBRA expression occurs in PKC-depleted cells, (iii) in Raji and in B95-8 cells, the effect of TGF-β1 and PMA are additive. Transient transfection of the EBV-negative B-cell line DG75 with a BZLF1 promoter-fusion construct (Zp-CAT) showed that under conditions where the BZLF1 promoter is activated by PMA treatment, TGF-β1 had no significant effect on the expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene. Furthermore, TGF-β1 induction of BZLF1 transcripts is dependent on de novo protein synthesis, which suggests that TGF-β1 induces BZLF1 expression by an indirect mechanism.
PMCID: PMC112075  PMID: 10846060
10.  Efficient, Repeated Adenovirus-Mediated Gene Transfer in Mice Lacking both Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha and Lymphotoxin α 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(12):9514-9525.
The efficiency of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer is now well established. However, the cellular and the humoral immune responses triggered by vector injection lead to the rapid elimination of the transduced cells and preclude any efficient readministration. The present investigation focuses on the role of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a proinflammatory cytokine, and the related cytokine lymphotoxin α (LTα), in mounting an immune reaction against recombinant adenovirus vectors. After gene transfer in the liver, mice genetically deficient for both cytokines (TNF-α/LTα−/−), in comparison with normal mice, presented a weak acute-phase inflammatory reaction, a reduction in cellular infiltrates in the liver, and a severely impaired T-cell proliferative response to both Adenoviral and transgene product antigens. Moreover, we observed a strong reduction in the humoral response to the vector and the transgene product, with a drastic reduction of anti-adenovirus immunoglobulin A and G antibody isotypes. In addition, the reduction in antibody response observed in TNF-α/LTα−/− and TNF-α/LTα+/− mice versus TNF-α/LTα+/+ mice links antibody levels to TNF-α/LTα gene dosage. Due to the absence of neutralizing antibodies, the TNF-α/LTα knockout mice successfully express a second gene transduced by a second vector injection. The discovery of the pivotal role played by TNF-α in controlling the antibody response against adenovirus will allow more efficient adenovirus-based strategies for gene therapy to be proposed.
PMCID: PMC110450  PMID: 9811684

Results 1-10 (10)