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    The Cancer Handbook, 10/2007; , ISBN: 9780470025079
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) die because of chemoresistance. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) increases the expression of antiapoptotic proteins, XIAP and Bcl-X(L), and triggers chemoresistance in SCLC cells. Here we show that these effects are mediated through the formation of a specific multiprotein complex comprising B-Raf, PKCepsilon and S6K2. S6K1, Raf-1 and other PKC isoforms do not form similar complexes. RNAi-mediated downregulation of B-Raf, PKCepsilon or S6K2 abolishes FGF-2-mediated survival. In contrast, overexpression of PKCepsilon increases XIAP and Bcl-X(L) levels and chemoresistance in SCLC cells. In a tetracycline-inducible system, increased S6K2 kinase activity triggers upregulation of XIAP, Bcl-X(L) and prosurvival effects. However, increased S6K1 kinase activity has no such effect. Thus, S6K2 but not S6K1 mediates prosurvival/chemoresistance signalling.
    The EMBO Journal 08/2006; 25(13):3078-88.
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    ABSTRACT: Alteration of methylation status has been recognized as a possible epigenetic mechanism of selection during tumorigenesis in pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer is characterized by poor prognosis partly due to resistance to conventional drug treatments. We have used microarray technology to investigate the changes in global gene expression observed after treatment of different pancreatic cancer cell lines with the methylase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR). We have observed that this agent is able to inhibit to various degrees the growth of three pancreatic cancer cell lines. In particular, this inhibition was associated with induction of interferon (IFN)-related genes, as observed in other tumour types. Thus, expression of STAT1 seems to play a key role in the cellular response to treatment with the cytosine analogue. Moreover, we found increased p21(WAF1) and gadd45A expression to be associated with the efficacy of the treatment; this induction may correlate with activation of the IFN signalling pathway. Expression of the p16(INK) protein was also linked to the ability of cells to respond to 5-aza-CdR. Finally, genome-wide demethylation induced sensitization that significantly increased response to further treatment with various chemotherapy agents.
    Oncogene 02/2005; 24(1):199-211.
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    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic adenoviruses hold promise as a new treatment platform for cancer, but limitations have been identified, including limited spread and potency. The adenoviral protein E1B-19 kDa is a Bcl-2 homologue that blocks apoptosis induction via the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, specifically including tumor necrosis factor-mediated cell death. We demonstrate that an E1B-19 kDa gene deletion mutant had tumor necrosis factor-enhanced cancer selectivity, in vitro and in vivo, due to genetic blocks in apoptosis pathways in cancer cells. In addition, this mutant demonstrated significantly enhanced viral spread and antitumoral potency relative to dl1520 (aka Onyx-015) and wild-type adenovirus in vitro. Significant antitumoral efficacy was demonstrated in vivo by intratumoral and intravenous routes of administration. E1B-19 kDa deletion should be considered as a feature of oncolytic adenoviruses to enhance their safety, spread, and efficacy.
    Molecular Therapy 07/2004; 9(6):786-803.
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    ABSTRACT: Targeting tumour suppressor gene pathways is an attractive therapeutic strategy in cancer. Since the first clinical trial took place in 1996, at least 20 other trials have investigated the possibility of restoring p53 function, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, but with limited success. Other recent clinical trials have sought to harness abnormalities in the p53 pathway to permit tumour-selective replication of adenoviral vectors such as dl1520 (Onyx-015). Other tumour suppressor genes, such as retinoblastoma (Rb) and PTEN (phosphatase, tensin homologue, deleted on chromosome 10), are the targets for imminent clinical trials, while microarray technologies are revealing multiple new genes that are potential targets for future gene therapy.
    Gene Therapy 04/2004; 11(6):497-503.
  • Methods in molecular medicine 02/2004; 90:71-90.
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    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic replication-selective adenoviruses constitute a rapidly growing therapeutic platform for cancer. However, the role of the host immune response and the E3 immunoregulatory genes of the human adenovirus were unknown until now. We identified four mouse carcinoma lines of variable permissivity for adenoviral gene expression, cytopathic effects and/or burst size. To determine E3 gene effects in immunocompetent tumor-bearing hosts, we injected tumors with one of three adenoviruses: Ad5 (E3 wild type), dl309 (del. E3 10.4/14.5, 14.7 kDa) or dl704 (del. E3 gp19 kDa). Compared with Ad5 and dl704, dl309 was cleared much more rapidly and/or its activity was lower in all four models. Intratumoral injection with dl309 resulted in markedly greater macrophage infiltration and expression of both tumor necrosis factor and interferon-gamma. Adenovirus replication, CD8(+) lymphocyte infiltration and efficacy were similar upon intratumoral injection with either dl704 or Ad5. E3-dependent differences were not evident in athymic mice. These findings have important implications for the design of oncolytic adenoviruses and may explain the rapid clearance of E3-10.4/14.5,14.7-deleted adenoviruses in patients.
    Nature Biotechnology 12/2003; 21(11):1328-35.
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant adenoviruses are widely used in gene therapy clinical trials. A particular tropism for the adrenal glands has been reported but the precise cellular base for this tropism has not been determined. Recombinant adenoviruses were injected intravenously into Balb/c nu/nu or C57BL/6 mice. Seventy-two hours later, the animals were sacrificed and the adrenal glands and livers collected. The glands were sectioned and analyzed using immunohistochemical methods to detect adenoviral epitopes and transgene expression. Total RNA were extracted from the liver and adrenal glands of some animals and subjected to real-time RT-PCR. The only cell type infected in the adrenal glands of Balb/c nu/nu or C57BL/6 mice is the adrenocortical cells in the zona fasciculata. Quantitatively, the relative level of gene expression in the adrenal gland is comparable but lower than that measured in the liver. Systemic injection of recombinant adenovirus could be used as a procedure to restore adrenal steroidogenesis in clinical gene therapy protocols. In addition, our study suggest that adrenal dysfunction should be considered when criteria are established to assess the safety of gene therapy formulations administered systemically.
    European Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2003; 33(9):794-8.
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    ABSTRACT: This annual meeting highlighted some incremental advances in the development of gene therapeutics, with genetic prodrug activation, novel tumor suppressor genes and replicating viral vectors at the leading edge for clinical application. Imaging technologies are proving to be very useful for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies in preclinical models and should be translated into systems that can help in the development of surrogate markers in clinical trials.
    Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 03/2002; 2(1):9-11.
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    ABSTRACT: Ras proteins are active when bound to GTP and inactive when bound to GDP: the activation state of Ras proteins is regulated by two families of proteins. GTPase activating proteins (p120GAP, neurofibromin and GAP1) are negative regulators that stimulate hydrolysis of bound GTP to GDP, and guanine nucleotide exchange factors (Sos and Ras-GRF) are positive regulators that stimulate the exchange of GDP bound to Ras for fresh GTP from the cytosol. Ras is activated in response to a wide variety of extracellular stimuli. The principal mechanism used involves formation of complexes of autophosphorylated growth factor receptors with the SH2 and SH3 domain containing adaptor protein GRB2 and the exchange factor Sos. In addition, another adaptor protein, Shc, may bind to GRB2. This causes translocation of Sos to the plasma membrane where Ras is located and hence increases the rate of nucleotide exchange on Ras leading to its activation. The activity of GTPase activating proteins may also be regulated under some circumstances. A number of mechanisms exist to return the activation state of Ras to basal after stimulation.
    Cancer surveys 02/1996; 27:87-100.
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