Jessica Godin-Ethier

Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (9)36.21 Total impact

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    Alexandre Reuben · Jessica Godin-Ethier · Manuela M. Santos · Réjean Lapointe
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    ABSTRACT: The immune system and tumors are closely intertwined initially upon tumor development. During this period, tumors evolve to promote self-survival through immune escape, including by targeting crucial components involved in the presentation of antigens to the immune system in order to avoid recognition. Accordingly, components involved in MHC I presentation of tumor antigens are often mutated and down-regulated targets in tumors. On the other hand, the immune system has been shown to influence tumors through production of immunosuppressive cytokines, recruitment and polarization of cells favoring or impeding tumor escape or through production of anti-tumor cytokines promoting tumor rejection. We previously discovered that the hemochromatosis protein HFE, a negative regulator of iron absorption, dampens classical MHC I antigen presentation. In this study, we evaluated the impact of activated T lymphocytes purified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) on HFE expression in tumor cell lines. We co-cultured tumor cell lines from melanoma, lung, and kidney cancers with anti-CD3-activated PBMC and established that HFE expression is increased in tumor cell lines compared to healthy tissues, whilst being down-regulated significantly upon exposure to activated PBMC. HFE down-regulation was mediated by both CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes, through production of soluble mediators, namely TNF and IFN-γ. These results suggest that the immune system may modulate tumor HFE expression in inflammatory conditions in order to regulate MHC I antigen presentation and promote tumor clearance. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Molecular Immunology 02/2015; 65(2). DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2015.01.029 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is found in multiple malignancies and exerts immunosuppressive effects that are central in protecting tumors from host T lymphocyte rejection. IDO is an enzyme involved in the catabolism of tryptophan resulting in inhibition of T lymphocyte function. While inhibition of IDO enzymatic activity results in tumor rejection, it is still unknown how we can directly target IDO expression within tumors using drugs. We have chosen to interfere with IDO expression by targeting the key-signaling event signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). We evaluated the efficacy of fludarabine, previously described to inhibit STAT1 phosphorylation. Interestingly, fludarabine was efficient in suppressing protein expression and consequently IDO activity in two different cell lines derived from breast cancer and melanoma when IDO was activated with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) or supernatants prepared from activated T lymphocytes. However, fludarabine had no inhibitory effect on STAT1 phosphorylation. Other IFN-γ-responsive genes were only marginally inhibited by fludarabine. The level of IDO transcript was unaffected by this inhibitor, suggesting the involvement of post-transcriptional control. Strikingly, we have found that the inhibition of proteasome partially protected IDO from fludarabine-induced degradation, indicating that fludarabine induces IDO degradation through a proteasome-dependent pathway. Currently used in the clinic to treat some malignancies, fludarabine has the potential for use in the treatment of human tumors through induction of IDO degradation and consequently, for the promotion of T cell-mediated anti-tumor response.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99211. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099211 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is a tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme with immune-regulating activities in many contexts, such as fetal protection, allograft protection, and cancer progression. Clinical trials are currently evaluating IDO inhibition with 1-methyltryptophan in cancer immunotherapy. However, the exact role of tryptophan catabolism by IDO in human cancers remains poorly understood. Here, we review several studies that correlate IDO expression in human cancer samples and tumor-draining lymph nodes, with relevant clinical or immunologic parameters. IDO expression in various histologic cancer types seems to decrease tumor infiltration of immune cells and to increase the proportion of regulatory T lymphocytes in the infiltrate. The impact of IDO on different immune cell infiltration leads to the conclusion that IDO negatively regulates the recruitment of antitumor immune cells. In addition, increased IDO expression correlates with diverse tumor progression parameters and shorter patient survival. In summary, in the vast majority of the reported studies, IDO expression is correlated with a less favorable prognosis. As we may see results from the first clinical trials with 1-methyltryptophan in years to come, this review brings together IDO studies from human studies and aims to help appreciate outcomes from current and future trials. Consequently, IDO inhibition seems a promising approach for cancer immunotherapy.
    Clinical Cancer Research 11/2011; 17(22):6985-91. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1331 · 8.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immune system must be under tight control to avoid undesired responses. The enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) can exert necessary regulating effects by catabolizing tryptophan, leading to the suppression of immune responses in different settings, such as pregnancy and tumor growth. IDO's immuno-suppressive actions are mediated by tryptophan starvation and the accumulation of toxic tryptophan metabolites, resulting in T cell anergy, inhibition of clonal expansion or apoptosis. IDO activity in human macrophages and dendritic cells has been observed after interaction with T lymphocytes, and is triggered by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) as well as CD40-ligand (CD40L). However, it is unclear whether IDO activity is present in B lymphocytes, which have been identified as having suppressive properties involved in anti-tumor immunity inhibition. In this study, we investigated whether IDO expression is induced in human B cells after exposure to T lymphocyte stimuli and TLR ligands. We report IDO1 and IDO2 mRNA up-regulation by exogenous stimulation with CD40L and IFN-γ. IDO is also upregulated by imiquimod, a TLR 7/8 agonist. In addition, IDO protein is detected after treatment with these exogenous factors or with supernatant from activated CD4(+) T cells. We, however, report weak or absent enzymatic activity from these IDO-expressing cells, as assessed by tryptophan consumption. We conclude that IDO may not be a counter-regulatory mechanism utilized by B lymphocytes to down-regulate immune responses, although its expression is inducible.
    Molecular Immunology 09/2011; 49(1-2):253-9. DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2011.08.017 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multi-parametric flow cytometry analysis is a reliable method for phenotypic and functional characterization of tumor infiltrating immune cells (TIIC). The isolation of infiltrating leukocytes from solid tumors can be achieved through various methods which can be both enzymatic and mechanical; however, these methods may alter cell biology. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of three tissue disaggregation techniques on TIIC biology in breast, kidney and lung tumor specimens. We therefore compared two enzymatic treatments using either collagenase type IA alone or in combination with collagenase type IV and DNase I type II, and one mechanical system (Medimachine™). We evaluated the impact of treatments on cell viability, surface marker integrity and proliferative capacity. We show that cell viability was not significantly altered by treatments. However, enzymatic treatments decreased cell proliferation; specifically collagenases and DNase provoked a significant decrease in detection of surface markers such as CD4, CD8, CD45RA and CD14, indicating that results of phenotypic studies employing these techniques could be affected. In conclusion, mechanical tissue disaggregation by Medimachine™ appears to be optimal to maintain phenotypic and functional TIIC features.
    Journal of immunological methods 07/2011; 372(1-2):119-26. DOI:10.1016/j.jim.2011.07.002 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in North American men. Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) accentuates the infiltration of immune cells within the prostate. However, the immunosuppressive pathways regulated by androgens in PCa are not well characterized. Arginase 2 (ARG2) expression by PCa cells leads to a reduced activation of tumor-specific T cells. Our hypothesis was that androgens could regulate the expression of ARG2 by PCa cells. In this report, we demonstrate that both ARG1 and ARG2 are expressed by hormone-sensitive (HS) and hormone-refractory (HR) PCa cell lines, with the LNCaP cells having the highest arginase activity. In prostate tissue samples, ARG2 was more expressed in normal and non-malignant prostatic tissues compared to tumor tissues. Following androgen stimulation of LNCaP cells with 10 nM R1881, both ARG1 and ARG2 were overexpressed. The regulation of arginase expression following androgen stimulation was dependent on the androgen receptor (AR), as a siRNA treatment targeting the AR inhibited both ARG1 and ARG2 overexpression. This observation was correlated in vivo in patients by immunohistochemistry. Patients treated by ADT prior to surgery had lower ARG2 expression in both non-malignant and malignant tissues. Furthermore, ARG1 and ARG2 were enzymatically active and their decreased expression by siRNA resulted in reduced overall arginase activity and l-arginine metabolism. The decreased ARG1 and ARG2 expression also translated with diminished LNCaP cells cell growth and increased PBMC activation following exposure to LNCaP cells conditioned media. Finally, we found that interleukin-8 (IL-8) was also upregulated following androgen stimulation and that it directly increased the expression of ARG1 and ARG2 in the absence of androgens. Our data provides the first detailed in vitro and in vivo account of an androgen-regulated immunosuppressive pathway in human PCa through the expression of ARG1, ARG2 and IL-8.
    PLoS ONE 08/2010; 5(8):e12107. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0012107 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous cancer vaccination approaches have shown some efficiency in generating measurable immune responses, but they have rarely led to tumor regression. It is therefore possible that tumors emerge with the capacity to down-regulate immune counterparts, through the local production of immunosuppressive molecules, such as IDO. Although it is known that IDO exerts suppressive effects on T cell functions, the mechanisms of IDO regulation in tumor cells remain to be characterized. Here, we demonstrate that activated T cells can induce functional IDO expression in breast and kidney tumor cell lines, and that this is partly attributable to IFN-gamma. Moreover, we found that IL-13, a Th2 cytokine, has a negative modulatory effect on IDO expression. Furthermore, we report IDO expression in the majority of breast and kidney carcinoma samples, with infiltration of activated Th1-polarized T cells in human tumors. These findings demonstrate complex control of immune activity within tumors. Future immune therapeutic interventions should thus include strategies to counteract these negative mechanisms.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2009; 183(12):7752-60. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.0901004 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In addition to new tumour antigens, new prognostic and diagnostic markers are needed for common cancers. In this study, we report the expression of Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) in multiple common cancers. This constitutes a comprehensive analysis of the DKK1 expression profile. Dickkopf-1 expression was evaluated by classical and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay for protein determination, in cancer lines and clinical specimens of several cancer origins. For breast cancer, expression was correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Dickkopf-1 expression was confirmed in several cancer cell lines derived from breast and other common cancers. Dickkopf-1 protein secretion was documented in breast, prostate and lung cancer lines, but was negligible in melanoma. Analysis of DKK1 expression in human cancer specimens revealed DKK1 expression in breast (21 out of 73), lung (11 out of 23) and kidney cancers (six out of 20). Interestingly, DKK1 was preferentially expressed in oestrogen and progesterone receptor-negative tumours (ER(-)/PR(-); P=0.005) and in tumours from women with a family history of breast cancer (P=0.024). Importantly, DKK1 protein production was confirmed in multiple breast cancer specimens that were positive by RT-PCR. This work establishes DKK1 as a potential prognostic and diagnostic marker for cohorts of breast cancer patients with poor prognosis. Dickkopf-1 may also become a relevant candidate target for immunotherapy of different cancers.
    British Journal of Cancer 03/2007; 96(4):646-53. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603579 · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Jessica Godin-Ethier · Sandy Pelletier · Simon Tanguay · Rejean Lapointe
    Journla of Immunotherapy 11/2005; 28(6):648-649. DOI:10.1097/01.cji.0000191066.42124.d1 · 3.35 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

173 Citations
36.21 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014–2015
    • Université de Montréal
      • Center for Mathematical Research
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2007–2011
    • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2009
    • Hôpital Notre-Dame
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2005
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada