Marie-Josée Fournier

Laval University, Québec, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (4)16.64 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Stress granules (SG) are cytoplasmic multimeric RNA bodies that form under stress conditions known to inhibit cap-dependent translation. SG contain translation initiation factors, RNA binding proteins and signaling molecules. SG are known to inhibit apoptotic pathways, thus contributing to chemo- and radio-resistance in tumor cells. However, whether stress granules formation involves oncogenic signaling pathways is currently unknown. Herein, we report a novel role of the mTORC1-eIF4E pathway, a key regulator of cap-dependent translation initiation of oncogenic factors, in SG formation. mTORC1 specifically drives the eIF4E-mediated formation of SG through the phosphorylation of 4E-BP1, a key factor known to inhibit formation of the mTORC1-dependent eIF4E-eIF4GI interactions. Disrupting formation of SG by inactivation of mTOR with its specific inhibitor pp242 or by depletion of eIF4E or eIF4GI blocks the SG-associated antiapoptotic p21 pathway. Finally, pp242 sensitizes cancer cells to death in vitro and inhibits the growth of chemoresistant tumors in vivo. This work therefore highlights a novel role of the oncogenic mTORC1-eIF4E pathway, namely the promotion of formation of antiapoptotic SG.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 04/2013; · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: p21(WAF1/CIP1) is a well known cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor induced by various stress stimuli. Depending on the stress applied, p21 upregulation can either promote apoptosis or prevent against apoptotic injury. The stress-mediated induction of p21 involves not only its transcriptional activation but also its posttranscriptional regulation, mainly through stabilization of p21 mRNA levels. We have previously reported that the proteasome inhibitor MG132 induces the stabilization of p21 mRNA, which correlates with the formation of cytoplasmic RNA stress granules. The mechanism underlying p21 mRNA stabilization, however, remains unknown. We identified the stress granules component CUGBP1 as a factor required for p21 mRNA stabilization following treatment with bortezomib ( =  PS-341/Velcade). This peptide boronate inhibitor of the 26S proteasome is very efficient for the treatment of myelomas and other hematological tumors. However, solid tumors are sometimes refractory to bortezomib treatment. We found that depleting CUGBP1 in cancer cells prevents bortezomib-mediated p21 upregulation. FISH experiments combined to mRNA stability assays show that this effect is largely due to a mistargeting of p21 mRNA in stress granules leading to its degradation. Altering the expression of p21 itself, either by depleting CUGBP1 or p21, promotes bortezomib-mediated apoptosis. We propose that one key mechanism by which apoptosis is inhibited upon treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs might involve upregulation of the p21 protein through CUGBP1.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e20254. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Marie-Josée Fournier, Cristina Gareau, Rachid Mazroui
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) are specialized storage sites of untranslated mRNAs whose formation occurs under different stress conditions and is often associated with cell survival. SGs-inducing stresses include radiations, hypoxia, viral infections, and chemical inhibitors of specific translation initiation factors. The FDA-approved drug bortezomib (Velcade(R)) is a peptide boronate inhibitor of the 26S proteasome that is very efficient for the treatment of myelomas and other hematological tumors. Solid tumors are largely refractory to bortezomib. In the present study, we investigated the formation of SGs following bortezomib treatment. We show that bortezomib efficiently induces the formation of SGs in cancer cells. This process involves the phosphorylation of translation initiation factor eIF2alpha by heme-regulated inhibitor kinase (HRI). Depletion of HRI prevents bortezomib-induced formation of SGs and promotes apoptosis. This is the first study describing the formation of SGs by a chemotherapeutic compound. We speculate that the activation of HRI and the formation of SGs might constitute a mechanism by which cancer cells resist bortezomib-mediated apoptosis.
    Cancer Cell International 01/2010; 10:12. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) are specialized regulatory sites of mRNA translation that form under different stress conditions known to inhibit translation initiation. The formation of SG occurs via two pathways; the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 2alpha phosphorylation-dependent pathway mediated by stress and the eIF2alpha phosphorylation-independent pathway mediated by inactivation of the translation initiation factors eIF4A and eIF4G. In this study, we investigated the effects of targeting different translation initiation factors and steps in SG formation in HeLa cells. By depleting eIF2alpha, we demonstrate that reduced levels of the eIF2.GTP.Met-tRNAi(Met) ternary translation initiation complexes is sufficient to induce SGs. Likewise, reduced levels of eIF4B, eIF4H, or polyA-binding protein, also trigger SG formation. In contrast, depletion of the cap-binding protein eIF4E or preventing its assembly into eIF4F results in modest SG formation. Intriguingly, interfering with the last step of translation initiation by blocking the recruitment of 60S ribosome either with 2-(4-methyl-2,6-dinitroanilino)-N-methylpropionamideis or through depletion of the large ribosomal subunits protein L28 does not induce SG assembly. Our study identifies translation initiation steps and factors involved in SG formation as well as those that can be targeted without induction of SGs.
    Molecular biology of the cell 05/2009; 20(11):2673-83. · 5.98 Impact Factor