Maria P A van Berkel

VU University Medical Center, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (8)29.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) complicated by pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) carries a poor prognosis, despite pulmonary vascular dilating therapy. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are potential therapeutic targets for PAH because of their proliferative effects on vessel remodelling. To explore their role in SScPAH, we compared PDGFR- and EGFR-mmunoreactivity in lung tissue specimens from SScPAH. We compared staining patterns with idiopathic PAH (IPAH) and pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD), as SScPAH vasculopathy differs from IPAH and sometimes displays features of PVOD. Immunoreactivity patterns of phosphorylated PDGFR-β (pPDGFR-β) and the ligand PDGF-B were evaluated to provide more insight into the patterns of PDGFR-b activation. Lung tissue specimens from five SScPAH, nine IPAH, six PVOD patients and five controls were examined. Immunoreactivity was scored for presence, distribution and intensity. All SScPAH and three of nine IPAH cases (P = 0.03) showed PDGFR-β-immunoreactivity in small vessels (arterioles/venules); of five SScPAH vs. two of nine IPAH cases (P = 0.02) showed venous immunoreactivity. In small vessels, intensity was stronger in SScPAH vs. IPAH. No differences were found between SScPAH and PVOD. One of five normal controls demonstrated focally mild immunoreactivity. There were no differences in PDGF-ligand and pPDGFR-b-immunoreactivity between patient groups; however, pPDGFR-b-immunoreactivity tended to be more prevalent in SScPAH small vasculature compared to IPAH. Vascular EGFR-immunoreactivity was limited to arterial and arteriolar walls, without differences between groups. No immunoreactivity was observed in vasculature of normals. PDGFR-β-immunoreactivity in SScPAH is more common and intense in small- and post-capillary vessels than in IPAH and does not differ from PVOD, fitting in with histomorphological distribution of vasculopathy. PDGFR-β immunoreactivity pattern is not paralleled by pPDGFR-β or PDGF-B patterns. PDGFR-β- and EGFR-immunoreactivity of pulmonary vessels distinguishes PAH patients from controls.
    Arthritis research & therapy 04/2011; 13(2):R61. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human epidermal growth factor (HER) family-targeted therapy combined with standard cytotoxic agents might improve the treatment of ovarian cancer. Human ovarian cancer cell lines OVCAR-3, IGROV-1, and SKOV-3 with differential EGFR, HER2, and HER3 expression levels were used to study whether EGFR-directed (cetuximab) or HER2-directed (trastuzumab, pertuzumab) monoclonal antibodies inhibited cell growth and abrogated activated receptor signaling routes. Possible increase of antiproliferative effects and further activation of caspase-3 as a read-out for apoptosis were analyzed when monoclonal antibodies were combined with docetaxel. Cetuximab alone inhibited cell growth in OVCAR-3 and IGROV-1, which was more pronounced when combined with pertuzumab in OVCAR-3. SKOV-3 cell growth was not significantly affected by any of the antibodies. Cetuximab increased the 50% growth-inhibiting effects of docetaxel in OVCAR-3 and IGROV-1, but not in SKOV-3. Coaddition of pertuzumab to cetuximab plus docetaxel in OVCAR-3 and IGROV-1, and, to a lesser extent trastuzumab in OVCAR-3, inhibited cell growth even further. Caspase-3 activation by docetaxel was enhanced after addition of cetuximab in OVCAR-3 and after addition of cetuximab plus pertuzumab in IGROV-1 and SKOV-3. Functional EGFR-signaling, HER2-signaling, and HER3-signaling routes as shown from abrogation of EGF-stimulated and heregulin-stimulated phosphorylated ERK1/2 by cetuximab, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab, respectively, were shown in OVCAR-3 and IGROV-1, but hardly in SKOV-3. Pertuzumab was able to abrogate phosphorylated HER2 by EGF and heregulin, except in SKOV-3. In conclusion, a combination of docetaxel with inhibitors of HER family members, such as cetuximab plus pertuzumab, may be considered for a clinical trial in ovarian carcinomas with functional receptors.
    Anti-cancer drugs 05/2009; 20(6):450-60. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1F6 human melanoma xenografts overexpressing either the 18 kD (18kD) form or all (ALL) forms of human basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) demonstrate an abundant number of microvessels and accelerated growth. We now examined whether bFGF mediates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to determine bFGF and VEGF mRNA, VEGF protein secretion was measured by ELISA and VEGF promoter activation was assessed by a dual luciferase activity assay. Western blot was carried out to detect phosphorylation of bFGF-regulated target proteins. In 1F6-18kD and 1F6-ALL clones VEGF mRNA was increased 4- to 5-fold and VEGF protein secretion was highly stimulated due to activation of the VEGF promotor. PI-3K, p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 MAPK pathways were activated, while inhibition of PI-3K or p38 resulted in, respectively, 55% and up to 70% reduction of VEGF mRNA overexpression. A concurrent 60% decrease in VEGF protein secretion was mostly apparent upon inhibition of PI-3K. Inhibition of ERK1/2 hardly affected VEGF mRNA or protein secretion. Two unselected human melanoma cell lines with high metastatic potential contained high bFGF and VEGF, while three non- or sporadically metastatic cell lines displayed low bFGF and VEGF. These data indicate that stimulation of VEGF protein secretion in response to bFGF overexpression may contribute to increased vascularization and enhanced aggressiveness in melanoma.
    Cellular oncology: the official journal of the International Society for Cellular Oncology 02/2009; 31(3):179-90. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular movement is mainly orchestrated by the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton in which Rho GTPases closely collaborate. We studied whether cytoskeleton-interfering agents at subtoxic and 50% growth-inhibiting concentrations affect motility of five unselected human ovarian cancer cell lines. Cisplatin and doxorubicin as control cytotoxic agents were not effective, the microtubule-targeting agents docetaxel, epothilone B and vinblastine only marginally inhibited cell motility, while the actin-targeting agent cytochalasin D was most potent in hampering both cell migration and invasion. Disturbance of microtubule dynamics by docetaxel did not importantly affect the cellular structures of beta-tubulin and F-actin. In contrast, hindrance of actin dynamics by cytochalasin D resulted in loss of lamellipodial extensions, induced thick layers of F-actin and disorder in cellular organization. In OVCAR-3 cells the activity of Rac1 was only slightly diminished by docetaxel, but clearly reduced by cytochalasin D. In conclusion, targeting the actin cytoskeleton might provide a means to prevent metastasis formation.
    Biochemical pharmacology 09/2008; 76(6):707-16. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celecoxib, an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), is being investigated for enhancement of chemotherapy efficacy in cancer clinical trials. We determined whether continuous exposure to celecoxib would increase the antiproliferative effects of a 1-h treatment with docetaxel or cisplatin in four human ovarian cancer cell lines. COX-2 protein could not be detected in these cell lines, because of which three COX-2 positive human colon cancer cell lines were included. Multiple drug effect analysis demonstrated additive to borderline antagonistic effects of celecoxib combined with docetaxel. Combination indices with values of 1.4-2.5 in all cancer cell lines indicated antagonism between celecoxib and cisplatin regardless whether celecoxib preceded cisplatin for 3h, was added simultaneously or immediately after cisplatin. Apoptotic features measured in COX-2-negative H134 ovarian cancer cells and COX-2-positive WiDr colon cancer cells, such as the activation of caspase-3 and the number of cells in sub-G0 of the cell cycle, induced by docetaxel were increased in the presence of celecoxib, but were abrogated upon addition of celecoxib to cisplatin. Moreover, the G2/M accumulation in cisplatin-treated cells was less pronounced when celecoxib was present. Drugs did not affect p-Akt. Celecoxib upregulated p-ERK1/2 in H134 cells, but not in WiDr cells. Platinum-DNA adduct formation measured in WiDr cells, however, was reduced when celecoxib was combined with cisplatin. Taken together, our data demonstrate clear antagonistic effects when celecoxib is given concurrently with cisplatin, which is independent of COX-2 expression levels.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 02/2008; 75(2):427-37. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and its transcriptional regulator Hypoxia-inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1) play an important role in the process of angiogenesis in many types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. We have examined whether the DNA-damaging drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin and the microtubule inhibitors docetaxel and paclitaxel can affect VEGF expression and HIF-1 activity in three human ovarian cancer cell lines. We demonstrate that cisplatin and doxorubicin abolish hypoxia-induced VEGF mRNA expression in all cell lines, while basal VEGF mRNA expression was also downregulated. Transient transfection with a HIF-1-responsive luciferase construct indicated that cisplatin and doxorubicin inhibited hypoxic activation of HIF-1. Cisplatin repressed HIF-1alpha protein expression in all cell lines. Stimulation of HIF-1alpha protein degradation by cisplatin was observed in the only cell line expressing wild-type p53. Cisplatin also inhibited the synthesis of HIF-1alpha protein for which p53 was dispensable. Interestingly, cisplatin strongly reduced the protein levels of the HIF-1 coactivators p300 and CREB-binding protein (CBP) under hypoxia in all cell lines. Although doxorubicin inhibited hypoxic activation of HIF-1, this drug had no significant effect on the expression levels of HIF-1alpha and hypoxic expression of p300 and CBP was only weakly reduced. Docetaxel and paclitaxel did neither influence VEGF expression nor hypoxia-induced HIF-1 activity. In total, our findings indicate that cisplatin and doxorubicin can repress hypoxic induction of VEGF expression by inhibiting HIF-1 through different mechanisms. This knowledge may be useful for future treatment schedules including agents that target the HIF-1 signalling pathway.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 08/2007; 74(2):191-201. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD13/Aminopeptidase N (CD13) is known to play an important role in tumour cell invasion. We examined whether basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is involved in the regulation of CD13 expression in human melanoma cells. 1F6 human melanoma cells were stably transfected with constructs encoding either the 18 kDa (18 kD) or all (ALL) bFGF isoform proteins. We observed highly increased CD13 mRNA and protein expression in the 1F6 clones regardless of the overexpression of either the 18 kD or all isoform proteins. Neutral aminopeptidase activity was increased five-fold and could be inhibited by bestatin and the CD13-neutralising antibody WM15. The enhanced invasion through Matrigel, but not migration in a wound assay, was efficiently abrogated by both bestatin and WM15. Upregulation of CD13 expression was the result of increased epithelial and myeloid promoter activity up to 4.5-fold in 1F6-18 kD and 1F6-ALL clones. Interestingly, in a panel of human melanoma cell lines, a significant correlation (r(2)=0.883, P<0.05) between bFGF and CD13 mRNA and protein expression was detected. High bFGF and CD13 expression were clearly related with an aggressive phenotype. Taken together, our data indicate that high bFGF expression upregulates CD13 expression in human melanoma cells by activating both the myeloid and the epithelial CD13 promoter. In addition, we show that high bFGF and CD13 expression results in enhanced invasive capacity and metastatic behaviour of human melanoma cells.
    British Journal of Cancer 07/2006; 94(11):1627-36. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Melanoma Research - MELANOMA RES. 01/2006; 16.