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Wakefield L.M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Hill C.S.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2013

Much of the focus on the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) superfamily in cancer has revolved around the TGFβ ligands themselves. However, it is now becoming apparent that deregulated signalling by many of the other superfamily members also has crucial roles in both the development of tumours and metastasis. Furthermore, these signalling pathways are emerging as plausible therapeutic targets. Their roles in tumorigenesis frequently reflect their function in embryonic development or in adult tissue homeostasis, and their influence extends beyond the tumours themselves, to the tumour microenvironment and more widely to complications of cancer such as cachexia and bone loss. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Panier S.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Boulton S.J.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2014

DNA double-strand break (DSB) signalling and repair is crucial to preserve genomic integrity and maintain cellular homeostasis. p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) is an important regulator of the cellular response to DSBs that promotes the end-joining of distal DNA ends, which is induced during V(D)J and class switch recombination as well as during the fusion of deprotected telomeres. New insights have been gained into the mechanisms underlying the recruitment of 53BP1 to damaged chromatin and how 53BP1 promotes non-homologous end-joining-mediated DSB repair while preventing homologous recombination. From these studies, a model is emerging in which 53BP1 recruitment requires the direct recognition of a DSB-specific histone code and its influence on pathway choice is mediated by mutual antagonism with breast cancer 1 (BRCA1). © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Huertas P.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature structural & molecular biology | Year: 2010

DNA double-strand breaks are repaired by different mechanisms, including homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining. DNA-end resection, the first step in recombination, is a key step that contributes to the choice of DSB repair. Resection, an evolutionarily conserved process that generates single-stranded DNA, is linked to checkpoint activation and is critical for survival. Failure to regulate and execute this process results in defective recombination and can contribute to human disease. Here I review recent findings on the mechanisms of resection in eukaryotes, from yeast to vertebrates, provide insights into the regulatory strategies that control it, and highlight the consequences of both its impairment and its deregulation.


Worboys J.D.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Methods | Year: 2014

In targeted proteomics it is critical that peptides are not only proteotypic but also accurately represent the level of the protein (quantotypic). Numerous approaches are used to identify proteotypic peptides, but quantotypic properties are rarely assessed. We show that measuring ratios of proteotypic peptides across biological samples can be used to empirically identify peptides with good quantotypic properties. We applied this technique to identify quantotypic peptides for 21% of the human kinome.


Voorde J.V.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2016

Recent high-profile reports have reignited an interest in acetate metabolism in cancer. Acetyl-CoA synthetases that catalyse the conversion of acetate to acetyl-CoA have now been implicated in the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma, glioblastoma, breast cancer and prostate cancer. In this Review, we discuss how acetate functions as a nutritional source for tumours and as a regulator of cancer cell stress, and how preventing its (re)capture by cancer cells may provide an opportunity for therapeutic intervention. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Hackett J.A.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

DNA methylation is dynamically remodelled during the mammalian life cycle through distinct phases of reprogramming and de novo methylation. These events enable the acquisition of cellular potential followed by the maintenance of lineage-restricted cell identity, respectively, a process that defines the life cycle through successive generations. DNA methylation contributes to the epigenetic regulation of many key developmental processes including genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, genome stability and gene regulation. Emerging sequencing technologies have led to recent insights into the dynamic distribution of DNA methylation during development and the role of this epigenetic mark within distinct genomic contexts, such as at promoters, exons or imprinted control regions. Additionally, there is a better understanding of the mechanistic basis of DNA demethylation during epigenetic reprogramming in primordial germ cells and during pre-implantation development. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the developmental roles and dynamics of this key epigenetic system.


Murphy G.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Genome biology | Year: 2011

Orchestration of the growth and remodeling of tissues and responses of cells to their extracellular environment is mediated by metalloproteinases of the Metzincin clan. This group of proteins comprises several families of endopeptidases in which a zinc atom is liganded at the catalytic site to three histidine residues and an invariant methionine residue. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are endogenous protein regulators of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) family, and also of families such as the disintegrin metalloproteinases (ADAM and ADAMTS). TIMPs therefore have a pivotal role in determining the influence of the extracellular matrix, of cell adhesion molecules, and of many cytokines, chemokines and growth factors on cell phenotype. The TIMP family is an ancient one, with a single representative in lower eukaryotes and four members in mammals. Although much is known about their mechanism of action in proteinase regulation in mammalian cells, less is known about their functions in lower organisms. Recently, non-inhibitory functions of TIMPs have been identified in mammalian cells, including signaling roles downstream of specific receptors. There are clearly still questions to be answered with regard to their overall roles in biology.


Intravital microscopy of the calvarium is the only noninvasive method for high-resolution imaging of the bone marrow (BM) and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches. However, it is unclear if the calvarium is representative of all BM compartments. Using the combination of whole body optical imaging, intravital microscopy, and "in vivo fluorescence trapping," a thorough comparison of HSCs and putative HSC niches in the calvaria, epiphyses, and diaphyses, at steady state or after HSC transplantation, can be made. We report substantial heterogeneity between different BM compartments in terms of bone-remodeling activity (BRA), blood volume fraction (BVF), and hypoxia. Although BVF is high in all BM compartments, including areas adjacent to the endosteum, we found that compartments displaying the highest BVF and BRA were preferentially seeded and engrafted upon HSC transplantation. Unexpectedly, the macroanatomical distribution of HSCs at steady state is homogeneous across these 3 areas and independent of these 2 parameters and suggests the existence of "reconstituting niches," which are distinct from "homeostatic niches." Both types of niches were observed in the calvarium, indicating that endochondral ossification, the process needed for the formation of HSC niches during embryogenesis, is dispensable for the formation of HSC niches during adulthood.


Translocations in myeloma are thought to occur solely in mature B cells in the germinal center through class switch recombination (CSR). We used a targeted captured technique followed by massively parallel sequencing to determine the exact breakpoints in both the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) locus and the partner chromosome in 61 presentation multiple myeloma samples. The majority of samples (62%) have a breakpoint within the switch regions upstream of the IGH constant genes and are generated through CSR in a mature B cell. However, the proportion of CSR translocations is not consistent between cytogenetic subgroups. We find that 100% of t(4;14) are CSR-mediated; however, 21% of t(11;14) and 25% of t(14;20) are generated through DH-JH recombination activation gene-mediated mechanisms, indicating they occur earlier in B-cell development at the pro-B-cell stage in the bone marrow. These 2 groups also generate translocations through receptor revision, as determined by the breakpoints and mutation status of the segments used in 10% and 50% of t(11;14) and t(14;20) samples, respectively. The study indicates that in a significant number of cases the translocation-based etiological events underlying myeloma may arise at the pro-B-cell hematological progenitor cell level, much earlier in B-cell development than was previously thought.


Schachtner H.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Blood | Year: 2013

Megakaryocytes give rise to platelets via extension of proplatelet arms, which are released through the vascular sinusoids into the bloodstream. Megakaryocytes and their precursors undergo varying interactions with the extracellular environment in the bone marrow during their maturation and positioning in the vascular niche. We demonstrate that podosomes are abundant in primary murine megakaryocytes adherent on multiple extracellular matrix substrates, including native basement membrane. Megakaryocyte podosome lifetime and density, but not podosome size, are dependent on the type of matrix, with podosome lifetime dramatically increased on collagen fibers compared with fibrinogen. Podosome stability and dynamics depend on actin cytoskeletal dynamics but not matrix metalloproteases. However, podosomes degrade matrix and appear to be important for megakaryocytes to extend protrusions across a native basement membrane. We thus demonstrate for the first time a fundamental requirement for podosomes in megakaryocyte process extension across a basement membrane, and our results suggest that podosomes may have a role in proplatelet arm extension or penetration of basement membrane.

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