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Soengas M.S.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research
Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research | Year: 2012

Proteins and pathways that control cell fate are placed under intense scrutiny. The same tight regulation applies to essential organelles that can both sustain cell survival or promote self-degradation programs. Mitochondria are perhaps the prime example of cellular machineries with split functions (personalities). As a main source of ATP, mitochondria represent the main powerhouse of eukaryotic cells. However, mitochondrial respiration has the hidden complication of the production of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, mitochondria holds an armamentarium of stress-response factors, which depending on the context, may lead to pro-inflammatory signals, and to various forms of cell death, ranging from apoptosis to necrosis. A main clearance mechanism to eliminate superfluous, damaged or hyperactive mitochondria is selective mitophagy. Mitophagy, in fact, is emerging as a key quality-control mechanism in cancer cells. Specifically, malignant transformation has been found to induce marked changes in mitochondrial dynamics and structure. Moreover, a key hallmark of tumor progression is metabolic reprogramming, which further deregulates ROS content and renders cells more susceptible to mitochondrial perturbations. Despite its increasing relevance in cancer biology, the field of mitophagy remains virtually unexplored in melanoma. However, given unique antioxidant mechanisms in melanocytic cells (e.g., linked to melanin) and the idiosyncratic interplay between ROS and hypoxia (both mitophagy inducers) in melanoma, this tumor type represents an ideal scenario for physiological studies of mitochondrial turnover. This perspective summarizes proof of concept for in-depth basic and translational studies of mitophagy in melanoma. Particular emphasis is dedicated to new opportunities for gene discovery and drug design in this still aggressive disease. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Manuel H.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Manuel H.,Johns Hopkins University
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2010

Deaths from pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, also known as pancreatic cancer, rank fourth among cancer-related deaths in the United States, yet the causes of pancreatic cancer remain unknown. This review article summarizes recent progress in the understanding and management of pancreatic cancer. Copyright © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Sancho D.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Reis e Sousa C.,London Research Institute
Annual Review of Immunology | Year: 2012

Myeloid cells are key drivers of physiological responses to pathogen invasion or tissue damage. Members of the C-type lectin receptor (CLR) family stand out among the specialized receptors utilized by myeloid cells to orchestrate these responses. CLR ligands include carbohydrate, protein, and lipid components of both pathogens and self, which variably trigger endocytic, phagocytic, proinflammatory, or anti-inflammatory reactions. These varied outcomes rely on a versatile system for CLR signaling that includes tyrosine-based motifs that recruit kinases, phosphatases, or endocytic adaptors as well as nontyrosine-based signals that modulate the activation of other pathways or couple to the uptake machinery. Here, we review the signaling properties of myeloid CLRs and how they impact the role of myeloid cells in innate and adaptive immunity. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Rooman I.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Real F.X.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Real F.X.,University Pompeu Fabra
Gut | Year: 2012

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has long been considered to arise from pancreatic ducts on the basis of its morphology, the occurrence of dysplasia in putative preneoplastic ductal lesions, and the absence of acinar dysplasia in the pancreas of patients with PDAC. However, evidence gathered through both in vitro studies and - more importantly - genetic mouse models of PDAC shows that ductal-type tumours can arise from acinar cells. These findings raise new important questions related to PDAC pathophysiology and call for in-depth studies of acinar cell differentiation in order to better understand PDAC biology. The authors review these issues and discuss how the novel findings should impact on future work aiming at early diagnosis and improved outcome of patients with PDAC.

Hidalgo M.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Pancreatic cancer remains a devastating disease. Over the last few years, there have been important advances in the molecular and biological understanding of pancreatic cancer. This included understanding of the genomic complexity of the disease, the role of pancreatic cancer stem cells, the relevance of the tumor microenvironment, and the unique metabolic adaptation of pancreas cancer cells to obtain nutrients under hypoxic environment. In this paper, we review the most salient developments in these few areas. © The author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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