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Biron-Pain K.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier | Grosset A.-A.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier | Poirier F.,University Paris Diderot | Gaboury L.,Institute Of Recherche En Immunologie Et Cancerologie | St-Pierre Y.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The identification of galectin-7 as a p53-induced gene and its ability to induce apoptosis in many cell types support the hypothesis that galectin-7 has strong antitumor activity. This has been well documented in colon cancer. However, in some cases, such as breast cancer and lymphoma, its high expression level correlates with aggressive subtypes of cancer, suggesting that galectin-7 may have a dual role in cancer progression. In fact, in breast cancer, overexpression of galectin-7 alone is sufficient to promote metastasis to the bone and lung. In the present work, we investigated the expression and function of galectin-7 in melanoma. An analysis of datasets obtained from whole-genome profiling of human melanoma tissues revealed that galectin-7 mRNA was detected in more than 90% of biopsies of patients with nevi while its expression was more rarely found in biopsies collected from patients with malignant melanoma. This frequency, however, was likely due to the presence of normal epidermis tissues in biopsies, as shown our studies at the protein level by immunohistochemical analysis. Using the experimental melanoma B16F1 cell line, we found that melanoma cells can express galectin-7 at the primary tumor site and in lung metastasis. Moreover, we found that overexpression of galectin-7 increased the resistance of melanoma cells to apoptosis while inducing de novo egr-1 expression. Overexpression of galectin-7, however, was insufficient to modulate the growth of tumors induced by the subcutaneous injection of B16F1 cells. It also failed to modulate the dissemination of B16F1 cells to the lung. © 2013 Biron-Pain et al.

Demers M.,Institute Armand Frappier | Demers M.,Harvard University | Rose A.A.N.,McGill University | Grosset A.-A.,Institute Of Recherche En Immunologie Et Cancerologie | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2010

Galectins are members of a family of β-galactosides-binding proteins that have recently emerged as novel modulators in different aspects of cancer. The expression of galectins in tumors and/or the tissue surrounding them has been well documented. Since galectin-7 expression has been associated with epithelial tissues and varies significantly in various types of cancer, we have investigated for the first time its role in breast cancer. Using two preclinical mouse models, high levels of galectin-7 expression in breast cancer cells drastically increased their ability to metastasize to lungs and bones. Significant increases in the number of pulmonary metastases and osteolytic lesions were induced by overexpression of galectin-7 compared with control cells. In human tissues, galectin-7 was specifically found in myoepithelial cells of normal human breast tissue, but not in luminal cells. Its expression was severely altered in breast carcinoma, many samples showing greater than 70% of galectin-7 positive cells. High expression levels of galectin-7 were restricted to high-grade breast carcinomas, including HER2 overexpressing and basal-like groups. In HER2 overexpressing cases, galectin-7 expression was associated with lymph node axillary metastasis. Taken together, our results indicate that galectin-7 may represent a potential target for both specific detection and therapeutic inhibition of metastatic breast cancer. Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology.

Legare S.,McGill University | Legare S.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Cavallone L.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Mamo A.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | And 17 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2015

The treatment of breast cancer has benefitted tremendously from the generation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα)-targeted therapies, but disease relapse continues to pose a challenge due to intrinsic or acquired drug resistance. In an effort to delineate potential predictive biomarkers of therapy responsiveness, multiple groups have identified several uncharacterized cofactors and interacting partners of ERα, including Split Ends (SPEN), a transcriptional corepressor. Here, we demonstrate a role for SPEN in ERα-expressing breast cancers. SPEN nonsense mutations were detectable in the ERα-expressing breast cancer cell line T47D and corresponded to undetectable protein levels. Further analysis of 101 primary breast tumors revealed that 23% displayed loss of heterozygosity at the SPEN locus and that 3% to 4% harbored somatically acquired mutations. A combination of in vitro and in vivo functional assays with microarray-based pathway analyses showed that SPEN functions as a tumor suppressor to regulate cell proliferation, tumor growth, and survival. We also found that SPEN binds ERα in a ligand-independent manner and negatively regulates the transcription of ERα targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that SPEN overexpression sensitizes hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells to the apoptotic effects of tamoxifen, but has no effect on responsiveness to fulvestrant. Consistent with these findings, two independent datasets revealed that high SPEN protein and RNA expression in ERα-positive breast tumors predicted favorable outcome in patients treated with tamoxifen alone. Together, our data suggest that SPEN is a novel tumor-suppressor gene that may be clinically useful as a predictive biomarker of tamoxifen response in ERα-positive breast cancers. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

Labrie M.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier | Vladoiu M.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier | Grosset A.-A.,INRS Institute Armand Frappier | Grosset A.-A.,Institute Of Recherche En Immunologie Et Cancerologie | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The observation that galectin-7 (gal-7) is specifically expressed in mammary myoepithelial (basal) cells prompted us to investigate whether this protein is expressed in the basal cells of other tissues. Given that breast and prostate cancer have remarkable underlying biological similarities and given the important roles of basal cells in prostate cancer, we examined the expression patterns and role of gal-7 in human prostate cancer. Using tissue microarray, we found that although gal-7 is readily expressed in basal cells in normal prostate tissue, it is downregulated in prostate cancer (PCa) cells. De novo expression of gal-7 in prostate cancer cells increases their sensitivity to apoptosis in response to etoposide and cisplatin. The assessment of a carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD)-defective mutant form of gal-7 (R7S) showed that the ability of this protein to modulate apoptosis was independent of its CRD activity. This activity was also independent of its ability to translocate to the mitochondrial and nuclear compartments. However, CRD activity was necessary to inhibit the invasive behaviors of prostate cancer cells. In vivo, gal-7 overexpression in PCa cells led to a modest yet significant reduction in tumor size, while its CRD-defective mutant form significantly increased tumor growth compared to controls. Taken together, these results suggest that although de novo expression of gal-7 may be an interesting means of increasing the tumorigenic phenotypes of PCa cells, alterations in the CRD activity of this protein drive a phenotypic switch in its role in PCa cells. This CRD-independent activity represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of the functions of galectin. The R74S model will be useful to distinguish CRD-dependent and CRD-independent functions of gal-7 in cancer progression. © 2015 Labrie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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