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Besin G.,Universitedu Quebec | Besin G.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Yousefi M.,Universitedu Quebec | Saba I.,Universitedu Quebec | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2012

In T cells, two members of the Dok family, Dok-1 and Dok-2, are predominantly expressed. Recent evidence suggests that they play a negative role in T-cell signaling. In order to define whether Dok proteins regulate T-cell development, we have generated transgenic mice overexpressing Dok-1 in thymocytes and peripheral T cells. We show that overexpression of Dok-1 retards the transition from the CD4-CD8- to CD4+CD8+ stage. Moreover, there is a specific expansion of PLZF-expressing Vγ1.1+ Vδ6.3+ T cells. This subset of γδ T cells acquires innate characteristics including rapid IL-4 production following stimulation and requiring SLAM-associated adaptor protein (SAP) for their development. Moreover, Dok-1 overexpression promotes the generation of an innate-like CD8+ T-cell population that expresses Eomesodermin. Altogether, these findings identify a novel role for Dok-1 in the regulation of thymic differentiation and in particular, in the development of PLZF+ γδ T cells. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source


Shkreta L.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Bell B.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Revil T.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Venables J.P.,Laboratoire Of Genomique Fonctionnelle Of Luniversite Of Sherbrooke | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Treatment and Research | Year: 2013

For most of our 25,000 genes, the removal of introns by pre-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing represents an essential step toward the production of functional messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Alternative splicing of a single pre-mRNA results in the production of different mRNAs. Although complex organisms use alternative splicing to expand protein function and phenotypic diversity, patterns of alternative splicing are often altered in cancer cells. Alternative splicing contributes to tumorigenesis by producing splice isoforms that can stimulate cell proliferation and cell migration or induce resistance to apoptosis and anticancer agents. Cancer-specific changes in splicing profiles can occur through mutations that are affecting splice sites and splicing control elements, and also by alterations in the expression of proteins that control splicing decisions. Recent progress in global approaches that interrogate splicing diversity should help to obtain specific splicing signatures for cancer types. The development of innovative approaches for annotating and reprogramming splicing events will more fully establish the essential contribution of alternative splicing to the biology of cancer and will hopefully provide novel targets and anticancer strategies. Metazoan genes are usually made up of several exons interrupted by introns. The introns are removed from the pre-mRNA by RNA splicing. In conjunction with other maturation steps, such as capping and polyadenylation, the spliced mRNA is then transported to the cytoplasm to be translated into a functional protein. The basic mechanism of splicing requires accurate recognition of each extremity of each intron by the spliceosome. Introns are identified by the binding of U1 snRNP to the 5′ splice site and the U2AF65/U2AF35 complex to the 3′ splice site. Following these interactions, other proteins and snRNPs are recruited to generate the complete spliceosomal complex needed to excise the intron. While many introns are constitutively removed by the spliceosome, other splice junctions are not used systematically, generating the phenomenon of alternative splicing. Alternative splicing is therefore the process by which a single species of pre-mRNA can be matured to produce different mRNA molecules (Fig. 1). Depending on the number and types of alternative splicing events, a pre-mRNA can generate from two to several thousands different mRNAs leading to the production of a corresponding number of proteins. It is now believed that the expression of at least 70 % of human genes is subjected to alternative splicing, implying an enormous contribution to proteomic diversity, and by extension, to the development and the evolution of complex animals. Defects in splicing have been associated with human diseases (Caceres and Kornblihtt, Trends Genet 18(4):186-93, 2002, Cartegni et al., Nat Rev Genet 3(4):285-98, 2002, Pagani and Baralle, Nat Rev Genet 5(5):389-96, 2004), including cancer (Brinkman, Clin Biochem 37(7):584-94, 2004, Venables, Bioessays 28(4):378-86, 2006, Srebrow and Kornblihtt, J Cell Sci 119(Pt 13):2635-2641, 2006, Revil et al., Bull Cancer 93(9):909-919, 2006, Venables, Transworld Res Network, 2006, Pajares et al., Lancet Oncol 8(4):349-57, 2007, Skotheim and Nees, Int J Biochem Cell Biol 39:1432-1449, 2007). Numerous studies have now confirmed the existence of specific differences in the alternative splicing profiles between normal and cancer tissues. Although there are a few cases where specific mutations are the primary cause for these changes, global alterations in alternative splicing in cancer cells may be primarily derived from changes in the expression of RNA-binding proteins that control splice site selection. Overall, these cancer-specific differences in alternative splicing offer an immense potential to improve the diagnosis and the prognosis of cancer. This review will focus on the functional impact of cancer-associated alternative splicing variants, the molecular determinants that alter the splicing decisions in cancer cells, and future therapeutic strategies. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. Source


Porquet N.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Gout S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Tremblay P.,University of Quebec | Klinck R.,Laboratoire Of Genomique Fonctionnelle Of Luniversite Of Sherbrooke | Auger F.A.,University of Quebec
BMC Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: Extravasation of circulating cancer cells is a key event of metastatic dissemination that is initiated by the adhesion of cancer cells to endothelial cells. It requires interactions between adhesion receptors on endothelial cells and their counter-receptors on cancer cells. Notably, E-selectin, a major endothelial adhesion receptor, interacts with Death receptor-3 present on metastatic colon carcinoma cells. This interaction confers metastatic properties to colon cancer cells by promoting the adhesion of cancer cells to endothelial cells and triggering the activation of the pro-migratory p38 and pro-survival ERK pathways in the cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated further the mechanisms by which the E-selectin-activated pathways downstream of DR3 confer a survival advantage to colon cancer cells.Methods: Cell survival has been ascertained by using the WST-1 assay and by evaluating the activation of the PI3 kinase/NFκB survival axis. Apoptosis has been assayed by determining DNA fragmentation by Hoechst staining and by measuring cleavage of caspases-8 and -3. DR3 isoforms have been identified by PCR. For more precise quantification, targeted PCR reactions were carried out, and the amplified products were analyzed by automated chip-based microcapillary electrophoresis on an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer instrument.Results: Interaction between DR3-expressing HT29 colon carcinoma cells and E-selectin induces the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Moreover, p65/RelA, the anti-apoptotic subunit of NFκB, is rapidly translocated to the nucleus in response to E-selectin. This translocation is impaired by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Furthermore, inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway increases the cleavage of caspase 8 in colon cancer cells treated with E-selectin and this effect is still further increased when both ERK and PI3K pathways are concomitantly inhibited. Intriguingly, metastatic colon cancer cell lines such as HT29 and SW620 express higher levels of a splice variant of DR3 that has no trans-membrane domain and no death domain.Conclusion: Colon cancer cells acquire an increased capacity to survive via the activation of the PI3K/NFκB pathway following the stimulation of DR3 by E-selectin. Generation of a DR3 splice variant devoid of death domain can further contribute to protect against apoptosis. © 2011 Porquet et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Montagne M.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Beaudoin N.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Fortin D.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Lavoie C.L.,Universite de Sherbrooke | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The inhibition of the functions of c-Myc (endogenous and oncogenic) was recently shown to provide a spectacular therapeutic index in cancer mouse models, with complete tumor regression and minimal side-effects in normal tissues. This was achieved by the systemic and conditional expression of omomyc, the cDNA of a designed mutant of the b-HLH-LZ of c-Myc named Omomyc. The overall mode of action of Omomyc consists in the sequestration of Max and the concomitant competition of the Omomyc/Max complex with the endogenous c-Myc/Max heterodimer. This leads to the inhibition of the transactivation of Myc target genes involved in proliferation and metabolism. While this body of work has provided extraordinary insights to guide the future development of new cancer therapies that target c-Myc, Omomyc itself is not a therapeutic agent. In this context, we sought to exploit the use of a b-HLH-LZ to inhibit c-Myc in a cancer cell line in a more direct fashion. We demonstrate that the b-HLH-LZ domain of Max (Max*) behaves as a bona fide protein transduction domain (PTD) that can efficiently transduce across cellular membrane via through endocytosis and translocate to the nucleus. In addition, we show that the treatment of HeLa cells with Max* leads to a reduction of metabolism and proliferation rate. Accordingly, we observe a decrease of the population of HeLa cells in S phase, an accumulation in G1/G0 and the induction of apoptosis. In agreement with these phenotypic changes, we show by q-RT-PCR that the treatment of HeLa cells with Max* leads to the activation of the transcription c-Myc repressed genes as well as the repression of the expression of c-Myc activated genes. In addition to the novel discovery that the Max b-HLH-LZ is a PTD, our findings open up new avenues and strategies for the direct inhibition of c-Myc with b-HLH-LZ analogs. © 2012 Montagne et al. Source


Michelle L.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Cloutier A.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Toutant J.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Shkreta L.,Universite de Sherbrooke | And 20 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2012

Several apoptotic regulators, including Bcl-x, are alternatively spliced to produce isoforms with opposite functions. We have used an RNA interference strategy to map the regulatory landscape controlling the expression of the Bcl-x splice variants in human cells. Depleting proteins known as core (Y14 and eIF4A3) or auxiliary (RNPS1, Acinus, and SAP18) components of the exon junction complex (EJC) improved the production of the proapoptotic Bcl-x S splice variant. This effect was not seen when we depleted EJC proteins that typically participate in mRNA export (UAP56, Aly/Ref, and TAP) or that associate with the EJC to enforce nonsense-mediated RNA decay (MNL51, Upf1, Upf2, and Upf3b). Core and auxiliary EJC components modulated Bcl-x splicing through different cis-acting elements, further suggesting that this activity is distinct from the established EJC function. In support of a direct role in splicing control, recombinant eIF4A3, Y14, and Magoh proteins associated preferentially with the endogenous Bcl-x pre-mRNA, interacted with a model Bcl-x pre-mRNA in early splicing complexes, and specifically shifted Bcl-x alternative splicing in nuclear extracts. Finally, the depletion of Y14, eIF4A3, RNPS1, SAP18, and Acinus also encouraged the production of other proapoptotic splice variants, suggesting that EJC-associated components are important regulators of apoptosis acting at the alternative splicing level. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

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