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Alonso-Ferrero M.E.,Complutense University of Madrid | Valeri A.,Complutense University of Madrid | Yaez R.,Complutense University of Madrid | Navarro S.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 4 more authors.
Gene Therapy | Year: 2011

In utero cell and gene therapies constitute alternative strategies to the postnatal treatment of inherited diseases. Fetal hematopoietic progenitors could be a potential source of donor cells for these strategies. In this study, hematopoietic lineage-negative fetal liver cells from 14.5-day-old fetuses were transduced under different cytokine and culture combinations using a lentiviral vector expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). When cells were transduced for 6 h in the presence of mSCF, hTPO and FLT3-L in retronectin-coated dishes at a multiplicity of infection of 10 transduction units/cell, up to 70% of granulo-macrophage colony-forming cells expressed the EGFP reporter gene. In utero transplantation experiments revealed that conditions leading to high transduction efficiencies were associated with poor engraftments of syngeneic recipients. Significantly, this effect was associated with the detection of a humoral and cellular immunoresponse against the transgenic protein. Moreover, the humoral response against EGFP was detected not only in in utero transplanted recipients but also in the operated mothers, suggesting the maternal origin of the anti-EGFP immunoresponse. These observations reinforce the necessity of carefully studying the potential immunoresponses in future prenatal gene therapy protocols. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Leandro-Garcia L.J.,Hereditary Endocrine Cancer Group | Leskela S.,Hereditary Endocrine Cancer Group | Inglada-Perez L.,Hereditary Endocrine Cancer Group | Inglada-Perez L.,Research Center Biomedica En Red Of Enfermedades Raras Ciberer | And 19 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Cellular microtubules composed of α-β-tubulin heterodimers that are essential for cell shape, division, and intracellular transport are valid targets for anticancer therapy. However, not all the conserved but differentially expressed members of the β-tubulin gene superfamily have been investigated for their role in these settings. In this study, we examined roles for the hematologic isoform β-tubulin VI and functional genetic variants in the gene. β-tubulin VI was highly expressed in blood cells with a substantial interindividual variability (seven-fold variation in mRNA). We characterized DNA missense variations leading to Q43P, T274M, and R307H, and a rare nonsense variant, Y55X. Because variations in the hematologic target of microtubule-binding drugs might alter their myelosuppressive action, we tested their effect in cell lines stably expressing the different β-tubulin VI full-length variants, finding that the T274M change significantly decreased sensitivity to paclitaxel-induced tubulin polymerization. Furthermore, patients treated with paclitaxel and carrying b-tubulin VI T274M exhibited a significantly lower thrombocytopenia than wild-type homozygous patients (P = 0.031). Together, our findings define β-tubulin VI as a hematologic isotype with significant genetic variation in humans that may affect the myelosuppresive action of microtubule-binding drugs. A polymorphism found in a tubulin isoform expressed only in hemapoietic cells may contribute to the patient variation in myelosuppression that occurs after treatment with microtubule-binding drugs. ©2012 AACR.


Lonardo E.,Clinical Research Programme | Hermann P.C.,Clinical Research Programme | Mueller M.-T.,University of Heidelberg | Huber S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 16 more authors.
Cell Stem Cell | Year: 2011

Nodal and Activin belong to the TGF-β superfamily and are important regulators of embryonic stem cell fate. Here we investigated whether Nodal and Activin regulate self-renewal of pancreatic cancer stem cells. Nodal and Activin were hardly detectable in more differentiated pancreatic cancer cells, while cancer stem cells and stroma-derived pancreatic stellate cells markedly overexpressed Nodal and Activin, but not TGF-β. Knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of the Nodal/Activin receptor Alk4/7 in cancer stem cells virtually abrogated their self-renewal capacity and in vivo tumorigenicity, and reversed the resistance of orthotopically engrafted cancer stem cells to gemcitabine. However, engrafted primary human pancreatic cancer tissue with a substantial stroma showed no response due to limited drug delivery. The addition of a stroma-targeting hedgehog pathway inhibitor enhanced delivery of the Nodal/Activin inhibitor and translated into long-term, progression-free survival. Therefore, inhibition of the Alk4/7 pathway, if combined with hedgehog pathway inhibition and gemcitabine, provides a therapeutic strategy for targeting cancer stem cells. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Cioffi M.,Stem Cells and Cancer Group | Trabulo S.M.,Stem Cells and Cancer Group | Sanchez-Ripoll Y.,Stem Cells and Cancer Group | Miranda-Lorenzo I.,Stem Cells and Cancer Group | And 10 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2015

Objective Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent the root of many solid cancers including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, are highly chemoresistant and represent the cellular source for disease relapse. However the mechanisms involved in these processes still need to be fully elucidated. Understanding the mechanisms implicated in chemoresistance and metastasis of pancreatic cancer is critical to improving patient outcomes. Design Micro-RNA (miRNA) expression analyses were performed to identify functionally defining epigenetic signatures in pancreatic CSC-enriched sphere-derived cells and gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic CSCs. Results We found the miR-17-92 cluster to be downregulated in chemoresistant CSCs versus non-CSCs and demonstrate its crucial relevance for CSC biology. In particular, overexpression of miR-17-92 reduced CSC self-renewal capacity, in vivo tumourigenicity and chemoresistance by targeting multiple NODAL/ACTIVIN/TGF-β1 signalling cascade members as well as directly inhibiting the downstream targets p21, p57 and TBX3. Overexpression of miR-17-92 translated into increased CSC proliferation and their eventual exhaustion via downregulation of p21 and p57. Finally, the translational impact of our findings could be confirmed in preclinical models for pancreatic cancer. Conclusions Our findings therefore identify the miR-17-92 cluster as a functionally determining family of miRNAs in CSCs, and highlight the putative potential of developing modulators of this cluster to overcome drug resistance in pancreatic CSCs.


PubMed | Viral Vector Unit, Ruhr University Bochum, Stem Cells & Cancer Group, Queen Mary, University of London and Gastrointestinal Cancer Clinical Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Gut | Year: 2015

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent the root of many solid cancers including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, are highly chemoresistant and represent the cellular source for disease relapse. However the mechanisms involved in these processes still need to be fully elucidated. Understanding the mechanisms implicated in chemoresistance and metastasis of pancreatic cancer is critical to improving patient outcomes.Micro-RNA (miRNA) expression analyses were performed to identify functionally defining epigenetic signatures in pancreatic CSC-enriched sphere-derived cells and gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic CSCs.We found the miR-17-92 cluster to be downregulated in chemoresistant CSCs versus non-CSCs and demonstrate its crucial relevance for CSC biology. In particular, overexpression of miR-17-92 reduced CSC self-renewal capacity, in vivo tumourigenicity and chemoresistance by targeting multiple NODAL/ACTIVIN/TGF-1 signalling cascade members as well as directly inhibiting the downstream targets p21, p57 and TBX3. Overexpression of miR-17-92 translated into increased CSC proliferation and their eventual exhaustion via downregulation of p21 and p57. Finally, the translational impact of our findings could be confirmed in preclinical models for pancreatic cancer.Our findings therefore identify the miR-17-92 cluster as a functionally determining family of miRNAs in CSCs, and highlight the putative potential of developing modulators of this cluster to overcome drug resistance in pancreatic CSCs.

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