Signalisation et progression tumorale

Publications de l’équipe

Année de publication : 2011

Sabine Druillennec, Coralie Dorard, Alain Eychène (2011 Oct 19)

Alternative splicing in oncogenic kinases: from physiological functions to cancer.

Journal of nucleic acids : 639062 : DOI : 10.1155/2012/639062 En savoir plus

Among the 518 protein kinases encoded by the human kinome, several of them act as oncoproteins in human cancers. Like other eukaryotic genes, oncogenes encoding protein kinases are frequently subjected to alternative splicing in coding as well as noncoding sequences. In the present paper, we will illustrate how alternative splicing can significantly impact on the physiological functions of oncogenic protein kinases, as demonstrated by mouse genetic model studies. This includes examples of membrane-bound tyrosine kinases receptors (FGFR2, Ret, TrkB, ErbB4, and VEGFR) as well as cytosolic protein kinases (B-Raf). We will further discuss how regular alternative splicing events of these kinases are in some instances implicated in oncogenic processes during tumor progression (FGFR, TrkB, ErbB2, Abl, and AuroraA). Finally, we will present typical examples of aberrant splicing responsible for the deregulation of oncogenic kinases activity in cancers (AuroraB, Jak2, Kit, Met, and Ron).

Nirmitha I Herath, Mark D Spanevello, James D Doecke, Fiona M Smith, Celio Pouponnot, Andrew W Boyd (2011 Aug 20)

Complex expression patterns of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ephrin ligands in colorectal carcinogenesis.

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) : 753-62 : DOI : 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.07.003 En savoir plus

Aberrant expression of Eph and ephrin proteins in human cancers is extensively documented. However, data are frequently limited to one gene and therefore incomplete and in some instances conflicting. We analysed expression of all Eph and ephrin genes in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines and 153 clinical specimens, providing for the first time a comprehensive analysis of this system in CRC. Eph/ephrin mRNA expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR and correlated with protein expression (flow cytometry, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry). These data show that EphA1, EphA2, EphB2 and EphB4 were significantly over expressed in CRC. In all cases, at least one Eph gene was found in normal colon (EphA1, EphA2, EphB2, EphB4), where expression was observed at high levels in most CRCs. However, other Eph gene expression was lost in individual CRCs compared to the corresponding normal, EphA7 being a striking example. Loss of expression was more common in advanced disease and thus correlated with poor survival. This is consistent with the redundant functionality of Eph receptors, such that expression of a single Eph gene is sufficient for effector function. Overall, the data suggest a progressive loss of expression of individual Eph genes suggesting that individual CRCs need to be phenotyped to determine which Eph genes are highly expressed. Targeted therapies could then be selected from a group of specific antibodies, such as those developed for EphA1.

Agathe Valluet, Isabelle Hmitou, Sabrina Davis, Sabine Druillennec, Magalie Larcher, Serge Laroche, Alain Eychène (2011 Jan 5)

B-raf alternative splicing is dispensable for development but required for learning and memory associated with the hippocampus in the adult mouse.

PloS one : e15272 : DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0015272 En savoir plus

The B-raf proto-oncogene exerts essential functions during development and adulthood. It is required for various processes, such as placental development, postnatal nervous system myelination and adult learning and memory. The mouse B-raf gene encodes several isoforms resulting from alternative splicing of exons 8b and 9b located in the hinge region upstream of the kinase domain. These alternative sequences modulate the biochemical and biological properties of B-Raf proteins. To gain insight into the physiological importance of B-raf alternative splicing, we generated two conditional knockout mice of exons 8b and 9b. Homozygous animals with a constitutive deletion of either exon are healthy and fertile, and survive up to 18 months without any visible abnormalities, demonstrating that alternative splicing is not essential for embryonic development and brain myelination. However, behavioural analyses revealed that expression of exon 9b-containing isoforms is required for B-Raf function in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. In contrast, mice mutated on exon 8b are not impaired in this function. Interestingly, our results suggest that exon 8b is present only in eutherians and its splicing is differentially regulated among species.


Année de publication : 2010

Laure Lecoin, Nathalie Rocques, Warif El-Yakoubi, Sarrah Ben Achour, Magalie Larcher, Celio Pouponnot, Alain Eychène (2010 Mar 10)

MafA transcription factor identifies the early ret-expressing sensory neurons.

Developmental neurobiology : 485-97 : DOI : 10.1002/dneu.20790 En savoir plus

Dorsal root ganglia proceed from the coalescence of cell bodies of sensory neurons, which have migrated dorsoventrally from the delaminating neural crest. They are composed of different neuronal subtypes with specific sensory functions, including nociception, thermal sensation, proprioception, and mechanosensation. In contrast to proprioceptors and thermonociceptors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the early commitment and later differentiation into mechanosensitive neurons. This is mainly due to the absence of specific molecular markers for this particular cell type. Using knockout mice, we identified the bZIP transcription factor MafA as the first specific marker of a subpopulation of « early c-ret » positive neurons characterized by medium-to-large diameters. This marker will allow further functional characterization of these neurons.


Année de publication : 2009

Alain Eychène, Nathalie Rocques, Celio Pouponnot (2009 Jan 15)

A new MAFia in cancer.

Nature reviews. Cancer : 683-93 : DOI : 10.1038/nrc2460 En savoir plus

Like JUN and FOS, the Maf transcription factors belong to the AP1 family. Besides their established role in human cancer–overexpression of the large Maf genes promotes the development of multiple myeloma–they can display tumour suppressor-like activity in specific cellular contexts, which is compatible with their physiological role in terminal differentiation. However, their oncogenic activity relies mostly on the acquisition of new biological functions relevant to cell transformation, the most striking characteristic of Maf oncoproteins being their ability to enhance pathological interactions between tumour cells and the stroma.


Année de publication : 2007

Nathalie Rocques, Nancy Abou Zeid, Karine Sii-Felice, Laure Lecoin, Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl, Alain Eychène, Celio Pouponnot (2007 Nov 29)

GSK-3-mediated phosphorylation enhances Maf-transforming activity.

Molecular cell : 584-97 En savoir plus

The Maf oncoproteins are b-Zip transcription factors of the AP-1 superfamily. They are involved in developmental, metabolic, and tumorigenic processes. Maf proteins are overexpressed in about 50% of human multiple myelomas. Here, we show that Maf-transforming activity is controlled by GSK-3-dependent phosphorylation and that phosphorylation by GSK-3 can increase the oncogenic activity of a protein. Using microarray analysis, we identify a gene-expression subprogram regulated by GSK-3-mediated Maf phosphorylation involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and relevant to cancer progression. We also demonstrate that GSK-3 triggers MafA sequential phosphorylation on residues S61, T57, T53, and S49, inducing its ubiquitination and degradation. Paradoxically, this phosphorylation increases MafA-transcriptional activity through the recruitment of the coactivator P/CAF. We further demonstrate that P/CAF protects MafA from ubiquitination and degradation, suggesting that, upon the release of the coactivator complex, MafA becomes polyubiquitinated and degraded to allow the response to terminate.


Année de publication : 2006

Isabelle Hmitou, Sabine Druillennec, Agathe Valluet, Carole Peyssonnaux, Alain Eychène (2006 Nov 1)

Differential regulation of B-raf isoforms by phosphorylation and autoinhibitory mechanisms.

Molecular and cellular biology : 31-43 En savoir plus

The B-Raf proto-oncogene encodes several isoforms resulting from alternative splicing in the hinge region upstream of the kinase domain. The presence of exon 8b in the B2-Raf(8b) isoform and exon 9b in the B3-Raf(9b) isoform differentially regulates B-Raf by decreasing and increasing MEK activating and oncogenic activities, respectively. Using different cell systems, we investigated here the molecular basis of this regulation. We show that exons 8b and 9b interfere with the ability of the B-Raf N-terminal region to interact with and inhibit the C-terminal kinase domain, thus modulating the autoinhibition mechanism in an opposite manner. Exons 8b and 9b are flanked by two residues reported to down-regulate B-Raf activity upon phosphorylation. The S365A mutation increased the activity of all B-Raf isoforms, but the effect on B2-Raf(8b) was more pronounced. This was correlated to the high level of S365 phosphorylation in this isoform, whereas the B3-Raf(9b) isoform was poorly phosphorylated on this residue. In contrast, S429 was equally phosphorylated in all B-Raf isoforms, but the S429A mutation activated B2-Raf(8b), whereas it inhibited B3-Raf(9b). These results indicate that phosphorylation on both S365 and S429 participate in the differential regulation of B-Raf isoforms through distinct mechanisms. Finally, we show that autoinhibition and phosphorylation represent independent but convergent mechanisms accounting for B-Raf regulation by alternative splicing.


Année de publication : 2005

C Pouponnot, K Sii-Felice, I Hmitou, N Rocques, L Lecoin, S Druillennec, M-P Felder-Schmittbuhl, A Eychène (2005 Oct 26)

Cell context reveals a dual role for Maf in oncogenesis.

Oncogene : 1299-310 En savoir plus

Maf b-Zip transcription factors are involved in both terminal differentiation and oncogenesis. To investigate this apparent contradiction, we used two different primary cell types and performed an extensive analysis of transformation parameters induced by Maf proteins. We show that MafA and c-Maf are potent oncogenes in chicken embryo fibroblasts, while MafB appears weaker. We also provide the first evidence that MafA can confer growth factor independence and promote cell division at low density. Moreover, using MafA as a model, we identified several parameters that are critical for Maf transforming activities. Indeed, MafA ability to induce anchorage-independent cell growth was sensitive to culture conditions. In addition, the transforming activity of MafA was dependent on its phosphorylation state, since mutation on Ser65 impaired its ability to induce growth at low density and anchorage-independent growth. We next examined transforming activity of large Maf proteins in embryonic neuroretina cells, where they are known to induce differentiation. Unlike v-Jun, MafA, MafB and c-Maf did not show oncogenic activity in these cells. Moreover, they counteracted transformation induced by constitutive activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway. Taken together, our results show that Maf proteins could display antagonistic functions in oncogenesis depending on the cellular context, and support a dual role for Maf as both oncogenes and tumor suppressor-like proteins.

Karine Sii-Felice, Celio Pouponnot, Sylvie Gillet, Laure Lecoin, Jean-Antoine Girault, Alain Eychène, Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl (2005 Jun 21)

MafA transcription factor is phosphorylated by p38 MAP kinase.

FEBS letters : 3547-54 En savoir plus

Basic-leucine zipper transcription factors of the Maf family are key regulators of various developmental and differentiation processes. We previously reported that the phosphorylation status of MafA is a critical determinant of its biological functions. Using Western blot and mass spectrometry analysis, we now show that MafA is phosphorylated by p38 MAP kinase and identify three phosphoacceptor sites: threonine 113 and threonine 57, evolutionarily conserved residues located in the transcription activating domain, and serine 272. Mutation of these residues severely impaired MafA biological activity. Furthermore, we show that p38 also phosphorylates MafB and c-Maf. Together, these findings suggest that the p38 MAP kinase pathway is a novel regulator of large Maf transcription factors.


Année de publication : 2003

Laure Lecoin, Karine Sii-Felice, Celio Pouponnot, Alain Eychène, Marie Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl (2003 Dec 18)

Comparison of maf gene expression patterns during chick embryo development.

Gene expression patterns : GEP : 35-46 En savoir plus

Maf proteins are basic-leucine zipper transcription factors belonging to the AP1 superfamily. Several developmental processes require Maf proteins yet, the redundancy or complementarity of their respective roles in common processes has been only partially investigated. We present for the first time a complete comparative analysis of maf gene expression patterns in vertebrates. Expression of c-maf, mafB/kreisler, mafA/L-maf, mafF, mafG and mafK was analyzed by whole-mount in situ hybridization within chick embryos and their extraembryonic tissues ranging from embryonic day (E) 1 to 7. We carefully examined the extent of overlap between distinct maf genes and report that the developing lens, kidney, pancreas and apoptotic zones of limb buds show sustained co-expression of large maf genes. Small maf genes also exhibit overlap, for example in the dermomyotome. We also describe so far unidentified sites of maf gene expression. mafA is found in the developing neural tube and dorsal root ganglia. c-maf hybridization is detected in the neuroretina, the notochord and the endothelium of extraembryonic blood vessels.

Hicham Lahlou, Nathalie Saint-Laurent, Jean-Pierre Estève, Alain Eychène, Lucien Pradayrol, Stéphane Pyronnet, Christiane Susini (2003 Jul 25)

sst2 Somatostatin receptor inhibits cell proliferation through Ras-, Rap1-, and B-Raf-dependent ERK2 activation.

The Journal of biological chemistry : 39356-71 En savoir plus

The G protein-coupled sst2 somatostatin receptor is a critical negative regulator of cell proliferation. sstII prevents growth factor-induced cell proliferation through activation of the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 leading to induction of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1. Here, we investigate the signaling molecules linking sst2 to p27Kip1. In Chinese hamster ovary-DG-44 cells stably expressing sst2 (CHO/sst2), the somatostatin analogue RC-160 transiently stimulates ERK2 activity and potentiates insulin-stimulated ERK2 activity. RC-160 also stimulates ERK2 activity in pancreatic acini isolated from normal mice, which endogenously express sst2, but has no effect in pancreatic acini derived from sst2 knock-out mice. RC-160-induced p27Kip1 up-regulation and inhibition of insulin-dependent cell proliferation are both prevented by pretreatment of CHO/sst2 cells with the MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059. In addition, using dominant negative mutants, we show that sst2-mediated ERK2 stimulation is dependent on the pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/o protein, the tyrosine kinase Src, both small G proteins Ras and Rap1, and the MEK kinase B-Raf but is independent of Raf-1. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and both tyrosine phosphatases, SHP-1 and SHP-2, are required upstream of Ras and Rap1. Taken together, our results identify a novel mechanism whereby a Gi/o protein-coupled receptor inhibits cell proliferation by stimulating ERK signaling via a SHP-1-SHP-2-PI3K/Ras-Rap1/B-Raf/MEK pathway.


Année de publication : 2002

Anne Galy, Bertrand Néron, Nathalie Planque, Simon Saule, Alain Eychène (2002 Aug 9)

Activated MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK-1) induces transdifferentiation of pigmented epithelium into neural retina.

Developmental biology : 251-64 En savoir plus

During vertebrate eye development, the optic vesicle originating from the neuroectoderm is partitioned into a domain that will give rise to the neural retina (NR) and another that will give rise to the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). Previous studies have shown that ectopic expression of FGFs in the RPE induces RPE-to-NR transdifferentiation. Similarly, a naturally occurring mutation of the transcription factor Mitf in mouse resulted in the formation of a second neural retina in place of the dorsal RPE, but the putative signaling pathway linking FGF to Mitf regulation is presently unknown. In cultures of neural crest-derived melanocytes, the MAPK pathway was recently shown to target the Mitf transcription factor for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis, resulting in a rapid degradation and downregulation. In the present study, we show that ectopic expression of a constitutively activated allele of MEK-1, the immediate upstream activator of the MAPK ERK, in chicken embryonic retina in ovo, induces transdifferentiation of the RPE into a neural-like epithelium that is correlated with a downregulation of Mitf expression in the presumptive RPE.


Année de publication : 2001

C Peyssonnaux, A Eychène (2001 Dec 4)

The Raf/MEK/ERK pathway: new concepts of activation.

Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization : 53-62 En savoir plus

The Raf/MEK/ERK signaling was the first MAP kinase cascade to be characterized. It is probably one of the most well known signal transduction pathways among biologists because of its implication in a wide variety of cellular functions as diverse -and occasionally contradictory- as cell proliferation, cell-cycle arrest, terminal differentiation and apoptosis. Discovery and understanding of this pathway have benefited from the combination of both genetic studies in worms and flies and biochemical studies in mammalian cells. However, ten years after, this field is still under debate and new molecular partners in the cascade continue to increase the complexity of its regulation. This review deals with the emergence of new concepts in the activation and regulation of the Raf/MEK/ERK module. In particular, the preponderant role of B-Raf is underlined, and the role of novel regulators such as KSR is discussed.

S Benkhelifa, S Provot, E Nabais, A Eychène, G Calothy, M P Felder-Schmittbuhl (2001 Jun 21)

Phosphorylation of MafA is essential for its transcriptional and biological properties.

Molecular and cellular biology : 4441-52 En savoir plus

We previously described the identification of quail MafA, a novel transcription factor of the Maf bZIP (basic region leucine zipper) family, expressed in the differentiating neuroretina (NR). In the present study, we provide the first evidence that MafA is phosphorylated and that its biological properties strongly rely upon phosphorylation of serines 14 and 65, two residues located in the transcriptional activating domain within a consensus for phosphorylation by mitogen-activated protein kinases and which are conserved among Maf proteins. These residues are phosphorylated by ERK2 but not by p38, JNK, and ERK5 in vitro. However, the contribution of the MEK/ERK pathway to MafA phosphorylation in vivo appears to be moderate, implicating another kinase. The integrity of serine 14 and serine 65 residues is required for transcriptional activity, since their mutation into alanine severely impairs MafA capacity to activate transcription. Furthermore, we show that the MafA S14A/S65A mutant displays reduced capacity to induce expression of QR1, an NR-specific target of Maf proteins. Likewise, the integrity of serines 14 and 65 is essential for the MafA ability to stimulate expression of crystallin genes in NR cells and to induce NR-to-lens transdifferentiation. Thus, the MafA capacity to induce differentiation programs is dependent on its phosphorylation.


Année de publication : 2000

S Provot, C Pouponnot, O Lecoq, G Calothy, M P Felder-Schmittbuhl (2000 Oct 14)

Characterization of a novel quiescence responsive element downregulated by v-Src in the promoter of the neuroretina specific QR1 gene.

Oncogene : 4736-45 En savoir plus

The neuroretina is a functional unit of the central nervous system which arises through successive steps of division, growth arrest and differentiation of neuroectodermal precursors. Postmitotic quail neuroretina (QNR) cells are conditionally induced to divide upon infection with temperature sensitive mutants of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), since QNR cell division can be arrested by either inactivating p60v-Src at the nonpermissive temperature (41 degrees C) or by serum deprivation at 37 degrees C. We are studying the transcriptional control of QR1, a neuroretina specific gene, whose expression is down-regulated in proliferating cells at 37 degrees C and is fully restored when these cells are made quiescent. We previously showed that this quiescence specific upregulation implicates a promoter region named A box, which binds Maf transcription factors. We report the identification of the C box, a second promoter sequence that activates QR1 transcription in non dividing cells. This sequence is able to form two DNA-protein complexes, one of which (C4) is predominantly detected in growth arrested NR cells. We identified the DNA binding site for C4 and described mutations that abolish both C4 binding and promoter activity in quiescent cells. Moreover, we show that a multimerized C box is able to stimulate a heterologous promoter in non dividing cells and constitutes, therefore, a novel quiescence responsive enhancer. Finally, we report that QR1 transcriptional response to cell quiescence requires cooperation between the C box and A box.