Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich
Connection between basic cellular processes and tumor development
The pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal among human tumors. The constitutive active KrasG12D gene mutation is found in up to 90% of all human PDACs, thus the use of KrasG12D- based murine models of PDAC is suitable to investigate PDAC initiation and progression. Despite the increasing knowledge regarding molecular pathogenesis, we are still missing key aspects of the tumor biology of this disease. Endocytosis is a basic and ubiquitous cellular process involved in membrane dynamics, assembling of signaling molecules and control of the uptake of extracellular components into the cell. We believe that this dynamic cellular process acts at multiple levels during tumor development. Our research focuses on the connection of endocytosis, signaling and metabolism with PDAC initiation and progression using KrasG12D- based murine models. Since the involvement of endocytosis in the homeostasis of every cell type in the body, our results may be of relevance for several diseases.
Abstract: Cell signalling and endocytic membrane trafficking have traditionally been viewed as distinct processes. Although our present understanding is incomplete and there are still great controversies, it is now recognized that these processes are intimately and bidirectionally linked in animal cells. Indeed, many recent examples illustrate how endocytosis regulates receptor signalling (including signalling from receptor tyrosine kinases and G protein-coupled receptors) and, conversely, how signalling regulates the endocytic pathway. The mechanistic and functional principles that underlie the relationship between signalling and endocytosis in cell biology are becoming increasingly evident across many systems.
Pub.: 22 Aug '09, Pinned: 28 Jul '17
Abstract: Compartmentalization of signals generated by receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) endocytosis has emerged as a major determinant of various cell functions. Here, using tumour-associated Met-activating mutations, we demonstrate a direct link between endocytosis and tumorigenicity. Met mutants exhibit increased endocytosis/recycling activity and decreased levels of degradation, leading to accumulation on endosomes, activation of the GTPase Rac1, loss of actin stress fibres and increased levels of cell migration. Blocking endocytosis inhibited mutants' anchorage-independent growth, in vivo tumorigenesis and metastasis while maintaining their activation. One mutant resistant to inhibition by a Met-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor was sensitive to endocytosis inhibition. Thus, oncogenicity of Met mutants results not only from activation but also from their altered endocytic trafficking, indicating that endosomal signalling may be a crucial mechanism regulating RTK-dependent tumorigenesis.
Pub.: 07 Jun '11, Pinned: 17 Aug '17
Abstract: The hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Underlying these hallmarks are genome instability, which generates the genetic diversity that expedites their acquisition, and inflammation, which fosters multiple hallmark functions. Conceptual progress in the last decade has added two emerging hallmarks of potential generality to this list-reprogramming of energy metabolism and evading immune destruction. In addition to cancer cells, tumors exhibit another dimension of complexity: they contain a repertoire of recruited, ostensibly normal cells that contribute to the acquisition of hallmark traits by creating the "tumor microenvironment." Recognition of the widespread applicability of these concepts will increasingly affect the development of new means to treat human cancer.
Pub.: 08 Mar '11, Pinned: 28 Jul '17
Abstract: Fluid-phase endocytosis is a homeostatic process with an unknown role in tumor initiation. The driver mutation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is constitutively active KRas(G12D), which induces neoplastic transformation of acinar cells through acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM). We have previously shown that KRas(G12D)-induced ADM is dependent on RAC1 and EGF receptor (EGFR) by a not fully clarified mechanism. Using three-dimensional mouse and human acinar tissue cultures and genetically engineered mouse models, we provide evidence that (i) KRas(G12D) leads to EGFR-dependent sustained fluid-phase endocytosis (FPE) during acinar metaplasia; (ii) variations in plasma membrane tension increase FPE and lead to ADM in vitro independently of EGFR; and (iii) that RAC1 regulates ADM formation partially through actin-dependent regulation of FPE. In addition, mice with a pancreas-specific deletion of the Neural-Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), a regulator of F-actin, have reduced FPE and impaired ADM emphasizing the in vivo relevance of our findings. This work defines a new role of FPE as a tumor initiating mechanism.
Pub.: 07 Jan '17, Pinned: 28 Jul '17
Abstract: Studies of cell lines and of animal models of pancreatic cancer have raised a number of provocative questions about the nature and origins of human pancreatic cancer and have provided several leads into exciting new approaches for the treatment of this deadly cancer. In addition, clinicians with little or no contact with human pathology have challenged the way that pancreatic pathology is practiced, suggesting that "genetic signals" may be more accurate than today's multimodal approach to diagnoses. In this review, we consider 8 provocative issues in pancreas pathology, with an emphasis on "the evidence derived from man."
Pub.: 13 Oct '12, Pinned: 28 Jul '17
Abstract: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is expected to become the second leading cause of cancer death by 2030. Current therapeutic options are limited, warranting an urgent need to explore innovative treatment strategies. Due to specific microenvironment constraints including an extensive desmoplastic stroma reaction, PDAC faces major metabolic challenges, principally hypoxia and nutrient deprivation. Their connection with oncogenic alterations such as KRAS mutations has brought metabolic reprogramming to the forefront of PDAC therapeutic research. The Warburg effect, glutamine addiction, and autophagy stand as the most important adaptive metabolic mechanisms of cancer cells themselves, however metabolic reprogramming is also an important feature of the tumor microenvironment, having a major impact on epigenetic reprogramming and tumor cell interactions with its complex stroma. We present a comprehensive overview of the main metabolic adaptations contributing to PDAC development and progression. A review of current and future therapies targeting this range of metabolic pathways is provided.
Pub.: 15 Jul '15, Pinned: 28 Jul '17
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