Death receptors signalling and cancer therapy
- death receptors in cancer biology and anti-cancer therapies
- Fas (TNFRSF6/CD95) multi-signaling
- control of life and death of cancer cells
The effectiveness of current cancer therapies is limited by tumor resistance to chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Combinatorial multi-pathway targeted therapies and the use of predictive biomarkers to stratify patients who may benefit from therapies are key strategies to overcome this therapeutic challenge. They require identification of molecular targets and biomarkers and thus the understanding of molecular basis of signaling pathways that can be targeted in order to reconstitute programmed cell death (apoptosis) and prevent uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. In this context, understanding the molecular basis of the imbalance between cell death and cell survival acquired by cancer cells might lead to more efficient and targeted anti-cancer therapy and represents the main goal of our team. Amongst the proteins able to regulate both survival and death functions of the cells are the members of the TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily.
The multi-modal signaling in many cancer cell types, including colon, breast, and glioblastoma, has been demonstrated for the prototype of the TNFR superfamily, the receptor Fas (TNFRSF6/CD95/APO-1), so far considered a “purely” pro-apoptotic receptor. As Fas activates both cell death and survival, it is a good candidate for targeted therapies promoting or preventing cancer depending on cellular context. Our main recent research accomplishments concern the description of Fas multi-signaling regulation in cancer and its application in cancer therapy. Our work significantly contributed to a clearer understanding of how the Fas signaling is shifted from tumor-suppressing to tumor-driving mode, as well as presented the means to appropriately take control of the duality of Fas signaling in different pathological contexts in order to increase therapeutic success. In continuation of our research interest, we aim to achieve a deeper understanding in the versatility of Fas signaling and to clinically apply the knowledge in colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy. We will dissect the control of Fas signaling in the level of protein modifications, membrane receptor crosstalk, and multi-cellular regulation with the main aim to address the outstanding questions in the field of TNF receptor signaling and cancer cell biology: How does Fas multi-signaling influence CRC cellular functions and behavior and the CRC progression? And how can we use this information to the benefit of anti-cancer therapy?
Influences of Fas pro-survival signal in the control of cancer-promoting functions of the EGFR: Our data reveal a tight relationship and compensation between Fas and ErbB family signaling as well as the indispensable role of Fas in the signaling of major drug targets, EGFR and ErbB2. We aim at elucidating the molecular machinery that controls the dynamic membrane organization of the Fas/ErbB survival signaling hub in different CRC contexts and their functional significance.
Regulation of Fas signaling by cell polarity: We hypothesize that apico-basal polarity is a crucial regulator of Fas signaling. We address the following questions: what is the exact role of cell polarity molecules, and the respective cell-cell adhesion structures, in Fas cell death signaling? Does the localization of the receptor influence its signaling capacity? Do the loss of polarity and the oncogene activation cooperate to switch Fas cell death signaling into the pro-tumoral signalling?
Regulation of T cell activation by the Fas non-apoptotic signaling: recent data support the role of the inhibitory function of Fas engagement by its membrane-bound ligand in TCR signaling. We then aim to dissect the molecular interplay of the TCR and Fas pathways at the membrane-proximal level during the activation of T cells. We believe our data will provide important new insights into the mechanism of primary immune response initiation, which plays a critical role in anti-cancer immunity.
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2001 - ATIP CNRS
2002 - Cancerology Price Raymond Rosen
2006-2008 - Equipe Labellisée, La Ligue Contre le Cancer
2006-2011 - Contrat Hospitalier de Recherche Translationnelle (CHRT), Inserm-CHU
2009-2011 - Equipe Labellisée, La Ligue Contre le Cancer
iBV - Institut de Biologie Valrose
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Faculté des Sciences
06108 Nice cedex 2