References of "Kozar, Ines 50002128"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
See detailFrom drug resistance mechanisms to microRNA function in melanoma
Kozar, Ines UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that emerges from the unrestrained proliferation of melanocytes, which are the pigment producing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis. Despite the fact ... [more ▼]

Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that emerges from the unrestrained proliferation of melanocytes, which are the pigment producing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis. Despite the fact that it only accounts for approximately 5% of all skin cancers, melanoma is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer-related deaths. As more than half of the patients with sporadic melanoma harbour activating mutations in the protein kinase BRAF, the development of small kinase inhibitors targeting mutated BRAF led to an increased overall survival of patients with metastatic melanoma. Despite the initially promising results, the rapidly emerging resistance to these targeted therapies remains a serious clinical issue. To investigate the mechanisms underlying resistance to targeted therapies, we used in vitro BRAF-mutant drug-sensitive and drug-resistant melanoma cell models that were generated in our laboratory. First, we performed a kinase inhibitor library screening with the aim to identify novel kinase inhibitor combinations to circumvent or delay BRAF inhibitor-induced resistance. We have characterised synergistic kinase inhibitors targeting the MAPK pathway and the cell cycle showing promising effects in BRAF-mutant drug-sensitive and -resistant cells, which could be used as an effective sequential or alternative treatment option for late-stage melanoma patients. Additionally, we investigated the impact of BRAF inhibitors at the transcriptional level by comparing miRNome and transcriptome changes in drug-sensitive and -resistant melanoma cells. We identified miRNAs (e.g. miR-509, miR-708) and genes (e.g. PCSK2, AXL) that were distinctly differentially expressed in resistant compared to sensitive cells. Subsequent co-expression analyses revealed a low MITF/AXL ratio in a subset of resistant cell lines, suggesting that miRNAs might be involved in the switch from one molecular phenotype to another, thus conferring tolerance to targeted therapies. Finally, we applied a method based on cross-linking ligation and sequencing of hybrids (qCLASH) to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the miRNA targetome in our BRAF-mutant melanoma cells. To our knowledge, we implemented for the first time a CLASH-based method to cancer cells, and identified over 8k direct and distinct miRNA-target interactions in melanoma cells, including many with non-predicted and non-canonical binding characteristics, thus expanding the pool of miRNA-target interactions. Taken together, these results provide new insights into complex and heterogeneous responses to BRAF inhibition, adding an additional level of complexity to drug-induced (post-) transcriptional network rewiring in melanoma. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (6 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMany ways to resistance: How melanoma cells evade targeted therapies
Kozar, Ines UL; Margue, Christiane UL; Rothengatter, Sonja et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer (2019), 1871(2), 313-322

Melanoma is an aggressive malignancy originating from pigment-producing melanocytes. The development of targeted therapies (MAPK pathway inhibitors) and immunotherapies (immune checkpoint inhibitors) led ... [more ▼]

Melanoma is an aggressive malignancy originating from pigment-producing melanocytes. The development of targeted therapies (MAPK pathway inhibitors) and immunotherapies (immune checkpoint inhibitors) led to a substantial improvement in overall survival of patients. However, the long-term efficacy of such treatments is limited by side effects, lack of clinical effects and the rapidly emerging resistance to treatment. A number of molecular mechanisms underlying this resistant phenotype have already been elucidated. In this review, we summarise currently available treatment options for metastatic melanoma and the known resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies. A focus will be placed on “phenotype switching” as a mechanism and driver of drug resistance, together with an overview of novel approaches to circumvent resistance. A large body of recent data and literature suggests that tumour progression and phenotype switching could be better controlled and development of resistance prevented or at least delayed, by combining drugs targeting fast- and slow-proliferating cells. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 167 (37 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailKinase inhibitor library screening identifies synergistic drug combinations effective in sensitive and resistant melanoma cells
Margue, Christiane UL; Philippidou, Demetra UL; Kozar, Ines UL et al

in Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research (2019), 38(1),

Background: Melanoma is the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer with increasing case numbers worldwide. The development of inhibitors targeting mutated BRAF (found in around 60% of melanoma ... [more ▼]

Background: Melanoma is the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer with increasing case numbers worldwide. The development of inhibitors targeting mutated BRAF (found in around 60% of melanoma patients) has markedly improved overall survival of patients with late-stage tumors, even more so when combined with MEK inhibitors targeting the same signaling pathway. However, invariably patients become resistant to this targeted therapy resulting in rapid progression with treatment-refractory disease. The purpose of this study was the identification of new kinase inhibitors that do not lead to the development of resistance in combination with BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi), or that could be of clinical benefit as a 2nd line treatment for late-stage melanoma patients that have already developed resistance. Methods: We have screened a 274-compound kinase inhibitor library in 3 BRAF mutant melanoma cell lines (each one sensitive or made resistant to 2 distinct BRAFi). The screening results were validated by dose-response studies and confirmed the killing efficacies of many kinase inhibitors. Two different tools were applied to investigate and quantify potential synergistic effects of drug combinations: the Chou-Talalay method and the Synergyfinder application. In order to exclude that resistance to the new treatments might occur at later time points, synergistic combinations were administered to fluorescently labelled parental and resistant cells over a period of > 10 weeks. Results: Eight inhibitors targeting Wee1, Checkpoint kinase 1/2, Aurora kinase, MEK, Polo-like kinase, PI3K and Focal adhesion kinase killed melanoma cells synergistically when combined with a BRAFi. Additionally, combination of a Wee1 and Chk inhibitor showed synergistic killing effects not only on sensitive cell lines, but also on intrinsically BRAFi- and treatment induced-resistant melanoma cells. First in vivo studies confirmed these observations. Interestingly, continuous treatment with several of these drugs, alone or in combination, did not lead to emergence of resistance. Conclusions: Here, we have identified new, previously unexplored (in the framework of BRAFi resistance) inhibitors that have an effect not only on sensitive but also on BRAFi-resistant cells. These promising combinations together with the new immunotherapies could be an important step towards improved 1st and 2nd line treatments for late-stage melanoma patients. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 98 (10 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA new ALK isoform transported by extracellular vesicles confers drug resistance to melanoma cells
Cesi, Giulia; Philippidou, Demetra UL; Kozar, Ines UL et al

in Molecular Cancer (2018), (17:145),

Abstract BACKGROUND: Drug resistance remains an unsolved clinical issue in oncology. Despite promising initial responses obtained with BRAF and MEK kinase inhibitors, resistance to treatment develops ... [more ▼]

Abstract BACKGROUND: Drug resistance remains an unsolved clinical issue in oncology. Despite promising initial responses obtained with BRAF and MEK kinase inhibitors, resistance to treatment develops within months in virtually all melanoma patients. METHODS: Microarray analyses were performed in BRAF inhibitor-sensitive and resistant cell lines to identify changes in the transcriptome that might play a role in resistance. siRNA approaches and kinase inhibitors were used to assess the involvement of the identified Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) in drug resistance. The capability of extracellular vesicles (EVs) to transfer drug resistant properties was investigated in co-culture assays. RESULTS: Here, we report a new mechanism of acquired drug resistance involving the activation of a novel truncated form of ALK. Knock down or inhibition of ALK re-sensitised resistant cells to BRAF inhibition and induced apoptosis. Interestingly, truncated ALK was also secreted into EVs and we show that EVs were the vehicle for transferring drug resistance. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the functional involvement of EVs in melanoma drug resistance by transporting a truncated but functional form of ALK, able to activate the MAPK signalling pathway in target cells. Combined inhibition of ALK and BRAF dramatically reduced tumour growth in vivo. These findings make ALK a promising clinical target in melanoma patients. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 167 (27 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailImpact of BRAF kinase inhibitors on the miRNomes and transcriptomes of melanoma cells
Kreis, Stephanie UL; Kozar, Ines UL; Cesi, Giulia UL et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (2017)

Detailed reference viewed: 195 (42 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCrosstalk between different family members: IL27 recapitulates IFNγ responses in HCC cells, but is inhibited by IL6-type cytokines
Rolvering, Catherine UL; Zimmer, Andreas; Kozar, Ines UL et al

in BBA Molecular Cell Research (2017)

Interleukin-27 (IL27) is a type-I-cytokine of the IL6/IL12 family predominantly secreted by activated macrophages and dendritic cells. In the liver, IL27 expression was observed to be upregulated in ... [more ▼]

Interleukin-27 (IL27) is a type-I-cytokine of the IL6/IL12 family predominantly secreted by activated macrophages and dendritic cells. In the liver, IL27 expression was observed to be upregulated in patients with hepatitis B, and sera of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients contain significantly elevated levels of IL27 compared to healthy controls or patients with hepatitis and/or liver cirrhosis. In this study, we show that IL27 induces STAT1 and STAT3 phosphorylation in 5 HCC lines and 3 different types of non-transformed liver cells. We were especially interested in the relevance of the IL27-induced STAT3 activation in liver cells. Thus, we compared the IL27 responses with those induced by IFNγ (STAT1-dominated response) or IL6-type cytokines (IL6, hyper-IL6 (hy-IL6) or OSM) (STAT3-dominated response) by microarray analysis and find that in HCC cells, IL27 induces an IFNγ-like, STAT1-dependent transcriptional response, but we do not find an effective STAT3-dependent response. Validation experiments corroborate the finding from the microarray evaluation. Interestingly, the availability of STAT1 seems critical in the shaping of the IL27 response, as the siRNA knock-down of STAT1 revealed the ability of IL27 to induce the acute-phase protein γ-fibrinogen, a typical IL6 family characteristic. Moreover, we describe a crosstalk between the signaling of IL6-type cytokines and IL27: responses to the gp130-engaging cytokine IL27 (but not those to IFNs) can be inhibited by IL6-type cytokine pre-stimulation, likely by a SOCS3-mediated mechanism. Thus, IL27 recapitulates IFNγ responses in liver cells, but differs from IFNγ by its sensitivity to SOCS3 inhibition. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 172 (21 UL)