Division of Experimental Oncology
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Understanding signalling pathways controlling inflammatory cell functions


Functional and biochemical characterization of Tie-2-expressing monocytes in breast cancer patients 

Recently a distinct lineages of monocytes has been identified in peripheral blood of mouse and humans and shown to be recruited to tumor and to comprise a functionally distinct myeloid lineage of paracrine inducers of angiogenesis and tumor growth.

Such cells may represent a valuable markers for cancer diagnostic and a promising target of novel anti-cancer therapies. However, the mechanisms promoting their recruitment at tumor sites, and the molecular basis of their pro-tumor and pro-angiogenic activities have not been identified yet. Current research projects aim to evaluate the diagnostic value of these cells in breast cancer and to gain insight into the signalling pathways and the molecular mechanisms controlling their functions.


Profiling of signal transduction in human memory T cells

The biochemical mechanisms controlling the diverse functional outcomes of human central (CM) and effector (EM) memory T cell responses triggered through the TCR remain poorly understood. We implemented reverse phase protein (RPP) arrays to profile TCR signalling components in human CD8 and CD4 memory T cell subsets isolated ex vivo and identified c-Cbl as a critical regulator of the functional heterogeneity of memory T cells.


Development of functionalized nanowires for the detection of soluble angiogenic proteins in breast tumor extracts.

The obtention of tools for diagnostic and detection of proteins from clinical specimen requires highly sensitive technologies such as RPP arrays and label free detection tools based on nanotechnologies. In collaboration with Dr. Djamila Hourlier (CNRS, IEMN, Lille, France), we are currently producing biosensor based on functionalized silicon nanowire to detect soluble angiogenic proteins in tumor extracts.


Silicon nanowires (blue) are modified with antibodies (white) specific for an angiogenic protein (red) present in a tumor extract. Specific real time interaction is monitored by change in conductance of the wire connected to electrodes (yellow).

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