Publications

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
– Albert Einstein –

A systemic evolutionary approach to cancer: Hepatocarcinogenesis as a paradigm

2016

 

The systemic evolutionary theory of cancer pathogenesis posits that cancer is generated by the de-emergence of the eukaryotic cell system and by the re-emergence of its archaea (genetic material and cytoplasm) and prokaryotic (mitochondria) subsystems with an uncoordinated behavior.

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Circulating Levels of PAI-1 Are Predictive of Poor Prognosis in HCC Patients Harboring SERPINE1 4G/4G Polymorphism Undergoing TACE
2015

 

Although several molecular markers have been proposed as prognostic of disease progression in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), predictive markers of response to treatment are still unsatisfactory. Here, we propose a genetic polymorphism as a potential predictive factor of poor prognosis in HCC patients treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).

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Lysophosphatidic Acid Receptor LPAR6 Supports the Tumorigenicity of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

2015

 

The aberrant processes driving hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not fully understood. Lysophosphatidic acid receptors (LPAR) are commonly overexpressed in HCC, but their contributions to malignant development are not well established. In this report, we show that aberrant expression of LPAR6 sustains tumorigenesis and growth of HCC.

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Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains and hepatocellular carcinoma progression
2014

 

As in many tumors, heterogeneity within the cell population is one of the main features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Heterogeneity results from the ability of tumor to produce multiple subpopulations of cells with diverse genetic, biochemical and immunological characteristics. Little is known about how heterogeneity emerges and how it is maintained.

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Cell fusion promotes chemoresistance in metastatic colon carcinoma
2013

 

Chemoresistance is an important concern in the treatment of metastatic colon cancer. It may emerge through selection of clones that are inherently resistant from the outset or through mechanisms acquired during treatment. Cell fusion represents an efficient means of rapid phenotypic evolution that make cells with new properties at a rate exceeding that achievable by random mutagenesis.

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The TGF- Signaling Pathway as a Pharmacological Target in Hepatocellular

2012

 

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer that usually develops on a liver already compromised by cirrhosis. Study of the underlying molecular mechanisms is essential so as to improve therapeutic strategies and to develop new pharmacological agents that may prevent or improve the course of this malignancy.

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Tumor-Secreted Lysophostatidic Acid Accelerates Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression by Promoting Differentiation of Peritumoral Fibroblasts in Myofibroblasts
2011

 

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs in fibrotic liver as a consequence of underlying cirrhosis.
The goal of this study was to investigate how the interaction between HCC cells and stromal fibroblasts affects tumor progression. We isolated and characterized carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and paired peritumoral tissue fibroblasts (PTFs) from 10 different patients with HCC and performed coculture experiments. We demonstrated a paracrine mechanism whereby HCC cells secrete lysophostatidic acid (LPA), which promotes transdifferentiation of PTFs to a CAF-like myofibroblastic phenotype.

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Involvement of ADAMs in tumorigenesis and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma: Is it merely fortuitous or a real pathogenic link?
2010

 

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer and one of the most frequent types of cancer worldwide. It normally develops in patients with chronic liver disease, especially cirrhosis, although some cases without an apparent underlying liver disease have been reported. The pathogenesis of HCC is multi-factorial and complex. Hepatitis viruses are the main factors favoring the development of HCC.

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Down-Regulation of Connective Tissue Growth Factor by Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor  Blocks the Tumor–Stroma Cross-Talk and Tumor Progression in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

2010

 

Tumor–stroma interactions in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are of key importance to tumor progression. In this study, we show that HCC invasive cells produce high levels of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and generate tumors with a high stromal component in a xenograft model. A transforming growth factor  (TGF-) receptor inhibitor, LY2109761, inhibited the synthesis and release of CTGF, as well as reducing the stromal component of the tumors.

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Targeting Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-RI Inhibits Activation of 1 Integrin and Blocks Vascular
2009

 

Invasion in Hepatocellular CarcinomaVascular invasion is one of the major negative prognostic factors in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), leading to cancer recurrence. To invade, HCC cells must penetrate the vessel wall, consisting of endothelial cells and extracellular matrix components, including fibronectin and fibrinogen. Employing invasive and noninvasive HCC cells, we studied the mechanism underlying vascular invasion.

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Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor  Receptor I Kinase Blocks Hepatocellular Carcinoma Growth Through Neo-angiogenesis Regulation
2009

 

Curative therapies for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are mainly invasive, and with the exception of sorafenib, no medical treatments are available for advanced or metastatic stages of HCC. We investigated the antitumoral effect of blocking the transforming growth factor (TGF-) signaling pathway in HCC with LY2109761, a kinase inhibitor of TGF- receptor I kinase.

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Tetraspanin CD81-Regulated Cell Motility Plays a Critical Role in Intrahepatic Metastasis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
2008

 

Human hepatocellular carcinoma  (HCC) can invade the portal vein and metastasize to other parts of the liver. Currently, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying intrahepatic metastasis of HCC are poorly understood. Tumor invasiveness could be considered an aspect of dysregulated motility, and the mechanisms that inhibit cell movement are considered to counteract the spreading of cancer cells through the liver. Accumulating observations suggest that the CD81 tetraspanin may have an inhibitory effect on cell movement.

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A Secreted Form of ADAM9 Promotes Carcinoma Invasion through Tumor-Stromal Interactions
2005

 

Tumor cell invasion is a process regulated by integrins, matrix-degrading enzymes, and interactions with host tissue stromal cells. The ADAM family of proteins plays an important role in modulating various cellular responses. Here, we show that an alternatively spliced variant of ADAM9 is secreted by hepatic stellate cells and promotes carcinoma invasion.

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Binding of Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Protein E2 to CD81 Up-regulates Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 in Human Hepatic Stellate Cells
2005

 

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope E2 glycoprotein is a key molecule regulating the interaction of HCV with cell surface proteins. E2 binds the major extracellular loop of human CD81, a tetraspanin expressed on various cell types including hepatocytes and B lymphocytes. Regardless, information on the biological functions originating from this interaction are largely unknown. Since human hepatic stellate cells (HSC) express high levels of CD81 at the cell surface, we investigated the E2/CD81 interaction in human HSC and the possible effects arising from this interaction.

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