Publications by authors named "Alexandre Matov"

14 Publications

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Drug-tolerant persister cancer cells are vulnerable to GPX4 inhibition.

Nature 2017 11 1;551(7679):247-250. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

Acquired drug resistance prevents cancer therapies from achieving stable and complete responses. Emerging evidence implicates a key role for non-mutational drug resistance mechanisms underlying the survival of residual cancer 'persister' cells. The persister cell pool constitutes a reservoir from which drug-resistant tumours may emerge. Targeting persister cells therefore presents a therapeutic opportunity to impede tumour relapse. We previously found that cancer cells in a high mesenchymal therapy-resistant cell state are dependent on the lipid hydroperoxidase GPX4 for survival. Here we show that a similar therapy-resistant cell state underlies the behaviour of persister cells derived from a wide range of cancers and drug treatments. Consequently, we demonstrate that persister cells acquire a dependency on GPX4. Loss of GPX4 function results in selective persister cell ferroptotic death in vitro and prevents tumour relapse in mice. These findings suggest that targeting of GPX4 may represent a therapeutic strategy to prevent acquired drug resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature24297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933935PMC
November 2017

Nanoparticle Targeting and Cholesterol Flux Through Scavenger Receptor Type B-1 Inhibits Cellular Exosome Uptake.

Sci Rep 2015 Oct 29;5:15724. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Urology, Tarry 16-703, 303 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 United States.

Exosomes are nanoscale vesicles that mediate intercellular communication. Cellular exosome uptake mechanisms are not well defined partly due to the lack of specific inhibitors of this complex cellular process. Exosome uptake depends on cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains called lipid rafts, and can be blocked by non-specific depletion of plasma membrane cholesterol. Scavenger receptor type B-1 (SR-B1), found in lipid rafts, is a receptor for cholesterol-rich high-density lipoproteins (HDL). We hypothesized that a synthetic nanoparticle mimic of HDL (HDL NP) that binds SR-B1 and removes cholesterol through this receptor would inhibit cellular exosome uptake. In cell models, our data show that HDL NPs bind SR-B1, activate cholesterol efflux, and attenuate the influx of esterified cholesterol. As a result, HDL NP treatment results in decreased dynamics and clustering of SR-B1 contained in lipid rafts and potently inhibits cellular exosome uptake. Thus, SR-B1 and targeted HDL NPs provide a fundamental advance in studying cholesterol-dependent cellular uptake mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep15724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625174PMC
October 2015

Quantitative imaging of focal adhesion dynamics and their regulation by HGF and Rap1 signaling.

Exp Cell Res 2015 Jan 31;330(2):382-397. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Center for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Cell migration is crucial in development, tissue repair and immunity and frequently aberrant in pathological processes including tumor metastasis. Focal adhesions (FAs) are integrin-based adhesion complexes that form the link between the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix and are thought to orchestrate cell migration. Understanding the regulation of FAs by (oncogenic) signaling pathways may identify strategies to target pathological cell migration. Here we describe the development of a robust FA tracker that enables the automatic, multi-parametric analysis of FA dynamics, morphology and composition from time-lapse image series generated by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. In control prostate carcinoma cells, this software recapitulates previous findings that relate morphological characteristics of FAs to their lifetime and their cellular location. We then investigated how FAs are altered when cell migration is induced by the metastasis-promoting hormone HGF and subsequently inhibited by activation of the small GTPase Rap1. We performed a detailed analysis of individual FA parameters, which identified FA size, sliding and intensity as primary targets of Rap1. HGF did not have strong effects on any of the FA parameters within the first hours of its addition. Subsequent Bayesian network inference (BNI), using all measured parameters as input, revealed little correlation between changes in cell migration and FA characteristics in this prostate carcinoma cell line. Instead BNI indicated a concerted coordination of cell size and FA parameters. Thus our results did not reveal a direct relation between the regulation of cell migration and the regulation of FA dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.10.012DOI Listing
January 2015

ERG induces taxane resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Nat Commun 2014 Nov 25;5:5548. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

1] Institute of Precision Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York 10065, USA [2] Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065, USA [3] Weill Cornell Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.

Taxanes are the only chemotherapies used to treat patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Despite the initial efficacy of taxanes in treating CRPC, all patients ultimately fail due to the development of drug resistance. In this study, we show that ERG overexpression in in vitro and in vivo models of CRPC is associated with decreased sensitivity to taxanes. ERG affects several parameters of microtubule dynamics and inhibits effective drug-target engagement of docetaxel or cabazitaxel with tubulin. Finally, analysis of a cohort of 34 men with metastatic CRPC treated with docetaxel chemotherapy reveals that ERG-overexpressing prostate cancers have twice the chance of docetaxel resistance than ERG-negative cancers. Our data suggest that ERG plays a role beyond regulating gene expression and functions outside the nucleus to cooperate with tubulin towards taxane insensitivity. Determining ERG rearrangement status may aid in patient selection for docetaxel or cabazitaxel therapy and/or influence co-targeting approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6548DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244604PMC
November 2014

NAD+ and SIRT3 control microtubule dynamics and reduce susceptibility to antimicrotubule agents.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Jun 2;111(24):E2443-52. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Department of Pharmacology,

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) is an endogenous enzyme cofactor and cosubstrate that has effects on diverse cellular and physiologic processes, including reactive oxygen species generation, mitochondrial function, apoptosis, and axonal degeneration. A major goal is to identify the NAD(+)-regulated cellular pathways that may mediate these effects. Here we show that the dynamic assembly and disassembly of microtubules is markedly altered by NAD(+). Furthermore, we show that the disassembly of microtubule polymers elicited by microtubule depolymerizing agents is blocked by increasing intracellular NAD(+) levels. We find that these effects of NAD(+) are mediated by the activation of the mitochondrial sirtuin sirtuin-3 (SIRT3). Overexpression of SIRT3 prevents microtubule disassembly and apoptosis elicited by antimicrotubule agents and knockdown of SIRT3 prevents the protective effects of NAD(+) on microtubule polymers. Taken together, these data demonstrate that NAD(+) and SIRT3 regulate microtubule polymerization and the efficacy of antimicrotubule agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1404269111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066477PMC
June 2014

Androgen receptor splice variants determine taxane sensitivity in prostate cancer.

Cancer Res 2014 Apr 20;74(8):2270-2282. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065-4896, USA.

Prostate cancer growth depends on androgen receptor signaling. Androgen ablation therapy induces expression of constitutively active androgen receptor splice variants that drive disease progression. Taxanes are a standard of care therapy in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC); however, mechanisms underlying the clinical activity of taxanes are poorly understood. Recent work suggests that the microtubule network of prostate cells is critical for androgen receptor nuclear translocation and activity. In this study, we used a set of androgen receptor deletion mutants to identify the microtubule-binding domain of the androgen receptor, which encompasses the DNA binding domain plus hinge region. We report that two clinically relevant androgen receptor splice variants, ARv567 and ARv7, differentially associate with microtubules and dynein motor protein, thereby resulting in differential taxane sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. ARv7, which lacks the hinge region, did not co-sediment with microtubules or coprecipitate with dynein motor protein, unlike ARv567. Mechanistic investigations revealed that the nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activity of ARv7 was unaffected by taxane treatment. In contrast, the microtubule-interacting splice variant ARv567 was sensitive to taxane-induced microtubule stabilization. In ARv567-expressing LuCap86.2 tumor xenografts, docetaxel treatment was highly efficacious, whereas ARv7-expressing LuCap23.1 tumor xenografts displayed docetaxel resistance. Our results suggest that androgen receptor variants that accumulate in CRPC cells utilize distinct pathways of nuclear import that affect the antitumor efficacy of taxanes, suggesting a mechanistic rationale to customize treatments for patients with CRPC, which might improve outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012562PMC
April 2014

plusTipTracker: Quantitative image analysis software for the measurement of microtubule dynamics.

J Struct Biol 2011 Nov 29;176(2):168-84. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Here we introduce plusTipTracker, a Matlab-based open source software package that combines automated tracking, data analysis, and visualization tools for movies of fluorescently-labeled microtubule (MT) plus end binding proteins (+TIPs). Although +TIPs mark only phases of MT growth, the plusTipTracker software allows inference of additional MT dynamics, including phases of pause and shrinkage, by linking collinear, sequential growth tracks. The algorithm underlying the reconstruction of full MT trajectories relies on the spatially and temporally global tracking framework described in Jaqaman et al. (2008). Post-processing of track populations yields a wealth of quantitative phenotypic information about MT network architecture that can be explored using several visualization modalities and bioinformatics tools included in plusTipTracker. Graphical user interfaces enable novice Matlab users to track thousands of MTs in minutes. In this paper, we describe the algorithms used by plusTipTracker and show how the package can be used to study regional differences in the relative proportion of MT subpopulations within a single cell. The strategy of grouping +TIP growth tracks for the analysis of MT dynamics has been introduced before (Matov et al., 2010). The numerical methods and analytical functionality incorporated in plusTipTracker substantially advance this previous work in terms of flexibility and robustness. To illustrate the enhanced performance of the new software we thus compare computer-assembled +TIP-marked trajectories to manually-traced MT trajectories from the same movie used in Matov et al. (2010).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsb.2011.07.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298692PMC
November 2011

Optimal-Flow Minimum-Cost Correspondence Assignment in Particle Flow Tracking.

Comput Vis Image Underst 2011 Apr;115(4):531-540

Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037.

A diversity of tracking problems exists in which cohorts of densely packed particles move in an organized fashion, however the stability of individual particles within the cohort is low. Moreover, the flows of cohorts can regionally overlap. Together, these conditions yield a complex tracking scenario that can not be addressed by optical flow techniques that assume piecewise coherent flows, or by multiparticle tracking techniques that suffer from the local ambiguity in particle assignment. Here, we propose a graph-based assignment of particles in three consecutive frames to recover from image sequences the instantaneous organized motion of groups of particles, i.e. flows. The algorithm makes no a priori assumptions on the fraction of particles participating in organized movement, as this number continuously alters with the evolution of the flow fields in time. Graph-based assignment methods generally maximize the number of acceptable particles assignments between consecutive frames and only then minimize the association cost. In dense and unstable particle flow fields this approach produces many false positives. The here proposed approach avoids this via solution of a multi-objective optimization problem in which the number of assignments is maximized while their total association cost is minimized at the same time. The method is validated on standard benchmark data for particle tracking. In addition, we demonstrate its application to live cell microscopy where several large molecular populations with different behaviors are tracked.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cviu.2011.01.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3123713PMC
April 2011

Quantitative image analysis identifies pVHL as a key regulator of microtubule dynamic instability.

J Cell Biol 2010 Sep;190(6):991-1003

Institute of Cell Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene mutations predispose carriers to kidney cancer. The protein pVHL has been shown to interact with microtubules (MTs), which is critical to cilia maintenance and mitotic spindle orientation. However, the function for pVHL in the regulation of MT dynamics is unknown. We tracked MT growth via the plus end marker EB3 (end-binding protein 3)-GFP and inferred additional parameters of MT dynamics indirectly by spatiotemporal grouping of growth tracks from live cell imaging. Our data establish pVHL as a near-optimal MT-stabilizing protein: it attenuates tubulin turnover, both during MT growth and shrinkage, inhibits catastrophe, and enhances rescue frequencies. These functions are mediated, in part, by inhibition of tubulin guanosine triphosphatase activity in vitro and at MT plus ends and along the MT lattice in vivo. Mutants connected to the VHL cancer syndrome are differentially compromised in these activities. Thus, single cell-level analysis of pVHL MT regulatory function allows new predictions for genotype to phenotype associations that deviate from the coarser clinically defined mutant classifications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201006059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101603PMC
September 2010

Analysis of microtubule dynamic instability using a plus-end growth marker.

Nat Methods 2010 Sep 22;7(9):761-8. Epub 2010 Aug 22.

Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.

Regulation of microtubule dynamics is essential for many cell biological processes and is likely to be variable between different subcellular regions. We describe a computational approach to analyze microtubule dynamics by detecting growing microtubule plus ends. Our algorithm tracked all EB1-EGFP comets visible in an image time-lapse sequence allowing the detection of spatial patterns of microtubule dynamics. We introduce spatiotemporal clustering of EB1-EGFP growth tracks to infer microtubule behaviors during phases of pause and shortening. We validated the algorithm by comparing the results to data for manually tracked, homogeneously labeled microtubules and by analyzing the effects of well-characterized inhibitors of microtubule polymerization dynamics. We used our method to analyze spatial variations of intracellular microtubule dynamics in migrating epithelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.1493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3032800PMC
September 2010

Directly probing the mechanical properties of the spindle and its matrix.

J Cell Biol 2010 Feb;188(4):481-9

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Several recent models for spindle length regulation propose an elastic pole to pole spindle matrix that is sufficiently strong to bear or antagonize forces generated by microtubules and microtubule motors. We tested this hypothesis using microneedles to skewer metaphase spindles in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. Microneedle tips inserted into a spindle just outside the metaphase plate resulted in spindle movement along the interpolar axis at a velocity slightly slower than microtubule poleward flux, bringing the nearest pole toward the needle. Spindle velocity decreased near the pole, which often split apart slowly, eventually letting the spindle move completely off the needle. When two needles were inserted on either side of the metaphase plate and rapidly moved apart, there was minimal spindle deformation until they reached the poles. In contrast, needle separation in the equatorial direction rapidly increased spindle width as constant length spindle fibers pulled the poles together. These observations indicate that an isotropic spindle matrix does not make a significant mechanical contribution to metaphase spindle length determination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200907110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828919PMC
February 2010

Op18 reveals the contribution of nonkinetochore microtubules to the dynamic organization of the vertebrate meiotic spindle.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Sep 19;106(36):15338-43. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Accuracy in chromosome segregation depends on the assembly of a bipolar spindle. Unlike mitotic spindles, which have roughly equal amounts of kinetochore microtubules (kMTs) and nonkinetochore microtubules (non-kMTs), vertebrate meiotic spindles are predominantly comprised of non-kMTs, a large subset of which forms an antiparallel "barrel" array at the spindle equator. Though kMTs are needed to drive chromosome segregation, the contributions of non-kMTs are more mysterious. Here, we show that increasing the concentration of Op18/stathmin, a component of the chromosome-mediated microtubule formation pathway that directly controls microtubule dynamics, can be used to deplete non-kMTs in the vertebrate meiotic spindle assembled in Xenopus egg extracts. Under these conditions, kMTs and the spindle pole-associated non-kMT arrays persist in smaller spindles. In excess Op18, distances between sister kinetochores, an indicator of tension across centromeres, remain unchanged, even though kMTs flux poleward with a approximately 30% slower velocity, and chromosomes oscillate more than in control metaphase spindles. Remarkably, kinesin-5, a conserved motor protein that can push microtubules apart and is required for the assembly and maintenance of bipolar meiotic spindles, is not needed to maintain spindle bipolarity in the presence of excess Op18. Our data suggest that non-kMTs in meiotic spindles contribute to normal kMT dynamics, stable chromosome positioning, and the establishment of proper spindle size. We propose that without non-kMTs, metaphase meiotic spindles are similar to mammalian mitotic spindles, which balance forces to maintain metaphase spindle organization in the absence of extensive antiparallel microtubule overlap at the spindle equator or a key mitotic kinesin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0902317106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741252PMC
September 2009

GSK3beta phosphorylation modulates CLASP-microtubule association and lamella microtubule attachment.

J Cell Biol 2009 Mar 16;184(6):895-908. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Polarity of the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton is essential for many cell functions. Cytoplasmic linker-associated proteins (CLASPs) are MT-associated proteins thought to organize intracellular MTs and display a unique spatiotemporal regulation. In migrating epithelial cells, CLASPs track MT plus ends in the cell body but bind along MTs in the lamella. In this study, we demonstrate that glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) directly phosphorylates CLASPs at multiple sites in the domain required for MT plus end tracking. Although complete phosphorylation disrupts both plus end tracking and association along lamella MTs, we show that partial phosphorylation of the identified GSK3beta motifs determines whether CLASPs track plus ends or associate along MTs. In addition, we find that expression of constitutively active GSK3beta destabilizes lamella MTs by disrupting lateral MT interactions with the cell cortex. GSK3beta-induced lamella MT destabilization was partially rescued by expression of CLASP2 with mutated phosphorylation sites. This indicates that CLASP-mediated stabilization of peripheral MTs, which likely occurs in the vicinity of focal adhesions, may be regulated by local GSK3beta inactivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200901042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699158PMC
March 2009

Spindle fusion requires dynein-mediated sliding of oppositely oriented microtubules.

Curr Biol 2009 Feb;19(4):287-96

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.

Background: Bipolar spindle assembly is critical for achieving accurate segregation of chromosomes. In the absence of centrosomes, meiotic spindles achieve bipolarity by a combination of chromosome-initiated microtubule nucleation and stabilization and motor-driven organization of microtubules. Once assembled, the spindle structure is maintained on a relatively long time scale despite the high turnover of the microtubules that comprise it. To study the underlying mechanisms responsible for spindle assembly and steady-state maintenance, we used microneedle manipulation of preassembled spindles in Xenopus egg extracts.

Results: When two meiotic spindles were brought close enough together, they interacted, creating an interconnected microtubule structure with supernumerary poles. Without exception, the perturbed system eventually re-established bipolarity, forming a single spindle of normal shape and size. Bipolar spindle fusion was blocked when cytoplasmic dynein function was perturbed, suggesting a critical role for the motor in this process. The fusion of Eg5-inhibited monopoles also required dynein function but only occurred if the initial interpolar separation was less than twice the microtubule radius of a typical monopole.

Conclusions: Our experiments uniquely illustrate the architectural plasticity of the spindle and reveal a robust ability of the system to attain a bipolar morphology. We hypothesize that a major mechanism driving spindle fusion is dynein-mediated sliding of oppositely oriented microtubules, a novel function for the motor, and posit that this same mechanism might also be involved in normal spindle assembly and homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2009.01.055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709244PMC
February 2009