Publications by authors named "Nuno Pimpão Martins"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Actin stress fiber organization promotes cell stiffening and proliferation of pre-invasive breast cancer cells.

Nat Commun 2017 05 16;8:15237. Epub 2017 May 16.

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, P-2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.

Studies of the role of actin in tumour progression have highlighted its key contribution in cell softening associated with cell invasion. Here, using a human breast cell line with conditional Src induction, we demonstrate that cells undergo a stiffening state prior to acquiring malignant features. This state is characterized by the transient accumulation of stress fibres and upregulation of Ena/VASP-like (EVL). EVL, in turn, organizes stress fibres leading to transient cell stiffening, ERK-dependent cell proliferation, as well as enhancement of Src activation and progression towards a fully transformed state. Accordingly, EVL accumulates predominantly in premalignant breast lesions and is required for Src-induced epithelial overgrowth in Drosophila. While cell softening allows for cancer cell invasion, our work reveals that stress fibre-mediated cell stiffening could drive tumour growth during premalignant stages. A careful consideration of the mechanical properties of tumour cells could therefore offer new avenues of exploration when designing cancer-targeting therapies.
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May 2017

Isolation of Cells Specialized in Anticancer Alkaloid Metabolism by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting.

Plant Physiol 2016 08 29;171(4):2371-8. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

CIBIO/InBIO-Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (S.B., T.M.-C., J.G.G., M.S.); Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal (I.C., A.L.G., P.D.);Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal (I.C., M.S.);Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal (R.G., T.L., C.A., C.B., N.P.M.);REQUIMTE/Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal (P.A., P.V.); andREQUIMTE/LAQV, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal (I.M.V., J.A.R.)

Plant specialized metabolism often presents a complex cell-specific compartmentation essential to accomplish the biosynthesis of valuable plant natural products. Hence, the disclosure and potential manipulation of such pathways may depend on the capacity to isolate and characterize specific cell types. Catharanthus roseus is the source of several medicinal terpenoid indole alkaloids, including the low-level anticancer vinblastine and vincristine, for which the late biosynthetic steps occur in specialized mesophyll cells called idioblasts. Here, the optical, fluorescence, and alkaloid-accumulating properties of C. roseus leaf idioblasts are characterized, and a methodology for the isolation of idioblast protoplasts by fluorescence-activated cell sorting is established, taking advantage of the distinctive autofluorescence of these cells. This achievement represents a crucial step for the development of differential omic strategies leading to the identification of candidate genes putatively involved in the biosynthesis, pathway regulation, and transmembrane transport leading to the anticancer alkaloids from C. roseus.
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August 2016