Olivier de Wever

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In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive(More)
The discovery of the myofibroblast has opened new perspectives for the comprehension of the biological mechanisms involved in wound healing and fibrotic diseases. In recent years, many advances have been made in understanding important aspects of myofibroblast basic biological characteristics. This review summarizes such advances in several fields, such as(More)
Maintenance of epithelial tissues needs the stroma. When the epithelium changes, the stroma inevitably follows. In cancer, changes in the stroma drive invasion and metastasis, the hallmarks of malignancy. Stromal changes at the invasion front include the appearance of myofibroblasts, cells sharing characteristics with fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells.(More)
Reduction of epithelial cell–cell adhesion via the transcriptional repression of cadherins in combination with the acquisition of mesenchymal properties are key determinants of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is associated with early stages of carcinogenesis, cancer invasion and recurrence. Furthermore, the tumor stroma dictates EMT through(More)
Tissue integrity is maintained by the stroma in physiology. In cancer, however, tissue invasion is driven by the stroma. Myofibroblasts and cancer-associated fibroblasts are important components of the tumor stroma. The origin of myofibroblasts remains controversial, although fibroblasts and bone marrow-derived precursors are considered to be the main(More)
Myofibroblasts are present at the invasion front in colon cancer. In an attempt to understand their putative proinvasive activity, we have developed an in vitro model. Myofibroblasts isolated from colon cancer tissue or obtained through transdifferentiation of colon fibroblasts by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta stimulate invasion of colon cancer(More)
BACKGROUND Secretory GTPases like Rab27B control vesicle exocytosis and deliver critical proinvasive growth regulators into the tumor microenvironment. The expression and role of Rab27B in breast cancer were unknown. METHODS Expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused with wild-type Rab3D, Rab27A, or Rab27B, or Rab27B point mutants defective in(More)
The mechanisms involved in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) are integrated in concert with master developmental and oncogenic pathways regulating in tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, as well as the reprogrammation of specific gene repertoires ascribed to both epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Consequently, it is not unexpected that EMT(More)
WISP-2/CCN5 is an estrogen-regulated member of the "connective tissue growth factor/cysteine-rich 61/nephroblastoma overexpressed" (CCN) family of the cell growth and differentiation regulators. The WISP-2/CCN5 mRNA transcript is undetectable in normal human mammary cells, as well as in highly aggressive breast cancer cell lines, in contrast with its higher(More)
Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) constitute an abundant stromal component of most solid tumors. Fibroblast activation protein (FAP) α is a cell surface protease that is expressed by CAFs. We corroborate this expression profile by immunohistochemical analysis of colorectal cancer specimens. To better understand the tumor-contextual role of FAPα, we(More)