Nuestros investigadores

Francisco Expósito Rincón

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Ajona Martínez-Polo, Daniel; Ortiz Espinosa, Sergio; Lozano Moreda, Teresa; et al.
ISSN 2662-1347  Vol. 1  2020  págs. 75 - 85
Harnessing the immune system by blocking the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway has been a major breakthrough in non-small-cell lung cancer treatment. Nonetheless, many patients fail to respond to PD-1 inhibition. Using three syngeneic models, we demonstrate that short-term starvation synergizes with PD-1 blockade to inhibit lung cancer progression and metastasis. This antitumor activity was linked to a reduction in circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and a downregulation of IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling in tumor cells. A combined inhibition of IGF-1R and PD-1 synergistically reduced tumor growth in mice. This effect required CD8 cells, boosted the intratumoral CD8/Treg ratio and led to the development of tumor-specific immunity. In patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, high plasma levels of IGF-1 or high IGF-1R expression in tumors was associated with resistance to anti-PD-1¿programmed death-ligand 1 immunotherapy. In conclusion, our data strongly support the clinical evaluation of IGF-1 modulators in combination with PD-1 blockade.
Autores: Luis de Redín Subirá, Inés; Expósito Rincón, Francisco; Agüeros Bazo, Maite; et al.
ISSN 2190-393X  Vol. 10  Nº 3  2020  págs. 635 - 645
Bevacizumab (as other monoclonal antibodies) has now become a mainstay in the treatment of several cancers in spite of some limitations, including poor tumour penetration and the development of resistance mechanisms. Its nanoencapsulation may be an adequate strategy to minimize these problems. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of bevacizumab-loaded nanoparticles (B-NP-PEG) on a xenograft model of human colorectal cancer. For this purpose, human serum albumin nanoparticles were prepared by coacervation, then coated with poly(ethylene glycol) and freeze-dried. B-NP-PEG displayed a mean size of about 300 nm and a bevacizumab loading of approximately 145 ¿g/mg. An in vivo study was conducted in the HT-29 xenograft model of colorectal cancer. Both, free and nanoencapsulated bevacizumab, induced a similar reduction in the tumour growth rate of about 50%, when compared to controls. By microPET imaging analysis, B-NP-PEG was found to be a more effective treatment in decreasing the glycolysis and metabolic tumour volume than free bevacizumab, suggesting higher efficacy. These results correlated well with the capability of B-NP-PEG to increase about fourfold the levels of intratumour bevacizumab, compared with the conventional formulation. In parallel, B-NP-PEG displayed six-times lower amounts of bevacizumab in blood than the aqueous formulation of the antibody, suggesting a lower incidence of potential undesirable side effects. In summary, albumin-based nanoparticles may be adequate carriers to promote the delivery of monoclonal antibodies (i.e. bevacizumab) to tumour tissues.
Autores: Villalba Esparza, María; Redín Cabodevilla, María Esther; Expósito Rincón, Francisco; et al.
ISSN 2045-2322  Vol. 9  2019  págs. 15400
Finding novel targets in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is highly needed and identification of synthetic lethality between two genes is a new approach to target NSCLC. We previously found that TMPRSS4 promotes NSCLC growth and constitutes a prognostic biomarker. Here, through large-scale analyses across 5 public databases we identified consistent co-expression between TMPRSS4 and DDR1. Similar to TMPRSS4, DDR1 promoter was hypomethylated in NSCLC in 3 independent cohorts and hypomethylation was an independent prognostic factor of disease-free survival. Treatment with 5-azacitidine increased DDR1 levels in cell lines, suggesting an epigenetic regulation. Cells lacking TMPRSS4 were highly sensitive to the cytotoxic effect of the DDR1 inhibitor dasatinib. TMPRSS4/DDR1 double knock-down (KD) cells, but not single KD cells suffered a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest with loss of E2F1 and cyclins A and B, increased p21 levels and a larger number of cells in apoptosis. Moreover, double KD cells were highly sensitized to cisplatin, which caused massive apoptosis (similar to 40%). In vivo studies demonstrated tumor regression in double KD-injected mice. In conclusion, we have identified a novel vulnerability in NSCLC resulting from a synthetic lethal interaction between DDR1 and TMPRSS4.
Autores: Villalba Esparza, María; Expósito Rincón, Francisco; Pajares Villandiego, María José; et al.
ISSN 2077-0383  Vol. 8  Nº 12  2019  págs. E2134
Relapse rates in surgically resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients are between 30% and 45% within five years of diagnosis, which shows the clinical need to identify those patients at high risk of recurrence. The eighth TNM staging system recently refined the classification of NSCLC patients and their associated prognosis, but molecular biomarkers could improve the heterogeneous outcomes found within each stage. Here, using two independent cohorts (MDA and CIMA-CUN) and the eighth TNM classification, we show that TMPRSS4 protein expression is an independent prognostic factor in NSCLC, particularly for patients at stage I: relapse-free survival (RFS) HR, 2.42 (95% CI, 1.47-3.99), p < 0.001; overall survival (OS) HR, 1.99 (95% CI, 1.25-3.16), p = 0.004). In stage IA, high levels of this protein remained associated with worse prognosis (p = 0.002 for RFS and p = 0.001 for OS). As TMPRSS4 expression is epigenetically regulated, methylation status could be used in circulating tumor DNA from liquid biopsies to monitor patients. We developed a digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) method to quantify absolute copy numbers of methylated and unmethylated CpGs within the TMPRSS4 and SHOX2 (as control) promoters in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples. In case-control studies, we demonstrated that TMPRSS4 hypomethylation can be used as a diagnostic tool in early stages, with an AUROC of 0.72 (p = 0.008; 91% specificity and 52% sensitivity) for BAL and 0.73 (p = 0.015; 65% specificity and 90% sensitivity) for plasma, in early stages. In conclusion, TMPRSS4 protein expression can be used to stratify patients at high risk of relapse/death in very early stages NSCLC patients. Moreover, analysis of TMPRSS4 methylation status by ddPCR in blood and BAL is feasible and could serve as a non-invasive biomarker to monitor surgically resected patients.
Autores: Expósito Rincón, Francisco; Villalba. M.; Redrado Jordán, Miriam; et al.
ISSN 0304-3835  Vol. 453  2019  págs. 21 - 33
High mortality rates caused by NSCLC show the need for the identification of novel therapeutic targets. In this study we have investigated the biological effects and molecular mechanisms elicited by TMPRSS4 in NSCLC. Overexpression of TMPRSS4 in LKR13¿cells increased malignancy, subcutaneous tumor growth and multiorganic metastasis. In conditional knock-down (KD) experiments, abrogation of TMPRSS4 in H358 and H2170¿cells altered proliferation, clonogenicity, tumor engraftment and tumor growth. Reduction in S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle, decreased BrdU incorporation and increased apoptosis was also found. Transcriptomic analysis in KD cells revealed downregulation of genes involved in DNA replication, such as MCM6, TYMS and CDKN1A (p21). In patients, expression of a signature of MCM6/TYMS/TMPRSS4 genes was highly associated with poor prognosis. Downregulation of TMPRSS4 significantly increased sensitivity to chemotherapy agents. In experiments using cisplatin, apoptosis and expression of the DNA-damage marker ¿-H2A was higher in cells lacking TMPRSS4. Moreover, in vivo assays demonstrated that tumors with no TMPRSS4 were significantly more sensitive to cisplatin than controls. These results show that TMPRSS4 can be considered as a novel target in NSCLC, whose inhibition increases chemosensitivity.
Autores: De Andrea, Carlos Eduardo; Villalba Esparza, María; Expósito Rincón, Francisco; et al.
ISSN 0023-6837  Vol. 99  Nº Supl. 1  2019 
Autores: Bleau, Anne Marie; Redrado Jordán, Miriam; Nistal-Villán, E.; et al.
ISSN 1872-7980  Vol. 414  2018  págs. 257 - 267
A major complication of colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the most frequent and deadly types of cancer, is disease progression via liver metastases. At this stage, very few treatment options are available for patients, and the disease remains incurable. Herein, we used a well-established mouse model of CRC liver metastasis (CLM) to identify new regulators of this process. Using serial transplantation of murine MC38 adenocarcinoma cells, we obtained liver metastatic variants that displayed extremely strong colonization abilities. Using these newly established cell lines, we performed gene expression arrays and microRNA (miR) profiling. Comparative and predictive analyses between the two arrays showed higher expression of c-met and concomitant reduction of miR-146a in the mestastatic variants. In CRC patients, expression levels of both c-met and miR-146a were similar between primary tumors and liver metastases. Interestingly, we identified c-met as a new target for miR-146a, as miR-146a was able to impede c-met translation. Of relevance, overexpression of miR-146a in metastatic clones showed reduced in vitro malignancy and abolished the development of primary tumor and liver metastases. Our results document a new mechanism for c-met regulation in CLM and highlight the crucial role of miR-146a in suppressing tumorigenesis.
Autores: Expósito Rincón, Francisco; Villalba, M.; Pajares Villandiego, María José; et al.
ISSN 1556-0864  Vol. 13  Nº 10  2018  págs. S521