Competition between normal and transformed cell populations.

Abstract : During the development of a tumour in a tissue, the cancer cells are surrounded by healthy cells. The interactions between these two cell types, transformed and normal, play an important role in the tumour stability, but remain to this day poorly understood. The aim of this thesis was to establish in vitro assays to study the interactions between populations of normal and transformed cells.We benefited from a light-sensitive cell line, constructed by Olivier Destaing (IAB, Grenoble). When they are exposed to blue light, these cells overactivate the protein Src, which is known to be overexpressed in many cancers. Otherwise, they keep a normal phenotype. Using these cells, called “OptoSrc”, in combination with an optical setup, we are able to create mosaic tissues in which the pattern of mutated cells is determined by the blue illumination pattern. Our system has several advantages: a selective control in time and space of the group of transformed cells, and a gradual and reversible activation of the oncoprotein.We have shown that when we illuminate a circular islet of cells from a monolayer of OptoSrc cells, the activated cells were collectively extruded, resulting in a cohesive three-dimensional aggregate on top of the monolayer. We can control the size and appearance time of this spheroid by tuning, respectively, the area and frequency of illumination. Besides, this collective extrusion is reversible when the blue light stimulation is stopped. Finally, we have shown that the formation of this three-dimensional aggregate coincides with the loss of E-cadherin at the membrane, as well as the apparition of vimentin, for the illuminated OptoSrc cells. Our results suggest that a group of cells overexpressing the protein Src, in a monolayer of normal cells, undergoes a partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
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Sarah Moitrier. Competition between normal and transformed cell populations.. Medical Physics [physics.med-ph]. PSL Research University, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLET027⟩. ⟨tel-02294182v2⟩

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