Bioinformatics and Computational Systems Biology of Cancer

Emmanuel arillot

Emmanuel Barillot Team Leader Tel:

Four decades of cancer molecular biology research have led to the identification of many molecular determinants of this pathology, and showed that they are organized in pathways which in turn are tightly interconnected in a complex network of interactions which covers essential cell processes (proliferation, death, differentiation, DNA repair, immune response…). The existence of crosstalks, feedbacks and compensatory mechanisms invalidates simplistic reasoning and requires mathematical modeling to decipher how cell integrates signals to give rise to particular phenotypes, and to exploit this knowledge for rationalizing clinical treatments.

Another very important aspect of today’s biological and clinical cancer research lies in the high-throughput characterisation of tumours and their micro-environment, at the genome, transcriptome, proteome and epigenome levels (using microarrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS)), as well as phenotypic level (using high-throughput imaging techniques). These large-scale technologies generate huge volumes of data, making cancer research a big data science.

The volumes, completeness and resolution of the data generated by these technologies makes it possible today to integrate them with our knowledge of the signalling circuitry of the cell to build personalized models of tumors which shed light on the functioning of the tumoral cell, how its fate is determined, and how to counteract deleterious phenotypes and propose personalized treatment, the so-called precision medicine approach. These goals have led us to propose new concepts and strategies falling within the field of computational systems biology of cancer.

Figure 1: Modular and detailed chart of the RB-E2F network, involved in many cancers. Modular decomposition of this pathway enables the biological understanding of its implication in tumor progression.
Figure 1: Modular and detailed chart of the RB-E2F network, involved in many cancers. Modular decomposition of this pathway enables the biological understanding of its implication in tumor progression.

The first step in the exploitation of high throughput molecular data consists in the extraction of a biological signal from measurements with a low experimental signal/noise ratio and conducted in parallel on thousands or millions of variables (genes, positions on the genome, etc.). This assumes that experimental artefacts be erased (data normalisation) and error rate controlled. We develop tools that achieve this goal in particular for NGS, taking into account the specificities of cancer when needed. Then the biological data must be converted into biological knowledge and e.g. any biological pathways involved in the disease identified. For this purpose, we also develop complexity reduction methods enabling the analysis of multi-dimensional data.

Understanding tumorigenesis and improving clinical strategies requires the detailed knowledge of the molecular interaction networks that control mechanisms of cell proliferation, death and differentiation. We are constructing an atlas of cell signaling of cancer, so far containing detailed map for cell cycle, DNA repair, EMT, programmed cell death and survival, and immune response. We also develop computational tools for the analysis of networks, for example for integrating mutational and expression profiles of tumors, or for finding optimal intervention points for a particular tumor in a therapeutic perspective.

We then study the tumoral systems in a dynamic manner, building mathematical models of their molecular networks and proposing prediction of the effect of perturbations like mutations or drug compound. Through this approach, we are able to demonstrate essential system properties (typically global phenotype). Recent applications include finding new therapeutic target candidates in triple negative breast cancer, identifying synthetic interactions in DNA repair machinery, deciphering the modes of action of microRNAs, predicting cell fate decision to die or survive upon cell death receptor engagement, understanding the mechanisms of tumor invasion, or proposing strategies for building relevant mouse models of metastasis.

Our mathematical models are then challenged with experimental data and iterative loops between modelling and experimentation allows model improvement and validation. In term of methodology, we use and develop innovative approaches based on literature analysis, complexity reduction, logical modelling, differential equation systems, robustness study, and multidimensional statistical analysis. We have developed a strong expertise in the abovementioned techniques, and put it in practice in many collaborative projects with biologists and clinicians, with a main focus on solid tumors (breast, bladder, uveal melanoma, colon, pediatric tumors…).

Key publications

Year of publication 2017

Catherine M Phelan, Karoline B Kuchenbaecker, Jonathan P Tyrer, Siddhartha P Kar, Kate Lawrenson, Stacey J Winham, Joe Dennis, Ailith Pirie, Marjorie J Riggan, Ganna Chornokur, Madalene A Earp, Paulo C Lyra, Janet M Lee, Simon Coetzee, Jonathan Beesley, Lesley McGuffog, Penny Soucy, Ed Dicks, Andrew Lee, Daniel Barrowdale, Julie Lecarpentier, Goska Leslie, Cora M Aalfs, Katja K H Aben, Marcia Adams, Julian Adlard, Irene L Andrulis, Hoda Anton-Culver, Natalia Antonenkova, , Gerasimos Aravantinos, Norbert Arnold, Banu K Arun, Brita Arver, Jacopo Azzollini, Judith Balmaña, Susana N Banerjee, Laure Barjhoux, Rosa B Barkardottir, Yukie Bean, Matthias W Beckmann, Alicia Beeghly-Fadiel, Javier Benitez, Marina Bermisheva, Marcus Q Bernardini, Michael J Birrer, Line Bjorge, Amanda Black, Kenneth Blankstein, Marinus J Blok, Clara Bodelon, Natalia Bogdanova, Anders Bojesen, Bernardo Bonanni, Åke Borg, Angela R Bradbury, James D Brenton, Carole Brewer, Louise Brinton, Per Broberg, Angela Brooks-Wilson, Fiona Bruinsma, Joan Brunet, Bruno Buecher, Ralf Butzow, Saundra S Buys, Trinidad Caldes, Maria A Caligo, Ian Campbell, Rikki Cannioto, Michael E Carney, Terence Cescon, Salina B Chan, Jenny Chang-Claude, Stephen Chanock, Xiao Qing Chen, Yoke-Eng Chiew, Jocelyne Chiquette, Wendy K Chung, Kathleen B M Claes, Thomas Conner, Linda S Cook, Jackie Cook, Daniel W Cramer, Julie M Cunningham, Aimee A D'Aloisio, Mary B Daly, Francesca Damiola, Sakaeva Dina Damirovna, Agnieszka Dansonka-Mieszkowska, Fanny Dao, Rosemarie Davidson, Anna DeFazio, Capucine Delnatte, Kimberly F Doheny, Orland Diez, Yuan Chun Ding, Jennifer Anne Doherty, Susan M Domchek, Cecilia M Dorfling, Thilo Dörk, Laure Dossus, Mercedes Duran, Matthias Dürst, Bernd Dworniczak, Diana Eccles, Todd Edwards, Ros Eeles, Ursula Eilber, Bent Ejlertsen, Arif B Ekici, Steve Ellis, Mingajeva Elvira, , Kevin H Eng, Christoph Engel, D Gareth Evans, Peter A Fasching, Sarah Ferguson, Sandra Fert Ferrer, James M Flanagan, Zachary C Fogarty, Renée T Fortner, Florentia Fostira, William D Foulkes, George Fountzilas, Brooke L Fridley, Tara M Friebel, Eitan Friedman, Debra Frost, Patricia A Ganz, Judy Garber, María J García, Vanesa Garcia-Barberan, Andrea Gehrig, , Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, Anne-Marie Gerdes, Graham G Giles, Rosalind Glasspool, Gord Glendon, Andrew K Godwin, David E Goldgar, Teodora Goranova, Martin Gore, Mark H Greene, Jacek Gronwald, Stephen Gruber, Eric Hahnen, Christopher A Haiman, Niclas Håkansson, Ute Hamann, Thomas V O Hansen, Patricia A Harrington, Holly R Harris, Jan Hauke, , Alexander Hein, Alex Henderson, Michelle A T Hildebrandt, Peter Hillemanns, Shirley Hodgson, Claus K Høgdall, Estrid Høgdall, Frans B L Hogervorst, Helene Holland, Maartje J Hooning, Karen Hosking, Ruea-Yea Huang, Peter J Hulick, Jillian Hung, David J Hunter, David G Huntsman, Tomasz Huzarski, Evgeny N Imyanitov, Claudine Isaacs, Edwin S Iversen, Louise Izatt, Angel Izquierdo, Anna Jakubowska, Paul James, Ramunas Janavicius, Mats Jernetz, Allan Jensen, Uffe Birk Jensen, Esther M John, Sharon Johnatty, Michael E Jones, Päivi Kannisto, Beth Y Karlan, Anthony Karnezis, Karin Kast, , Catherine J Kennedy, Elza Khusnutdinova, Lambertus A Kiemeney, Johanna I Kiiski, Sung-Won Kim, Susanne K Kjaer, Martin Köbel, Reidun K Kopperud, Torben A Kruse, Jolanta Kupryjanczyk, Ava Kwong, Yael Laitman, Diether Lambrechts, Nerea Larrañaga, Melissa C Larson, Conxi Lazaro, Nhu D Le, Loic Le Marchand, Jong Won Lee, Shashikant B Lele, Arto Leminen, Dominique Leroux, Jenny Lester, Fabienne Lesueur, Douglas A Levine, Dong Liang, Clemens Liebrich, Jenna Lilyquist, Loren Lipworth, Jolanta Lissowska, Karen H Lu, Jan Lubinński, Craig Luccarini, Lene Lundvall, Phuong L Mai, Gustavo Mendoza-Fandiño, Siranoush Manoukian, Leon F A G Massuger, Taymaa May, Sylvie Mazoyer, Jessica N McAlpine, Valerie McGuire, John R McLaughlin, Iain McNeish, Hanne Meijers-Heijboer, Alfons Meindl, Usha Menon, Arjen R Mensenkamp, Melissa A Merritt, Roger L Milne, Gillian Mitchell, Francesmary Modugno, Joanna Moes-Sosnowska, Melissa Moffitt, Marco Montagna, Kirsten B Moysich, Anna Marie Mulligan, Jacob Musinsky, Katherine L Nathanson, Lotte Nedergaard, Roberta B Ness, Susan L Neuhausen, Heli Nevanlinna, Dieter Niederacher, Robert L Nussbaum, Kunle Odunsi, Edith Olah, Olufunmilayo I Olopade, Håkan Olsson, Curtis Olswold, David M O'Malley, Kai-Ren Ong, N Charlotte Onland-Moret, , Nicholas Orr, Sandra Orsulic, Ana Osorio, Domenico Palli, Laura Papi, Tjoung-Won Park-Simon, James Paul, Celeste L Pearce, Inge Søkilde Pedersen, Petra H M Peeters, Bernard Peissel, Ana Peixoto, Tanja Pejovic, Liisa M Pelttari, Jennifer B Permuth, Paolo Peterlongo, Lidia Pezzani, Georg Pfeiler, Kelly-Anne Phillips, Marion Piedmonte, Malcolm C Pike, Anna M Piskorz, Samantha R Poblete, Timea Pocza, Elizabeth M Poole, Bruce Poppe, Mary E Porteous, Fabienne Prieur, Darya Prokofyeva, Elizabeth Pugh, Miquel Angel Pujana, Pascal Pujol, Paolo Radice, Johanna Rantala, Christine Rappaport-Fuerhauser, Gad Rennert, Kerstin Rhiem, Patricia Rice, Andrea Richardson, Mark Robson, Gustavo C Rodriguez, Cristina Rodríguez-Antona, Jane Romm, Matti A Rookus, Mary Anne Rossing, Joseph H Rothstein, Anja Rudolph, Ingo B Runnebaum, Helga B Salvesen, Dale P Sandler, Minouk J Schoemaker, Leigha Senter, V Wendy Setiawan, Gianluca Severi, Priyanka Sharma, Tameka Shelford, Nadeem Siddiqui, Lucy E Side, Weiva Sieh, Christian F Singer, Hagay Sobol, Honglin Song, Melissa C Southey, Amanda B Spurdle, Zsofia Stadler, Doris Steinemann, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Lara E Sucheston-Campbell, Grzegorz Sukiennicki, Rebecca Sutphen, Christian Sutter, Anthony J Swerdlow, Csilla I Szabo, Lukasz Szafron, Yen Y Tan, Jack A Taylor, Muy-Kheng Tea, Manuel R Teixeira, Soo-Hwang Teo, Kathryn L Terry, Pamela J Thompson, Liv Cecilie Vestrheim Thomsen, Darcy L Thull, Laima Tihomirova, Anna V Tinker, Marc Tischkowitz, Silvia Tognazzo, Amanda Ewart Toland, Alicia Tone, Britton Trabert, Ruth C Travis, Antonia Trichopoulou, Nadine Tung, Shelley S Tworoger, Anne M van Altena, David Van Den Berg, Annemarie H van der Hout, Rob B van der Luijt, Mattias Van Heetvelde, Els Van Nieuwenhuysen, Elizabeth J van Rensburg, Adriaan Vanderstichele, Raymonda Varon-Mateeva, Ana Vega, Digna Velez Edwards, Ignace Vergote, Robert A Vierkant, Joseph Vijai, Athanassios Vratimos, Lisa Walker, Christine Walsh, Dorothea Wand, Shan Wang-Gohrke, Barbara Wappenschmidt, Penelope M Webb, Clarice R Weinberg, Jeffrey N Weitzel, Nicolas Wentzensen, Alice S Whittemore, Juul T Wijnen, Lynne R Wilkens, Alicja Wolk, Michelle Woo, Xifeng Wu, Anna H Wu, Hannah Yang, Drakoulis Yannoukakos, Argyrios Ziogas, Kristin K Zorn, Steven A Narod, Douglas F Easton, Christopher I Amos, Joellen M Schildkraut, Susan J Ramus, Laura Ottini, Marc T Goodman, Sue K Park, Linda E Kelemen, Harvey A Risch, Mads Thomassen, Kenneth Offit, Jacques Simard, Rita Katharina Schmutzler, Dennis Hazelett, Alvaro N Monteiro, Fergus J Couch, Andrew Berchuck, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Ellen L Goode, Thomas A Sellers, Simon A Gayther, Antonis C Antoniou, Paul D P Pharoah (2017 Mar 28)

Identification of 12 new susceptibility loci for different histotypes of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Nature genetics : DOI : 10.1038/ng.3826
Manuela Portoso, Roberta Ragazzini, Živa Brenčič, Arianna Moiani, Audrey Michaud, Ivaylo Vassilev, Michel Wassef, Nicolas Servant, Bruno Sargueil, Raphaël Margueron (2017 Feb 8)

PRC2 is dispensable for HOTAIR-mediated transcriptional repression.

The EMBO journal : DOI : e201695335
Maud Borensztein, Laurène Syx, Katia Ancelin, Patricia Diabangouaya, Christel Picard, Tao Liu, Jun-Bin Liang, Ivaylo Vassilev, Rafael Galupa, Nicolas Servant, Emmanuel Barillot, Azim Surani, Chong-Jian Chen, Edith Heard (2017 Jan 31)

Xist-dependent imprinted X inactivation and the early developmental consequences of its failure.

Nature structural & molecular biology : DOI : 10.1038/nsmb.3365

Year of publication 2016

Daniela Chmiest, Nanaocha Sharma, Natacha Zanin, Christine Viaris de Lesegno, Massiullah Shafaq-Zadah, Vonick Sibut, Florent Dingli, Philippe Hupé, Stephan Wilmes, Jacob Piehler, Damarys Loew, Ludger Johannes, Gideon Schreiber, Christophe Lamaze (2016 Dec 6)

Spatiotemporal control of interferon-induced JAK/STAT signalling and gene transcription by the retromer complex.

Nature communications : 13476 : DOI : 10.1038/ncomms13476
Yosr Hamdi, Penny Soucy, Karoline B Kuchenbaeker, Tomi Pastinen, Arnaud Droit, Audrey Lemaçon, Julian Adlard, Kristiina Aittomäki, Irene L Andrulis, Adalgeir Arason, Norbert Arnold, Banu K Arun, Jacopo Azzollini, Anita Bane, Laure Barjhoux, Daniel Barrowdale, Javier Benitez, Pascaline Berthet, Marinus J Blok, Kristie Bobolis, Valérie Bonadona, Bernardo Bonanni, Angela R Bradbury, Carole Brewer, Bruno Buecher, Saundra S Buys, Maria A Caligo, Jocelyne Chiquette, Wendy K Chung, Kathleen B M Claes, Mary B Daly, Francesca Damiola, Rosemarie Davidson, Miguel De la Hoya, Kim De Leeneer, Orland Diez, Yuan Chun Ding, Riccardo Dolcetti, Susan M Domchek, Cecilia M Dorfling, Diana Eccles, Ros Eeles, Zakaria Einbeigi, Bent Ejlertsen, , Christoph Engel, D Gareth Evans, Lidia Feliubadalo, Lenka Foretova, Florentia Fostira, William D Foulkes, George Fountzilas, Eitan Friedman, Debra Frost, Pamela Ganschow, Patricia A Ganz, Judy Garber, Simon A Gayther, , Anne-Marie Gerdes, Gord Glendon, Andrew K Godwin, David E Goldgar, Mark H Greene, Jacek Gronwald, Eric Hahnen, Ute Hamann, Thomas V O Hansen, Steven Hart, John L Hays, , Frans B L Hogervorst, Peter J Hulick, Evgeny N Imyanitov, Claudine Isaacs, Louise Izatt, Anna Jakubowska, Paul James, Ramunas Janavicius, Uffe Birk Jensen, Esther M John, Vijai Joseph, Walter Just, Katarzyna Kaczmarek, Beth Y Karlan, , Carolien M Kets, Judy Kirk, Mieke Kriege, Yael Laitman, Maïté Laurent, Conxi Lazaro, Goska Leslie, Jenny Lester, Fabienne Lesueur, Annelie Liljegren, Niklas Loman, Jennifer T Loud, Siranoush Manoukian, Milena Mariani, Sylvie Mazoyer, Lesley McGuffog, Hanne E J Meijers-Heijboer, Alfons Meindl, Austin Miller, Marco Montagna, Anna Marie Mulligan, Katherine L Nathanson, Susan L Neuhausen, Heli Nevanlinna, Robert L Nussbaum, Edith Olah, Olufunmilayo I Olopade, Kai-Ren Ong, Jan C Oosterwijk, Ana Osorio, Laura Papi, Sue Kyung Park, Inge Sokilde Pedersen, Bernard Peissel, Pedro Perez Segura, Paolo Peterlongo, Catherine M Phelan, Paolo Radice, Johanna Rantala, Christine Rappaport-Fuerhauser, Gad Rennert, Andrea Richardson, Mark Robson, Gustavo C Rodriguez, Matti A Rookus, Rita Katharina Schmutzler, Nicolas Sevenet, Payal D Shah, Christian F Singer, Thomas P Slavin, Katie Snape, Johanna Sokolowska, Ida Marie Heeholm Sønderstrup, Melissa Southey, Amanda B Spurdle, Zsofia Stadler, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Grzegorz Sukiennicki, Christian Sutter, Yen Tan, Muy-Kheng Tea, Manuel R Teixeira, Alex Teulé, Soo-Hwang Teo, Mary Beth Terry, Mads Thomassen, Laima Tihomirova, Marc Tischkowitz, Silvia Tognazzo, Amanda Ewart Toland, Nadine Tung, Ans M W van den Ouweland, Rob B van der Luijt, Klaartje van Engelen, Elizabeth J van Rensburg, Raymonda Varon-Mateeva, Barbara Wappenschmidt, Juul T Wijnen, Timothy Rebbeck, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Kenneth Offit, Fergus J Couch, Silje Nord, Douglas F Easton, Antonis C Antoniou, Jacques Simard (2016 Nov 1)

Association of breast cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers with genetic variants showing differential allelic expression: identification of a modifier of breast cancer risk at locus 11q22.3.

Breast cancer research and treatment : 117-134 : DOI : 10.1007/s10549-016-4018-2
Angelica Macauda, Diego Calvetti, Giuseppe Maccari, Kari Hemminki, Asta Försti, Hartmut Goldschmidt, Niels Weinhold, Richard Houlston, Vibeke Andersen, Ulla Vogel, Gabriele Buda, Judit Varkonyi, Anna Sureda, Joaquin Martinez Lopez, Marzena Watek, Aleksandra Butrym, Maria Eugenia Sarasquete, Marek Dudziński, Artur Jurczyszyn, Agnieszka Druzd-Sitek, Marcin Kruszewski, Edyta Subocz, Mario Petrini, Elzbieta Iskierka-Jażdżewska, Malgorzata Raźny, Gergely Szombath, Herlander Marques, Daria Zawirska, Dominik Chraniuk, Janusz Halka, Svend Erik Hove Jacobsen, Grzegorz Mazur, Ramón García Sanz, Charles Dumontet, Victor Moreno, Anna Stępień, Katia Beider, Matteo Pelosini, Rui Manuel Reis, Malgorzata Krawczyk-Kulis, Marcin Rymko, Hervé Avet-Loiseau, Fabienne Lesueur, Norbert Grząśko, Olga Ostrovsky, Krzysztof Jamroziak, Annette J Vangsted, Andrés Jerez, Waldemar Tomczak, Jan Maciej Zaucha, Katalin Kadar, Juan Sainz, Arnon Nagler, Stefano Landi, Federica Gemignani, Federico Canzian (2016 Oct 9)

Identification of miRSNPs associated with the risk of multiple myeloma.

International journal of cancer : 526-534 : DOI : 10.1002/ijc.30465
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