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Dr. S. Tartare-Deckert - The role of SPARC and ECM in melanoma cell plasticity, metastasis and drug resistance

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Sophie Tartare-Deckert

Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire (C3M), Université Côte-d’Azur, Nice, France

The role of SPARC and ECM in melanoma cell plasticity, metastasis and drug resistance

Our laboratory is interested in understanding microenvironmental influences and signaling networks that drive tumor growth and dissemination. We have been particularly involved in studying the role of tumor microenvironment in metastatic niche formation and response to therapies in melanoma, the most aggressive and lethal form of skin cancers. The matricellular protein SPARC is an important driver of these processes, particularly by inducing tumor cell invasion and p53-dependent survival, and its expression is linked to an aggressive mesenchymal phenotype. We recently revealed that SPARC also functions as a critical tumor-secreted permeability factor in the extravasation stage of the metastatic cascade. Our current work focuses in deciphering how the extracellular matrix (ECM), a key component of the microenvironment influences the response of melanoma cells to therapies targeting the BRAF oncogenic pathway. First, I will present an overview of our data supporting a role for the matrix-associated protein SPARC in melanoma phenotype switching and metastasis. I will also present recent findings showing that BRAF targeted therapy induces ECM remodeling and melanoma tumor stiffening, and that ECM provides biochemical and mechanical information that affects tumor cell plasticity and favors drug tolerance in metastatic niches.

Selected references

  • Fenouille et al. 2010 Cancer Res
  • Fenouille et al. 2011 Pigment Cell Melanoma Res
  • Fenouille et al. 2011 Oncogene
  • Fenouille et al. 2012 PLOS One
  • Cheli et al. 2012 Oncogene
  • Tichet et al. 2015 Nat commun
  • Pharaon et al. 2014 JAMA Dermatol
  • Prod’homme et al. 2015 J Clin Invest
  • Didier et al. 2018 Mol Cancer Ther


Contact: Catherine Muller (

Note for visitors: Please come with a valid identity card


30 Nov

11:00 - 12:00

Seminar room - IPBS - Campus 205