Benjamin Beck

Our research

« Characterisation of Esophageal Cancers and Metaplasia »

Esophageal cancers are significant health problems that account for approximately 450,000 new cancer cases annually worldwide. Esophageal cancer occurs as either squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma. To reduce the mortality rate associated with these cancers, it is crucial to better understand the origin of esophageal cancers and the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these diseases and translate that knowledge into novel approaches for their diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment.

The research in our laboratory is focused on two main areas:
• Characterization of the processes involved in the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma
• Identification of a molecular core in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

To address these questions, we use a multidisciplinary approach based on:
• Transgenic mouse models
• Conditional knockout and overexpression systems
• Lineage tracing
• 2D and 3D cell culture from mouse and human esophageal cells
• Epigenetic and transcriptomic sequencing of FACS sorted cells
• Immunostaining, in situ hybridization and qPCR

Research in Benjamin Beck’s lab is funded by the FNRS, the WELBIO, the Worldwide cancer research, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Région Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Télévie

Group members


Benjamin Beck, PhD, PI (benjamin.beck@ulb.ac.be) phone +32 2 555 4164
2017 – WELBIO/FNRS principal investigator – “Characterization of esophageal cancers and metaplasia” (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2015 – Research associate – “Mechanisms regulating the growth of esophageal cancers” – at the IRIBHM (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2008 – Postdoctoral fellow at the Stem Cell and Cancer Lab (ULB, Brussels, Belgium) under the supervision of Prof. Cédric Blanpain
2007 – PhD in Biomedical Sciences (USTL, Lille, France) under the supervision of Prof. Natalia Prevarskaya

Romain Bibes, PhD (romain.bibes@ulb.ac.be) phone +32 2 555 4161
2017 – Postdoctoral fellow – “Characterization the molecular core of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma” – at the IRIBHM (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2013 – PhD in Biology and Health Sciences (University of Limoges, Limoges, France) under the supervision of Prof. François Vincent and Dr. Fabrice Lalloué

Alizée Vercauteren Drubbel, Ms (alvercau@ulb.ac.be) phone +32 2 555 4161
2016 – PhD fellowship – “Molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation of esophageal metaplasia and adenocarcinoma” – at the IRIBHM (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2016 – Master degree in Bioinformatics (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2014 – Master degree in Biomedical Sciences (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)

Sheleya Pirard, Ms (Sheleya.Pirard@ulb.ac.be) phone +32 2 555 4161
2016 – Lab manager at the IRIBHM (ULB, Brussels, Belgium)
2016 – Master degree in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
2012 – Bachelor in Chemistry (Institut Paul Lambin, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium)

Publications

Latil, M., Nassar, D., Beck, B., Boumahdi, S., Wang, L. L., Brisebarre, A., Dubois, C., Nkusi, E., Lenglez, S., Checinska, A., Vercauteren Drubbel, A., Devos, M. M., Declercq, W., Yi, R. R., & Blanpain, C. (2016, novembre). Cell-Type-Specific Chromatin States Differentially Prime Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tumor-Initiating Cells for Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition. Cell stem cell. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.018 


Adriaens, C. C., Standaert, L. L., Barra, J. J., Latil, M., Verfaillie, A. A., Kalev, P. P., Boeckx, B. B., Wijnhoven, P. W. G. P., Radaelli, E., Vermi, W., Leucci, E. E., Lapouge, G., Beck, B., van den Oord, J., Nakagawa, S. S., Hirose, T. T., Sablina, A. A., Lambrechts, D., Aerts, S., Blanpain, C., & Marine, J.-C. (2016, août). P53 induces formation of
NEAT1 lncRNA-containing paraspeckles that modulate replication stress response and chemosensitivity. Nature medicine, 22(8), 861-868. doi:10.1038/nm.4135 


Bidaux, G., Borowiec, A.-S., Gordienko, D., Beck, B., Shapovalov, G. G., Lemonnier, 
L., Flourakis, M., Vandenberghe, M. M., Slomianny, C., Dewailly, E. E., Delcourt, P., Desruelles, E. E., Ritaine, A. A., Polakowska, R., Lesage, J. J., Chami, M. M., Skryma,
R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2015, juin). Epidermal TRPM8 channel isoform controls the balance between keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation in a cold-dependent manner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(26), E3345-E3354. doi:10.1073/pnas.1423357112 


Beck, B., Lapouge, G., Rorive, S., Drogat, B., Desaedelaere, K., Delafaille, S., Dubois, C., Salmon, I., Willekens, K., Marine, J.-C., & Blanpain, C. (2015). Different Levels of Twist1 Regulate Skin Tumor Initiation, Stemness, and Progression. Cell Stem Cell, 16(1), 67-79. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2014.12.002 


Raphaël, M. M., Lehen’kyi, V., Vandenberghe, M. M., Beck, B., Khalimonchyk, S. 
S., Vanden Abeele, F., Farsetti, L. L., Germain, E. E., Bokhobza, A. A., Skryma, R., Prevarskaya, N., Mihalache, A. A., Gosset, P. P., Romanin, C. C., & Clezardin, P. (2014, septembre). TRPV6 calcium channel translocates to the plasma membrane
via Orai1-mediated mechanism and controls cancer cell survival. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(37), E3870-E3879. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413409111 


Boumahdi, S., Driessens, G., Lapouge, G., Rorive, S., Nassar, D., Le Mercier, M., Delatte, B., Caauwe, A., Lenglez, S., Nkusi, E., Brohée, S., Salmon, I., Dubois, C., Del Marmol,
V., Fuks, F., Beck, B., & Blanpain, C. (2014, juin). SOX2 controls tumour initiation and cancer stem-cell functions in squamous-cell carcinoma. Nature (London). doi:10.1038/ nature13305 


Beck, B., & Blanpain, C. (2013, octobre). Unravelling cancer stem cell potential. Nature reviews. Cancer, 13(10), 727-738. doi:10.1038/nrc3597

Lapouge, G., Beck, B., Nassar, D., Dubois, C., Dekoninck, S., & Blanpain, C. (2012, 
novembre). Skin squamous cell carcinoma propagating cells increase with tumour progression and invasiveness. EMBO journal, 31(24), 4563-4575. doi:10.1038/ emboj.2012.312 


Driessens, G., Beck, B., Caauwe, A., Simons, B. D., & Blanpain, C. (2012, août). Defining the mode of tumour growth by clonal analysis. Nature (London). doi:10.1038/nature11344 

Beck, B., & Blanpain, C. (2012, mai). Mechanisms regulating epidermal stem cells. EMBO journal, 31(9), 2067-2075. doi:10.1038/emboj.2012.67 


Bidaux, G., Beck, B., Zholos, A., Gordienko, D., Lemonnier, L., Flourakis, M., Roudbaraki, M., Borowiec, A.-S., Fernandez, J. P., Delcourt, P., Lepage, G., Shuba, Y., Skryma, R.,
& Prevarskaya, N. (2012, janvier). Regulation of activity of transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) channel by its short isoforms. The Journal of biological chemistry, 287(5), 2948-2962. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.270256


Van Keymeulen, A., Rocha, A. S., Ousset, M., Beck, B., Bouvencourt, G., Rock, J., Sharma, N., Dekoninck, S., & Blanpain, C. (2011, octobre). Distinct stem cells contribute to mammary gland development and maintenance. Nature (London), 478. doi:10.1038/ nature10573 


Beck, B., Driessens, G., Goossens, S., Kass, Y. K., Kuchnio, A., Caauwe, A., Sotiropoulou, P., Loges, S., Lapouge, G., Candi, A., Mascré, G., Drogat, B., Dekoninck, S., Haigh, J. J., Carmeliet, P., & Blanpain, C. (2011, octobre). A vascular niche and a VEGF-Nrp1 loop regulate the initiation and stemness of skin tumours. Nature (London), 478(7369), 399-403. doi:10.1038/nature10525 


Bondue, A., Tannler, S., Chiapparo, G., Chabab, S., Ramialison, M., Paulissen, C., Beck, B., Harvey, R., & Blanpain, C. (2011, mars). Defining the earliest step of cardiovascular progenitor specification during embryonic stem cell differentiation. The Journal of cell biology, 192(5), 751-765. doi:10.1083/jcb.201007063 


Bonnefont, J., Laforge, T., Plastre, O., Beck, B., Sorce, S., Dehay, C., & Krause, K.-
H. (2011, février). Primate-specific RFPL1 gene controls cell-cycle progression through cyclin B1/Cdc2 degradation. Cell death and differentiation, 18(2), 293-303. doi:10.1038/ cdd.2010.102

Bavencoffe, A., Gkika, D., Kondratskyi, A., Beck, B., Borowiec, A.-S., Bidaux, G., Busserolles, J., Eschalier, A., Shuba, Y., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2010, mars). The transient receptor potential channel TRPM8 is inhibited via the alpha 2A adrenoreceptor signaling pathway. The Journal of biological chemistry, 285(13), 9410-9419. doi:10.1074/ jbc.M109.069377

Kass, Y. K., Van Keymeulen, A., Lapouge, G., Beck, B., Michaux, C., Achouri, Y., Sotiropoulou, P., & Blanpain, C. (2010, février). Identification of the cell lineage at the origin of basal cell carcinoma. Nature cell biology. doi:10.1038/ncb2031

Flourakis, M., Lehen’kyi, V., Beck, B., Raphaël, M., Vandenberghe, M., Abeele, F.
V., Roudbaraki, M., Lepage, G., Mauroy, B., Romanin, C., Shuba, Y., Skryma, R.,
& Prevarskaya, N. (2010). Orai1 contributes to the establishment of an apoptosis- resistant phenotype in prostate cancer cells. Cell death and disease, 1, 75. doi:10.1038/ cddis.2010.52

Beck, B., Lehen’kyi, V., Roudbaraki, M., Flourakis, M., Charveron, M., Bordat, P., Polakowska, R., Prevarskaya, N., & Skryma, R. (2008, mai). TRPC channels determine human keratinocyte differentiation: new insight into basal cell carcinoma. Cell calcium, 43(5), 492-505. doi:10.1016/j.ceca.2007.08.005

Lehen’kyi, V., Beck, B., Polakowska, R., Charveron, M., Bordat, P., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2007, août). TRPV6 is a Ca2+ entry channel essential for Ca2+-induced differentiation of human keratinocytes. The Journal of biological chemistry, 282(31), 22582-22591. doi:10.1074/jbc.M611398200 


Bidaux, G., Flourakis, M., Thebault, S., Zholos, A., Beck, B., Gkika, D., Roudbaraki, M., Bonnal, J.-L., Mauroy, B., Shuba, Y., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2007, juin). Prostate cell differentiation status determines transient receptor potential melastatin member 8 channel subcellular localization and function. The Journal of clinical investigation, 117(6), 1647-1657. doi:10.1172/JCI30168 


Beck, B., Bidaux, G., Bavencoffe, A., Lemonnier, L., Thebault, S., Shuba, Y., Barrit, G., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2007, mars). Prospects for prostate cancer imaging and therapy using high-affinity TRPM8 activators. Cell calcium, 41(3), 285-294. doi:10.1016/ j.ceca.2006.07.002 


Vanden Abeele, F., Zholos, A., Bidaux, G., Shuba, Y., Thebault, S., Beck, B., Flourakis, M., Panchin, Y., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2006, décembre). Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2-dependent gating of TRPM8 by lysophospholipids. The Journal of biological chemistry, 281(52), 40174-40182. doi:10.1074/jbc.M605779200 


Beck, B., Zholos, A., Sydorenko, V., Roudbaraki, M., Lehen’kyi, V., Bordat, P., Prevarskaya, N., & Skryma, R. (2006, septembre). TRPC7 is a receptor-operated DAG- activated channel in human keratinocytes. Journal of investigative dermatology, 126(9), 1982-1993. doi:10.1038/sj.jid.5700352 


Vanden Abeele, F., Bidaux, G., Gordienko, D., Beck, B., Panchin, Y., Baranova, A. V., Ivanov, D., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2006, août). Functional implications of calcium permeability of the channel formed by pannexin 1. The Journal of cell biology, 174(4), 535-546. doi:10.1083/jcb.200601115 


Flourakis, M., Van Coppenolle, E., Lehen’kyi, V., Beck, B., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2006, juin). Passive calcium leak via translocon is a first step for iPLA2-pathway regulated store operated channels activation. The FASEB journal, 20(8), 1215-1217. doi:10.1096/fj.05-5254fje 


Thebault, S., Flourakis, M., Vanoverberghe, K., Vandermoere, F., Roudbaraki, M., Lehen’kyi, V., Slomianny, C., Beck, B., Mariot, P., Bonnal, J.-L., Mauroy, B., Shuba, Y., Capiod, T., Skryma, R., & Prevarskaya, N. (2006, février). Differential role of transient receptor potential channels in Ca2+ entry and proliferation of prostate cancer epithelial cells. Cancer research, 66(4), 2038-2047. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-0376

Zholos, A., Beck, B., Sydorenko, V., Lemonnier, L., Bordat, P., Prevarskaya, N., & Skryma, R. (2005, février). Ca(2+)- and volume-sensitive chloride currents are differentially regulated by agonists and store-operated Ca2+ entry. The Journal of general physiology, 125(2), 197-211. doi:10.1085/jgp.200409161