Jean-Pierre Gillet

Molecular cancer biology

Understanding the molecular mechansims of cancer drug resistance

Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet PhD

UNamur, Department of biomedical sciences, Molecular Physiology Research Unit (URPhyM), Laboratory of Molecular Cancer Biology (LBMC) 

Member of the Namur Cancer Research Pole

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn

Expertise and research interests

The research conducted by Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet aims to better understand the mechanisms underlying cancer development and cancer drug resistance, which remains a major challenge in the treatment of this disease. Jean-Pierre Gillet’s research team has recently revealed the role of the ABCB5 transporter in the development of melanoma as a tumor suppressor gene. They are currently characterizing this transporter in vitro and in vivo, using various mouse models including Abcb5-knockout and Abcb5-IRES-EGFP knockin mice. They also focus on esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is rapidly rising in high-income countries, in all demographic groups. Toghether with national and international collaborators, Jean-Pierre Gillet has launched a project with the main goal of advancing esophageal cancer diagnosis and treatment by the identification of circulating tumor DNA and the characterization of the molecular events that lead to the failure of treatments.

Group members

PhD students: Eléa Denil, Anaïs Draguet, Laurent Duvivier, Louise Gérard and Chloé Matthys

Research projects

  • ONGOING Contribution of keratinocytes to the innate immune response of the epidermis during fungal infection. Ongoing PhD thesis by Eléa Denil. Under co-supervision by Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet (promoter) and Dr. Catherine Lambert de Rouvroit (co-promoter).
  • ONGOING Venomics as a tool to advance esophageal adenocarcinoma treatment. Ongoing PhD thesis by Chloé Matthys.
  • ONGOING Unravelling the cellular role of ABCB5 through the identification of its physiological substrates using a NMR-based metabonomic approach. Ongoing PhD thesis by Anaïs Draguet. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet) and UMons (Prof. Jean-Marie Colet).
  • ONGOING Role of ABCB9 in ovarian cancer progression and investigation of its dimerization profile. Ongoing PhD thesis by Louise Gérard.
  • ONGOING Elucidation of ABCB5 β dimerization: a novel insight into melanoma chemoresistance. Ongoing PhD thesis by Laurent Duvivier.
  • Study of the role of olfactory receptors in hepatocellular carcinoma development. Research by Dr. Quentin Gilliaux (Oncologist at CHU UCL Namur). Under co-supervision by Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet, UNamur (promoter) and Prof. Lionel D'Hondt, CHU UCL Namur (co-promoter).
  • Overcoming Multidrug Resistance: Search for Human P-glycoprotein Modulators and Insights on Drug Efflux Mechanism. PhD thesis by Catia Bonito. Under co-supervision by Dr. Daniel dos Santos, University of Porto, Portugal (promoter) and Prof. Jean-Pierre Gillet, UNamur (co-promoter)

Selected publications

Duvivier L, Gillet JP. Deciphering the roles of ABCB5 in normal and cancer cells. Trends in Cancer. 2022 ISSN 2405-8033.

Gerard L, Duvivier L, Gillet JP. Targeting tumor resistance mechanisms. Fac Rev. 2021 Jan 26;10:6.

Gillet JP, Boonen M, Jadot M, Gottesman MM. The Dual Role of ABC Transporters in Drug Metabolism and Resistance to Chemotherapy. In The liver: Biology and Pathobiology, 6th Edition, Irwin M. Arias, Harvey Alter, James L. Boyer, David Cohen, Snorri Thorgeirsson, David A. Shafritz and Allan Wolkoff (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, England, 2020, 1007-1014 (Textbook chapter)

Bonito CA, Ferreira RJ, Ferreira MU, Gillet JP, Cordeiro MNDS, Dos Santos DJVA. Theoretical insights on helix repacking as the origin of P-glycoprotein promiscuity. Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 17;10(1):9823.

Sana G, Madigan JP, Gartner JJ, Fourrez M, Lin J, Qutob N, Narayan J, Shukla S, Ambudkar SV, Xia D, Rosenberg SA, Gottesman MM, Samuels Y, Gillet JP. Exome sequencing of ABCB5 identifies recurrent melanoma mutations that result in increased proliferative and invasive capacities. J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Sep;139(9):1985-1992.e10.

Gillet JP, Andersen JB, Madigan JP, Varma S, Bagni RK, Powell K, Burgan WE, Wu CP, Calcagno AM, Ambudkar SV, Thorgeirsson SS, Gottesman MM. A Gene Expression Signature Associated with Overall Survival in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Suggests a New Treatment Strategy Mol Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;89(2):263-72.

Gottesman MM, Lavi O, Hall MD, Gillet JP. Toward a Better Understanding of the Complexity of Cancer Drug Resistance. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2016 Jan 6;56:85-102.