Dimitra Gkika, PhD, HDR
Associate Professor in Physiology
Junior member of the IUF (Institut Universitairede France)
Cell Physiology Laboratory, INSERM U.1003
Univeristé de Lille – Sciences et Technologies
59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
I obtained my PhD in Medical Sciences in 2006 from Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and was then awarded with an EMBO Long-Term Fellowships for postdoctoral research on TRP channels implication in physiopathology in Lille University (France) where I currently work as an Associate Professor since 2009. During my scientific career, I had the chance to explore different aspects of Life Sciences. I started in the Biophysics and Cancer Cell Biology field during the end of my basic training and continued on Molecular Genetics and Molecular Endocrinology during my Master Degree. I then worked as Research Associate in clinics and was interested in Stem Cell Biology and Immunity and changed in Cellular and Molecular Nephrology for my PhD. Later I was interested in Nociception and Thermosensation Physiology and currently I am working in Cancer Biology and Pathophysiology.
My teaching service in the University of Lille the last five years fluctuates from 200 to 230 hours, mainly in Cell Physiology, Cell Biology, Main Physiological Animal Functions and Biotechnologies. Part of my teaching is given in English since I actively participated in setting up English of the bilingual teaching program in University of Lille since its beginning in 2013. My teaching hours are well equilibrated between lectures, theoretical and practical tutorials and comprise courses in Bachelor level as well as the two years of the Master, seminars for PhD students abroad. In addition, I regularly tutor students for their trainee during the last year of the bachelor (3 in the last five years) as well as the two years of the master (7 in the last five years, two of which were Erasmus students).
During my research activity, I developed a long-standing expertise on TRP channels and their role in physiopathology that was described in 28 publications (13 as first author, 4 as last and corresponding author in high impact international journals such as J Cell Biol, Cancer Cell, Cell Rep, J Clin Invest, EMBO J and Cancer Research) and presented upon invitation in prestigious international meetings such as Gordon Conferences, SfN and European Physiology Societies meetings. I recently initiated a group with a novel research axis on TRP involvement in cell migration and angiogenesis during carcinogenesis that was evaluated as one of the two most promising axes of the Inserm U1003 by the French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education (AERES 2014). To support my research, I raised several grants such as ARC-2014 and ARTP-2015 and stipends for international PhD students (Vinci 2012-2015). Following the obtention of the HDR (Habilitation of Directing Research) diploma I tutored 2 PhD students.
TRP channels are considered as multiple signal integrators and as such they integrate external and endogenous stimuli maintaining many forms of homeostasis. The last 10 years, my research was based on unraveling both the extra and intra-cellular molecular factors regulating TRPs and its consequences in physiopathology including thermosensation, pain sensibility, carcinogenesesis and tumor angiogenesis. I am currently focusing on the functional interactions of TRPs with partner proteins, kinases, proteases, and hormones and describe the molecular mechanisms through which those factors influence channel activity, cell physiology and human physiopathology. My objective for the following years is to characterize the role of TRP channels in prostate tumor growth and vascularization on the molecular, cellular and whole organism level. With this project, I participate in the French network of excellence (LabEx) on the topic of channelopathies in order to identify TRPs and their modulators as novel drug targets for therapeutic and diagnostic use.
Current Research Project
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common non-cutaneous human malignancy and PCa metastases are considered incurable. It is therefore critical to understand and target the molecular mechanisms by which tumor growth and spread. Being involved in nearly all of the ‘hallmarks of cancer’, TRP channels play a significant role in cancer progression and constitute potential novel therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic targets.
To date the data linking specific TRP channels to PCa cell migration, invasion and metastasis are still largely phenomenological while the molecular downstream components of these channels remain largely unknown.
The main objectives of this project are to:
1) identify the TRP channel signature of PCa progression in clinical samples,
2) unravel and target the molecular mechanism through which the most promising TRP candidates act in cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis,
3) define in vivo the role of the selected channels in primary tumor development and metastasis development.
For full publication list please click here
Genova T*, Grolez GP*, Camillo C, Bernardini M, Bokhobza A, Richard E, Scianna M, Lemonnier L, Valdembri D, Munaron L, Philips MR, Mattot V, Serini G, Prevarskaya N*, Gkika D*, Fiorio Pla F*
TRPM8 inhibits endothelial cell migration via a non-channel function by trapping small GTPase, Rap1
J Cell Biol. 2017 J Cell Biol. 2017 May 26. pii: jcb.201506024. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201506024
Bernardini M, Fiorio Pla A, Prevarskaya N and Gkika D.
Human transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expression profiling in carcinogenesis.
Int. J. Dev. Biol. 2015 59: 399-406
Gkika D*,#, Lemonnier L*, Shapovalov G*, Poux C, Bernardini M, Gordienko D, Bokhobza A, Gabriel Bidaux, Degerny C, Verreman K, Guarmit B, Benahmed M, de Launoit Y, Bindels R, Fioro Pla A, Prevarskaya N.
TRP Channel-Associated Factors Are a Novel Protein Family That Regulates TRPM8 Trafficking and Activity.
J Cell Biol. 2015 Jan 5;208(1):89-107. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201402076.
Fiorio Pla A*, Brossa A*, Bernardini M*, Genova T, Guilaume G, Villers A, Leroy X, Prevarskaya N, Bussolati B*, Gkika D*.
Differential sensitivity of prostate tumor derived endothelial cells to sorafenib and sunitinib.
BMC Cancer. 2014 Dec 12;14:939. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-939
Gkika D*, Shapovalov G*, Devilliers M, Gordienko D, Kondratskyi A, Busserolles J, Bokhobza A, Eschalier A, Skryma R, Prevarskaya N.
Opiates modulate thermosensation by internalizing cold receptor TRPM8.
Cell Rep. 2013 Aug 15;4(3):504-15. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.07.002.
Fioro Pla A and Gkika D.
Emerging role of TRP channels in cell migration: from tumor vascularization to metastasis.
Front. Physiol. 2013 Nov 5;4:311. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00311.
Gkika D, Flourakis M, Lemonnier L, Prevarskaya N.
PSA reduces prostate cancer cell motility by stimulating TRPM8 activity and plasma membrane expression.
Oncogene. 2010 Aug 12;29(32):4611-6. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.210. Epub 2010 Jun 7.
Gkika D, Topala CN, Chang Q, Picard N, Thébault S, Houillier P, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ.
Tissue kallikrein stimulates Ca(2+) reabsorption via PKC-dependent plasma membrane accumulation of TRPV5.
EMBO J. 2006 Oct 18;25(20):4707-16. Epub 2006 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 17006539; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1618098.