Étudiant-chercheur étoile April 2015

Jonathan Pratt

PhD student in Biochemistry
Université du Québec à Montréal

Award-winning publicationEvidence of MTCBP-1 interaction with the cytoplasmic domain of MT1-MMP: Implications in the autophagy cell index of high-grade glioblastoma

Published in: Molecular Carcinogenesis


"Our discovery is focused on autophagy: a resistance mechanism to cancer treatments for glioblastomas—brain tumours with very low survival rates—that causes cells to be degraded by their own components. We revealed the impact of enzyme MT1-MMP on autophagy in glioblastoma cells. Our research also brings to light a new role of the MTCBP-1 protein, which inhibits autophagy by binding to the enzyme. The elucidation of the effect of the interaction between the enzyme and the protein on autophagy regulation is significant since it paves the way for more accurate diagnoses and eventual treatment options targeting mechanisms that regulate cell survival and the autophagy index. Our study is the first to show that the deregulation of autophagy in high-grade tumours drives their chemoresistance."

Glioblastoma is an incurable cancer for which chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments are ineffective and whose recurrence mechanisms are not well documented. A lack of understanding of the resistance of tumour cells to conventional treatments impedes the advancement of new therapies. Jonathan Pratt's discovery will foster the development of diagnostic tools leading to optimized therapeutic interventions for glioblastoma patients. In addition, in the long term, the findings will bring together clinical and basic researchers and could eventually lead to more effective concerted interventions for patients.