Dr William English
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
+44 114 215 9200
Full contact details
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
I completed my PhD in biochemistry in 1996 with Professor Robert Freedman at the University of Kent and the Protein Engineering Department at the Institute of Food Research, Reading, before working in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg with Professor Tom Creighton.
I joined the group of Professor Gillian Murphy in 1997 and remained with the Murphy group until 2010. During this period I worked first within Strangeways Laboratory, Cambridge followed by the University of East Anglia and then on to the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research in 2002 where I was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellowship. In 2007 I moved to the newly formed Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute as part of the Proteases and Tumour Microenvironment Group.
I joined the Tumour Microcirculation Group led by Prof Gillian Tozer at the University of Sheffield in 2011 to continue my research interests in vascular biology and the tumour microenvironment, becoming a permanent academic member of staff as Research Fellow in 2013.
- Research interests
My team’s research is focused on understanding how the tumour microenvironment regulates cancer biology. My projects use an interdisciplinary approach, combining bioinformatics analysis with in vitro and in vivo models of cancer to understand how the tumour microenvironment regulates response and resistance to therapy, and in turn how this impacts on metastasis.
I am particularly interested in how the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) family of ligands and receptors influence the tumour microenvironment, cancer cell migration and metastasis. Although there has been significant interest in how these ligands and receptors regulate tumour vascular biology, less is known about their function within the cancer cells themselves or in non-vascular stromal cells within the tumour microenvironment.
I also collaborate with the Department of Materials Science in the Faculty of Engineering to develop synthetic vascular constructs to support tissue engineering applications and the development of artificial tumour microenvironments.
Current projects include:
- Bioinformatics analysis of data across multiple cancers to identify links between survival and VEGF – VEGFR gene family expression to identify biomarkers and novel co-therapies.
- Development of ovarian and colorectal cancer cell lines via CRISPR/Cas9 and ZFN based gene editing to understand how VEGF – VEGFR signalling influences response and resistance to therapy.
- Characterisation of VEGF – VEGFR signalling within the tumour microenvironment of soft-tissue sarcoma and its influence on sarcoma metastasis.
- Understanding the role of sarcoma-associated fibroblasts in soft-tissue sarcoma biology and response to therapy.
- Characterisation of novel 3D printed surfaces for the isolation of metastatic cells.
I would like to thank the following for supporting my groups research:
- Yorkshire Cancer Research
- Weston Park Cancer Charity
- Debunking the myth of the endogenous antiangiogenic Vegfaxxxb transcripts. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. View this article in WRRO
- Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP- 3) induces FAS dependent apoptosis in human vascular smooth muscle cells. PLoS ONE, 13(4). View this article in WRRO
- ADAM9 is present at endothelial cell - cell junctions and regulates monocyte – endothelial transmigration. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 493(2), 1057-1062. View this article in WRRO
- Differential Expression of VEGFA Isoforms Regulates Metastasis and Response to Anti-VEGFA Therapy in Sarcoma. Cancer Research, 77(10). View this article in WRRO
- Investigating neovascularization in rat decellularized intestine - an in vitro platform for studying angiogenesis. Tissue Engineering - Part A., 22(23 - 24), 1317-1326. View this article in WRRO
- Fabrication of biodegradable synthetic vascular networks and their use as a model of angiogenesis. Cells Tissues Organs, 202(5-6). View this article in WRRO
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoform mediated tumour response to combination treatment with a blocking antibody to VEGFR-2 and radiotherapy. European Journal of Cancer, 61, S146-S146.
- LPS activates ADAM9 dependent shedding of ACE from endothelial cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
- Characterization of surface FAS-Quantitative morphological analysis using quantitative imaging cytometry. Current Protocols in Cytometry(SUPPL.59).
- A heterogeneous in vitro three dimensional model of tumour-stroma interactions regulating sprouting angiogenesis. PLoS ONE, 7(2). View this article in WRRO
- Inhibition of MT1-MMP activity using functional antibody fragments selected against its hemopexin domain. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 44(2), 393-403.
- Modulation of integrin α4β1 by ADAM28 promotes lymphocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration. Cell Biology International, 35(10), 1043-1053.
- Overexpression of the oncostatin M receptor in cervical squamous cell carcinoma cells is associated with a pro-angiogenic phenotype and increased cell motility and invasiveness. Journal of Pathology, 225(3), 448-462.
- MT1-MMP regulates VEGF-A expression through a complex with VEGFR-2 and Src. Journal of Cell Science, 123(23), 4182-4193.
- Golgi reassembly stacking protein 55 interacts with membrane-type (MT) 1-matrix metalloprotease (MMP) and furin and plays a role in the activation of the MT1-MMP zymogen. FEBS Journal, 277(15), 3158-3175.
- Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor induces endothelial capillary formation through induction of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase expression in vitro. International Journal of Cancer, 122(6), 1261-1272.
- Membrane-type 1-matrix metalloproteinase regulates intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1)-mediated monocyte transmigration. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(34), 25010-25019.
- Erratum: Absence of p300 induces cellular phenotypic changes characteristic of epithelial to mesenchyme transition. British Journal of Cancer, 95(2), 245-245.
- Membrane-type 4-matrix metalloproteinase promotes breast cancer growth and metastases.. ACTA CLINICA BELGICA, 61(2), 94-94.
- Absence of p300 induces cellular phenotypic changes characteristic of epithelial to mesenchyme transition. British Journal of Cancer, 94(9), 1326-1332. View this article in WRRO
- Tumor necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM-17) mediates the ectodomain cleavage of Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281(6), 3157-3164.
- Membrane-type 4 matrix metalloproteinase promotes breast cancer growth and metastases. Cancer Research, 66(10), 5165-5172.
- Signals mediating cleavage of intercellular adhesion molecule-1. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, 287(1 56-1).
- Metalloproteases cleave the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor in the D1-D2 linker region and expose epitopes not present in the intact soluble receptor. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 88(2), 298-306.
- Matrix metalloproteinases in arthritic disease.. Arthritis Res, 4 Suppl 3, S39-S49. View this article in WRRO
- The enzymatic activity of ADAM8 and ADAM9 is not regulated by TIMPs. FEBS Letters, 524(1-3), 154-158.
- Characterization of the role of the "MT-loop": An eight-amino acid insertion specific to progelatinase A (MMP2) activating membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276(45), 42018-42026.
- Catalytic activities of membrane-type 6 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP25). FEBS Letters, 491(1-2), 137-142.
- Membrane type 4 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP17) has tumor necrosis factor-α convertase activity but does not activate pro-MMP2. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275(19), 14046-14055.
- Tumour Cells Expressing Single VEGF Isoforms Display Distinct Growth, Survival and Migration Characteristics. PLoS ONE, 9(8), e104015-e104015. View this article in WRRO
Conference proceedings papers
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoform mediated tumour response to combination treatment with a blocking antibody to VEGFR-2 and radiotherapy. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CANCER, Vol. 61 (pp S146-S146)
- Abstract A57: Differential tumor cell expression of VEGF isoforms impacts on the tumor microenvironment, metastasis and radiation response in a mouse fibrosarcoma model. Translational and Therapeutic Potential of the Tumor Microenvironment
- Controlling extracellular proteolysis: the ECM .... and More. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGY, Vol. 90(2) (pp A98-A98)
- Prognostic significance of soluble and ECM associated VEGFA isoforms in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, Vol. 100(4)
- Ablation of p300 induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition in the colorectal cancer cell line HCT116: P15. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, Vol. 88(2)
- VEGFA isoform switching in soft tissue sarcoma is associated with decreased survival. NTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGY, Vol. 100(4)
- Differences in VEGFA isoform expression regulate modes of migration and their sensitivity to anti-VEGFA therapy. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, Vol. 100(4)
- Research group
Current Group Members
- Brenda Agüero (PhD student)
- Claudia Madrigal (PhD student)
- Nada Al Shaaili (PhD student)
- Yu-Chin Lee (PhD Student)
- Teaching interests
I contribute to teaching on the MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology, the MSc(Res) in Molecular Medicine and the MSc(Res) in Genomic Medicine. I am also deputy module leader of module 1 on the MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology. I supervise research projects on MSc(Res) degrees and the intercalated BMedSci degree.