Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antisocial, Invasive Cells Are Basis Of Cancer, Finding Suggests

Date:
December 14, 2008
Source:
BBSRC
Summary:
Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which cells normally repel each other -- a process sidestepped by cancer cells which go on to invade and conquer healthy regions of the body.

Photomicrograph of cervical cancer cells in tissue culture. New research finds that cancer cells sidestep the mechanism by which cells normally repel each other.
Credit: iStockphoto/Torsten Wittmann

Scientists at UCL funded by BBSRC and the Medical Research Council have discovered the mechanism by which cells normally repel each other – a process sidestepped by cancer cells which go on to invade and conquer healthy regions of the body.

The findings suggest an alternative way in which cancer treatments might work in the future, if therapies can be targeted at the process of ‘cell repulsion’ to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours.

Cells typically produce localized protrusions which help them navigate their environment. When two cells meet, they normally retract their protrusions and change their direction of movement, effectively ‘repelling’ one another. This phenomenon, called contact inhibition of locomotion, was first discovered 50 years ago in a UCL laboratory experiment, and its failure was thought to contribute to the malignant invasion of cancer. But it took up to now to witness the process in action and pin down the mechanism.

The latest UCL study led by Dr Roberto Mayor, UCL Cell and Developmental Biology, has captured the phenomenon ‘in vivo’ – in living tissue – and has identified the mechanism by which it works, suggesting possible new targets for future cancer therapies.

Dr Roberto Mayor says: "Contact inhibition of locomotion was first discovered by UCL Professor Michael Abercrombie more than 50 years ago, when he saw fibroblast cells under the microscope confront each other, retract their protrusions and change direction on contact. The failure of cells to repulse each other in this way was thought to play a role in the spread of cancer."

"However, until now the molecular basis of this process and whether it also occurred within the body was unknown. Our study of neural crest cells shows that these cells behave in exactly this way. When two migrating neural crest cells meet, they stop, collapse their protrusions and change direction. However, when a neural crest cell meets another cell type, it fails to behave as expected and instead invades the other tissue, in the same manner as metastatic cancer cells which migrate and go on to cause secondary tumours."

"Inhibition of a type of cell signalling - non-canonical Wnt signalling – is behind this behaviour, cancelling the normal repulsion you would expect between cells. Our discovery offers possible new targets for the future treatment of tumour metastasis – the spreading of cancer cells, one of the mostly deadly aspects of cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BBSRC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carmona-Fontaine et al. Contact inhibition of locomotion in vivo controls neural crest directional migration. Nature, 2008; DOI: 10.1038/nature07441

Cite This Page:

BBSRC. "Antisocial, Invasive Cells Are Basis Of Cancer, Finding Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081212222722.htm>.
BBSRC. (2008, December 14). Antisocial, Invasive Cells Are Basis Of Cancer, Finding Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081212222722.htm
BBSRC. "Antisocial, Invasive Cells Are Basis Of Cancer, Finding Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081212222722.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins