Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Cancer Cells Can't Let Go

Date:
April 18, 2009
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Like a climber scaling a rock face, a migrating cancer cell has to keep a tight grip on the surface but also let go at the right moment to move ahead. Researchers reveal that the focal adhesion kinase coordinates these processes to permit forward movement.

The invadopodia (glowing dots) speckling a cell lacking FAK (left) are rare on a control cell (right).
Credit: Chan, K.T., et al. 2009. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200809110

Like a climber scaling a rock face, a migrating cancer cell has to keep a tight grip on the surface but also let go at the right moment to move ahead. Chan et al. reveal that the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) coordinates these processes to permit forward movement.

Related Articles


Crawling cancer cells send out extensions called invadopodia. By releasing enzymes that dissolve the extracellular matrix (ECM), invadopodia clear a path for the cell to wriggle through. As they move, cancer cells get traction by temporarily attaching to the ECM through focal adhesions. FAK spurs focal adhesions to disengage, and it is more abundant in metastatic tumors. Whether FAK also regulates invadopodia was unknown.

When Chan et al. removed FAK, breast cancer cells were much less invasive. But to the team's surprise, the FAK-lacking cells sprouted extra invadopodia. The cells also sported large focal adhesions that were particularly sticky. The protein Src serves as FAK's helper. FAK and Src work together to phosphorylate tyrosines in proteins such as paxillin, which then disassemble the focal adhesion. But the team found that in cells missing FAK, the phosphorylated proteins accumulated in invadopodia. Src's localization reflects this difference. In control cells, Src accumulated in focal adhesions. In FAK's absence, Src headed to the invadopodia.

The work suggests that FAK controls movement by balancing the number of invadopodia that create a path for migration and the number of focal adhesions that hold the cell back. The next question, the researchers say, is how FAK and Src integrate these events to promote invasion.

The study will be published online April 13 and will appear in the April 20 print issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

Reference: Chan, K.T., et al. 2009. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200809110.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "When Cancer Cells Can't Let Go." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083313.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2009, April 18). When Cancer Cells Can't Let Go. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083313.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "When Cancer Cells Can't Let Go." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083313.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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