Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why metastasic cells migrate

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Summary:
Migration ability of metastatic cells is not due to an altered mechanism of tumor cells but to a natural capacity of healthy cells. The results could help to identify potential strategies for metastasis inhibition

One of the most intriguing questions in cancer research is what causes metastatic tumour migration, why some tumour cells manage to migrate to other parts of the body but others cells don't. International investigation conducted by Enrique Martín Blanco, CSIC researcher at the Institute of Biology of Barcelona, located in the Barcelona Science Park, reveals that cells make use of a natural mechanism for this. It happens to be a family of proteins that trigger cell migration in normal processes such as growth or healing. Nevertheless, this mechanism had never been identified before in healthy cells.

The work, published in the latest issue of the Current Biology journal, is also signed by researchers at the Biozentrum from Basel University (Switzerland), and by the Universities of Coimbra (Portugal) and Freiburg (Germany).

As the authors explain, the ability of metastatic cells to migrate is not a proper mechanism of tumour cells -- and therefore something that one might think is altered, but a natural ability of cells which, unfortunately, benefits metastasis.

Until now it was known that the metastasis of tumour cells can be induced by proteins such as BMPs (from 'bone morphogenetic proteins') or TGFβ (from 'transforming growth factor-β'). These proteins, identified in tumour cells of vertebrates, trigger cell migration and promote metastasis: they tell the cells that they must move and migrate, although not to where. And if these proteins are not activated in tumour cells, there is neither mobility nor invasion. But the unexplored question was if this mechanism is something exclusive of tumour cells or not.

Now the work of this international team has identified the same mechanism in the healthy cells of Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly.

Researchers have found that the Decapentaplegic protein (Dpp), an homologous protein of BMP and TGFβ, acts as signal of cell mobility. "The cells with Dpp activated are migratory and invasive," says Martin-Blanco. "If we block the signal of Dpp in the cells, they stop moving. However, if the Dpp protein is over expressed, cells have even more and enhanced migratory and invasive capacities.

The authors have worked with embryos of the fly Drosophila melanogaster, during the formation of its abdominal epithelium, in metamorphosis. This is a process where histoblasts (embryonic cells) that will form the fly abdomen replace larval epidermal cells. The histoblasts remain at the beginning in small nests or groups of cells, and they progressively multiply, spreading and invading the space to substitute all larval epithelial cells.

This is the most clear example that scientists have seen this gene family (Dpp, BMP and TGFβ) playing the role of controlling mobility and invasiveness in normal cells. Martin-Blanco adds that "now we can study this mechanism in healthy cells, and we hope to discover more about the conditions that can inhibit or accelerate it." They expect not only to understand better this mechanism but also to find alternative strategies to inhibit metastasis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. "Why metastasic cells migrate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329103652.htm>.
CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. (2010, March 29). Why metastasic cells migrate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329103652.htm
CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. "Why metastasic cells migrate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329103652.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) — Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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