Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast cancer cells growing in 3-D matrix revert to normal

Date:
December 17, 2012
Source:
American Society for Cell Biology
Summary:
Cancer cells in lab cultures have not "forgotten" how to be healthy since they can be guided back into their "normal" growth program by giving them the right cues. Applying compressive force to malignant breast epithelial cells growing within a laminin-rich 3-D extracellular matrix caused them to turn into highly organized, growth-arrested acini, the milk-secreting spherical structures that are central to breast tissue.

Human breast cancer cells growing in the lab on a three-dimensional (3-D) extracellular matrix reverted to a normal phenotype when subjected to compression force applied by an elastic chamber, researchers reported on Dec. 17 at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Gautham Venugopalan, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley, bioengineering lab of Daniel Fletcher, PhD, described how applying compressive force to malignant breast epithelial cells growing within a laminin-rich 3-D extracellular matrix caused them to turn into highly organized, growth-arrested acini, the milk-secreting spherical structures that are central to breast tissue.

This "phenotypic reversion" was accomplished without pharmacological agents, noted Dr. Venugopalan. Research collaborators included Kandice Tanner, PhD, and Mina Bissell, PhD, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley.

During a woman's reproductive life, breast tissue continuously grows, shrinks, and remodels in a highly regulated fashion. When this process breaks down, growth becomes abnormal.

Although genetic mutations are the classic explanation for differences between healthy and malignant cells but they don't tell the whole story because malignant cells treated with certain drugs will grow into organized acini that appear very similar to the healthy acini, even though they remain genetically malignant. This indicates that malignant cells have not completely "forgotten" how to be healthy, since they can be guided back into their "normal" growth program by giving them the right cues, according to Dr. Venugopalan.

Could mechanical force also reprogram malignant cells? The researchers seeded malignant breast epithelial cells into a 3-D laminin-rich extracellular matrix and used an elastic chamber to apply a compressive force. Over time, the compressed malignant cells grew into more organized, healthy-looking acini that resembled normal structures, even without the addition of exogenous drugs.

However, when the researchers added a drug that blocked E-cadherin, a transmembrane protein that helps cells adhere to their neighbors, the compression lost all effect, and the cells returned to their disorganized malignant appearance.

Previous studies have shown that healthy breast cells rotate as they form acini to help them organize into spherical structures, according to Dr. Venugopalan. This coherence is lost in malignant cells, so the researchers investigated whether rotation was affected by compression. By performing time-lapse microscopy over several days, they found that compression was inducing rotation in the malignant cells, further suggesting the importance of cell-cell communication during growth.

"Our findings suggest that external forces can encourage malignant cells to re-enter the correct morphogenetic program," said Dr. Venugopalan.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Society for Cell Biology. "Breast cancer cells growing in 3-D matrix revert to normal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140537.htm>.
American Society for Cell Biology. (2012, December 17). Breast cancer cells growing in 3-D matrix revert to normal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140537.htm
American Society for Cell Biology. "Breast cancer cells growing in 3-D matrix revert to normal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140537.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:

More Coverage


To Revert Breast Cancer Cells, Give Them the Squeeze

Dec. 17, 2012 Researchers have found that compression can guide malignant breast cells back to a normal growth pattern. The findings demonstrate the influence of mechanical forces on a cell's ... read more

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