Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers find shape-shifting stops migrating cancer cells

Date:
December 4, 2013
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions — both of which cannot move.

Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions -- both of which cannot now move.

In research published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigators reveal how interplay of molecules keeps cancer cells moving forward, and how disturbing the balance of these proteins pushes their shape to change, stopping them in their tracks.

Investigators say they have already identified a number of agents -- some already used in the clinic for different disorders -- that may force shape-shifting in tumor cells.

"We are starting to understand mechanistically how cancer cells move and migrate, which gives us opportunities to manipulate these cells, alter their shape, and stop their spread," says the study's lead investigator, Panos Z. Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

"It is the spread -- the metastasis -- of cancer that is largely responsible for the death of cancer patients, so stopping these cells from migrating could potentially provide a treatment that saves lives," he says.

The study was conducted using tumor material from breast and brain (glioblastoma) cancer. Both of these tumors are generally lethal when they spread -- breast to other organs, and brain cancer as it crawls throughout the brain.

The researchers found that a protein called Syx is key to determining how tumor cells migrate. When researchers removed Syx from the cancer cells, they lost their polarity -- their leading and trailing edges -- and morphed into the fried egg shape. "They are now unable to sense direction, so they are not going anywhere," Dr. Anastasiadis says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. C. Dachsel, S. P. Ngok, L. J. Lewis-Tuffin, A. Kourtidis, R. Geyer, L. Johnston, R. Feathers, P. Z. Anastasiadis. The Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor Syx Regulates the Balance of Dia and ROCK Activities To Promote Polarized-Cancer-Cell Migration. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2013; 33 (24): 4909 DOI: 10.1128/MCB.00565-13

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Researchers find shape-shifting stops migrating cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204123259.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, December 4). Researchers find shape-shifting stops migrating cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204123259.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Researchers find shape-shifting stops migrating cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204123259.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So 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