Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blocking cells' movement to stop the spread of cancer

07.07.2014

Insights into how cells move through the body could lead to innovative techniques to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours, according to new UCL research.

Scientists discovered that cells can change into an invasive, liquid-like state to readily navigate the narrow channels in our body. This transformation is triggered by chemical signals, which could be blocked in order to stop cancer cells from spreading.


In this image, the cells are stained red for cell protrusion, yellow for cell membrane and blue for nucleus.

Credit: Prof. R. Mayor

Most cancer deaths are not due to primary tumours, but to secondary tumours in vital organs, such as the lungs or brain, caused by cells moving from the original tumour to other places in the body.

The study led by UCL researchers and published today in the Journal of Cell Biology, used embryonic cells to investigate how groups of cells move in a developmental process similar to that used by cancer to spread around the body.

... more about:
»Biology »LPA »UCL »lungs »movement »spread »tumours

The team report a molecule called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) changes cells from a solid-like to a liquid-like state, allowing cells to flow between normal tissues in the body. Scientists were able to switch off the signals from LPA, stopping the cells from moving down narrow, blood vessel-like channels.

Lead scientist Professor Roberto Mayor (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology), said: "We have found a way to stop the movement of embryonic cells by blocking LPA signals. It is likely that a similar mechanism operates during cancer invasion, which suggests a promising alternative in which cancer treatments might work in the future, if therapies can be targeted to limit the tissue fluidity of tumours.

"Our findings are important for the fields of cell, developmental and cancer biology. Previously, we thought cells only moved around the body either individually or as groups of well-connected cells.

What we have discovered is a hybrid state where cells loosen their links to neighbouring cells but still move en masse together, like a liquid. Moreover, we can stop this movement".

###

The work was co-authored by researchers at Kings College London and Cambridge University, UK and Akita City University, Japan.

Dr Rebecca Caygill | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk

Further reports about: Biology LPA UCL lungs movement spread tumours

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More than just a mechanical barrier – epithelial cells actively combat the flu virus
04.05.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

nachricht Discovery of a fundamental limit to the evolution of the genetic code
03.05.2016 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular “tentacles” inside the pore.

Using high-speed AFM, Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel, has not only directly...

Im Focus: 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New fabrication and thermo-optical tuning of whispering gallery microlasers

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Introducing the disposable laser

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

A new vortex identification method for 3-D complex flow

04.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>