Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Divide and rule: a tumour's strategy

20.08.2015

Researchers supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation have discovered how aggressive cells can invade healthy tissue during the earliest stage of tumour development. This opens up new ways of attacking cancer at its root.

When normal body cells escape the control from their peers, a tumour can form and eventually lead to cancer. Scientists have been struggling to understand how exactly these cells manage to set themselves free in the first place.


SNSF-study about the earliest stage of tumour development opens up new ways of attacking cancer at its root.

The team of Eduardo Moreno, professor at the Institute of Cell Biology at the University of Bern, has now discovered that a mechanism that is known from the early development of embryos plays a role in the earliest stages of adult tumour development (*).

As part of their SNSF-funded project, the researchers were able to film the cells of developing fruit fly pupas under the microscope for several hours. The genetically modified fruit flies carried an artificially activated gene called Myc, which is known to be involved in tumour formation.

The gene alone was sufficient to induce abnormal cells to divide more actively, squeeze through between healthy cells, kill them and take over their place. This represents an unexpected mechanism of invading tissues in the first phase of tumour development.

A model for most cancers

"The activation of the tumour gene gave the cells special mechanical properties helping them to intermingle with normal cells, surround them and eventually kill them more efficiently", says Romain Levayer, the first author of the study.

"This invasion mechanism is known to be active during embryonic development when cells rearrange themselves to transform the body shape. We have now shown that cells are capable of using the same programme in order to invade healthy tissue", says group leader Moreno. "Divide and rule", the famous military strategy, is how the researchers describe the aggressive cells' behaviour.

The mechanism could explain the earliest beginnings of tumour development of most cancer types and is different from invasion mechanisms of metastases in later phases. "We were able to observe the mechanism in fruit fly pupas. The fruit fly was chosen as a model because it can be easily modified genetically. Since the pupa does not move and is transparent, it is ideal for observation under the microscope", says Moreno.

About 90 percent of all cancers form in lining tissues (epithelia) like the one filmed in the pupas: in colon, skin or the mammary gland. The manipulated Myc gene is the most commonly misregulated gene in tumours. The identified mechanism could therefore apply to many cancers and help scientists to find new strategies to prevent tumour formation at its root before much damage has been caused.

(*) R. Levayer, B. Hauert and E. Moreno et al. (2015). Myc-induced cell mixing is required for competitive tissue invasion and destruction. Nature online: doi:10.1038/nature14684
(Available to journalists as a PDF file from the SNSF: com@snf.ch)

> Video of Invasion Mechanism (on YouTube): https://youtu.be/DaQ4oXPTHK0
Abnormal green cells invade healthy purple tissue in fruit fly pupa
© Eduardo Moreno, University of Bern

Contact

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Moreno
Institute of Cell Biology
Baltzerstrasse 4
CH-3012 Bern
Phone: +41 (0)31 631 46 77
E-mail: eduardo.moreno@izb.unibe.ch

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.snf.ch/en/researchinFocus/media/press-releases/Pages/default.aspx

Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>