Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Notre Dame study provides insights into the molecular basis of tumor cell behavior

A new study by a team of researchers led by Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, sheds light on the molecular basis by which tumor cells modulate their surroundings to favor cancer progression.

The study elucidates mechanisms involved in the release of microvesicles –small membrane enclosed sacs– from tumor cells that facilitate creation of paths of least resistance allowing tumor cells to migrate.

The research offers new insights into how tumor cells invade their surrounding environment and may eventually lead to improved methods for measuring the progression of cancers.

The research paper, which appears this week in an early online edition of the journal Current Biology, identifies a unique population of microvesicles that are enriched in proteases- mediators of tissue degradation. The release of these microvesicles provides a mechanism of tissue breakdown and remodeling at distant sites and is distinct from the better-characterized mechanisms involved in tissue degradation adjacent to the leading edge of tumor cells, D'Souza-Schorey notes.

The new study shows that microvesicle shedding requires localized contraction of the cell's cytoskeleton at sites of microvesicle release and identifies some key regulators involved in the process. One of these critical determinants is the protein ARF6. Understanding the role of the ARF6 protein in cancer progression has been a long standing interest of the D'Souza-Schorey laboratory. Earlier studies from the laboratory using cell and animal tumor models had documented a role of ARF6 in tumor cell invasion.

"Now we now have better insight into the molecular basis by which ARF6 facilitates this process," D'Souza-Schorey said. "Blocking ARF6 activity inhibits microvesicle release and significantly attenuates tumor invasion into surrounding environments. Although our investigations have utilized melanoma and breast tumor cell lines, microvesicle release has been observed in a variety of tumors making this study broadly applicable."

Microvesicles derived from tumor cells also contain other biologically active molecules such as oncogenic receptors and molecules that allow evasion of the immune response. The researchers have now show that specific tumor cell components are selectively targeted to microvesicles, which then function as specialized units that can communicate with or modulate the surrounding environment.

"Studies have shown that once shed, microvesicles can be detected in biological fluids such as blood, urine and ascites and therefore could potentially serve as prognostic and predictive biomarkers for disease progression," D'Souza-Schorey said. "A blood test to monitor the progression of cancer or effectiveness of therapy would be of immense benefit."

Vandhana Chari, a senior postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory is the primary author on the research article. James Clancy, a graduate student and a recipient of Lilly and GLOBES graduate fellowships, and Carolyn Plou, a former undergraduate student researcher, were also part of the research team at Notre Dame involved the study. The research was supported in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute to D'Souza-Schorey.

Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs
20.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Modified biomaterials self-assemble on temperature cues
20.03.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>