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 First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>