E-cadherin is a molecule involved in adhesion between epithelial cells that also seems to have a protective role in cancer, since its loss is associated with tumour progression and metastases formation in a series of different cancers. How this happens, however, is not clear but new research, about to be published on the "Journal of Experimental Cell Research", shows that cells that lose E-cadherin are more resistant to programmed cell death. Programmed cell death, also called apoptosis, is the mechanism by which the body eliminates unwanted or damaged cells, like those that can lead to cancer, by inducing them to die. The research about to be published also suggests that bcl-2 - a protein that affects cell division and whose abnormal production contributes to a variety of cancer - seems to have a role mediating E-cadherin effect. These results, although preliminary, help the understanding of E-cadherin role in cancer and consequently might contribute to the development of new therapeutics.
Cell survival depends on signals from the environment, such as those provided by adhesion molecules that mediate contacts between cells or between cells and the surrounding medium (the matrix). If these interactions cease to exist, the cells are programmed to die, which prevents their migration and growth in places where they do not belong, and consequently, where they have no physiological role. This is particularly important when we think about metastases - a process where cancer spreads to distant sites in the body to establish new tumours - which are associated with 90% of all the cancer deaths.
It is known that loss of adhesion between cells and between cells and the matrix is a pre-requisite for the detachment and migration of the tumour cells, and as a result it is believed that functional adhesion molecules are important in its prevention. One such example is E-cadherin, an adhesion molecule of epithelial cells, which is found altered in several cancers, and that, while intact, stops the tumour spreading into surrounding tissues. E-cadherin is especially interesting if we consider that 80-90% of tumours originate from epithelial cells, even if the majority of those result from accumulation of several mutations in several genes.
Catarina Amorim | alfa
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy