A joint research group of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku, led by Professor Johanna Ivaska, has discovered why cells require surrounding tissue in order to be able to divide.
By doing so, the group has solved a mystery that has puzzled cancer researchers for decades. The research results show why a cell which is ‘adrift’, i.e. separated from the surrounding tissue, is not able to divide normally. This causes changes in the cell’s genotype which expose the body to cancer.
For decades, researchers have known that human cells must be in their right place in the body, surrounded by tissue, in order for them to be able to divide normally. When separated from the rest of the tissue, normal cells are not able to divide and will thus die.
Microscopic images taken by the group’s doctoral researchers, Saara Tuomi and Teijo Pellinen, revealed that a dividing cell anchors itself during the various stages of division by using cell adhesion receptors called integrins. A cell with malfunctioning anchoring molecules will become adrift and start to divide abnormally and thus acquire the potential to become a cancer cell. The research group also uncovered evidence, in cooperation with a research group led by professor Olli Kallioniemi, that the anchoring mechanism had been disturbed in some cases of ovarian cancer and in some prostate cancer metastases.
The finding supports the hypothesis proposed by scientists at the beginning of the last century that abnormal cell division is one of the mechanisms in the development of cancer.
The research results open an entirely new perspective on the early stages of the development of cancer and how the changes occurring in cancerous tissue enable the cancer to continuously become a more malignant and more aggressive tumour. When cells become independent of their anchoring mechanisms, a vicious circle is created: genotype changes occurring at an ever-increasing pace enable the disease to become more and more aggressive.
The research results were published on 16 September 2008 in Developmental Cell, a leading journal in cell and developmental biology. The results will have an impact on the future direction of cancer research.
Publication: Pellinen T., Tuomi S., Arjonen A., Wolf M., Edgren H., Meyer H., Grosse R., Kitzing T., Rantala JK., Kallioniemi O., Fässler R., Kallio M., and Ivaska J. (2008), Integrin traffic regulated by Rab21 is necessary for cytokinesis. (Developmental Cell).
For further information, please contact:VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Irma Lind | VTT
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences