Finding the way to inhibit either the protein or its gene activity could lead to the establishment of novel therapies aimed at controlling colorectal cancers, the second most frequent cause of tumor death in Europe after lung cancer (with some 655.000 deaths worldwide).
These results stem from a collaborative effort involving scientists from the Institut Curie in Paris, the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot (Israel) and the Department of Surgery of the Technischen Universitat in Munich. The research was presented on May 12th during the first session of the Workshop on Cell Migration: From Molecules to Organisms and Diseases, an event promoted by the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) and the University of Milan, in collaboration with IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, and IEO – European Institute of Oncology. Venue of the Workshop is the IFOM-IEO Campus (via Adamello, 16, Milan) that was recently opened and represents to date the biggest area dedicated to the oncological research in Europe.
Fascin is a protein that serves to aggregate cellular filaments into bundles, in order to rearrange the cellular frame (called cytoskeleton) and promote the motility. In view of this capacity, several groups of scientists have tried to find a correlation between the presence of fascin and the ability to form metastasis that many tumors exhibit. So far, however, its precise role in tumor development and dissemination was little characterized. Danijela Vignjevic from the UMR144/CNRS, at Institute Curie in Paris, who presented the research at the Workshop, explained the new discovery in details: “Cancer cells become metastatic because they acquire the ability to move and to invade other tissues. This new behavior relies on sensory organelles (common to all the cells that able to move) called filopodia, that sense the environment and help the cells to decide where to go. Fascin is a key component of filopodia, and, inside the colorectal cancer cells, it represents the target of a circuitry that leads to the activation of several genes.”
Among the key findings, the investigation proved that the concentration of fascin increases according to the tumor stage: in other words, as the tumor progresses fascin becomes more and more active. In vitro tests revealed that its presence promotes cells migration and invasion, and in vivo experiments confirmed its pro-metastatic power. “There is an interesting feature about this protein” pointed out Danijela Vignjevic. “After the tumor has colonized distant sites fascin is no longer active: it is as if the tumor itself recruited it for its purposes until the malignant cells have spread. When it has arrived at its final destination fascin is no longer needed”. As next goal, Vignjevic and colleagues hope to generate a transgenic mouse model for colon cancer metastasis that will provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms of this disease.
“It is tempting to speculate about some possible therapeutic intervention that could derive from this discovery” comments Giorgio Scita, leader of the Signaling regulating acting dynamics in cell motility group at IFOM, and among the Workshop organizers. “However more investigations will be needed before we can think of moving from bench to bedside”.
Francesca Noceti | alfa
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München
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....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine