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Berkeley Lab researchers discover critical rotational motion in cells
Date:1/26/2012

hen the nucleus of a breast cell fails to receive the proper biochemical cues and signals from the ECM and other components of the microenvironment, cells and tissue lose structure, which opens the door to malignancy. The discovery of CAMo now provides an important missing mechanism that facilitates the reception and response of a breast cell to the cues and signals from the ECM.

"In addition to wanting to know how a single cell and its progeny assemble into polar tissue, we also wanted to know whether cellular dynamics are corrupted by malignant transformation," Bissell says. "In this study, we found that malignant cells do not display CAMo but instead become randomly motile and do not form spheres."

In recent research, Bissell and her group demonstrated that through manipulation of the ECM, malignant cells cultured in an ECM enriched with laminin a protein that they had shown induces cell quiescence - can undergo a reversion in which their normal phenotype is restored despite their malignant genome. In this new study, Tanner, Bissell and their colleagues found that when malignant cells cultured in the 3D ECM surrogate gel underwent phenotypic reversion in response to signaling inhibitors, CAMo was restored. When CAMo was restored, the reverted cancer cells formed polarized spheres.

"These results complement our early hypothesis that signaling and support by the ECM when cells are in proper context informs both form and function in cells," Bissell says. "The results also suggest that in response to microenvironmental cues from the ECM, cells execute a program of cytoskeletal movements that dictate different kinds of motilities. We hypothesize that these motilities direct the formation of a given type of tissue and preclude other multicellular geometries. We believe this is a crucial evolutionary phenomena for multicellular organisms."

In this new study, Tanner and Bissell and their colleagues were surprised to observe a signifi
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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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