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Berkeley Lab researchers illuminate laminin's role in cancer formation
Date:3/7/2011

implicate the loss of nuclear actin as a key step in reaching quiescence and homeostasis in the mammary gland in vivo and in culture."

Spencer believes that the interaction between laminin-111 and nuclear actin could provide a new target for diagnostic therapeutic efforts, but this will require further study.

"While it remains to be determined whether dysregulation of the levels or organization of nuclear actin is responsible for the inability of malignant cells to respond to growth-inhibitory signals from laminin-111, our preliminary results point in this direction," she says. "In addition, the findings that laminin-111 expression is lost in myoepithelial cells isolated from human tumors should place the interaction of laminin-111 and breast tumor cells at the forefront of future investigations."

A paper detailing the results of this study appears in the Journal of Cell Science. The paper is titled "Depletion of nuclear actin is a key mediator of quiescence in epithelial cells." Co-authoring the paper with Bissell and Spencer were Sylvain Costes, Jamie Inman, Ren Xu, James Chen and Michael Hendzel.

Laminin, MMP9 and Tumor Growth

In the second study, which was related to the role of laminin-111 in cell quiescence, Bissell and another group of collaborators examined laminin-111 in the context of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9), a zinc-dependent enzyme that plays a huge role in tissue function by virtue of its ability to cleave or degrade many of the ECM constituent proteins, including laminin-111.

"Organization into polarized three-dimensional tissue structures defines whether epithelial cells are normal or malignant," Bissell says. "We have shown that when MMP9 degrades laminin-111 in the ECM, the tissue architecture of breast cells becomes lost and cell proliferation is initiated. This is the first demonstration of how the degradation of laminin-111 by MMP9 in a physiological context contributes t
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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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