Navigation Links
Defective cell surface 'glue' is key to tumor invasion
Date:12/13/2010

This release is available in French.

A remarkable discovery into how tumour cells invade normal tissue should lead to vital diagnostic tools and help develop strategies to stop the spread of cancer cells. A new study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University reveals that the surface of aggressive tumour cells lack the strong molecular 'glue' responsible for binding normal cells together. This allows tumour cells to break away, detach from their neighbors, and spread to other regions of the body.

Certain proteins, called cadherins, are located on the surface of cells and play a vital role in cell adhesion or 'gluing' cells together, ensuring the proper organization of tissue. What happens to the cells and the 'glue' that binds them in tumour growth and metastases is poorly understood. "We were concerned that previous research showed that N-cadherin, an adhesive molecule, was important for both normal tissue organization, as well as tumour metastasis," says Dr. David Colman, Director of The Neuro and corresponding author of the study. "We therefore decided to further investigate this apparent paradox."

The team studied the levels of N-cadherin on tumour cell surfaces. "Our study shows that a non-adhesive form of N-cadherin, termed proNcad is present in a much higher proportion on the surfaces of the most invasive melanoma, brain tumour cells, breast cancer and prostate tumour cells, compared to less invasive tumour cells." says Dr. Deborah Maret, research associate and lead author. This non-adhesive form of N-cadherin never reaches the cell surface in normal tissues.

"It appears that although total N-cadherin levels remain constant, the higher levels of the non-adhesive proNcad promote detachment, tumor cell migration and invasion," adds Dr. Maret. "This supports an overall conclusion that non-adhesive (proNcad) and adhesive (Ncad) forms of cadherins co-exist on tumour cell surfaces, but it is the ratio between these functionally opposite molecules that directly dictates the invasion potential of tumour cells." Because the differences between the two forms of cadherin are so small, previous studies have missed detecting the non-adhesive proNcad form on tumour cell surfaces. Hence it was assumed that all Ncad on the tumour cell surface was of the adhesive type. "We were astounded that this was not the case at all," says Dr. Colman.

"As a brain tumour surgeon, I know that stopping cancer cells from migrating is critical for patient survival," says Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, Director of The Brain Tumour Research Centre and a co-author on the study. "We are determined to improve treatment options for patients. We have already introduced new neurosurgical methods and technologies that are unique in North America and are spearheading multidisciplinary initiatives to advance brain tumour research."

Determining the ratios of Ncad and proNcad on the cell surface may serve as a tremendously valuable tool for the staging and progression of malignant tumors. The findings may also shed light on new treatment strategies to arrest the metastatic spread of invasive tumor cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Kar
anita.kar@mcgill.ca
514-398-3376
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Defective protein is a double hit for ataxia
2. Research project yields better understanding of the defective protein that causes cystic fibrosis
3. Would a molecular horse trot, pace or glide across a surface?
4. LSUs WAVCIS director says oil remains below surface, will come ashore in pulses
5. Drugs encased in nanoparticles travel to tumors on the surface of immune-system cells
6. Fly eye paves the way for manufacturing biomimetic surfaces
7. New model is proposed to explain absence of organic compounds on surface of Mars
8. Invasive kudzu is major factor in surface ozone pollution, study shows
9. Helping the NRC look below the surface
10. 40 percent of surface disinfectants ineffective in eliminating viruses that cause gastroenteritis
11. Water may not run uphill, but it practically flies off new surface
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish ... 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality ... 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still ...
Breaking Biology Technology: