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Discovery of a mechanism that regulates cell movement
Date:7/20/2008

A mechanism may be dysfunctional during cancer progression and metastases

The role of E-Cadherin in the binding between epithelial cells is universal in all animals and therefore, following logic, the researchers believe that the mechanisms that regulate the levels of this protein may also be universal. "We speculate that the regulatory mechanism that we have discovered may also be present in other developmental contexts. However, in addition, fundamental elements of the mechanism may show a dysfunction in pathological processes such as the progression of cancer and metastases", adds Casanova. As revealed by this same researcher, the amounts of E-Cadherin and of one of the elements required for trafficking decrease in the progression of a kind of oesophagus cancer and this effect is related to the gain in tumour cell motility, which allows them to spread throughout the body more rapidly.

Thanks to this study, researchers working on cancer will be able to use animal models to test whether this mechanism is defective in other kinds of tumours and to study whether any of its genetic components are valid as therapeutic targets.


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Contact: Snia Armengou
sonia.armengou@irbbarcelona.org
34-934-037-255
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Source:Eurekalert

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