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Two-faced protein can stop metastasis or promote it, researchers say

to mesenchymal cadherins, setting off a process that leads to metastasis."

Thus, p120 acts as a "rheostat" that promotes either stability when associated with E-cadherin or motility when it interacts with mesenchymal cadherins, he says.

The investigators say that further research is needed to see if p120 functions the same way in living tissue as it does in laboratory cell culture, and they add that other "pathways" are likely involved in the transition to metastasis. But if the results continue to hold up, "it might be therapeutically possible to selectively shut down the pro-invasive function of p120 on mesenchymal cadherins while keeping the pro-adhesion function of p120 in normal epithelial cells.

"We have provided a better understanding of the processes involved in the initiation of tumor spread, and it is this process that we all seek to shut down," Anastasiadis says.


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Source:Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville


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