Navigation Links
Cell rigidity linked to activity in proteins associated with cancer
Date:5/16/2011

Chapel Hill, NC An unusual collaboration between cell and developmental biologists and physicists at UNC-Chapel Hill is providing insights into the relationship between the physical properties of cells and the signals that influence cell behavior.

In a paper published online yesterday in the journal Nature Cell Biology, a team led by Keith Burridge, PhD, Kenan distinguished professor of cell and developmental biology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Richard Superfine, PhD, Taylor-Williams distinguished professor of physics and astronomy, demonstrates that exerting mechanical force on cells activates Rho GEF proteins through distinct signaling pathways. The Rho GEFs activate Rho proteins that are part of the RAS superfamily a class of proteins associated with cancer activity.

The cross-disciplinary team applied magnetic particles to cells and then used magnets to exert force on the cells creating extracellular tension.

"This experiment was only possible because we were able to bring together a team of physicists and cell biologists," said Burridge.

"It's very exciting because we have identified the entire pathway between the tension exerted on the cell to proteins that, in turn, activate other proteins that we know tend to be hyperactive in cancer," he added.

Scientists have long believed that the mechanical environment of cells affects their growth and properties. For example, solid tumor cells tend to have an altered stiffness. Other researchers have shown that the stiffer the cell matrix, the worse the prognosis. There is evidence that rigid tumors shed more cells, which escape the original tumor site and may lead to a greater chance of cancer spreading through metastasis.

"There has been a hypothesis that cell stiffness and tension create a vicious cycle leading to enhanced growth, more cell density, more tension, and larger tumors," said Burridge. "Innovation funding from the University Cancer Research Fund allowed us to identify the pathway and provided data that resulted in a grant renewal worth approximately $1.3 million over the next four years."

In addition to Burridge and Superfine, the research team included postdoctoral fellow Christophe Guilluy, PhD, and assistant professor Rafael Garcia-Mata, PhD, from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and graduate student Vinay Swaminathan, PhD, and assistant professor E. Timothy O'Brien, PhD, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen de Graffenreid
edegraff@med.unc.edu
919-962-3405
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Gene variation linked to infertility in women, study finds
2. School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection
3. Researchers identify DNA region linked to depression
4. Obesity linked to higher risk of prostate cancer progression
5. Agent Orange Linked to Kidney Cancer: Study
6. Gene Variant Linked to Sudden Cardiac Death Risk in Blacks
7. Lack of exercise linked to higher heart disease risk in healthy children as young as 9
8. Chronic Tylenol Use May Be Linked to Blood Cancer, Study Suggests
9. Ring Finger Length Linked to ALS, Study Suggests
10. Kids Birth Month Seems to Be Linked to Celiac Disease: Study
11. Single Gene Linked to Evolution of Human Brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Recognising that in today’s busy world consumers ... positive results in just three weeks. Setting the groundwork for a healthier lifestyle, ... into hectic work and family schedules, participants can lose up to 15lbs during ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Ron Norman, CEO ... marketers this week about the value of senior executives, pointed to a quote ... in business has brought us to the present and will lead us into ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... “Monique”: is the story of Monique, whose mother’s deteriorating physical condition forces the ... has owned four beauty salons and written a book regarding the author’s success in ... , “The doctor’s office was only three blocks away, and she could walk it, ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Trusted debt-reduction firm CreditAssociates, LLC has ... translating to in excess of $835 million in resolved debt for its clients. , ... are some of the categories of debt settled by the company. With more than ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The ... Canyon Ranch to its recently formed Corporate Roundtable, a group of individuals ... and a sustainable world. , Canyon Ranch is a unique collection of lifestyle-based ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... WASHINGTON , Sept. 8, 2017 ... Mobile MRI Unit coming to Washington DC ... When: Tuesday, September 12 th – Monday, ... to Washington, D.C. offering free MRI brain scans to the public.Where:  ... – will be parked at 501 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... Texas , Sept. 7, 2017 ... science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision ... further validate the benefits of its molecular profiling ... study utilized comprehensive genomic profiling plus (CGP+) with ... individual patient,s tumor on a molecular level, leading ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: