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Homeless cells find temporary lodging -- and their demise
Date:11/29/2007

pithelial processes, Overholtzer says. The invasion could occur when you get unequal contractile forces between two unanchored cells.

But he and Brugge havent ruled out other possibilities. Perhaps entosis represents a new type of programmed cell death that evolved for a particular purpose.

Its very difficult to know whether this is a cellular program with a normal role in development, says Brugge.

Regardless of its origins, entosis shows up in the clinic. Overholtzer collaborated with Edmund Cibas at Brigham and Womens Hospital and Stuart Schnitt at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to obtain fluid exudates (derived from the circulatory system) and primary tumor tissue from breast cancer patients. Seven of eight exudates and 11 of 20 primary breast carcinomas displayed some cell internalization.

The next step is to determine if entosis helps or hurts cancer cells.

Our first instinct is that entosis inhibits tumor progression by killing homeless cancer cells before they colonize distant sites, and were working on ways to model this, says Overholtzer. One could also imagine that entosis promotes tumor progression by providing nutrients for some cells from their neighbors, but we do not yet have evidence for this.


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Contact: Alyssa Kneller
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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