Navigation Links
Signaling between protein, growth factor is critical for coordinated cell migration

SALT LAKE CITYThe mysterious process that orchestrates cells to move in unison to form human and animal embryos, heal wounds, and even spread cancer depends on interaction between two well-known genetic signaling pathways, two University of Utah medical school researchers have discovered.

The study by Tatjana Piotrowski, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy, and doctoral student Andy Aman sheds new light on how the migration of groups of cells is coordinated and is the first to show a functional link between the Wnt and Fgf growth factor signaling pathways in a live animal model (zebrafish). The findings may give clues to how cancer metastasizes or spreads when cancerous cells move to different areas of the body.

Cell migration, though central to the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms, is not well understood, particularly in vivo or in live models. Researchers already knew the Wnt pathway has a role in embryogenesis and cancer by regulating cell-to-cell communication and that the Fgf pathway influences embryogenesis, wound healing, and cell proliferation. But Piotrowski's and Aman's study, published in the Nov. 11 issue of Developmental Cell, is the first to demonstrate that interaction between the two pathways is critical for proper collective cell migration.

"We looked at the question of how cells in the tip and the tail of a group of migrating cells communicate so that they move in a coordinated fashion," said Piotrowski, the paper's senior author.

To identify which genes are involved in collective cell migration, Piotrowski and Aman studied a group of migrating cells, called the lateral line primordium. During development the lateral line primordium migrates from the zebrafish head to the tail tip, periodically depositing sensory organs. The lateral line sensory system helps zebrafish and other aquatic vertebrates sense water movement.

Aman and Piotrowski discovered that both Wnt and Fgf pathway genes are activated. But for proper migration, a cellular division of labor must take place: the Wnt pathway must be restricted to the primordium's tip and the Fgf pathway must be confined to the tail. If the Wnt pathway is not restricted to cells in the tip, a cellular receptor that normally senses guidance cues is turned off and primordium cells stall and tumble randomly instead of migrating directionally, according to the researchers.

To accomplish this division of labor, each pathway stimulates the production of molecular inhibitors that restrict Wnt and Fgf pathway signaling to the tip and tail, respectively. When the Fgf pathway is activated, inhibitors are produced that restrict Wnt pathway signaling to the primordium tip. Conversely, when the Wnt pathway is activated, inhibitors are produced that restrict the Fgf pathway to the tail, the researchers reported.

"Cells use many diverse molecules to communicate with one another and coordinate their behaviors," Piotrowski said. "This work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how these diverse signaling molecules interact in intact animals and may provide insights into how defects in these interactions might lead to the progression of human disease."

While understanding the signaling between the Wnt and Fgf pathways can inform researchers about cell migration during development or in the adult, it also has the potential to help them learn more about how some types of cancer spread, according to Piotrowski.

Breast and prostate cancer both invade tissue in groups of cells, for example, and several studies by other researchers indicate groups of cancer cells, like the zebrafish primordium, might be separated into compartments by the Wnt and Fgf pathways. Interestingly, a gene mutation found in 80 percent of colon cancer cases causes Wnt pathway activation in too many cells, raising the question whether defective cell migration is a cause in tumor development.

Thus, by learning more about how cells migrate during normal development, researchers can gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that contribute to metastasis and tumor development of breast and colon cancer.

"The same genes involved in lateral line cell migration can cause aberrant migration in cancer cells," Piotrowski said. "By understanding how lateral line cells migrate, we possibly can understand which genes are not properly regulated when cancer spreads."


Contact: Phil Sahm
University of Utah Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. A new relationship between brain derived neurotrophic factor and inflammatory signaling
2. New nano device detects immune system cell signaling
3. Neuroscientists show insulin receptor signaling regulates structure of brain circuits
4. Blocking signaling protein prevents prostate cancer spread, Jefferson scientists find
5. Secrets of cellular signaling shed light on new cancer stem cell therapies
6. Researchers learn how signaling molecule orchestrates breast cancers spread
7. Model offers new understanding of cell signaling
8. Signaling protein helps limit damage in heart attack, Jefferson scientists show
9. St. Jude finds signaling system that halts the growth of a childhood brain cancer
10. Scientists shed light on long-distance signaling in developing neurons
11. Cooper Clinic at Craig Ranch Opens Signaling the Next Phase of CooperLife Health-Focused Residential Community in McKinney
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today ... Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . One ... Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier members ... through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: