Nav: Home

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

January 19, 2018

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments - such as "soft" tissue like brain and fat, or "stiff" tissue like cartilage or bone.

The researchers removed the nucleus from cells or disconnected them from the cell's structural scaffolding known as the "cytoskeleton." They watched how the modified cells were able to move in different surfaces to better understand the role of this central cell structure in movement. Their findings from the study, published in the Journal of Cell Biology, contribute to the basic scientific understanding of the mechanical properties of the nucleus, and they also may shine more light on the role of the nucleus in diseases in which the nucleus can be disrupted or corrupted - like cancer.

"Whereas much is known about the function of the nucleus as a repository of DNA and site of gene regulation, our analysis concerns the role of the nucleus as a physical structure that is affecting cell behavior independent of gene regulation," said UNC Lineberger's Keith Burridge, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. "Our work shows that the physical presence of a cell nucleus regulates how a cell responds to the stiffness of its environment."

They found that cells without a nucleus, or in which the nucleus has been disconnected from the cells' structure, can migrate on rigid, two-dimensional structures such as a cell culture dish where scientists can grow and observe cells. However, they move more slowly on soft surfaces, and don't move at all on three-dimensional matrices. Their conclusion was that the nucleus affects how cells respond to their physical environment.

"We found that cells lacking a nucleus or with a disconnected nucleus exert less force and show decreased mechanical energy," Burridge said.

Their findings are important to the basic understanding of cell mechanics. But they could give insight into cancer and other diseases that affect the physical properties of the nucleus.

"Many cancer cells display abnormal nuclei that differ in their size, shape and mechanical properties," said the study's first author David M. Graham, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. "Consequently, although our research is at a fundamental level of cell biology, we believe it should contribute to our overall understanding of these disease situations."
-end-
In addition to Graham and Burridge, the other authors were Tomas Andersen, Lisa Sharek, Gunes Uzer, Katheryn Rothenberg, Brenton D. Hoffman, Janet Rubin, Martial Balland, and James E. Bear.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Author)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly... View Details


Anticancer: A New Way of Life
by David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD (Author)

The revolutionary, New York Times bestselling guide to the powerful lifestyle changes that fight and prevent cancer—an integrative approach based on the latest scientific research
 
“A common-sense blueprint for healthy living.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“Resonating with cancer support communities and recommended nationwide.” —Los Angeles Times
 
“Life affirming . . . filled with practical advice.” —The Seattle Times
 
David Servan-Schreiber was a rising... View Details


The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)

This new and revised edition of the IACP award-winning cookbook brings the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal, through 150 new and updated recipes.

Featuring science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss. A step-by-step guide helps patients nutritionally prepare for all phases of... View Details


Outside the Box Cancer Therapies: Alternative Therapies That Treat and Prevent Cancer
by Dr. Mark Stengler (Author), Dr. Paul Anderson (Author)

Naturopathic medical doctors Mark Stengler and Paul Anderson focus on the most critical components of Integrative Oncology Care. Using an accessible, case-history approach, they explore the different types of cancer, the causes of cancer, how proper nutrition can help prevent and treat cancer, the most well-studied supplement to use with cancer treatment, cutting-edge therapies (such as intravenous high dose vitamin C and other studied therapies), and natural solutions to common problems (such as the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation). View Details


F*ck Cancer: A totally inappropriate self-affirming adult coloring book (Totally Inappropriate Series) (Volume 4)
by Jen Meyers (Author)

*A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to support research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Because fuck cancer.

This book is for you.

If you are fighting cancer, this is for you. If your brother, sister, mom, dad, son, daughter, relative, or friend is fighting cancer, this is for you. If you've lost someone to cancer like I have, this is for you. If cancer affects your life in any way, this is for you.

The stress of cancer can feel crushing. But perhaps this book can help you get away from it all, if only for a little... View Details


The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies
by Dr. Nasha Winters ND FABNO L.Ac Dipl.OM (Author), Jess Higgins Kelley MNT (Author), Kelly Turner (Foreword)

The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cancer rates have increased exponentially―now affecting almost 50 percent of the American population. Conventional treatment continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to attack cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95 percent of cancer cases are directly linked to diet and lifestyle. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer is the book we have been waiting for―it offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that... View Details


Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
by Kelly A. Turner PhD (Author)

In her New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Dr. Kelly A. Turner, founder of the Radical Remission Project, uncovers nine factors that can lead to a spontaneous remission from cancer—even after conventional medicine has failed.

While getting her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Turner, a researcher, lecturer, and counselor in integrative oncology, was shocked to discover that no one was studying episodes of radical (or unexpected) remission—when people recover against all odds without the help of... View Details


Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition
by Greg Anderson (Author)

The ground-breaking classic guide to surviving cancer?now completely updated!

Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.

With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan... View Details


Keto for Cancer: Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy as a Targeted Nutritional Strategy
by Miriam Kalamian EdM MS CNS (Author), Thomas N. Seyfried (Foreword)

A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Practitioners

Although evidence supporting the benefits of ketogenic diet therapies continues to mount, there is little to guide those who wish to adopt this diet as a metabolic therapy for cancer. Keto for Cancer fills this need. Inspired by the work of Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD, nutritionist Miriam Kalamian has written the first book to lay out comprehensive guidelines that specifically address the many challenges associated with cancer, and particularly the deep nutritional overhaul involved with the ketogenic... View Details


50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey through Cancer
by Lynn Eib (Author)

You’ve just heard a diagnosis that shakes your world: It's cancer. And what you long for most is the hope that everything will be okay. You are not alone. As a longtime cancer survivor, Lynn Eib knows firsthand how that feels. And as a patient advocate helping thousands facing cancer, she also knows what gives people hope. In 50 Days of Hope, Lynn shares amazing, true stories of those who have been in your shoes and discovered that when God and cancer meet, hope is never far away. Whether you’re a cancer patient or walking with a loved one on a cancer journey, you’ll find 50... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Attention Please
In an age of constant information and infinite distractions, how can we pay more attention to our ... attention? This hour, TED speakers explore the battle for our awareness during the digital age. Guests include sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, podcast host Manoush Zomorodi, neuroscientist Amishi Jha, designer Tristan Harris, and computer scientist Jaron Lanier.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#475 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We're joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada's Daily Planet, to talk about his book "Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World." And we'll talk to astronomer and author Phil Plait about Science Getaways, his company that offers educational vacation experiences for science lovers.