Nav: Home

Competition for space: Oncogenic mutant cells vs normal cells

June 19, 2018

Cells in multicellular tissues adhere to each other. Epithelial tissues on the surface layer of the intestines and skin pack cells into a hexagonal (honeycomb) pattern, with cells adhering tightly to the six cells adjacent to them (Fig. 1). The whole tissue can be represented as a network, and body function is maintained by keeping this basic adhesion network intact.

During the initial stage of tumor progression, oncogenic mutant cells (precancer cells) and normal cells compete for space in the adhesion network of normal tissues. However, how oncogenic mutant cells selectively occupy the space had not been understood. It was thought that oncogenic mutant cells multiplied via cell division faster than normal cells, but this was not verified.

A group of researchers led by Koichi Fujimoto at Osaka University analyzed the state of oncogenic mutant cells present in normal multicellular tissues based on prediction by computer simulation and experimental verification.

Contrary to expectations, only oncogenic mutant cells selectively expanded their area without cell division after the death of normal cells, occupying the space lost by apoptosis (Fig. 2). In addition, oncogenic cells expanded through rearrangement of the honeycomb packing pattern in favor of the expansion of oncogenic mutant cells. Following the repeated removal of normal cells and rearrangement of adjacent cells, tissues consisting of a few hundreds of cells turned into oncogenic mutant cells within a few hours (Fig. 3). These results were published in Current Biology.

Lead author Alice Tsuboi said, "In simulations used in this study, modeling is developed based on shape analogies between cells of a multicellular tissue and soap bubbles (polygons). Cells and bubbles are composed of different molecules, but they share the ability to produce physical properties such as surface tension. By incorporating biological knowledge into simulations, we were able to predict new phenomena and mechanisms."

This group's achievements will promote an understanding of the initial stage of tumor progression in which oncogenic mutant cells spread to normal tissues and cause cancer. In addition, research on multicellular tissues based on prediction via a combination of computer simulation and experimental verification will find wide application, ranging from normal development of living organisms to the development of diseases.
-end-
A related movie can be shown at the following link. https://www.cell.com/cms/attachment/2119340573/2092433110/mmc2.mp4

Osaka University was founded in 1931 as one of the seven imperial universities of Japan and now has expanded to one of Japan's leading comprehensive universities. The University has now embarked on open research revolution from a position as Japan's most innovative university and among the most innovative institutions in the world according to Reuters 2015 Top 100 Innovative Universities and the Nature Index Innovation 2017. The university's ability to innovate from the stage of fundamental research through the creation of useful technology with economic impact stems from its broad disciplinary spectrum.

Website: http://resou.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/top

Osaka University

Related Cell Division Articles:

Targeting cell division in pancreatic cancer
Study provides new evidence of synergistic effects of drugs that inhibit cell division and support for further clinical trials.
Scientists gain new insights into the mechanisms of cell division
Mitosis is the process by which the genetic information encoded on chromosomes is equally distributed to two daughter cells, a fundamental feature of all life on earth.
Cell division at high speed
When two proteins work together, this worsens the prognosis for lung cancer patients: their chances of survival are particularly poor in this case.
Cell biology: The complexity of division by two
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have identified a novel protein that plays a crucial role in the formation of the mitotic spindle, which is essential for correct segregation of a full set of chromosomes to each daughter cell during cell division.
Better together: Mitochondrial fusion supports cell division
New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that when cells divide rapidly, their mitochondria are fused together.
Seeing is believing: Monitoring real time changes during cell division
Scientist have cast new light on the behaviour of tiny hair-like structures called cilia found on almost every cell in the body.
Exhaustive analysis reveals cell division's inner timing mechanisms
After exploring every possible correlation, researchers shed new light on a long-standing question about what triggers cell division.
Molecular guardians monitor chromosomes during cell division
One of the worst things that can happen to a cell is to end up with the wrong number of chromosomes.
First interactive model of human cell division
Mitosis -- how one cell divides and becomes two -- is one of the fundamental processes of life.
Unlocking the secrets of cell division in cancer
Scientists at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina have found that some cells can divide without a molecule that was previously thought necessary.
More Cell Division News and Cell Division Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.