Understanding the migration of cancer cells

June 22, 2008

Lamellipodia are veil-shaped protrusions of the plasma membrane, that can turn into upward-curled ruffles if they fail to adhere to the substrate. A dendritic meshwork of short and highly branched actin filaments might constitute their main structural component. The other type of protrusion, the filopodia, are finger-like and consist of parallel, long and unbranched actin filaments. Interestingly, fast-crawling cells mainly form lamellipodia/ruffles while poorly migrating or non-motile cells often show the coexistence of both lamellipodial and filopodial protrusions. These observations suggest that the lamellipodia-to-filopodia selection might regulate cell migration. Moreover, the pivotal contribution of lamellipodial and filopodial protrusions to important developmental and homeostatic processes certainly requires tight regulatory mechanisms.

Unfortunately, while the microscopic morphology, dynamic development and protein signature of both lamellipodia/ruffles and filopodia have been investigated, little is known about the mechanisms whereby cells co-ordinate these actin-based extensions. Therefore, we urgently need to better understand this basic process to ultimately increase our therapeutic intervention arsenal against the metastatic progression of cancers.

It is known that the activity of regulatory proteins for the growth of the actin cytoskeleton Arp2/3 complex along with WAVE and mDia2 produce a burst of actin polymerization required for the formation of lamellipodia/ruffles and filopodia, respectively. In the forthcoming issue of Nature Cell Biology Metello Innocenti and coworkers report that, starting from the unexpected observation that mDia2, WAVE and Arp2/3 form a complex, they discovered how filopodia extensions are generated and integrated with lamellipodia/ruffles in human cancer cells. At the molecular level, WAVE and Arp2/3 jointly promote lamellipodia/ruffles outgrowth and cell migration and at the same time inhibit mDia2-dependent filopodia formation. Moreover, emission of filopodia occurs only after the disassembly of the mDia2-WAVE-Arp2/3 complex. Thus, it is likely that suppression of filopodia by the ruffling-making machinery is needed for cancer cells to move efficiently.

Their results pave the way to a cogent molecular analysis of the interplay between lamellipodia/ruffles and filopodia in regulating both the migratory and invasive abilities of cancer cells. The researchers anticipate that new and more specific therapies to counteract cancer will be developed exploiting these exciting findings.
-end-


Goethe University Frankfurt

Related Cancer Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Cancer researchers train white blood cells to attacks tumor cells
Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) and Dresden University Medicine, together with an international team of researchers, were able to demonstrate that certain white blood cells, so-called neutrophil granulocytes, can potentially - after completing a special training program -- be utilized for the treatment of tumors.

New way to target some rapidly dividing cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Oxford say they have found a new way to kill some multiplying human breast cancer cells by selectively attacking the core of their cell division machinery.

Breast cancer cells use message-carrying vesicles to send oncogenic stimuli to normal cells
According to a Wistar study, breast cancer cells starved for oxygen send out messages that induce oncogenic changes in surrounding normal epithelial cells.

Breast cancer cells turn killer immune cells into allies
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that breast cancer cells can alter the function of immune cells known as Natural killer (NK) cells so that instead of killing the cancer cells, they facilitate their spread to other parts of the body.

Breast cancer cells can reprogram immune cells to assist in metastasis
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have uncovered a new mechanism by which invasive breast cancer cells evade the immune system to metastasize, or spread, to other areas of the body.

Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.

Drug that keeps surface receptors on cancer cells makes them more visible to immune cells
A drug that is already clinically available for the treatment of nausea and psychosis, called prochlorperazine (PCZ), inhibits the internalization of receptors on the surface of tumor cells, thereby increasing the ability of anticancer antibodies to bind to the receptors and mount more effective immune responses.

Engineered bone marrow cells slow growth of prostate and pancreatic cancer cells
In experiments with mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have slowed the growth of transplanted human prostate and pancreatic cancer cells by introducing bone marrow cells with a specific gene deletion to induce a novel immune response.

First phase i clinical trial of CRISPR-edited cells for cancer shows cells safe and durable
Following the first US test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report these patients experienced no negative side effects and that the engineered T cells persisted in their bodies -- for months.

Zika virus' key into brain cells ID'd, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells
Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule -- αvβ5 integrin -- as Zika virus' key to brain cell entry.

Read More: Cancer Cells News and Cancer Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.