Discovery Sheds New Light on How Cancer Cells Infect Healthy Tissue
December 13, 2010 5:53 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: McGill University)
Researchers discover non-adhesive protein that allows cancer cells to infect healthy tissue
Researchers at the
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University
have discovered how tumor cells infect healthy tissue, which is a breakthrough that can help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
Dr. Deborah Maret, lead author of the study and research associate at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University, along with Dr. David Colman, co-author of the study and director at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, co-author of the study and director of The Brain Tumour Research Centre, have found that a certain protein which "glues" cells together has a non-adhesive version of itself that exists on tumor cells,
allowing cancer cells to break apart
and spread to healthy tissue.
These certain proteins are called cadherins, and they reside on the surface of cells. They bind cells together, kind of like glue, in order to hold tissue structures together properly. Prior to this study, it was not clear what happened to cells and the adhesive cadherins in tumor growth and metastases.
"We were concerned that previous research showed that N-cadherin, an adhesive molecule, was important for both normal tissue organization, as well as tumor metastases," said Colman. "We therefore decided to further investigate this apparent paradox."
What they found was a non-adhesive version of N-cadherin, which is called proNcad. It exists only on tumor cells, but is seen in much higher numbers on the more aggressive melanoma, brain tumor cells,
and prostate tumor cells.
"It appears that although total N-cadherin levels remain constant, the higher levels of the non-adhesive proNcad promote detachment,
tumor cell migration
and invasion," said Maret. "This supports an overall conclusion that non-adhesive [proNcad] and adhesive [Ncad] forms of cadherins co-exist on tumor cell surfaces, but it is the ratio between these functionally opposite molecules that directly dictates the invasion potential of tumor cells."
N-cadherin is not a new discovery, but because the differences between Ncad and proNcad are so minuscule, previous studies on the matter just assumed all Ncad's on tumor cell surfaces were adhesive. This latest study from the researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital is unique because it has recognized that there are non-adhesive cadherins as well, which allows tumor cells to detach from other cells and infect healthy tissue.
The next step in this research is to measure the ratios of proNcad and Ncad on cell surfaces, which could help researchers develop diagnostic tools that can help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
"As a brain tumor surgeon, I know that stopping cancer cells from migrating is critical for patient survival," said Del Maestro. "We are determined to improve
for patients. We have already introduced new neurosurgical methods and technologies that are unique in North America and are spearheading multidisciplinary initiatives to advance brain tumor research."
was published in the journal
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Way to go!
Dr of crap
Dr of crap
12/14/2010 9:08:40 AM
I know we don't give any high fives on this web site, but if this could, and I don't know so don't put me down, stop the spread and possibly reduce cancer growth - Way to go!!
12/14/2010 5:31:18 PM
This is big. I've done a bit of oncological research in my day, and I can tell you the biggest problem has been finding a single identifiable antigen that cancer cells possess, so researchers have something specific to target. You'd be surprised how ambiguous aberrant glycocalyx expression is. This has huge potential.
You hear that kiddies?
12/14/2010 5:17:19 AM
Eat your paste. :P
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
New Tissue-imaging Technique Faster, More Accurate than Biopsies
November 29, 2010, 7:08 AM
Researchers Kill Cancerous Tissue with Hyperthermia
November 23, 2010, 1:53 PM
New Portable, Radio Frequency Scanner Detects Breast Cancer in Seconds
October 27, 2010, 11:39 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Cell Phone Thief Calls 911 After Her Victim Chases Her and Her Male Cohort
August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM
Smarter Wired, Wireless Chargers Set to Shake Up Mobile Industry
August 14, 2014, 6:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information