Illuminating the metastatic process.
ABSTRACT Until recently most studies of metastasis only measured the end point of the process--macroscopic metastases. Although these studies have provided much useful information, the details of the metastatic process remain somewhat mysterious owing to difficulties in studying cell behaviour with high spatial and temporal resolution in vivo. The use of luminescent and fluorescent proteins and developments in optical imaging technology have enabled the direct observation of cancer cells spreading from their site of origin and arriving at secondary sites. This Review will describe recent advances in our understanding of the different steps of metastasis gained from cellular resolution imaging, and how these techniques can be used in preclinical drug evaluation.
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ABSTRACT: For collective invasion, cancer cells form cohesive groups comprised of leading cells (LCs) at the forefront and following cells (FCs) at the rear. However, the molecular mechanisms that define LCs and FCs remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that LCs, but not FCs, upregulated the expression of integrin β1 after the loss of intercellular adhesion. The LC-specific expression of integrin β1 was posttranscriptionally regulated by the TRIM27/MRTF-B complex in response to the loss of intercellular adhesion, thereby regulating the stability and translation of integrin β1 mRNA via microRNA-124 in LCs. Accordingly, depletion of TRIM27 and MRTF-B abrogated the upregulation of integrin β1 in LCs and blocked the invasion of cancer cell groups in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, our findings revealed that the specific function of LCs was defined by intrinsic mechanisms related to the presence of the cell's free surface, providing insights into the regulation of intratumor heterogeneity.Cell Reports 04/2014; 7(4). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.03.068 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Metastasis is the main cause of prostate cancer-associated deaths. While significant progress has been made in the treatment of primary tumors, efficient therapies that target the metastatic spread of prostate cancer are far from clinical reality. To efficiently treat cancer we need be able to impede its spread. Unfortunately, the majority of current therapeutics approved to treat metastatic cancer were originally selected based on their ability to inhibit primary tumor growth. This inherent flaw precludes these therapies from efficiently targeting the development of secondary metastatic lesions, a process that is distinct from that of primary tumor progression. In this review we will summarize the conceptual, cellular and molecular targets that should be considered to design effective anti-metastatic therapies.
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ABSTRACT: The role of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is well established in brain, where its absence leads to the fragile X syndrome (FXS). FMRP is almost ubiquitously expressed, suggesting that, in addition to its effects in brain, it may have fundamental roles in other organs. There is evidence that FMRP expression can be linked to cancer. FMR1 mRNA, encoding FMRP, is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. A decreased risk of cancer has been reported in patients with FXS while a patient-case with FXS showed an unusual decrease of tumour brain invasiveness. However, a role for FMRP in regulating cancer biology, if any, remains unknown. We show here that FMRP and FMR1 mRNA levels correlate with prognostic indicators of aggressive breast cancer, lung metastases probability and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). We establish that FMRP overexpression in murine breast primary tumours enhances lung metastasis while its reduction has the opposite effect regulating cell spreading and invasion. FMRP binds mRNAs involved in epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion including E-cadherin and Vimentin mRNAs, hallmarks of EMT and cancer progression.EMBO Molecular Medicine 10/2013; 5(10):1523-1536. DOI:10.1002/emmm.201302847 · 8.25 Impact Factor