Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Events

06 Jun 2016 - 09 Jun 2016
22 Jun 2016 - 24 Jun 2016
04 Jul 2016 - 06 Jul 2016

Mechanism Discovered for Cancer Cell Metastasis

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
Print article
Image: Electron microscopy of a tumor cell (blue, green) on the way to extravasate through an alveolar endothelium blood capillary (purple, red). Tumor cell protrusions are seen forming their way through the endothelial cell (Photo courtesy of the University of Zurich.)
Image: Electron microscopy of a tumor cell (blue, green) on the way to extravasate through an alveolar endothelium blood capillary (purple, red). Tumor cell protrusions are seen forming their way through the endothelial cell (Photo courtesy of the University of Zurich.)
Image: Tumor cells (green) adhere on the endothelium (red) that becomes activated and permeable via CCL2-CCR2 signaling. Tumor cell extravasation is facilitated by recruited monocytic cells (blue). Technique: Adaptation of confocal image stacks creating an artificial surface. (Photo courtesy of the University of Zurich.)
Image: Tumor cells (green) adhere on the endothelium (red) that becomes activated and permeable via CCL2-CCR2 signaling. Tumor cell extravasation is facilitated by recruited monocytic cells (blue). Technique: Adaptation of confocal image stacks creating an artificial surface. (Photo courtesy of the University of Zurich.)
Scientists have for the first time discovered a mechanism by which cancer cells metastasize to other parts of the body, where they form the secondary tumors responsible for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths.

Until now, molecular level processes leading to the metastatic spread into certain organs have been unknown, it being unclear as to how the secondary cells are able to leave the bloodstream and enter the tissue of other organs. A European team of physiologists and neuropathologists, primarily through the University of Zurich (Switzerland), have now identified a biochemical pathway underlying the origin of metastasis formation whereby at least some, if not all, types of cancer cells metastasize out of the bloodstream. The team, led by principal investigators Dr. Lubor Borsig and Dr. Mathias Heikenwalder, demonstrated that intestinal cancer cells manipulate specific “doorman receptors” on the endothelium of the blood vessels.

Elevated levels of the chemokine CCL2 are known to be characteristic of metastasizing breast, prostate, and intestinal bowel types of cancer cells; clinically, high CCL2 values have been primarily taken as an indication of strong tumor growth and a poor prognosis. Increased CCL2 expression has also been correlated with recruitment of CCR2+Ly6Chi monocytes, CCR2 being a CCL2-activated receptor. Based on in vivo and in vitro experiments, the current study has now shown CCL2 to be far more than an indicator of the cancer’s aggressiveness – CCL2 was found to be part of a signal transduction mechanism critical in helping at least some types of cancer cells metastasize.

The study describes CCL2 upregulation in metastatic UICC stage IV colon carcinomas and demonstrates that tumor cell-derived CCL2 activates the CCR2+ endothelium and thereby leads to increased vascular permeability in vivo. CCR2 acts as a “doorman receptor” activated by CCL2. The role of the CCR2 doorman in a healthy organism is not known and has only now been detected on the endothelium for the first time. Dr. Borsig suspects that the doorman is involved in modulating the permeability of the blood vessels during the body’s immune response.

“The mechanism discovered will yield a completely new approach for the development of drugs to combat metastasis in breast, prostate, and bowel cancer,” Dr. Borsig is convinced. Suppressing the tumor’s chemokine expression or blocking the doorman specifically for the tumor chemokine to inhibit cancer cells from entering healthy tissue from the bloodstream is conceivable. “If we can succeed in preventing the cancer cells from leaving the bloodstream, the metastasis can be fought directly at the source,” concludes Dr. Borsig.

Related Links:

University of Zurich






Print article

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: A dark field photomicrograph showing the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen responsible for causing Lyme disease (Photo courtesy of the CDC).

Statins May Help Block Transmission of Lyme Disease

A recent study found that treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins reduced the number of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria in rodents, which helped to block transmission of Lyme disease. Lyme disease... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Experimental Small-Molecule Anticancer Drug Blocks RAS-binding Domains

The experimental small-molecule anticancer drug rigosertib was shown to block tumor growth by acting as an RAS-mimetic and interacting with the RAS binding domains of RAF kinases, resulting in their inability to bind to RAS, which inhibited the RAS-RAF-MEK pathway. Oncogenic activation of RAS genes due to point mutations... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Huge Modifiable Biomedical Database to Be Available on the Wikidata Site

Genome researchers are exploiting the power of the open Internet community Wikipedia database to create a comprehensive resource for geneticists, molecular biologists, and other interested life scientists. While efficiency in generating scientific data improves almost daily, applying meaningful relationships between... Read more

Business

view channel

European Biotech Agreement to Promote Antigen-Drug Conjugation Technology

Two European biotech companies have joined forces to exploit and commercialize an innovative, site-specific ADC (antigen-drug conjugate) conjugation technology. ProBioGen (Berlin, Germany), a company specializing in the development and manufacture of complex glycoproteins and Eucodis Bioscience (Vienna, Austria), a... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.