Recently, Dr. Feng Lin from College of Engineering, Peking University, published a research paper entitled "Mechanical transmission enables EMT cancer cells to drive epithelioid cancer cell migration to guide tumour spheroid disaggregation" online in the journal Chinese Science: Life Science, revealing the regulating mechanism(s) of caner cells with mesenchymal-like phenotype within tumour tissue promoting epithelial cancer cell migration and invasion from the perspective of mechano-biology.
Firstly, the heterogeneous tumour spheroids mixed with epithelial and mesenchymal cancer cells were constructed using hanging drop method.
It was found that the cells with mesenchymal-like phenotype preferred to dominate in the peripheral region during tumour spheroid self-organisation.
The authors found that mesenchymal-like cells migrated out of tumour spheroids faster and guided epithelial cancer cell migration and invasion through 2D dispersion and 3D invasion assays.
This process is regulated by the enhanced contractility of tumour cells after EMT phenotypic switch, and is pertinent to the stiffness of microenvironment.
It can effectively prevent the invasion of tumour cells by inhibiting cell contraction.
The authors also found that N-cadherin on the surface of mesenchymal-like cells and E-cadherin on the surface of epithelial cells can form a heterophilic complex, which exercises the transmission function of mechanical force from mesenchymal-like cells to epithelial cells.
Inhibiting the formation of intercellular N/E-cadherin heterophilic complex significantly reduce the interaction between mesenchymal-like cells and epithelial cells and the cancer invasion.
In conclusion, this paper not only reports the key role of mechanical transmission between mesenchymal-like and epithelial cancer cells in mediating tumour cell migration and invasion, but also provides new clues and ideas for developing and tumour treatment strategy through regulating the mechanical interaction between heterogeneous cells within tumour tissue from the perspective of mechano-biology.
Source: Science China Press
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