RESEARCH: New study provides insights into the behavior of tumor cells

Author: William G. Gilroy


A new study by researchers from the University of Notre Dames Department of Biological Sciences and Walther Cancer Research Center offers important insights on how tumor cells invade their surrounding environment.p. Crislyn DSouza-Schorey, the Walther Cancer Research Center Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, studied the behavior of melanoma and breast cancer cell lines. She discovered that sustained activation of the cell-signaling protein ADP-ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6) facilitates the formation of invasion-promoting structures at the adherent surface of cells, thereby significantly enhancing the invasive capacity of melanoma and breast cancer lines. Conversely, the research suggests that blocking the functioning of ARF6 reduces the cell invasive capacity of tumor cells. The study proposes that ARF6 is an important regulator of cell invasion.p. DSouza-Schoreys previous research has shown that ARF6 also plays an important role in the events that lead cancer cells to detach so they can migrate to other parts of the body. The new study documents a link between this ARF6-mediated cell signaling and other signaling pathways that regulate the process of tumor cell invasion.p. To date, DSousza-Schorey has studied the role of ARF6 through in vitro cell biological and biochemical assays. Her research will next focus on melanoma mouse models, which will offer greater insights into how the cell-signaling protein functions in humans.p. The study results appear in the June 22 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Sarah E. Tague, a former graduate student of DSouzsa-Schoreys, and Vandhana Muralidharan, a Notre Dame postdoctoral fellow, are co-authors of the study.p. _Contact: Crislyn DSouza-Schorey, 574-631-3735, _

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