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How breast cancer cells break free to spread in the body

More than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by the spread of from their site to other areas of the body. A new study has identified how one important gene helps break free from the primary tumor.

[MCF-7 Cells]
Pictured are MCF-7 human , stably transformed with (right) or an empty vector control (left). Cells expressing show an increased mesenchymal phenotype and malignant characteristics. The display a cobblestone morphology, whereas cells overexpressing are more elongated.

Credit: MgGrail, et al., FASEB 2014.

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This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under award numbers 1032527, 1411304 and DGE-0965945. Any conclusions or opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the sponsoring agency.

CITATION: Daniel J. McGrail, et al., “SNAIL-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition produces concerted biophysical changes from altered cytoskeletal gene expression.” FASEB, Published online before print December 9, 2014, doi: 10.1096/fj.14-257345

Georgia Institute of Technology