More than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by the spread of cancer cells from their primary tumor site to other areas of the body. A new study has identified how one important gene helps cancer cells break free from the primary tumor.
Pictured are MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, stably transformed with SNAIL (right) or an empty vector control (left). Cells expressing SNAIL show an increased mesenchymal phenotype and malignant characteristics. The control cells display a cobblestone morphology, whereas cells overexpressing SNAIL are more elongated.
Credit: MgGrail, et al., FASEB 2014.
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