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ROBO1 helps cells put up stiff resistance

A protein called ROBO1 may delay the progression of breast cancer, according to a paper published in The Journal of Cell Biology. The study, “Loss of miR-203 regulates cell shape and matrix adhesion through ROBO1/Rac/FAK in response to stiffness” by Lily Thao-Nhi Le and colleagues, identifies a signaling pathway that may protect breast cells from the tumorigenic effects of stiff extracellular matrices.

ROBO1 Activation
ROBO1 activation induces breast epithelial cells to form large cell-matrix adhesions (red). The actin cytoskeleton and DNA are labeled green and blue, respectively.
Credit: Le et al., 2016