Researchers Find Gene Involved in Breast Cancer Progression

Researchers Find Gene Involved in Breast Cancer Progression
shutterstock_158445182A new study entitled “SNAIL-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition produces concerted biophysical changes from altered cytoskeletal gene expression” identified that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition changes cells' biophysical properties, imprinting a more invasive and aggressive profile, independently of cues from their surroundings. The study was published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). Cancer metastasis, defined as the spread of cancer cells to other body parts, away from the primary-tumor location, is the phenomenon responsible for the majority of cancer-associated deaths. This process requires the transition of less motile epithelial cells to elongated invasive mesenchymal cells. While some of the molecular switches responsible for the transition were already identified, in this study the authors studied the biophysical properties that allows cells to disseminate more easily. Previously, the same team of researchers found that cancer cells behave differently according to the biophysical properties of their surroundings, with some cells performing more invasively in softer tissues (the authors found this to be the cas
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