Proteins regulate cancer cell attachment
Aggressive cancer cells are able to leave their original site and invade other tissues. In order for these cells to do this, they must have some way of moving around. This means that a cancer cell must have a very precise way of regulating when it should move forward and make contact with its outside environment. Many researchers have discovered that a significant amount of proteins are involved in regulating when a cancer cell attaches to its environment. To initiate attachment, two proteins called Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and Src Kinase activate a number of other proteins. Kinases are proteins that modify other proteins to either activate or deactivate them. In this case FAK and Src activate a number of cell attachment proteins, like Paxillin, so the cell can make contact with its external environment.
Cancer cells are able to regulate their attachment more because they typically have more activation of FAK and Src. Regular, non cancerous cells do not migrate, and therefore do not need to regulate cell attachment. There have been many methods discovered to allow researchers to study how these cells attach. Most of the techniques involve using microscopes to look at the cells. For example, one can visualize a cell attachment protein on a cell surface by staining the cell with an antibody for the protein of interest. Then, they can add a fluorescent antibody to the first antibody so that one can see the protein under a fluorescent microscope (Fig. 1). Often times, focal adhesion protein expression is altered in cancer cells. It is important for researchers to continue to study these proteins so we can come up with more drugs to stop cancer cells from migrating and spreading to other tissues.
Mazvita Maziveyi and Suresh Alahari
Department of Biochemistry, LSUHSC School of Medicine,
New Orleans, USA
Cell matrix adhesions in cancer: The proteins that form the glue.
Maziveyi M, Alahari SK
Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 20
|Making drug discovery more efficient: predicting… Drug research and development is a complex and expensive process that begins with initial screening steps of candidate chemical compounds. Compounds that appear to have the desired potency against a…|
|Kinase inhibitors and new treatments for asthma and COPD Kinases are enzymes that phosphorylate proteins, leading to their activation within cells. Over 500 kinases have now been identified in human cells and they activate many processes in the cells,…|
|A novel protein called nischarin Nischarin is a large protein that is present in the nucleus and cytoplasm of cells. So far, diseases associated with the NISCH gene include hypertension, dry mouth, morphine dependence, depression,…|
|Lessons learned from the study of non-cancerous… Meningiomas are the most common among tumors inside the skull (35.6%). The cellular origin of these tumors is the membrane that surrounds the brain, the meninges (Fig. 1) Most meningiomas…|
|Altered expression of a protein in high vs. low… Breast cancer cells start off growing in the breast and end up spreading to the lung, liver, bones and brain. This spreading to another organ is called metastasis and is…|
|Keys to unlocking human dopamine D1 receptor signal… Our body organs, such as the brain, are made of different cells that talk to each other by releasing natural chemicals outside the cells. The free chemicals then attach to…|