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Cancer cell mechanics

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jurij Kotar.

Metastasis of carcinomas starts with the dissemination of individual cancer cells to other tissues and organs. Although secretion of proteolytic enzymes appears to be involved in the invasive spreading of carcinomas, its inhibition is not sufficient to stop cancer cell motility. Thus, cells have to employ additional mechanisms for migration through tissue channels. These processes include the modulation of cell shape and elasticity which is regulated by the cytoskeleton. Among the three filament systems of the cytoskeleton – microfilaments (actin), microtubules, intermediate filaments (iF) – the iF system is the least understood. Whereas actin and microtubules are required for cell survival, several iF knock-out mice have an almost normal phenotype under resting conditions. However, when cells from these models are exposed to mechanical stress they show a clearly distinct behaviour in comparison to wild type cells. In cancer, expression of iF proteins was found to be altered and correlates with the survival of patients. This presentation will discuss the link between iF expression, iF network architecture, cell mechanics and cancer cell motility.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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