Sartorius eBook - 9

THE FUTURE OF DRUG DISCOVERY: LIVE 3D CELL ANALYSIS

of invasiveness having been observed across
various types of cancer and GJ." They suggested
that their results hint at a purely physical
mechanism by which GJs can impact on cancer
progression. "A change in the water content
of cells and hence the degree of molecular
crowding, will affect a wide range of downstream
cell functions and properties ... These
mechanical changes are shown to arise from
supracellular fluid flow through gap junctions,
the suppression of which delays the transition to
MIT

an invasive phenotype ... As such, our emerging
Top: Early stage tumor; bottom: Late stage tumor.

"We found this doesn't just happen in a model
system-it's real," Guo said. "This means we may
be able to develop some treatment based on

physical picture of tumor progression now
includes 3D spatiotemporal evolution of cellular
physical properties."
Guo suggests that in the future clinicians may

the physical picture, to target cell stiffness or size

be able to look at a tumor and, based on the size

to see if that helps. If you make the cells stiffer,

and stiffness of cells from the inside out, be able

they are less likely to migrate, and that could

to say with some confidence whether a tumor

potentially delay invasion."

will metastasize or not. "If there is an established

The role of gap junctions in cancer progression

size or stiffness gradient, you can know this will

is a matter for debate, the authors pointed

cause trouble," Guo says. "If there's no gradient,

out, "with both promotion and suppression

you can maybe safely say it's fine."

GENengnews.com

|9


http://www.GENengnews.com

Sartorius eBook

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