Anchors away! Cancer cells are on the loose, according to experts

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Nov 29, 2016 12:57 PM EST

Pulmonary Metastases Secondary Cancer, Carcinoma. Thoracic X Ray In Front View. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)
(Photo : BSIP / Contributor)

UNSPECIFIED : The cell structure of lung tissue affected by the cancer mesothelioma, magnified from a microscope slide prepared by pathologist Dr J C Wagner. Wagner's research, and that of his colleagues, led to the identification of the causal link between exposure to blue asbestos and the lung cancer mesothelioma. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
(Photo : Science & Society Picture Library / Contributor)

Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. It can also invade or grow into other tissues, which something that normal cells cannot.

Just recently, a discovery of the growth of lung cancer cells captures the views of lung cancer experts. According to them, lung cancer cells spread like unanchored tents. It is the communication of between two proteins that triggers the tent-shaped cell to lose its shape and become unanchored.

Based on the article posted in BBC, writing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from York and the University of Texas describe how the communications center of the cell receives a signal from proteins which prompts the movement of the sacks inside it.
The movement alters the shape and surface of the cancer cell, allowing it to break free from its anchorages and move around freely.

The cancer cells resemble tent structure. "It has fixed sides to hold its shape and is firmly anchored to the ground to secure its contents," Dr. Daniel Ungar from the University of York's biology department, explain.
Dr. Ungar also added that "To move the tent, we have to rearrange the contents and collapse its sides to fit it out of its anchored position and carry it away." He also, added that it is a similar process happens with when it spreads. "Its outer edges are altered leaving it unanchored."
In relations from all of these, the cell's Golgi apparatus may also contribute in the fast-spreading the lung cancer cells in the body.

Per article posted in the Indian Express, "Our findings show that certain proteins in the Golgi that control Golgi compaction may actually promote vesicle budding and transport and enhance tumor cell's ability to metastasize", Jonathan Kurie, M.D., professor of Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in the published online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Kurie explains that the tumor cells gain their metastatic ability through Golgi-related process driving the budding and transport of secretory vesicles.

The study shows that Golgi compaction is associated with EMT or epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a process to allows a cell to detach and move away from its neighbors during wound healing and other normal process and is thought to play a role in cancer cell migration.

Likewise, results also show that with adenocarcinoma lines isolated from mice and patients, EMT depends on a Golgi protein called PAQR11 for successful tumor cell migration and metastasis in lung cancers.
Dr. Jonathan Kurie and the rest of the research team concluded that through PAQR11, tumor cells could highjack the Golgi compaction process to gain metastatic ability.

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