Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Discovered a Mechanism that Induces Migration of Tumor Cells in Liver Cancer

Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Coordinated overactivation of TGFb and CXCR4 signaling pathways confer migratory properties to the hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Researchers from the Biological clues of the invasive and metastatic phenotype group of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) led by Isabel Fabregat have discovered the relationship between the TGFb signalling pathways and CXCR4 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) . The cytokine TGFb is dependent of CXCR4 to induce tumor cell migratory ability.

The results of the study are published in the online edition of the journal Hepatology.

Dual function of TGFb

TGFb is a cytokine which in normal conditions and in very early stages of tumorigenesis acts as a tumor suppressor and that inhibits growth and induces cell death. However, as the tumor progresses, the cells acquire mutations or epigenetic alterations that allow them to overcome the suppressive effect of TGFb and respond to this cytokine acquiring a mesenchymal phenotype cells that confers them an increased migratory capacity , very important phenomenon in the tumor metastasis.

"Recently," explained Isabel Fabregat "several research groups are working on finding drugs that inhibit TGFb pathway. But it is important to establish parameters that allow us to predict whether a tumor will respond to TGFb inhibition so as to control tumor progression or whether on the contrary the answer is tumor growth. "

TGFb and CXCR4 relationship
In this regard, the study results show that some cell lines of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have overactivated TGFb pathway (by increasing the production of this factor) and always correlate with greater capacity cell migration. An important aspect of the study was the demonstration that this ability depends on another pathway:  CXCR4 protein whose expression is dependent on TGFb. The researchers found that inhibition of CXCR4 blocks TGFb induced migration in tumor cells.

In vitro results were confirmed both in mouse models and in human samples from HCC. "When we analyzed CXCR4 levels in tissues of patients” explained Fabregat "we observed that high levels of this protein correlate always with overactivation of the TGFb pathway and, most interestingly, these patients had a tumor cell phenotype less differentiated, and potentially more aggressive . Moreover, CXCR4 was located preferentially in the areas of tumor invasion.”

 Future clinical application

 "At clinical level," explains the researcher "we believe that patients that reveal an overactivation of TGFb coincident with high expression of CXCR4 in tumor invasion fronts, may be candidates for TGFb inhibitory potential therapies.”

This study was conducted in collaboration with Emilio Ramos of liver surgery unit and Teresa Serrano pathology unit of the University Hospital of Bellvitge. "Our group performs a very basic research but through collaboration with clinicians have a more translational aspect because we can corroborate our results not only in animal models but also in human samples and study whether they can have an impact at the clinical level” said the researcher.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,700+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Keeping Growth in Check
Ribosomal proteins RPL5 and RPL11 play an essential role in normal cell proliferation.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Key Role of a Protein in the Segregation of Genetic Material During Cell Division
Researchers at IDIBELL have reported an article which delves into the regulator mechanisms of mitosis.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Researchers Discover the Genetic Signature of Highly Aggressive Small Lung Tumors
A study conducted by the IDIBELL allows to identify this type of cancer at an early stage and adapt the treatment.
Thursday, October 03, 2013
Discovered Epigenetic Alterations in the Brain of Alzheimer's Patients
Alzheimer disease is becoming a major health problem in Western societies, exacerbated by the progressive aging of the population.
Monday, September 16, 2013
High Levels of RANK Protein Interferes with the Differentiation of Mammary Cells
Levels of this protein increase with age, which could explain the increase in breast cancer risk associated with age.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations
Establishing what differentiates us from our neighbors, our friends or strangers from distant countries.
Monday, August 05, 2013
Discovered a Future Therapeutic Target for Lung Cancer Treatment
One of the goals of research in cancer genetics and molecular biology is to get an "on demand" treatment, with maximum effect and minimal toxicity.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Brain Epigenome Changes from Birth to Adolescence
Experience of parents with their children and teachers with their students demonstrate how kids change their behaviours and knowledge from childhood to adolescence.
Friday, July 05, 2013
Discovered the Role of Noncoding 5S rRNA in Protecting the p53 Tumor Suppressor Gene
Over 50% of tumors are associated with mutations in p53.
Thursday, July 04, 2013
A Gene Conserved from Worms to Humans Opens the Door to new Therapeutics
Gene shows promising therapeutic strategies in cancer and in some types of blindness.
Friday, June 21, 2013
An Epigenetic Change Causes the Block of Antitumor Genes
Healthy cells live in a delicate balance between growth-promoting genes (oncogenes) and those who restrain it (anti-oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes).
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Identified a Key Protein in Maintaining the Identity of B Lymphocytes
This finding could be useful for the study of blood diseases such as lymphoma and leukemia.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Found in Amish a Genetic Mutation Causing Mental Retardation Very Similar to Angelman Syndrome
It is the first time that associates a mutation in HERC2 with human disease.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Epigenetic Mechanism through which Protein SirT2 Regulates Cell Cycle Progression and Genomic Stability
The study of IDIBELL researchers confirms antitumor properties of sirtuin 2.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Manel Esteller, ''if the Alphabet is Genetics, Spelling is Epigenetics''
Why don’t identical twins have the same disease at the same time? Why do two cats who share the same DNA have different spots? The answer is in epigenetics.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Scientific News
Removing 62 Barriers to Pig–to–Human Organ Transplant in One Fell Swoop
The largest number of simultaneous gene edits ever accomplished in the genome could help bridge the gap between organ transplant scarcity and the countless patients who need them.
UC San Diego Team Up with Illumina to Speed-Read Your Microbiome
Data analysis app accelerates studies aimed at using microbes to predict, diagnose and treat human diseases.
Paving the Way for Diamonds to Trace Early Cancers
Researchers from the University of Sydney reveal how nanoscale 'diamonds' can light up early-stage cancers in MRI scans.
Researchers Develop Classification Model for Cancers Caused by KRAS
Most frequently mutated cancer gene help oncologists choose more effective cancer therapies.
Chromosomal Chaos
Penn study forms basis for future precision medicine approaches for Sezary syndrome
Shaking Up the Foundations of Epigenetics
Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the University of Barcelona (UB) published a study that challenges some of the current beliefs about epigenetics.
Genetic Defences of Bacteria Don’t Aid Antibiotic Resistance
Genetic responses to the stresses caused by antibiotics don’t help bacteria to evolve a resistance to the medications, according to a new study by Oxford University researchers.
Tolerant Immune System Increases Cancer Risk
Researchers have found that individuals with high immunoCRIT ratios may have an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
Developing a Gel that Mimics Human Breast for Cancer Research
Scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham have been funded to develop a gel that will match many of the biological structures of human breast tissue, to advance cancer research and reduce animal testing.
Lung Repair and Regeneration Gene Discovered
New role for hedgehog gene offers better understanding of lung disease.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,700+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos