A group of scientists discovered that when cancer cells metastasize from one tissue to another, the key proteins in the metastasis process
Cancer today The second leading cause of death in the world, More than 90% of cancer deaths occur when metastasis occurs. Avoiding transfer will save many lives.
Cancer occurs when the programmed cell death mechanism fails and begins to divide uncontrollably. Cancer cells sometimes break away from the tumor and spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis.
The metastasis process is complicated. When cancer cells migrate, they are separated from the so-called extracellular matrix (a protein scaffold that protects it). If normal cells separate from the uterus, it will die. Instead, cancer cells can survive migration, which increases the chance of cancer spreading and metastasis.
But how do cancer cells survive during migration? A study by the University of Notre Dame studied this process and discovered the protein that caused it to survive.
Cells separated from the extracellular matrix cannot get the nutrients needed for survival. However, the researchers found that potentially metastatic cancer cells solved this problem by increasing the expression of SGK1 protein.
The SGK1 protein promotes the production of the glucose transporter GLUT1 found in the cell membrane. Due to the increase in the GLUT1 transporter in the cell membrane, the amount of glucose entering the cell from the bloodstream increases without the need for extracellular matrix. In this way, cancer cells have energy and can survive until the cancer cells attach themselves to another tissue in the body and thus metastasize.
Zachary Schafer, the principal investigator of this study, believes that understanding how potential metastatic cells survive will help treat these cancers.