Cell migration

Treating invasive cancers

Autumn 2012

£52,746 to the School of Biological Sciences, UEA.

Invasive cancer is cancer that spreads to the surrounding tissues.  One of the early stages in this process is the transition of cells from layers in which the cells are tightly packed, to a tissue containing loosely associated cells that are free to move.  A major factor in this transition is the reorganisation and reduction in stability of small structures inside the cell called microtubules.  This has made microtubules attractive targets for research aimed at limiting the spread of cancer.

A group of proteins called EBs associate with microtubules, affecting their stability and organisation; research has shown increased levels of the protein EB2 in invasive pancreatic cancers.  This grant will fund a year-long study into the role of EB2 in tissue organisation and cell migration.  It will also try reducing levels of EB2 in highly invasive cancers to investigate whether this can restore tissue integrity and stop cell movement between tissues.


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