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Breast cancer cell migration dynamics

Monday, October 24, 2011 — Poster Session I

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center




  • V Vehdam
  • M Weiger
  • C Stuelten
  • M Herrera
  • W Losert
  • C Parent


During cancer progression, the process of metastasis includes alterations in migratory potential and phenotype of cancer cells. We are interested in assessing the impact of activated receptor tyrosine kinase and G-protein coupled receptor signaling on the migratory abilities of breast cancer cell lines as they become progressively metastatic. We use a migration assay in which a cell monolayer is allowed to migrate into open space under EGF or LPA stimulation. We then analyzed the observed migration behaviors using particle image velocimetry analysis to quantify the average velocity and directionality of the cell sheet. We find that unstimulated normal breast epithelial cells and early tumor cells exhibit directional and collective sheet migration while metastatic cells exhibit single-cell and random migration. In response to uniform EGF stimulation, both early tumor cells and metastatic cells show an increase in migration speed, yet, their modes of migration remain unchanged. In contrast, the more metastatic cells exhibit noncohesive, single-cell migration that appears undirected and random. Interestingly, some metastatic cells treated with a uniform dose of LPA appear to revert to a more sheet-like migration. We are currently investigating whether more metastatic cells have a greater capacity to move invasively toward a chemoattractant gradient.

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