Three dimensional growth paradigms: from architecture to invasion

One of the hallmarks of cancer is to lose grip on growth control giving rise to a plethora of phenotypes: from disordered growth to invasion of adjacent tissues. I will discuss two paradigms of normal growth mechanisms gone awry.
Cultured epithelial cells can form cysts, i.e. perfectly ordered spheroidal monolayers delimiting a single lumen. The orderly development of cysts is a process subject to mechanical constraints and depends on apico-basal polarity. I will present experimental data and modeling results on cystogenesis and on the mechanisms that lead to a disrupted architecture. Our results indicate that dynamics has an important role in leading to aberrant phenotypes.
Oftentimes, once normal architecture is disrupted, migration of tumor cells to secondary sites becomes more probable. I will describe how metastatic cancer cells in three-dimensional environments can collectively migrate as spheroids and fuse into larger and larger aggregates. I will describe a theoretical model that explains the experimental data in terms of 'chemotaxis driven aggregation'. Theoretical hypotheses are supported by experimental data pointing at an autocrine loop at the basis of such behavior.

Thu, 11/12/2014 - 14:30
Alberto Puliafito (IRCC Candiolo)
HuGeF (Sala Affrescata old building 1st floor "Aula Affrescata")