Cancer cell metastasis; perspectives from the focal adhesion

Lefteris C Zacharia, Vasiliki Gkretsi


In almost all cancers, most patients die from metastatic disease and not from the actual primary tumor. That is why addressing the problem of metastasis is of utmost importance for the successful treatment and improved survival of cancer patients. Metastasis is a complex process that ultimately leads to cancer cells spreading from the tumor to distant sites of the body. During this process, cancer cells tend to lose contact with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and neighboring cells within the primary tumor, and are thus able to invade surrounding tissues. Hence, ECM, and the ECM-associated adhesion proteins play a critical role in the metastatic process. This review will focus on recent literature regarding interesting and novel molecules at the cell-ECM adhesion sites, namely migfilin, mitogen-inducible gene-2 (Mig-2) and Ras suppressor-1 (RSU-1), that are also critically involved in cancer cell metastasis, emphasizing on data from experiments performed in vitro in breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines as well as human breast cancer tissue samples.


Apoptosis; Breast Cancer; Cell-matrix Adhesions; Fascin-1; Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Invasion; Metastasis; Migfilin; Pinch-1; PUMA; Ras Suppressor-1; VASP

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