LIMK plays a key role in cancer metastasis

Sep 27, 2010

Researchers have shown that LIM kinase (LIMK), an important regulator of actin cytoskeleton dynamics, plays a key role in cancer metastasis. The study appears online on September 27 in The Journal of Cell Biology.

Cancer metastasis is a multi-stage process that starts with the invasion of tumor cells into their surrounding tissue. The ability of metastatic cells to invade requires reorganization of the actin-myosin cytoskeleton, which is controlled by a sophisticated network of signals sent between a number of cellular components.

LIMK has been shown previously to facilitate tumor invasion through its role in actin regulation. Researchers from the United Kingdom delved deeper into the role of LIMK in this process. The team showed that LIMK is specifically required for cells at the front of the invading tumor to clear a path that the remaining metastatic cells can follow. Working with and squamous cells, the team found that inhibiting LIMK function blocked the collective invasion of tumor cells, thus preventing these cells from metastasizing.

The authors propose that LIMK inhibitors might be effective in the treatment of cancers such as prostate cancer, where the presence of localized tumors might not be life threatening but mortality can result from metastasis.

Explore further: PET-CT predicts lymphoma survival better than conventional imaging

More information: Scott, R.W., et al. 2010. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.201002041

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Skeleton key for cancer metastasis

Apr 26, 2010

Cancer cells need all three of their cytoskeletons—actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments—to metastasize, according to a study published online on April 26 in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Key mechanism identified in metastatic breast cancer

May 04, 2010

Scientists at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center have identified a key molecular mechanism in breast cancer that enables tumor cells to spread to adjacent or distant parts of the body in a process called metastasis. ...

Recommended for you

Chromosome buffers hold key to better melanoma understanding

3 hours ago

Buffers that guard against damage to the ends of chromosomes could hold the key to a better understanding of malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – according to new research from the University of Leeds.

User comments : 0