Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 22;8(10):e78468. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078468. eCollection 2013.

Contribution of soft substrates to malignancy and tumor suppression during colon cancer cell division.

Author information

  • 1Inserm UMR 1121, Strasbourg, France ; Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire, Strasbourg, France ; Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle, Strasbourg, France.


In colon cancer, a highly aggressive disease, progression through the malignant sequence is accompanied by increasingly numerous chromosomal rearrangements. To colonize target organs, invasive cells cross several tissues of various elastic moduli. Whether soft tissue increases malignancy or in contrast limits invasive colon cell spreading remains an open question. Using polyelectrolyte multilayer films mimicking microenvironments of various elastic moduli, we revealed that human SW480 colon cancer cells displayed increasing frequency in chromosomal segregation abnormalities when cultured on substrates with decreasing stiffness. Our results show that, although decreasing stiffness correlates with increased cell lethality, a significant proportion of SW480 cancer cells did escape from the very soft substrates, even when bearing abnormal chromosome segregation, achieve mitosis and undergo a new cycle of replication in contrast to human colonic HCoEpiC cells which died on soft substrates. This observation opens the possibility that the ability of cancer cells to overcome defects in chromosome segregation on very soft substrates could contribute to increasing chromosomal rearrangements and tumor cell aggressiveness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk