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Cancer Sci. 2005 Jul;96(7):379-86.

Regulation of cancer cell motility through actin reorganization.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Japan.

Abstract

Cell migration is a critical step in tumor invasion and metastasis, and regulation of this process will lead to appropriate therapies for treating cancer. Cancer cells migrate in various ways, according to cell type and degree of differentiation. The different types of cell migration are regulated by different mechanisms. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is the primary mechanism of cell motility and is essential for most types of cell migration. Actin reorganization is regulated by Rho family small GTPases such as Rho, Rac, and Cdc42. These small GTPases transmit extracellular chemotactic signals to downstream effectors. Of these downstream effectors, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family proteins are key regulators of cell migration. Activated WASP family proteins induce the formation of protrusive membrane structures involved in cell migration and degradation of the extracellular matrix. Inhibition of Rho family small GTPase signaling suppresses the migration and invasion of cancer cells. Thus, control of cell migration via the actin cytoskeleton provides the possibility of regulating cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

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