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Pathol Oncol Res. 1997 Sep;3(3):230-54. doi: 10.1007/BF02899927.

Tumor cell motility and metastasis : Autocrine motility factor as an example of ecto/exoenzyme cytokines.

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Departments of Immunology and Vascular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA.


Cellular locomotion plays a critical role in such normal processes as embryonic development, tissue segregation, as well as the infiltration of fibroblasts and vascular cells during wound repair and the inflammatory responses of the adult immune system. During tumor invasion and metastasis the processes of cell migration achieve dire significance. Disruption of normal homeostatic mechanisms to benefit the survival of the individual tumor cell is a common theme discovered during the characterization of factors once thought to be tumor-specific. One such molecule, tumor cell autocrine motility factor, was so described and has only recently been identified as a normal protein involved in intracellular glycolysis as well as implicated as an extracellular effector of normal cell functions including survival of certain populations of neurons. This molecule represents a member of the newly emerging family of intracellular enzymes whose disparate functions as extracellular mediators of cellular responses defines a new class of ecto/exoenzymes which play a role in normal cellular processes and are inappropriately utilized by tumor cells to elicit new survival strategies.

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