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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 3;7:39498. doi: 10.1038/srep39498.

Local alignment vectors reveal cancer cell-induced ECM fiber remodeling dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
2
Cancer Biology Graduate Program, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
3
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
4
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

Invasive cancer cells interact with the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), remodeling ECM fiber network structure by condensing, degrading, and aligning these fibers. We developed a novel local alignment vector analysis method to quantitatively measure collagen fiber alignment as a vector field using Circular Statistics. This method was applied to human non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines, embedded as spheroids in a collagen gel. Collagen remodeling was monitored using second harmonic generation imaging under normal conditions and when the LKB1-MARK1 pathway was disrupted through RNAi-based approaches. The results showed that inhibiting LKB1 or MARK1 in NSCLC increases the collagen fiber alignment and captures outward alignment vectors from the tumor spheroid, corresponding to high invasiveness of LKB1 mutant cancer cells. With time-lapse imaging of ECM micro-fiber morphology, the local alignment vector can measure the dynamic signature of invasive cancer cell activity and cell-migration-induced ECM and collagen remodeling and realigning dynamics.

PMID:
28045069
PMCID:
PMC5206731
DOI:
10.1038/srep39498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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