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Differential Depth Sensing Reduces Cancer Cell Proliferation via Rho-Rac-Regulated Invadopodia

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journal contribution
posted on 27.06.2017 by Parthiv Kant Chaudhuri, Catherine Qiurong Pan, Boon Chuan Low, Chwee Teck Lim
Bone, which is composed of a porous matrix, is one of the principal secondary locations for cancer. However, little is known about the effect of this porous microenvironment in regulating cancer cell proliferation. Here, we examine how the depth of the pores can transduce a mechanical signal and reduce the proliferation of noncancer breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A) and malignant breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) using micrometer-scale topographic features. Interestingly, cells extend actin-rich protrusions, such as invadopodia, to sense the depth of the matrix pore and activate actomyosin contractility to decrease MCF-10A proliferation. However, in MDA-MB-231, depth sensing inactivates Rho-Rac-regulated actomyosin contractility and phospho-ERK signaling. Inhibiting contractility on this porous matrix using blebbistatin further reduces MDA-MB-231 proliferation. Our findings support the notion of mechanically induced dormancy through depth sensing, where invadopodia-mediated depth sensing can inhibit the proliferation of noncancer and malignant breast cancer cells through differential regulation of actomyosin contractility.