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Summary published in UCSF newspaper

Posted by alexmgreer on 13 Oct 2010 at 18:21 GMT

(This short summary was published in the column "UCSF Journal Club" in Synapse on 9/30/10)

The development of cancer requires multiple cell changes; for example, uncontrolled replication, inhibition of apoptosis in the face of serious genetic mutations, an ability to promote vascularization, immune cell evasion, and development of the capacity for movement and invasion. Cell movement requires a loss of adhesion to the local environment, which allows the cell to move more freely through tissues. Desmosomes are one component of ‘tight junctions’ that facilitate adherence to neighboring epithelial or muscle cells. In this paper, researchers compared the expressed genes in invasive and non-invasive pancreatic tumors and found that some components of desmosomes were expressed much less in the invasive tumors. Furthermore, they demonstrated in mice that targeted mutation of desmoplakin, a desmosome component, resulted in increased invasion of pancreatic tumors.

No competing interests declared.