Changes in cellular attachment associated with metastasis in breast cancer
This work developed models of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) progression from clones of established breast cancer cell lines and correlated the behaviors to the expression and activation of cell attachment pathway proteins. For carcinomas the initial EMT is critical in the formation of a mobile population of cells potentially capable of establishing metastases. This transition step requires the change in expression and regulation of a host of proteins. These cells normally have very specific attachment to the neighboring cells that determine the tissue architecture. By selecting subclones of established breast cancer cell lines that have gained mesenchymal characteristics, we will have model systems that permit comparisons between the original epithelial state and the potentially more invasive state. Proteins such as the cadherins, integrins and integrin-linked kinase have been shown to play a role in EMT in systems where the expression is manipulated. This study expanded on this by looking at the proteins' expression and activity in cells that have spontaneously, or in response to various extracellular matrices, made the EMT.
My work over the years has covered many topics from muscle development to cancers. Most of my work has involved fertility and cancers. A listing of recent papers and conference proceedings with students can be found here. A more complete listing of my bibliography is available at the NCBI link.
Recent student projects I have directed are listed in our Cellular and Molecular Biology pages. Many of these have links to posters completed by the students. You can find them at Rossi Lab Student Research.