What does hair loss have to teach us about cancer metastasis?

Understanding how cancer cells are able to metastasize — migrate from the primary tumor to distant sites in the body — and developing therapies to inhibit this process are the focus of many laboratories around the country. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have identified one mechanism that regulates signaling events leading to cell migration and metastasis. In the October 24, 2017 issue of Science Signaling, they showed that primary cilia act as a focal point to transmit growth signals. Furthermore, they identified a specific ceramide species (produced by ceramide synthase 4 [CerS4]) that disrupts the ability of cells to form this focal point.

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