CANCER BIOLOGY

Have cancer stem cells MET their match?

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Science  04 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6277, pp. 1038-1040
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6277.1038-q

Solid tumors have been hypothesized to contain a subset of highly aggressive cells that fuel tumor growth and metastasis. The search is on for drugs that selectively kill or diminish the malignant properties of these tumor-initiating cells (TICs; previously called “cancer stem cells”). Pattabiraman et al. hypothesized that compounds that induce TICs to undergo a phenotypic change called the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) would therefore cause TICs to lose their tumor-initiating ability. Indeed, drugs activating the protein kinase A signaling pathway triggered an epigenetic reprogramming of TICs that resulted in the cells acquiring a more benign epithelial-like phenotype.

Science, this issue p. 10.1126/science.aad3680

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