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A phenotypic switch in the dispersal strategy of breast cancer cells selected for metastatic colonization

Butler, G., Keeton, S. J., Johnson, L. J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0006-1511 and Dash, P. R. (2020) A phenotypic switch in the dispersal strategy of breast cancer cells selected for metastatic colonization. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1940). ISSN 0962-8452

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2523

Abstract/Summary

An important question in cancer evolution concerns which traits make a cell likely to successfully metastasize. Cell motility phenotypes, mediated by cell shape change, are strong candidates. We experimentally evolved breast cancer cells in vitro for metastatic capability, using selective regimes designed to simulate stages of metastasis, then quantified their motility behaviours using computer vision. All evolved lines showed changes to motility phenotypes, and we have identified a previously unknown density-dependent motility phenotype only seen in cells selected for colonization of decellularized lung tissue. These cells increase their rate of morphological change with an increase in migration speed when local cell density is high. However, when the local cell density is low, we find the opposite relationship: the rate of morphological change decreases with an increase in migration speed. Neither the ancestral population, nor cells selected for their ability to escape or invade extracellular matrix-like environments, displays this dynamic behavioural switch. Our results suggest that cells capable of distant-site colonization may be characterized by dynamic morphological phenotypes and the capacity to respond to the local social environment.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:94720
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing

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