Accessibility navigation

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

Butler, G., Keeton, S. J., Johnson, L. J. ORCID: 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

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

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


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
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:94720
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation