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Scientific reports

Dual role of E-cadherin in the regulation of invasive collective migration of mammary carcinoma cells.


PMID 29563585

Abstract

In this article, we explore a non-canonical form of collective cell migration, displayed by the metastatic murine mammary carcinoma cell line 4T1. We show here that in sparsely plated 4T1 cells, E-cadherin levels are moderately reduced (~50%), leading to the development of collective migration, whereby cells translocate in loose clusters, interconnected by thin membrane tethers. Knocking down E-cadherin blocked tether formation in these cells, leading to enhancement of migration rate and, at the same time, to suppression of lung metastases formation in vivo, and inhibition of infiltration into fibroblast monolayers ex vivo. These findings suggest that the moderate E-cadherin levels present in wild-type 4T1 cells play a key role in promoting cancer invasion and metastasis.

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