Ovarian cancer is a highly metastatic malignancy and one of the leading causes of cancer death among women. In contrast to the typical metastasis route, ovarian cancer cells (OCCs) are thought to preferentially accumulate in soft tissues such as the adipocyte-rich omentum. Recent work has suggested that the metastatic potential of cancer cells is affected by matrix stiffness; e.g. breast cancer cells appear to grow better on stiff substrates. In this work (p. 2621), Michelle Dawson and co-workers investigate the hypothesis that the preferential accumulation of OCCs in soft tissue is also affected by mechanical cues by analysing the behaviour of two different cell lines with different metastatic potential on soft and stiff matrices. They find that metastatic OCCs adhere more on soft microenvironments and, after their engraftment, are more proliferative, more resistant to chemotherapeutics and also have an enhanced migratory capacity. These effects are greatly reduced in OCCs from the non-invasive cell line OVCAR-3, indicating that mechanical cues are a key factor in the spread of ovarian cancer. Interestingly, OVCAR-3 cells display larger traction forces that, however, do not vary much between soft and stiff substrates, suggesting that alteration of cell-traction forces on matrices of different rigidity is indicative of metastatic potential rather than force magnitude. Moreover, using inhibitors of the Rho/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway, which resulted in rigidity-independent motility, the authors demonstrate that mechanosensitivity of OCCs is governed through this signalling pathway. Further understanding of the mechanical cues that mediate ovarian cancer metastasis might help to develop effective strategies to target the advanced stage of the disease.
IN THIS ISSUE| 15 June 2014
Mechanical cues in metastatic ovarian cancer cells
Online Issn: 1477-9137
Print Issn: 0021-9533
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
J Cell Sci (2014) 127 (12): e1201.
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Mechanical cues in metastatic ovarian cancer cells. J Cell Sci 15 June 2014; 127 (12): e1201. doi:
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