c-Met Signals to Intracellular Rac to Promote Breast Cancer Metastasis
The study – published in the journal Nature Communications and led by QMUL's Barts Cancer Institute – investigated the role of a molecule called 'c-Met' which is present in almost a third of breast cancer patients and is known to make breast cancer cells move, and therefore spread, around the body. This process is known as metastasis and is a major cause of treatment failure and cancer death.
When looking at aggressive breast cancer cells, the researchers found that c-Met acted differently to normal and 'switched on' another important molecule (known as 'Rac'), from a specific location inside the cell, instead of from the cell surface, as previously thought. This signalling inside the cell is necessary to trigger the cancer cells movement.