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Cancers arise owing to the accumulation of mutations in critical genes that alter normal programmes of cell proliferation, differentiation and death. As the first stage of a systematic genome-wide screen for these genes, we have prioritized for analysis signalling pathways in which at least one gene is mutated in human cancer. The RAS RAF MEK ERK MAP kinase(More)
Collective cell migration occurs in a range of contexts: cancer cells frequently invade in cohorts while retaining cell-cell junctions. Here we show that collective invasion by cancer cells depends on decreasing actomyosin contractility at sites of cell-cell contact. When actomyosin is not downregulated at cell-cell contacts, migrating cells lose cohesion.(More)
Intravital imaging of BRAF-mutant melanoma cells containing an ERK/MAPK biosensor reveals how the tumor microenvironment affects response to BRAF inhibition by PLX4720. Initially, melanoma cells respond to PLX4720, but rapid reactivation of ERK/MAPK is observed in areas of high stromal density. This is linked to "paradoxical" activation of(More)
To investigate the contribution that ERK/mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling makes to cell cycle progression and gene expression, we have constructed cell lines to express an inducible version of activated MEK1. Using these cells, we show that activation of MEK leads to the expression of Fra-1 and Fra-2 but not c-Fos. Treatment of Ras-transformed(More)
Here we use intravital imaging to demonstrate a reversible transition to a motile state as breast cancer cells spread. Imaging primary tumours revealed heterogeneity in cell morphology and motility. Two distinct modes of motility were observed: collective and single-celled. By monitoring the localization of Smad2 and the activity of a TGFbeta-dependent(More)
To learn more about cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), we have isolated fibroblasts from different stages of breast cancer progression and analysed their function and gene expression. These analyses reveal that activation of the YAP transcription factor is a signature feature of CAFs. YAP function is required for CAFs to promote matrix stiffening, cancer(More)
LIM kinases 1 and 2 (LIMK1/2) are centrally positioned regulators of actin cytoskeleton dynamics. Using siRNA-mediated knockdown or a novel small molecule inhibitor, we show LIMK is required for path generation by leading tumor cells and nontumor stromal cells during collective tumor cell invasion. LIMK inhibition lowers cofilin phosphorylation, F-actin(More)
BACKGROUND Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases (or extracellular signal regulated kinases; Erks) and stress-activated protein (SAP) kinases mediate cellular responses to a wide variety of signals. In the Erk MAP kinase pathway, activation of MAP kinases takes place in the cytoplasm and the activated enzyme moves to the nucleus. This translocation to the(More)
Most cancer patients die of metastatic or recurrent disease, hence the importance to identify target genes upregulated in these lesions. Although a variety of gene signatures associated with metastasis or poor prognosis have been identified in various cancer types, it remains a critical problem to identify key genes as candidate therapeutic targets in(More)
Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent pro-inflammatory phospholipid that activates cells involved in inflammation. The biological activity of PAF depends on its structural features, namely an ether linkage at the sn-1 position and an acetate group at the sn-2 position. The actions of PAF are abolished by hydrolysis of the acetyl residue, a reaction(More)