7th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
October 4-6, 2016
Invited Talk
Effect of Hyaluronic Acid on Mechanoresponse of Cancer Cells
Paul A. Janmey
University of Pennsylvania, IME & Department of Physiology 1010 Vagelos Research Labs, 3340 Smith Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104-6393, U.S.A.
Contact:  | Website
Changes in cancer cell phenotype in response to the mechanical properties of their substrate are well-documented, but also highly dependent on the chemistry of the cell-matrix adhesion site. They also vary strongly between different cell types. By studying the response of 30 different human cancer cell lines to seven different substrates, certain patterns of mechanical response emerge. Different cell lines derived from human breast and colorectal cancers respond strongly to changes in substrate stiffness, but often very differently when they are bound to collagen-coated surfaces compared to fibronectin-coated surfaces. In contrast, cells derived from prostate and pancreatic tumors appear to have diminished response to the mechanical features of their substrate. Perhaps most striking is the response of the cell lines to substrates that contain both an integrin ligand and hyaluronic acid, a common extracellular matrix polymer that is often upregulated in cancer. Even very soft (200 Pa) substrates made from a cross-linked network of hyaluronic acid linked to an integrin ligand can stimulate many cancer cell types to spread, locomote and proliferate much more than they do on equally soft polyacrylamide gels coated with the same ligand, and often as much as they do on very stiff substrates or glass.
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