12th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
Aug 30 - Sept 1, 2021
Invited Talk
Weakening the actin cortex promotes formation of microtentacles in noncancer cells
Lucina Kainka1, M. Reza Shaebani1, Daniel Bahr2, Daniel A. D. Flormann1, Ludger Santen2,3, Franziska Lautenschläger1,3
1Department of Experimental Physics, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
2Department of Theoretical Physics, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
3Center for Biophysics, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
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Circulating tumor cells have crucial roles in the spread of tumors during metastasis formation. Microtentacles are microtubule-based membrane protrusions generated in circulating tumor cells. Microtentacles facilitate aggregation of these cells, and their adhesion to vessel walls and exit from the bloodstream. Understanding the mechanisms of microtentacle formation is crucial to unravel the conditions that initiate metastasis formation and to improve cancer treatments. In my talk I show that (and how) microtentacles can be generated in noncancer cells in suspension by weakening the actin cortex against the force of growing microtubules. We particuarly analyzed the structure of the actin cortex and quantified number and length of the generated microtentacles. To demonstrate the dynamics of microtubule-based protrusions against soft barriers we developed a stochastic model for growth of microtubules with length-dependent dynamics at their tips. This allows prediction of the influence of barrier stiffness on the microtentacle length distribution.
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