IRB Barcelona researchers find that internal mechanism is responsible for limitless growth potential of epithelial tumours

By September 18, 2017IRB Barcelona

Researchers from the Institute of Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have found that an internal mechanism is responsible for the limitless growth potential of epithelial tumours.

The researchers, working in the Development and Growth Control Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, have identified the cell types and molecular mechanism responsible for the unlimited growth potential of epithelial tumours (carcinomas) and demonstrated that the growth of these tumours is independent of its microenvironment. “In epithelial tumours caused by chromosomal instability or loss of cell polarity, the interaction between two tumour cell populations drives malignant growth,” explains Marco Milán, ICREA Research Professor and head of the laboratory.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences (PNAS) as a cover story of its 35 Issue, the study analyzes solid tumours of epithelial origin in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. “We have induced tumour development in two ways—by generating genomic instability and the loss of cell polarity. We have validated the causal relation between these two conditions—which are frequently observed in carcinomas—and the development of tumours,” explains Mariana Muzzopappa, first author of the study and postdoctoral fellow in the Development and Growth Control Lab.

More information on the IRB Barcelona website.