by Keyword: wetting transition

Blauth, Eliane, Grosser, Steffen, Sauer, Frank, Merkel, Mario, Kubitschke, Hans, Warmt, Enrico, Morawetz, Erik W, Friedrich, Philip, Wolf, Benjamin, Briest, Susanne, Hiller, Grit Gesine Ruth, Horn, Lars-Christian, Aktas, Bahriye, Kaes, Josef A, (2024). Different contractility modes control cell escape from multicellular spheroids and tumor explants Apl Bioengineering 8, 026110

Cells can adapt their active contractile properties to switch between dynamical migratory states and static homeostasis. Collective tissue surface tension, generated among others by the cortical contractility of single cells, can keep cell clusters compact, while a more bipolar, anisotropic contractility is predominantly used by mesenchymal cells to pull themselves into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we investigate how these two contractility modes relate to cancer cell escape into the ECM. We compare multicellular spheroids from a panel of breast cancer cell lines with primary tumor explants from breast and cervical cancer patients by measuring matrix contraction and cellular spreading into ECM mimicking collagen matrices. Our results in spheroids suggest that tumor aggressiveness is associated with elevated contractile traction and reduced active tissue surface tension, allowing cancer cell escape. We show that it is not a binary switch but rather the interplay between these two contractility modes that is essential during this process. We provide further evidence in patient-derived tumor explants that these two contractility modes impact cancer cells' ability to leave cell clusters within a primary tumor. Our results indicate that cellular contractility is an essential factor during the formation of metastases and thus may be suitable as a prognostic criterion for the assessment of tumor aggressiveness.

JTD Keywords: Intercellular-adhesion, wetting transition, myoepithelial cell, breast-cancer, hypothesis, stiffness, disease, forces, em