Archiv - November 2010
Are biomechanical changes necessary for tumour progression?Anatol Fritsch, Michael Höckel, Tobias Kiessling, Kenechukwu David Nnetu, Franziska Wetzel, Mareike Zink & Josef A. Käs
Nature Physics Insight – Physics and the Cell; 2010, 6 (4): 730 - 732
It has been known for a long time that malignant transformation and neoplasia are associated with significant changes in the cellular cytoskeleton1. Stella Hurtley pointed out in her 1998 editorial for Science that “changes in the cytoskeleton are key, and even diagnostic, in the pathology of some diseases, including cancer”2. Systems biology tells us that everything is connected with everything else, so the central question is whether these cytoskeletal changes are a functional prerequisite for tumour progression. From a systems biology perspective, the door handle can be accidentally misinterpreted as the most important part of a car's engine because it has to be opened first. Cell biophysics has a more stringent viewpoint and divides the cell into functional modules3. The cytoskeleton is one of the most essential modules: it stabilizes and organizes the cell and provides the machinery for cell motility and mechanotransduction4. If the cytoskeletal alterations in a tumour are necessary, they have to trigger biomechanical changes that impact cellular function...