Insight into the ability of cancer cells to divide in challenging microenvironments
Mammalian cells must round up to divide, providing the space to develop a mitotic spindle for symmetric chromosomal segregation. If mitotic rounding is impeded by physical confinement or malfunction in adhesion remodelling, mitotic cell death may ensue. The EU-funded IEOCCD project aims to identify the mechanisms that allow epithelial cancer cells to divide in a challenging physical environment. Ras-activated epithelial cells are able to round better compared to normal cells, suggesting that Ras-ERK signalling plays a role in the mitotic rounding of cancer cells. The project will study a connection between Ras-ERK signalling and mitotic progression, linking oncogenesis to the ability of cancer cells to divide in a wide range of environments.