Minimization of thermodynamic costs in cancer cell invasion.


Liu L, Duclos G, Sun Lee Wu Kam Sontag ED Stone HA Sturm JC Gatenby RA Austin RH. BJAY. “Minimization of thermodynamic costs in cancer cell invasion.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 29;110(5):1686-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221147110. Epub 2013 Jan 14. (2013).


Metastasis, the truly lethal aspect of cancer, occurs when metastatic cancer cells in a tumor break through the basement membrane and penetrate the extracellular matrix. We show that MDA-MB-231 metastatic breast cancer cells cooperatively invade a 3D collagen matrix while following a glucose gradient. The invasion front of the cells is a dynamic one, with different cells assuming the lead on a time scale of 70 h. The front cell leadership is dynamic presumably because of metabolic costs associated with a long-range strain field that precedes the invading cell front, which we have imaged using confocal imaging and marker beads imbedded in the collagen matrix. We suggest this could be a quantitative assay for an invasive phenotype tracking a glucose gradient and show that the invading cells act in a cooperative manner by exchanging leaders in the invading front.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 02/26/2016