Research press release


Nature Medicine

Cilia's dual role in cancer


一次繊毛は、多くの種類の細胞の表面から伸びている特殊な付属肢で、細胞シグナル伝達に関与すると考えられてきた。また、一次繊毛は、胎児の発生期において、ヘッジホッグタンパク質が仲介するシグナル伝達経路に対して極めて重要な働きをする。ヘッジホッグは、がんにも関与すると考えられてきたため、J Reiterの研究チームとA Alvarez-Buyllaの研究チームは、一次繊毛が腫瘍形成に寄与する可能性を調べた。



Cilia can promote or suppress tumor growth, depending on the nature of the tumor-initiating event, as reported by two studies in this week's Nature Medicine.

Primary cilia are specialized appendages that extend from the surface of many cell types and have been implicated in cell signaling. They are crucial during fetal development for signaling pathways mediated by a protein known as Hedgehog. As Hedgehog has also been implicated in cancers, Jeremy Reiter, Arturo Alvarez-Buylla and their respective colleagues explored the possible contribution of primary cilia to tumor formation.

Studying two types of cancer, basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma, the two groups independently found that cilia could favor or inhibit tumor formation in mice. If the tumor was triggered by the expression of Smoothened, a well-known activator of Hedgehog, removal of cilia blocked tumor formation. But if the tumor was initiated by the expression of Gli2, a molecule downstream of Hedgehog, then removal of cilia accelerated tumor growth.

These data disclose an unexpected dual role of cilia on cancer. Further analysis of their role may lead to better understanding of tumor development and treatment.

doi: 10.1038/nm.2011


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