Cell Cannibalism as Cancer Defense!

Epochal Science

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.27134.001A new study suggests that the mysterious process by which one cell consumes another may be triggered by cell division, potentially helping to fight tumor growth.

Jef Akst, The Scientist, 2017

ezgif.com-optimizeThis time-lapse video captures the process of cell cannibalism, or entosis, in which one cell engulfs another.BABRAHAM INSTITUTE

Watching the process of cell cannibalism using time-lapse microscopy, researchers have discovered new clues as to how and why cells may resort to eating one another. The team found that human epithelial cells, at the root of more than 80 percent of human cancers, can be triggered to cannibalize another cell following division, especially if the dividing cells, which normally remain rooted to their biological substrate, start to detach.

The results suggest that the cannibalistic process, also known as entosis, might slow cancerous growth, as “normal epithelia may engulf and kill aberrantly dividing neighbours,” the researchers write in the…

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