Invasive Lung Cancer Cells Degrade Extracellular Matrix

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Submitted by Carman Man Chung Li of the Jacks Lab at the Koch Institute

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Carman Man Chung Li
Jacks Lab, Koch Institute
Epi-Fluorescence Micrograph

"These images show that cancer cells can behave differently in terms of their ability to degrade their surrounding tissues. In these images, invasive (right) and non-invasive (left) lung cancer cells are cultured on a green fluorescently labeled extracellular matrix, but only the invasive cells are able to degrade the matrix, leaving behind focal black patches.  I was very excited when I first saw these images with my eyes through the microscope, as I was starting my project as a new graduate student in the lab. The difference between the invasive and non-invasive cells is dramatic. I am currently studying the molecular mechanism that differentiates the invasiveness of these cells."