Topographical control of prostate cancer cell migration

Mol Med Rep. Sep-Oct 2009;2(5):865-71. doi: 10.3892/mmr_00000185.


Tumour cells can efficiently respond to numerous factors affecting their motility. However, the role of substrata topography in the regulation of cancer cell motility has been quantitatively studied in only a few cases. We demonstrated that human (DU-145) and rat (MAT-LyLu and AT-2) prostate cancer cells are efficiently contact guided by underlying normal cells when invading surrounding tissues and forming metastases. Prostate cancer cells moving on the surface of fibroblasts displayed significantly greater cell displacement than those moving on plastic substrata. This effect was correlated with the polarization (contact guidance) and increased speed of cell movements. We subsequently verified the hypothesis that the observed contact guidance of prostate cancer cells migrating on the surface of fibroblasts results from their reaction to the microtopography of normal cells. The responses of cells to multiple grooved substrata of a size corresponding to the dimensions of a compact monolayer culture of human skin fibroblasts were studied, and the migration of prostate cancer cells appeared to be efficiently affected by topographical features of the substratum. In contrast to random movement under control conditions, all investigated prostate cancer cell lines grown on patterned substrata migrated mainly along artificial grooves and covered, as a result of contact guidance, a longer distance than cells on plain substrata. Moreover, the reaction to microtopography was correlated with the metastatic activity of prostate cancer cells. In conclusion, our results show that grooved substrata have a substantial effect on prostate cancer migration. Since all types of tissue show some kind of patterning and alignment, topographic factors may be crucial for the effective migration of prostate cancer cells during the metastatic process.