Cell-cell interactions in early carcinogenesis
Our research focuses on the earliest stages of cancer in epithelial tissues; how mutant cells expand to form tumorigenic lesions within an environment of tight growth control and homeostasis, events that are currently poorly understood.
Our research demonstrates that epithelial cells mutant for oncogenes such as Ras are detected by the normal neighbours through cell-cell interactions, and as a result are extruded from the tissue. We recently identified differential EphA2 signalling as the mechanism that triggers this process in simple epithelia. Using pancreatic cancer models, which primarily start when cells acquire Ras mutations, our current goals are to determine whether EphA2-mediated extrusion is indeed occurring during the early stages of cancer and whether this promotes or prevents disease progression.
- William Hill, PhD student
- Clare Moscrop, Undergraduate student (Professional Training Year)
- Katharina Lorentzen, Erasmus student.
Past group members
- Dr Sean Porazinski