Proliferation and polarity in breast cancer: Untying the gordian knot

Hong Liu, Derek C. Radisky, Mina J. Bissell

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Epithelial cancers are associated with genomic instability and alterations in signaling pathways that affect proliferation, apoptosis, and integrity of tissue structure. Overexpression of a number of oncogenic protein kinases has been shown to malignantly transform cells in culture and to cause tumors in vivo, but the interconnected signaling events induced by transformation still awaits detailed dissection. We propose that the network of cellular signaling pathways can be classified into functionally distinct branches, and that these pathways are rewired in transformed cells and tissues after they lose tissue-specific architecture to favor tumor expansion and invasion. Using three-dimensional (3D) culture systems, we recently demonstrated that polarity and proliferation of human mammary epithelial cancer cells were separable consequences of signaling pathways downstream of PI3 kinase. These, and results from a number of other laboratories are beginning to provide insight into how different signaling pathways may become interconnected in normal tissues to allow homeostasis, and how they are disrupted during malignant progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-649
Number of pages4
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • 3 dimension (3D)
  • Akt
  • PI3 kinase
  • Polarity
  • Proliferation
  • Rac1
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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