Entosis: A Cell-in-Cell Invasion and Death Process

When human cells wander in suspension, free of their normal attachments, many of them launch invasions into their neighbors. These “homeless” cells bore into other cells and hang out inside, where they either die or exit, apparently unscathed. This bizarre process, which the researchers term entosis, appears to underlie a natural phenomenon involving tumor cells inhabiting other tumor cells that pathologists have observed for decades. This may be relevant to cancer if entosis inhibits tumor progression by killing “homeless” cancer cells before they colonize distant sites. This work, from Professor Joan Brugge’s lab, appeared in the journal Cell in 2007.

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