Makarova N, Kalaparthi V, Wang A, Williams C, Dokukin ME, Kaufman CK, Zon L, Sokolov I. 2020. Difference in biophysical properties of cancer-initiating cells in melanoma mutated zebrafish. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 107:103746. Pubmed: 32364948 DOI:S1751-6161(20)30300-3


Despite sharing oncogenetic mutations, only a small number of cells within a given tissue will undergo malignant transformation. Biochemical and physical factors responsible for this cancer-initiation process are not well understood. Here we study biophysical differences of pre-melanoma and melanoma cells in a BRAF/P53 zebrafish model. The AFM indentation technique was used to study the cancer-initiating cells while the surrounding melanocytes were the control. We observed a statistically significant decrease in the modulus of elasticity (the effective Young's modulus) of cancer-initiating cells compared to the surrounding melanocytes. No significant differences in the pericellular coat surrounding cells were observed. These results contribute to a better understanding of the factors responsible for the initiation of cancer.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

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