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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020607

Nanomechanical Phenotype of Melanoma Cells Depends Solely on the Amount of Endogenous Pigment in the Cells

Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
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Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanins and Melanogenesis: From Nature to Applications)
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Abstract

Cancer cells have unique nanomechanical properties, i.e., they behave as if they were elastic. This property of cancer cells is believed to be one of the main reasons for their facilitated ability to spread and metastasize. Thus, the so-called nanomechanical phenotype of cancer cells is viewed as an important indicator of the cells’ metastatic behavior. One of the most highly metastatic cancer cells are melanoma cells, which have a very unusual property: they can synthesize the pigment melanin in large amounts, becoming heavily pigmented. So far, the role of melanin in melanoma remains unclear, particularly the impact of the pigment on metastatic behavior of melanoma cells. Importantly, until recently the potential mechanical role of melanin in melanoma metastasis was completely ignored. In this work, we examined melanoma cells isolated from hamster tumors containing endogenous melanin pigment. Applying an array of advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we determined that melanin is the dominating factor responsible for the mechanical properties of melanoma cells. Our results indicate that the nanomechanical phenotype of melanoma cells may be a reliable marker of the cells’ metastatic behavior and point to the important mechanical role of melanin in the process of metastasis of melanoma. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer cells; cell elasticity; nanomechanical phenotype; metastatic behavior; melanoma; melanin pigment cancer cells; cell elasticity; nanomechanical phenotype; metastatic behavior; melanoma; melanin pigment
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Sarna, M.; Zadlo, A.; Czuba-Pelech, B.; Urbanska, K. Nanomechanical Phenotype of Melanoma Cells Depends Solely on the Amount of Endogenous Pigment in the Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 607.

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