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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 638;

The Dark Side of Cell Fusion

Department of Gynecology Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, ‎Geneva 1211, Switzerland
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lajos Kemény
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Fusion in Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [885 KB, uploaded 28 April 2016]   |  


Cell fusion is a physiological cellular process essential for fertilization, viral entry, muscle differentiation and placental development, among others. In this review, we will highlight the different cancer cell-cell fusions and the advantages obtained by these fusions. We will specially focus on the acquisition of metastatic features by cancer cells after fusion with bone marrow-derived cells. The mechanism by which cancer cells fuse with other cells has been poorly studied thus far, but the presence in several cancer cells of syncytin, a trophoblastic fusogen, leads us to a cancer cell fusion mechanism similar to the one used by the trophoblasts. The mechanism by which cancer cells perform the cell fusion could be an interesting target for cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; cell fusion; metastasis; drug resistance; syncytin cancer; cell fusion; metastasis; drug resistance; syncytin

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Bastida-Ruiz, D.; Van Hoesen, K.; Cohen, M. The Dark Side of Cell Fusion. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 638.

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