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Open AccessArticle

Effects of PTEN Loss and Activated KRAS Overexpression on Mechanical Properties of Breast Epithelial Cells

1
Biomedical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
2
Physics Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
3
Greenebaum National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 West Baltimore St., Bressler Research Bldg., Rm. 10-039, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061613
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atomic Force Microscopy for Biological Applications)
It has previously been shown that the simultaneous activation of PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) and Ras/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases) pathways facilitate tumor growth despite only inducing cancer cell dormancy individually. Determining the impacts on cellular mechanics each pathway incites alone and in unison is critical to developing non-toxic cancer therapies for triple-negative breast cancers. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) knockout and activated KRAS (Kristen rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) overexpression in healthy MCF-10A human breast epithelial cells activated the PI3K and Ras/MAPK pathways, respectively. Cell stiffness and fluidity were simultaneously measured using atomic force microscopy. Results suggest that PTEN knockout reduced cell stiffness and increased cell fluidity independent of PI3K activation. Effects of activated KRAS overexpression on cell stiffness depends on rigidity of cell culture substrate. Activated KRAS overexpression also counteracts the effects of PTEN knockout. View Full-Text
Keywords: atomic force microscopy; cancer; cell mechanics atomic force microscopy; cancer; cell mechanics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Linthicum, W.; Thanh, M.-T.H.; Vitolo, M.I.; Wen, Q. Effects of PTEN Loss and Activated KRAS Overexpression on Mechanical Properties of Breast Epithelial Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1613.

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