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Article

Extracellular Matrix-Mediated Breast Cancer Cells Morphological Alterations, Invasiveness, and Microvesicles/Exosomes Release

1
Department for Life Quality Study, University of Bologna, 47921 Rimini, Italy
2
Biochemistry, Biochemical Analysis & Matrix Pathobiology Research Group, Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
3
Department of Pharmacy and Industrial Pharmacy, University of Bologna, 40100 Bologna, Italy
4
Department of Medicine, University of Bologna, 40100 Bologna, Italy
5
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, 35129 Padova, Italy
6
Renal Unit, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Verona, 37100 Verona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(9), 2031; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9092031
Received: 1 July 2020 / Revised: 1 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 4 September 2020
Breast cancer is a leading disease in women. Several studies are focused to evaluate the critical role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in various biochemical and molecular aspects but also in terms of its effect on cancer cell morphology and therefore on cancer cell invasion and metastatic potential. ECM fibrillar components, such as collagen and fibronectin, affect cell behavior and properties of mammary cancer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) how the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, interplaying with ECM substrates during cell migration/invasion, modify their morphological characteristics and cytoplasmic processes in relation to their invasive potential. In particular we reproduced and analyzed how natural structural barriers to cancer cell invasion, such as the basement membrane (Matrigel) and fibrillar components of dermis (fibronectin as well as the different concentrations/array of type I collagen), could induce morphological changes in 3D cultures. Interestingly, we demonstrate that, even with different effects, all collagen concentrations/arrays lead to morphological alterations of breast cancer cells. Intriguingly, the elongated mesenchymal shaped cells were more prominent in 3D cultures with a dense and thick substrate (thick Matrigel, high concentrated collagen network, and densely packed collagen fibers), even though cells with different shape produced and released microvesicles and exosomes as well. It is therefore evident that the peri-tumoral collagen network may act not only as a barrier but also as a dynamic scaffold which stimulates the morphological changes of cancer cells, and modulates tumor development and metastatic potential in breast cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; 3D cultures; collagen; cell morphology; scanning electron microscopy (SEM) breast cancer; 3D cultures; collagen; cell morphology; scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Franchi, M.; Piperigkou, Z.; Karamanos, K.-A.; Franchi, L.; Masola, V. Extracellular Matrix-Mediated Breast Cancer Cells Morphological Alterations, Invasiveness, and Microvesicles/Exosomes Release. Cells 2020, 9, 2031. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9092031

AMA Style

Franchi M, Piperigkou Z, Karamanos K-A, Franchi L, Masola V. Extracellular Matrix-Mediated Breast Cancer Cells Morphological Alterations, Invasiveness, and Microvesicles/Exosomes Release. Cells. 2020; 9(9):2031. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9092031

Chicago/Turabian Style

Franchi, Marco, Zoi Piperigkou, Konstantinos-Athanasios Karamanos, Leonardo Franchi, and Valentina Masola. 2020. "Extracellular Matrix-Mediated Breast Cancer Cells Morphological Alterations, Invasiveness, and Microvesicles/Exosomes Release" Cells 9, no. 9: 2031. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9092031

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