Mechanosensitive actomyosin structures in normal epithelia and cancer progression
In our research we are concentrating on the mechanisms that lead to actin-based cancer cell invasion. We aim in understanding how mechanosensitive actomyosin structures are regulated in normal epithelia and how these structures are altered in invasive cancers. In normal tissue, contractile actomyosin bundles provide force for the integration of cell-cell junctions and are necessary for the epithelial integrity. However, during cancer progression, altered regulation of these structures may lead to abnormal actomyosin forces and scattering of cancer cells. As the regulation of these mechanosensitive structures is influenced by the biophysical properties of the cell microenvironment, we also aim in understanding how stromal changes could play a role in the dissemination of cancer cells.