Nerve growth factor mediates its pro-invasive effect in parallel with the release of a soluble E-cadherin fragment from breast cancer MCF-7/AZ cells.

Abstract

To define better the function of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in breast cancer progression, we investigated whether this polypeptide was able to induce breast cancer cell invasion. NGF inhibited aggregation of tumour cells through modulation of the E-cadherin/catenin complex function. In addition, NGF induced the breast cancer cells to invade into Matrigel. We focused our attention on how NGF prevents aggregation, in order to discover the signalling pathway that leads tumour cells to acquire the invasive phenotype. Moreover, studies on the identification of signalling pathways that are responsive for NGF-induced invasion will be basically described.

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