What is it about?

A devastating characteristic of cancer is its ability to spread and invade other parts of the body. Using a live single cell biosensor, this study shows that MALAT1, a long non-coding RNA, regulates collective cancer invasion. The results demonstrate that the lncRNA MALAT1 is dynamically regulated in the invading fronts of cancer cells and patient-derived spheroids.

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Why is it important?

The finding may provide a promising prognostic marker and therapeutic target for combating cancer metastasis.


Cancer is characterized by its metastatic potential, which enables it to disseminate and colonize distant organs. The process is complex and stochastic, and eliminating the cells is challenging. Conflicting studies on the role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MALAT1 in cancer metastasis highlight the complexity and challenges of revealing the dynamic functions of lncRNAs. Our results identify a molecular mechanism that triggers the metastatic cascade, revealing a promising therapeutic target to inhibit the invasion and providing a prognostic marker for selecting the optimal treatment strategy.

Pak Kin Wong
Pennsylvania State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Long noncoding RNA MALAT1 is dynamically regulated in leader cells during collective cancer invasion, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2305410120.
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