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Fig. 2 | Cell Communication and Signaling

Fig. 2

From: Interaction of MSC with tumor cells

Fig. 2

Direct interactions between mesenchymal stroma/stem cells and cancer cells. a Notch signaling: A prominent example for direct cell-to-cell interaction is represented by Notch signaling. DAPT, a Notch signaling inhibitor, was shown to decrease functional alterations of breast cancer cells after co-culture with MSC underlining the involvement of Notch signaling in MSC-cancer cell interactions. b GJIC: Both MSC and cancer cells build gap junctions for intercellular communication. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) can be inhibited by gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) resulting in lesser interactions and functional alterations of cancer cells and MSC. c Nanotube formation: Long and thin plasma membrane structures formed between MSC and cancer cells allow the transport of small molecules and organelles for cellular cross-talk leading to altered functions and phenotype. d Trogocytosis: An exchange of whole plasma membrane fragments via an active transfer outlines a further possible interaction type between MSC and cancer cells resulting in structural and functional alterations of the recipient cell. e Cell fusion: In rare cases, mesenchymal stem cells have the capacity to fuse with various cancer cell types such as breast, ovarian, lung and gastric cancer cells. The molecular mechanism about the formation of such cancer hybrid cells is still unknown

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