The cytoskeleton is a network of protein filaments inside a cell’s cytoplasm—the gelatinous liquid inside cells. Complex dynamics in the cytoskeleton coordinate cell migration and division, two activities that can cause cancer cells to spread. Cellular signalling is a necessary part of these dynamics, and is controlled by important protein families. Dr. Jean-François Côté, Canada Research Chair in Cellular Signalling and Cancer Metastasis, is studying this signalling to learn more about how cancer spreads.
He and his research team are focused on the proteins that transmit signals within cells. They are studying the cellular and molecular processes that contribute to the spread of breast cancer in order to understand how breast cancer cells behave during metastasis. Ultimately, their work will yield important information about the signalling networks that contribute to normal cell biology and cancer metastasis, and could lead to innovative treatments to limit the spread of cancer.