George L. Eliceiri, MD, PhD

Saint Louis University (SLU)

Both invasion and migration are required for cancer metastasis. We are interested in some signaling pathways that control invasion and migration, because this is important for molecular targeted cancer therapies and to understand the regulation of cancer development. Our findings include the following. First, we detected many new specific signaling pathways from cancer regulators to cancer-modulating matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which differ widely in cells of various cancers. Second, many of these signaling pathways specifically inhibit MMP expression in cells of some cancers, but stimulate it in others. Third, each of many proteins enhances invasiveness in cells of some cancers, but suppresses it in others. Fourth, almost all of the invasiveness-modulating proteins known to have experimentally verified activation, inhibition or binding interactions with each other are linked in a single network, in a “hub-and-spoke” architecture. Fifth, cell invasiveness is modulated by cancer cell MMPs whose gene expression levels are very low.