In the multi-cellular community, cells with different properties often compete with each other for survival and space. This process is termed cell competition that plays an important role in various physiological and pathological conditions.
Recent studies have revealed that cell competition occurs between normal and newly emerging transformed cells at the initial stage of carcinogenesis. For example, when Ras- or Src-transformed cells are surrounded by normal cells, the transformed cells are often eliminated from the apical surface of the epithelial monolayer. These phenomena are not observed when transformed cells alone are present, suggesting that the presence of surrounding normal cells substantially affects the fate and behavior of transformed cells.
It has become clear that normal epithelial cells can recognize and actively eliminate neighboring transformed cells from epithelia: a process termed as EDAC (Epithelial Defense Against Cancer). In this session, I will present our recent findings and propose how this study would lead to the prevention of invasive cancer and establishment of novel types of cancer preventive treatment.