Cancer cells display increased migration and deformability in pace with metastatic progression

Zhenhui Liu, Se Jong Lee, Seungman Park, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Kristine Glunde, Yun Chen, Ishan Barman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we explored the relation between metastatic states vs the capacity of confined migration, amoeboid transition, and cellular stiffness. We compared across an isogenic panel of human breast cancer cells derived from MDA-MB-231 cells. It was observed that cells after lung metastasis have the fastest migration and lowest stiffness, with a significantly higher capacity to transition into an amoeboid mode. Our findings illustrate that metastasis is a selective process favoring motile and softer cells. Moreover, the observation that circulating tumor cells resemble the parental cell line, but not lung-metastatic cells, suggests that cells with higher deformability and motility are likely selected during extravasation and colonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9307-9315
Number of pages9
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • amoeboid movement
  • breast cancer metastasis
  • isogenic cell lines
  • mechanotyping
  • microchannel migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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