Special Issue "The Role of Tunneling Nanotubes in Intercellular Communication and Pathophysiology of Cancer"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 April 2024 | Viewed by 18434
Interests: intercellular communication; tumor-stromal interactions; tunneling nanotubes; tumor microtubes; cellular protrusions; cancer biomarkers; chemoresistance; cancer cell biology; cellular oncology; molecular oncology; precision medicine
The dynamic and continuously evolving tumor microenvironment plays a crucial role in cancer progression and therapeutic resistance, but many of the underlying cellular mechanisms are still being elucidated. Even with better understanding of molecular oncology and identification of genomic drivers of these processes, there has been a relative lag in identifying and appreciating the important roles of cellular oncology in both invasion and resistance.
Intercellular communication is a vital process that unifies and synchronizes the diverse components of the tumor microenvironment. Increased spotlight on the many effects of extracellular vesicles (EV) over the past decade has cast a brighter light on the importance of intercellular communication. And yet even with this advance, other niches of intratumoral communication merit equal attention in investigation. Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), tumor microtubes (TMs), cytonemes, and other similar forms of intercellular protrusions fill that niche and have rapidly gained more attention in the past few years.
These protrusions constitute a unique and emerging field of cell biology characterized by long ultrafine cellular conduits that extend and form direct connections between distant cells, mediating transfer of cell cargo such as mitochondria, exosomes, genetic material such as microRNAs and messenger RNAs, and even oncogenic drivers such as RAS. However, many of their functional roles in mediating tumor growth and evolution of the tumor microenvironment remain unknown. These conduits are literally physical bridges that stimulate formation of syncytial networks of dispersed cells amidst the intercellular matrix and surrounding stroma. Emerging evidence suggests that these TNTs and TMs provide an identifiable cellular mechanism for induction and emergence of drug resistance as well as contributing to increases in invasive and metastatic potential. They have been imaged in vitro and also in vivo and ex vivo in tumors from human patients as well as animal models, thus not only proving their existence in the TME, but opening further speculation about their exact role in the dynamic niche of tumor ecosystems.
This Special Issue of Cancers, focusing on this important and exciting field of cancer cell biology, will shine even greater spotlight on research focused on the role of these cellular protrusions in a spectrum of cancers. We welcome submission of manuscripts from researchers of all backgrounds studying these structures, and hope that this issue will serve the community as a virtual ‘meeting point’ for all. Each report on TNTs, TMs, and similar protrusions moves the field closer to identifying specific biomarkers and the various functions of these protrusions in cancer, and also in other human diseases. If these structures are truly vital to the synergistic cooperation of cells within the tumor microenvironment, then disrupting this novel route of cell-cell communication will develop as a new strategy for treatment of invasive cancers.
Dr. Emil Lou
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- tunneling nanotubes
- tumor microtubes
- intercellular communication
- pathophysiology of cancer
- cancer cell biology
- tumor biology
- tumor imaging
- intravital microscopy