Intravital Imaging Illuminates Transforming Growth Factor β Signaling Switches during Metastasis

Silvia Giampieri, Sophie Pinner, Erik Sahai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) has seemingly contradictory roles in tumor progression: it can promote metastatic invasion but also act as a tumor suppressor. Recently, two studies have used intravital imaging to unravel the role of TGFbeta at different stages of the metastatic process. TGFbeta promotes single cell motility, which enables invasion into blood vessels. However the activation of TGFbeta signaling is a transient event and is not maintained at distant sites. The downregulation of TGFbeta signaling at secondary sites then permits growth of secondary tumors. In the absence of TGFbeta, cells are restricted to collective movement and lymphatic spread. Here, we discuss these findings and their potential implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3435-3439
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta


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