MACC1-induced collective migration is promoted by proliferation rather than single cell biomechanics


  • T. Hohmann
  • U. Hohmann
  • M. Dahlmann
  • D. Kobelt
  • U. Stein
  • F. Dehghani


  • Cancers


  • Cancers 14 (12): 2857


  • Metastasis-associated in colon cancer 1 (MACC1) is a marker for metastasis, tumor cell migration, and increased proliferation in colorectal cancer (CRC). Tumors with high MACC1 expression show a worse prognosis and higher invasion into neighboring structures. Yet, many facets of the pro-migratory effects are not fully understood. Atomic force microscopy and single cell live imaging were used to quantify biomechanical and migratory properties in low- and high-MACC1-expressing CRC cells. Furthermore, collective migration and expansion of small, cohesive cell colonies were analyzed using live cell imaging and particle image velocimetry. Lastly, the impact of proliferation on collective migration was determined by inhibition of proliferation using mitomycin. MACC1 did not affect elasticity, cortex tension, and single cell migration of CRC cells but promoted collective migration and colony expansion in vitro. Measurements of the local velocities in the dense cell layers revealed proliferation events as regions of high local speeds. Inhibition of proliferation via mitomycin abrogated the MACC1-associated effects on the collective migration speeds. A simple simulation revealed that the expansion of cell clusters without proliferation appeared to be determined mostly by single cell properties. MACC1 overexpression does not influence single cell biomechanics and migration but only collective migration in a proliferation-dependent manner. Thus, targeting proliferation in high-MACC1-expressing tumors may offer additional effects on cell migration.