A cell-in-cell death process
When human cells wander in suspension, free of their normal attachments, many of them launch invasions into their neighbors. These "homeless" cells bore into other cells and hang out inside, where they either die or exit, apparently unscathed. This bizarre process, which researchers in Joan Brugge's lab term entosis, appears to underlie a natural phenomenon involving tumor cells inhabiting other tumor cells that pathologists have observed for decades. This may be relevant to cancer if entosis inhibits tumor progression by killing "homeless" cancer cells before they colonize distant sites. Learn more about this work, which appeared in the journal Cell in 2007.