Cell motility is a critical step in cancer invasion and metastasis that must be unravelled to gain an appropriate understanding of the behaviour of cancer cells. A broad spectrum of motility mechanisms that facilitate invasion of extramammary tissues and metastasis exists in breast cancer cells (e.g. reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, regulation of focal adhesion, changes in response to a different microenvironment, epithelial mesenchymal transition, and control of membrane proteins through endocytosis). These cellular responses are tightly regulated by intracellular signalling pathways evoked by humoral factors that include growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines. Learning more about the cellular and molecular basis of these different motility programmes will aid in the development of treatments for breast cancer invasion and metastasis. This review of recent literature focuses on aspects of cell biology related to motility and metastasis, and suggests some directions for future breast cancer research.
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