Tumor cell invasion into heterogenous interstitial tissues consisting of network-, channel- or rift-like architectures involves both matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-mediated tissue remodeling and cell shape adaptation to tissue geometry. Three-dimensional (3D) models composed of either porous or linearly aligned architectures have added to the understanding of how physical spacing principles affect migration efficacy; however, the relative contribution of each architecture to decision making in the presence of varying MMP availability is not known. Here, we developed an interface assay containing a cleft between two high-density collagen lattices, and we used this assay to probe tumor cell invasion efficacy, invasion mode and MMP dependence in concert. In silico modeling predicted facilitated cell migration into confining clefts independently of MMP activity, whereas migration into dense porous matrix was predicted to require matrix degradation. This prediction was verified experimentally, where inhibition of collagen degradation was found to strongly compromise migration into 3D collagen in a densitydependent manner, but interface-guided migration remained effective, occurring by cell jamming. The 3D interface assay reported here may serve as a suitable model to better understand the impact of in vivo-relevant interstitial tissue topologies on tumor invasion patterning and responses to molecular interventions.
|Number of pages
|Journal of cell science
|Published - 21 Nov 2023
- Humans, Proteolysis, Extracellular Matrix/metabolism, Neoplasm Invasiveness/pathology, Collagen/metabolism, Cell Movement/physiology