Last week, the Van Andel Institute announced that its researchers have identified a protein involved in cancer cell metastasis, called DIP. DIP binds to and inhibits the activity of mDia2, a protein that works to control tumor cell metastasis, or the development of secondary tumors away from the primary cancer site.
When DIP binds to mDia2, it causes the affected cells to change shape and bubble, or bleb. This cell blebbing inhibits the control mDia2 has over tumor cell metastasis and may lead to development of secondary tumors.
If researchers can find a compound that will inhibit DIP, they believe it could prevent cancer cells from metastasizing, vastly improving the survivability of many forms of cancer.