ECM stiffness paves the way for tumor cells

  • An Erratum to this article was published on 08 October 2014

In the mammary gland, the stiffness of extracellular matrix (ECM) collagen is thought to influence tumor progression and clinical outcome. A new mechanism orchestrated by a microRNA circuit is shown to mediate the physical effects of the microenvironment on tumor cell progression. The findings may explain how increased breast matrix stiffness is associated with poor survival and could help identify women with aggressive breast cancer (pages 360–367).

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Figure 1: ECM-generated mechanical force drives an miRNA circuit that promotes malignancy in preclinical models and predicts distal relapse-free survival (DRFS) in luminal breast cancer.

Katie Vicari

Change history

  • 25 August 2014

     In the version of this article initially published, the figure showed blocking arrows from HOXA9 to BRCA1 and PTEN, but these should have been regular arrows. PIP3 and AKT should have been located close to the membrane, instead of the cytoplasm. Integrin proteins should have been heterodimers rather than homodimers, and the protein β-catenin should not have had a phosphorylated residue. The errors have been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.


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Correspondence to Victoria Seewaldt.

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Seewaldt, V. ECM stiffness paves the way for tumor cells. Nat Med 20, 332–333 (2014).

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