Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) can be recruited to tumor sites and
integrate into the stroma of tumors. When co-cultured with BMSCs, otherwise weakly metastatic
nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (NPC) showed improved metastatic ability. BMSCs in the tumor environment
displayed the characteristics of macrophages. Nitric oxide produced by BMSCs in tumor environment could
translocate caldesmon to podosome in Ca2+/calmodulin manner and promoted metastatic ability of NPC cells
through invadopodia formation, with which the NPC cells degrade the extracellular matrix. Thus, we concluded
that the BMSCs promoted cell migration and invasion through nitric oxide-induced paracrine signals.
Keywords: Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, invadopodia, matrix degradation, metastasis,
nasopharyngeal carcinoma, nitric oxide.
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