center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


Synthetically building breast tissues illustrates how abnormal cells affect neighbors

November 16, 2012

A new study out of Center investigator Zev Gartner's lab demonstrates that cell-to-cell variability in Ras activity can drive unusual behaviors during mammary epithelial morphogenesis.

The authors utilized DNA-programmed assembly to synthetically build breast tissues containing cells with different levels of Ras activation. Interestingly, the differences between neighboring cells gave rise to unique and emergent behaviors in the epithelial tissues, and has implications for the initiation of breast cancer and metastasis. Read more about the study in the UCSF School of Pharmacy news or in the paper published in Cell Reports.