Dynamics of metastasis suppressor gene inactivation

Franziska Michor, Yoh Iwasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


For most cancer cell types, the acquisition of metastatic ability leads to clinically incurable disease. Twelve metastasis suppressor genes (MSGs) have been identified that reduce the metastatic propensity of cancer cells. If these genes are inactivated in both alleles, metastatic ability is promoted. Here, we develop a mathematical model of the dynamics of MSG inactivation and calculate the expected number of metastases formed by a tumor. We analyse the effects of increased mutation rates and different fitness values of cells with one or two inactivated alleles on the ability of a tumor to form metastases. We find that mutations that are negatively selected in the main tumor are unlikely to be responsible for the majority of metastases produced by a tumor. Most metastases-causing mutations will be present in all (or most) cells in the main tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-689
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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