- There are clues that suggest human breast cancer cells use collagen fibers to migrate, and vinculin is a transmembrane protein associated with how cells attach to their environment. Therefore, immunostaining for the vinculin will shed some light in how human breast cancer cells are attaching to their environment. Immunostaining for vinculin has been very difficult in MDA-MB-231 cells, and the procedure that educed the most noise was to fixate and permeabilize the cells simultaneously before treating the cells with the blocking solutions and the antibodies. The more rigid the extracellular matrix (ECM) the more vinculin there are in a human breast cancer cell. The focal adhesion area decreases with decreasing ECM rigidity. The aspect ratio of the focal adhesions does not change with the varying ECM rigidity. The inter-focal adhesions distance does not seem to have much correlation with ECM rigidity. Moreover, an artistic interpretation of the scientific research may shed some light into how to encourage the general public to be interested and engaged in scientific conversations. There is no need for accurate depictions of vinculin staining, but an artistic expression of vinculin staining can be used to create more interest in the topic of human breast cancer cell attachment to different ECM rigidity.
Key Words: Human breast cancer, collagen fibers, vinculin, actin, focal adhesion, artistic
interpretation of science, scientific conversation, artistic expression