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Ludwig Oxford researchers, led by Branch Director Xin Lu, have discovered a key mechanism that governs how cells of the epithelia, the soft lining of inner body cavities, shift between a rigid, highly structured and immobile state and a flexible and motile form. Published in the current issue of Nature Cell Biology, their study shows that a tumor suppressor protein named ASPP2 functions as a molecular switch that controls this process and its reverse, both of which play a critical role in a number of biological phenomena, including wound healing, embryonic development and, not least, the metastasis of cancers.