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While normal epithelial cells are anchorage-dependent, cancer cells are anchorage-independent. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the anchorage-independence of cancer cells, we cultured detached cells in medium containing elastase. Detached human epidermal cancer cells (DJM-1) survived for at least 3 weeks and focal adhesion kinase was still phosphorylated. In contrast, most detached keratinocytes underwent rapid apoptosis and focal adhesion kinase was not phosphorylated while the cells weredoi:10.2340/00015555-0405 pmid:18311433 fatcat:whefydzxrng7dk2i4caa5xn2bq