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The ZEB/miR-200 feedback loop—a motor of cellular plasticity in development and cancer?
Article first published online: 13 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization
Volume 11, Issue 9, pages 670–677, September 2010
How to Cite
Brabletz, S. and Brabletz, T. (2010), The ZEB/miR-200 feedback loop—a motor of cellular plasticity in development and cancer?. EMBO reports, 11: 670–677. doi: 10.1038/embor.2010.117
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 13 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 27 MAY 2010
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a fundamental process in development and disease. Zinc-finger enhancer binding (ZEB) transcription factors (ZEB1 and ZEB2) are crucial EMT activators, whereas members of the miR-200 family induce epithelial differentiation. They are reciprocally linked in a feedback loop, each strictly controlling the expression of the other. Now data show that EMT not only confers cellular motility, but also induces stem-cell properties and prevents apoptosis and senescence. Thus the balanced expression of ZEB factors and miR-200 controls all these processes. We therefore propose that the ZEB/miR-200 feedback loop is the molecular motor of cellular plasticity in development and disease, and in particular is a driving force for cancer progression towards metastasis by controlling the state of cancer stem cells.