New insights of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer metastasis

Authors

  • Yadi Wu,

    1. Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA
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  • Binhua P. Zhou

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA
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  • This work was supported by grants from the John Sealy Memorial Endowment Fund, a pilot award from the ACS (IRG-110376), the Susan G Komen Foundation (KG081310) and NIH (RO1CA125454) (to B.P. Zhou), and the Post-doctoral Fellowships from NIH (T32CA117834) (to Y. Wu)

*Corresponding author: Tel, 409-747-1963; E-mail, bpzhou@utmb.edu

Abstract

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key step during embryonic morphogenesis, heart development, chronic degenerative fibrosis, and cancer metastasis. Several distinct traits have been conveyed by EMT, including cell motility, invasiveness, resistance to apoptosis, and some properties of stem cells. Many signal pathways have contributed to the induction of EMT, such as transforming growth factor-β, Wnt, Hedgehog, Notch, and nuclear factor-κB. Over the last few years, increasing evidence has shown that EMT plays an essential role in tumor progression and metastasis. Understanding the molecular mechanism of EMT has a great effect in unraveling the metastatic cascade and may lead to novel interventions for metastatic disease.

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