Epithelial-Mesenchymal Plasticity in Cancer Progression and Metastasis

Wei Lu, Yibin Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reversed process, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), are fundamental processes in embryonic development and tissue repair but confer malignant properties to carcinoma cells, including invasive behavior, cancer stem cell activity, and greater resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Understanding the molecular and cellular basis of EMT provides fundamental insights into the etiology of cancer and may, in the long run, lead to new therapeutic strategies. Here, we discuss the regulatory mechanisms and pathological roles of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity, with a focus on recent insights into the complexity and dynamics of this phenomenon in cancer. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and its reversed process, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, are fundamental in embryonic development and tissue repair but also confer malignant properties to carcinoma cells. Lu and Kang discuss recent insights into the regulation and pathological roles of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity, with particular focus on this phenomenon in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-374
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental cell
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Keywords

  • cellular plasticity
  • chemoresistance
  • epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • immune evasion
  • metastasis
  • stemness

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