Regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition by transmission of mechanical stress through epithelial tissues

Nikolce Gjorevski, Eline Boghaert, Celeste M. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenotypic shift wherein epithelial cells lose or loosen attachments to their neighbors and assume a mesenchymal-like morphology. EMT drives a variety of developmental processes, but may also be adopted by tumor cells during neoplastic progression. EMT is regulated by both biochemical and physical signals from the microenvironment, including mechanical stress, which is increasingly recognized to play a major role in development and disease progression. Biological systems generate, transmit and concentrate mechanical stress into spatial patterns; these gradients in mechanical stress may serve to spatially pattern developmental and pathologic EMTs. Here we review how epithelial tissues generate and respond to mechanical stress gradients, and highlight the mechanisms by which mechanical stress regulates and patterns EMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Microenvironment
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Keywords

  • Contractility
  • Force
  • MRTF
  • Morphogenesis

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