Epithelial–mesenchymal transition

The epithelial–mesenchymal transition is the process by which polarised epithelial cells that are connected via adhesion lose their characteristics and acquire migratory and invasive properties characteristic of a mesenchymal cell. This occurs during developmental processes such as neural tube formation, and when metastasis is initiated in cancer.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial for development, and for dissemination and invasion of cancer cells. A study now identifies the apical–basolateral polarity status of epithelia as a checkpoint for EMT induction and tumour metastasis through aPKC–Par3-regulated degradation of the EMT transcription factor SNAI1.

    • Oana-Diana Persa
    •  & Carien M. Niessen
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 299-300
  • Research Highlights |

    D’Amico et al. show that, in the presence of oncogenic RAS mutations, STAT3 acts as a tumour modifier by regulating the epithelial differentiation of pancreatic and lung cancer cells via p63.

    • Maria Giuseppina Baratta
    Nature Reviews Cancer 18, 664-665
  • News and Views |

    With the emergence of increasingly potent androgen deprivation therapy, rates of treatment-emergent small-cell neuroendocrine prostate cancer are increasing. In a recent prospective study, Aggarwal and colleagues defined the frequency and clinical and genomic characteristics of these tumours.

    • Magdalena M. Grabowska
    •  & Robert J. Matusik
  • News and Views |

    The roles of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) depend on the cellular context. Paraspeckle component 1 now arises as a driver of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and stemness transcription factors to redirect effectors from tumour suppressive to pro-metastatic gene promoters, emerging as a contextual determinant of TGF-β function.

    • Fernando Salvador
    •  & Roger R. Gomis
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 367-369