Epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in development and disease.

TitleEpithelial-mesenchymal transitions in development and disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsThiery, JP, Acloque, H, Huang, RY, Nieto, MA
KeywordsAnimals Cell Transformation, Neoplastic Epithelial Cells Gastrulation Humans Neoplasm Metastasis Neoplasms Neoplastic Stem Cells

The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays crucial roles in the formation of the body plan and in the differentiation of multiple tissues and organs. EMT also contributes to tissue repair, but it can adversely cause organ fibrosis and promote carcinoma progression through a variety of mechanisms. EMT endows cells with migratory and invasive properties, induces stem cell properties, prevents apoptosis and senescence, and contributes to immunosuppression. Thus, the mesenchymal state is associated with the capacity of cells to migrate to distant organs and maintain stemness, allowing their subsequent differentiation into multiple cell types during development and the initiation of metastasis.