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Semin Cancer Biol. 2012 Oct;22(5-6):379-84. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Endothelial-mesenchymal transition and its contribution to the emergence of stem cell phenotype.

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  • 1Division of Matrix Biology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Vascular endothelial cells can demonstrate considerable plasticity to generate other cell types during embryonic development and disease progression. This process occurs through a cell differentiation mechanism known as endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). The generation of mesenchymal cells from endothelium is a crucial step in endothelial cell differentiation to several lineages including fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, mural cells, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. Such differentiation patterns have been observed in systems of cardiac development, fibrosis, diabetic nephropathy, heterotopic ossification and cancer. Here we describe the EndMT program and discuss the current evidence of EndMT-mediated acquisition of stem cell characteristics and multipotent differentiation capabilities.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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