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J Clin Invest. 2009 Jun;119(6):1417-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI39675.

EMT: when epithelial cells decide to become mesenchymal-like cells.

Author information

1
Division of Matrix Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. rkalluri@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is critical for appropriate embryonic development, and this process is re-engaged in adults during wound healing, tissue regeneration, organ fibrosis, and cancer progression. Inflammation is a crucial conspirator in the emergence of EMT in adults but is absent during embryonic development. As highlighted in this Review series, EMT is now a recognized mechanism for dispersing cells in embryos, forming fibroblasts/mesenchymal cells in injured tissues, and initiating metastasis of epithelial cancer cells. Also discussed are proposals to classify EMT into three subtypes, each of which has different functional consequences.

PMID:
19487817
PMCID:
PMC2689122
DOI:
10.1172/JCI39675
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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