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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Apr;1825(2):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2012.01.003. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Cooperation, amplification, and feed-back in epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Author information

1
IMIM Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain. agarcia@imim.es

Abstract

The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) consists of a rapid change of cell phenotype, characterized by the loss of epithelial traits and the acquisition of a more motile phenotype reminiscent of a fibroblast. The study of this process has received considerable attention because of its potential role in the acquisition of several cancer traits, particularly in cell invasion. In this article we describe the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms governing this transition. In particular we discuss how initiation of EMT is dependent on the mutually exclusive levels of the transmembrane cell to cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin and its transcriptional repressor Snail1 and how Snail1 and other E-cadherin transcriptional repressors drive the EMT process. We focus on several new aspects of Snail1 regulation and propose a model for understanding the initiation and progression of this transition, based on the existence of feed-back mechanisms that limit or amplify the response to extracellular cues.

PMID:
22306657
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbcan.2012.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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