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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;15(3):178-96. doi: 10.1038/nrm3758.

Molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Author information

1
Departments of Cell and Tissue Biology and Anatomy and Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0669, USA.
2
Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.

Abstract

The transdifferentiation of epithelial cells into motile mesenchymal cells, a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is integral in development, wound healing and stem cell behaviour, and contributes pathologically to fibrosis and cancer progression. This switch in cell differentiation and behaviour is mediated by key transcription factors, including SNAIL, zinc-finger E-box-binding (ZEB) and basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, the functions of which are finely regulated at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. The reprogramming of gene expression during EMT, as well as non-transcriptional changes, are initiated and controlled by signalling pathways that respond to extracellular cues. Among these, transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family signalling has a predominant role; however, the convergence of signalling pathways is essential for EMT.

PMID:
24556840
PMCID:
PMC4240281
DOI:
10.1038/nrm3758
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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