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Histol Histopathol. 2015 Nov;30(11):1283-94. doi: 10.14670/HH-11-638. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

A twist tale of cancer metastasis and tumor angiogenesis.

Author information

1
PerkinElmer Inc., Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA and Research Center for Tumor Medical Science, Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
2
Research Center for Tumor Medical Science, Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
3
Research Center for Tumor Medical Science, Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. wukj@mail.cmu.edu.tw.

Abstract

Twist1 is an evolutionally conserved transcription factor. Originally identified in Drosophila as a key regulator for mesoderm development, it was later implicated in many human diseases, including Saethre-Chotzen syndrome and cancer. Twist1's involvement in cancer has been well recognized. Driven by hypoxia-induced factor-1 (HIF-1), Twist1 has been considered as a proto-oncogene and its overexpression has been observed in a wide variety of human cancers. High expression level of Twist1 is closely related to tumor aggressiveness and metastatic potential. In cancer cells, Twist1 has been shown to function as a key regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a critical process for metastasis initiation. Twist1 has also been implicated in maintaining cancer stemness for self-renewal and chemoresistance. This review first summarizes the roles of Twist1 in embryo development and Saethre-Chotzen syndrome followed by a discussion of Twist1's critical functions in cancer. In particular, the review focuses on the recent discovery of Twist1's capability to promote endothelial transdifferentiation of cancer cells beyond EMT.

PMID:
26084282
DOI:
10.14670/HH-11-638
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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