Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT): A biological process in the development, stem cell differentiation, and tumorigenesis

Tong Chen, Yanan You, Hua Jiang, Zack Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations

Abstract

The lineage transition between epithelium and mesenchyme is a process known as epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), by which polarized epithelial cells lose their adhesion property and obtain mesenchymal cell phenotypes. EMT is a biological process that is often involved in embryogenesis and diseases, such as cancer invasion and metastasis. The EMT and the reverse process, mesenchymal–epithelial transition (MET), also play important roles in stem cell differentiation and de-differentiation (or reprogramming). In this review, we will discuss current research progress of EMT in embryonic development, cellular differentiation and reprogramming, and cancer progression, all of which are representative models for researches of stem cell biology in normal and in diseases. Understanding of EMT and MET may help to identify specific markers to distinguish normal stem cells from cancer stem cells in future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3261-3272
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume232
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • EMT
  • MET
  • cancer stem cells
  • reprogramming
  • stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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