Epithelial-mesenchymal transition mediated tumourigenesis in the gastrointestinal tract

Ammar Natalwala, Robert Spychal, Chris Tselepis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a highly conserved process that has been well characterised in embryogenesis. Studies have shown that the aberrant activation of EMT in adult epithelia can promote tumour metastasis by repressing cell adhesion molecules, including epithelial (E)-cadherin. Reduced intracellular adhesion may allow tumour cells to disseminate and spread throughout the body. A number of transcription proteins of the Snail superfamily have been implicated in EMT. These proteins have been shown to be over-expressed in advanced gastrointestinal (GI) tumors including oesophageal adenocarcinomas, colorectal carcinomas, gastric and pancreatic cancers, with a concomitant reduction in the expression of E-cadherin. Regulators of EMT may provide novel clinical targets to detect GI cancers early, so that cancers previously associated with a poor prognosis such as pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed before they become inoperable. Furthermore, pharmacological therapies designed to inhibit these proteins will aim to prevent local and distant tumour invasion. (C) 2008 The WJG Press. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3792-3797
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume14
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2008

Keywords

  • epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • transcription proteins
  • E-cadherin
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • SQUAMOUS-CELL CARCINOMA
  • TRANSCRIPTIONAL REPRESSOR SNAIL
  • WNT SIGNALING PATHWAY
  • E-CADHERIN REPRESSOR
  • REGULATES E-CADHERIN
  • GASTRIC-CANCER
  • COLORECTAL-CANCER
  • PANCREATIC-CANCER
  • HEPATOCELLULAR-CARCINOMA
  • BETA-CATENIN

Cite this