Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transitions in Development and Cancer

John-Poul Ng-Blichfeldt, Katja Röper
Methods in Molecular Biology 2021, 2179: 43-62
The evolutionary emergence of the mesenchymal phenotype greatly increased the complexity of tissue architecture and composition in early Metazoan species. At the molecular level, an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was permitted by the innovation of specific transcription factors whose expression is sufficient to repress the epithelial transcriptional program. The reverse process, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), involves direct inhibition of EMT transcription factors by numerous mechanisms including tissue-specific MET-inducing transcription factors (MET-TFs), micro-RNAs, and changes to cell and tissue architecture, thus providing an elegant solution to the need for tight temporal and spatial control over EMT and MET events during development and adult tissue homeostasis.

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