A role of epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in carcinogenic progression
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The epithelial-mesenchymal transition plays an important role in several developmental processes, tissue repair, but is also associated with fibrosis and cancer. During tumorigenic progression, EMT pathways are used by cancer cells to gain a migratory and invasive phenotype, enabling these cells to metastasize. This increased migratory potential relies on major changes in, for example, cell adhesion molecule (CAM) expression and cytoskeletal reorganization. In this thesis, I discuss the most important transcription factors during EMT, the effects these genes exert at the cellular level, and how these transcription factor aid carcinogenic progression during the different steps of metastasis. Studying the changing cell states during EMT and the responsible signaling pathways during these processes will enhance our understanding of the metastatic cascade and lead to better targeted therapies.