Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and microRNAs in lung cancer

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Despite major advances, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains the major cause of cancer-related death in developed countries. Metastasis and drug resistance are the main factors contributing to relapse and death. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a complex molecular and cellular process involved in tissue remodelling that was extensively studied as an actor of tumour progression, metastasis and drug resistance in many cancer types and in lung cancers. Here we described with an emphasis on NSCLC how the changes in signalling pathways, transcription factors expression or microRNAs that occur in cancer promote EMT. Understanding the biology of EMT will help to define reversing process and treatment strategies. We will see that this complex mechanism is related to inflammation, cell mobility and stem cell features and that it is a dynamic process. The existence of intermediate phenotypes and tumour heterogeneity may be debated in the literature concerning EMT markers, EMT signatures and clinical consequences in NSCLC. However, given the role of EMT in metastasis and in drug resistance the development of EMT inhibitors is an interesting approach to counteract tumour progression and drug resistance. This review describes EMT involvement in cancer with an emphasis on NSCLC and microRNA regulation.




Legras, A., Pécuchet, N., Imbeaud, S., Pallier, K., Didelot, A., Roussel, H., … Blons, H. (2017, August 3). Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and microRNAs in lung cancer. Cancers. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9080101

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