Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a physiological process in which epithelial cells acquire the motile and invasive characteristics of mesenchymal cells. Although EMTin embryonic development is a coordinated, organized process involving interaction between many different cells and tissue types, aspects of the EMT program can be inappropriately activated in response to microenvironmental alterations and aberrant stimuli, and this can contribute to disease conditions including tissue fibrosis and cancer progression. Here we will outline how EMT functions in normal development, how it could be activated in pathologic conditions- especially by matrix metalloproteinases-and how it may be targeted for therapeutic benefit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)