- Genes & Diseases,Volume 4, Issue 1,2014, Pages 16-18
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition as strategic microenvironment mimicry for cancer cell survival and immune escape?
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is the phenotypic transition of epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells characterized by loss of epithelial markers, loss of intercellular adherence and acquirement of mesenchymal cell markers and increased locomotive ability. EMT is widely considered to be a gene regulated process necessary for cancer metastasis. Yet it is a highly controversial issue. We here propose that EMT is an environmentally induced cell behavior. It is the mimicry of their living environment. It is a survival strategy, a way of immune escape. We also propose here that the epithelial cell markers may functionally act as tumor antigens since in the mesenchymal surroundings there are no other structures bearing the same antigens as epithelial cells.
Cancer; EMT; Immune escape; Mimicry
Copyright © 2014 Chongqing Medical University. Published by Elsevier B.V