Date: 11 Aug 2011

Prostate Tumor Cell Plasticity: A Consequence of the Microenvironment

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Abstract

During each step of prostate cancer metastasis, cancer displays phenotypic plasticity that is associated with the expression of both epithelial and mesenchymal properties or an epithelial to mesenchymal transition. This phenotypic transition is typically in response to microenvironment signals and is the basis for basic cancer cell survival (e.g. motility and invasion versus proliferation). In this review we discuss the loss and gain of E-cadherin expression as a marker of tumor plasticity throughout the steps of metastasis, and particularly focus on dynamic tumor–stromal interaction that induce a cancer cell-associated mesenchymal to epithelial reverting transition in the bone and liver microenvironments.