Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 31, Issue 3–4, pp 653–662 | Cite as

MicroRNA control of epithelial–mesenchymal transition and metastasis

  • Jinsong Zhang
  • Li Ma


The great majority of cancer deaths are due to metastasis, which remains a poorly understood pathological process. The formation of a metastasis reflects a succession of complex steps leading to the macroscopic outgrowth of disseminated tumor cells at the secondary site. In the past 5 years, certain microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to regulate either a single step or multiple steps of metastasis, doing so by downregulating the expression of their target genes. In this review, we discuss recent studies on the functions and molecular mechanisms of miRNAs in regulating epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer metastasis.


MicroRNA (miRNA) Cancer Metastasis Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) Mesenchymal–epithelial transition (MET) 



The miRNA research in the Ma Lab is supported by an NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) Award CA138572, a CPRIT First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Award R1004, a University of Texas STARS Award, and a Faculty Development Award from MD Anderson’s Cancer Center Support Grant CA016672 from NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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