Epithelial to mesenchymal transition in the pathogenesis of uterine malignant mixed Müllerian tumours: the role of ubiquitin proteasome system and therapeutic opportunities
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- Voutsadakis, I.A. Clin Transl Oncol (2012) 14: 243. doi:10.1007/s12094-012-0792-4
Malignant mixed Müllerian tumours (malignant mixed mesodermal tumours, MMMT) of the uterus are metaplastic carcinomas with a sarcomatous component and thus they are also called carcinosarcomas. It has now been accepted that the sarcomatous component is derived from epithelial elements that have undergone metaplasia. The process that produces this metaplasia is epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which has recently been described as a neoplasia-associated programme shared with embryonic development and enabling neoplastic cells to move and metastasise. The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) regulates the turnover and functions of hundreds of cellular proteins. It plays important roles in EMT by being involved in the regulation of several pathways participating in the execution of this metastasis-associated programme. In this review the specific role of UPS in EMT of MMMT is discussed and therapeutic opportunities from UPS manipulations are proposed.