Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 7335–7342 | Cite as

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition inducing transcription factors and metastatic cancer

  • Mousumi Tania
  • Md. Asaduzzaman Khan
  • Junjiang FuEmail author


The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important step for the developmental process. Recent evidences support that EMT allows the tumor cells to acquire invasive properties and to develop metastatic growth characteristics. Some of the transcription factors, which are actively involved in EMT process, have a significant role in the EMT–metastasis linkage. A number of studies have reported that EMT-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TFs), such as Twist, Snail, Slug, and Zeb, are directly or indirectly involved in cancer cell metastasis through a different signaling cascades, including the Akt, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Wnt pathways, with the ultimate consequence of the downregulation of E-cadherin and upregulation of metastatic proteins, such as N-cadherin, vimentin, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, etc. This review summarizes the update information on the association of EMT-TFs with cancer metastasis and the possible cancer therapeutics via targeting the EMT-TFs.


Epithelial to mesenchymal transition Metastasis Twist Snail Slug Zeb Cancer therapeutics 



This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81172049), Science and Technology Innovation Team of Colleges and Universities of Sichuan Province (13TD0032), Health Department Foundation of Sichuan Province (130261), The Research Foundation of the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (14JC0797), Luzhou City special foundation (2013LZLY-J10), and Luzhou Medical College grants for postdoctoral research (20130512, 20130513).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mousumi Tania
    • 1
  • Md. Asaduzzaman Khan
    • 1
  • Junjiang Fu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Epigenetics and Oncology, The Research Center for Preclinical MedicineLuzhou Medical CollegeLuzhouChina

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