Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 9523–9530 | Cite as

Role of epithelial to mesenchymal transition proteins in gynecological cancers: pathological and therapeutic perspectives

  • Xiao-mei Zhou
  • Hai Zhang
  • Xia Han


Gynecorelogic cancers like ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers are among the major threats to modern life, especially to female health. Like some other types of cancers, all of these gynecological cancers have found to be associated with the developmental stage epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). More specifically, the aberrant expression of major EMT markers, such as lower expressions of E-cadherin and alpha-catenin, and overexpressions of N-cadherin, beta-catenin, vimentin, and matrix metalloproteinases, have been reported in ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers. The transcription factors, such as Twist, Snail, Slug, and Zeb, which regulate these EMT mediators, are also reported to be overexpressed in gynecological cancers. In addition to the over/lower expression, the promoter methylation of some of these genes has been identified too. In the era of target-specific cancer therapeutics, some promising studies showed that targeting EMT markers might be an interesting and successful tool in future cancer therapy. In this study, we have reviewed the recent development in the research on the association of EMT markers with three major gynecological cancers in the perspectives of carcinogenesis and therapeutics.


Ovarian cancer Cervical cancer Endometrial cancer Epithelial to mesenchymal transitions Transcription factors Target-specific cancer therapy 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynaecolgy and ObstetricsShenzhen FuTian District Traditional Chinese Medicine HospitalShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecolgy and ObstetricsMaternal and Child Health Care HospitalShenzhenChina

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