Author(s): Kothari AN, Mi Z, Zapf M, Kuo PC
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Abstract The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is implicated in many processes, ranging from tissue and organogenesis to cancer and metastatic spread. Understanding the key regulatory mechanisms and mediators within this process offers the opportunity to develop novel therapeutics with broad clinical applicability. To date, several components of EMT already are targeted using pharmacologic agents in fibrosis and cancer. As our knowledge of EMT continues to grow, the potential for novel therapeutics will also increase. This review focuses on the role of EMT both as a necessary part of development and a key player in disease progression, specifically the similarity in pathways used during both processes as targets for drug development. Also, the key role of the tumor microenvironment with EMT is outlined, focusing on both co-factors and cell types with the ability to modulate the progression of EMT in cancer and metastatic disease. Lastly, we discuss the current status of clinical therapies both in development and those progressed to clinical trial specifically targeting pathologic EMTs including small molecule inhibitors, non-coding RNAs, exogenous co-factors, and adjunctive therapies to current chemotherapeutics.
This article was published in Clin Transl Med
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism