Research ArticleCell Biology

TGF-β–induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition proceeds through stepwise activation of multiple feedback loops

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  30 Sep 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 345, pp. ra91
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005304

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Stepping Through the Transitions in Cell State

Cells can change their functional and morphological characteristics in response to changes in the environment. Epithelial cells can exhibit a type of plasticity called epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in which they transform from cells with tight contacts to neighboring cells and function as a barrier into motile cells that are not connected to their neighbors. This process is important during physiological processes, such as wound healing, and can also contribute to metastatic progression of cancer. Zhang et al. performed population and single-cell analysis of changes in the abundance of core regulators of EMT in a mammary epithelial cell line culture to test theoretical models by which EMT could occur. Their analysis confirmed that two sequential feedback loops, involving transcription factors and microRNAs, function as two cascading switches to control the discrete steps in EMT and identified the first step in this two-step process as the only readily reversible one for these cells.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Signaling