Generation of stable Epithelial Mesenchymal Hybrid cancer cells with tumorigenic potential
This event is in the past.
Roslyn Tedja, PhD, Wayne State University
Cancer progression, invasiveness and metastatic potential has been associated with activation of the cellular developmental program known as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This process is known to yield not only mesenchymal cells but instead an array of cells with different degree of epithelial and mesenchymal phenotype with high plasticity, usually referred as E/M hybrid cells. Characteristics of E/M hybrid cells, their importance in tumor progression, and the key regulators in the tumor microenvironment that support this phenotype are still poorly understood. In this study, we have established an in vitro model of EMT and characterized the different stages of differentiation allowing us to identify the main genomic signature associated with E/M hybrid state. We report that once the cells enter the E/M hybrid state they acquire stable anoikis resistance, invasive capacity and tumorigenic potential. We have identified hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET pathway as a major driver that pushes cells in the E/M hybrid state. Furthermore, we characterize the signaling pathway(s) promoting, and genes associated with the E/M hybrid state in ovarian cancer.
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