Genes Associated with Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition: Possible Therapeutic Targets in Ductal Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma?

ISSN: 1875-5992 (Online)
ISSN: 1871-5206 (Print)

Volume 16, 12 Issues, 2016

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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Formerly: Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents

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Michelle Prudhomme
Universite Blaise Pascal - C.N.R.S
Aubiere Cedex

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Genes Associated with Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition: Possible Therapeutic Targets in Ductal Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma?

Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 11(5): 448-454.

Author(s): Hubert G. Hotz, Birgit Hotz and Heinz-Johannes Buhr.

Affiliation: Department of Surgery I, Charite School of Medicine, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, D-12203 Berlin, Germany.


Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process that allows well-differentiated, polarized epithelial cells to undergo a conversion to motile, unpolarized mesenchymal cells. EMT plays crucial roles during implantation, embryogenesis, and organ development (Type 1 EMT), is associated with tissue regeneration and organ fibrosis (Type 2 EMT), and involved in cancer invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance (Type 3 EMT). Since aggressiveness and drug resistance are hallmarks of ductal pancreatic cancer, significant effort has been undertaken in recent years to elucidate molecular EMT mechanisms in this dismal malignancy. This represents a formidable challenge for several reasons: EMT is a dynamic process, both with regard to spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Moreover, EMT is induced and regulated by a complex network of traditional signaling pathways and new players like microRNAs. Interestingly, similar molecular characteristics link EMT-type cells also to the concept of cancer stem cells. This review tries to integrate the current knowledge regarding EMT and pancreatic cancer; furthermore to outline not only the perspective on novel EMT-associated therapeutic targets, but also on overcoming drug resistance by interfering with EMT.


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition, pancreatic cancer, cancer stem cells.

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Article Details

Volume: 11
Issue Number: 5
First Page: 448
Last Page: 454
Page Count: 7
DOI: 10.2174/187152011795677436
Price: $58

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