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J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/jcm5020026

Homeostatic Signaling by Cell–Cell Junctions and Its Dysregulation during Cancer Progression

1
Department of Nature Medicine, Tianjin Medical University School of Pharmacy, Tianjin 300070, China
2
Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62794, USA
3
Simmons Cancer Institute, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62794, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: David A. Brenner, Tatiana Kisseleva and Jonas Fuxe
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition)
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Abstract

The transition of sessile epithelial cells to a migratory, mesenchymal phenotype is essential for metazoan development and tissue repair, but this program is exploited by tumor cells in order to escape the confines of the primary organ site, evade immunosurveillance, and resist chemo-radiation. In addition, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) confers stem-like properties that increase efficiency of colonization of distant organs. This review evaluates the role of cell–cell junctions in suppressing EMT and maintaining a quiescent epithelium. We discuss the conflicting data on junctional signaling in cancer and recent developments that resolve some of these conflicts. We focus on evidence from breast cancer, but include other organ sites where appropriate. Current and potential strategies for inhibition of EMT are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: E-cadherin; EMT; dissemination; breast cancer; human mammary epithelial cells; adherens junctions; tight junctions; claudins; PLEKHA7; miR30b; cancer stem cells E-cadherin; EMT; dissemination; breast cancer; human mammary epithelial cells; adherens junctions; tight junctions; claudins; PLEKHA7; miR30b; cancer stem cells
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yu, Y.; Elble, R.C. Homeostatic Signaling by Cell–Cell Junctions and Its Dysregulation during Cancer Progression. J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 26.

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