Tuesday, December 11 at 11:00am to 12:00pm
Broad CIRM Center (BCC), First Floor Seminar Room
1425 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Live webcast at keckmedia.usc.edu/stem-cell-seminar
During metastasis, epithelial tumor cells dissociate from each other, disseminate into the systemic circulation, and then establish secondary tumors in distant sites. A developmental program termed Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is implicated in promoting the dissemination of single carcinoma cells during metastasis. Both the Twist and Snail families of transcription factors are key inducers of EMT and tumor metastasis. Using an inducible Twist1 mouse model, we show that activation of Twist1 is sufficient to promote carcinoma cells to undergo EMT and disseminate into blood circulation. Importantly, in distant sites, turning off Twist1 to allow reversion of EMT is essential for disseminated tumor cells to proliferate and form macrometastases. These data indicate that EMT is dynamically regulated during tumor metastasis: carcinoma cells undergo EMT to disseminate; once reaching distant site, they need to revert to an epithelial identity to form macrometastases. I will also present our ongoing studies that aim to understand how EMT is dynamically regulated in response to signals from the tumor microenvironment and from the intracellular machineries to impact EMT and tumor metastasis.
Host: Min Yu