Indexed on: 26 May '17Published on: 26 May '17Published in: Molecular Oncology
Beyond inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transcription (EMT), transcriptional factors of the Snail, ZEB and Twist families (EMT-TFs) control global plasticity programs affecting cell stemness and fate. Literature addressing the reactivation of these factors in adult tumour cells is very extensive, as they enable cancer cell plasticity and fuel both tumour initiation and metastatic spread. Incipient data reveal that EMT-TFs are also expressed in fibroblasts, providing these with additional properties. Here, I will review recent reports on the expression of EMT-TFs in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). The new model suggests that EMT-TFs can be envisioned as essential metastasis and chemoresistance-promoting molecules, thereby enabling coordinated plasticity programs in parenchyma and stroma tumour compartments.