A "NOTCH" deeper into the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program in breast cancer

Kar, Rohan and Jha, Niraj Kumar and Jha, Saurabh Kumar and Sharma, Ankur and Dholpuria, Sunny and Asthana, Nidhi and Chaurasiya, Kundan and Singh, Vivek Kumar and Burgee, Shuaib and Nand, Parma (2019) A "NOTCH" deeper into the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program in breast cancer. Genes, 10 (12). 961. ISSN 2073-4425 (https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10120961)

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Notch signaling is a primitive signaling pathway having various roles in the normal origin and development of each multicellular organisms. Therefore, any aberration in the pathway will inevitably lead to deadly outcomes such as cancer. It has now been more than two decades since Notch was acknowledged as an oncogene in mouse mammary tumor virus-infected mice. Since that discovery, activated Notch signaling and consequent up-regulation of tumor-promoting Notch target genes have been observed in human breast cancer. Moreover, consistent over-expression of Notch ligands and receptors has been shown to correlate with poor prognosis in human breast cancer. Notch regulates a number of key processes during breast carcinogenesis, of which, one key phenomenon is epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a key process for large-scale cell movement during morphogenesis at the time of embryonic development. Cancer cells aided by transcription factors usurp this developmental program to execute the multi-step process of tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this review, we recapitulate recent progress in breast cancer research that has provided new perceptions into the molecular mechanisms behind Notch-mediated EMT regulation during breast tumorigenesis.