Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a highly conserved process defined by the loss of epithelial characteristics, and acquisition of the mesenchymal phenotype. In addition to its central role in development, EMT has been implicated as a cellular process during tumourigenesis which facilitates tumour cell invasion and metastasis. The EMT process has been largely defined by signal transduction networks and transcriptional factors that activate mesenchymal-associated gene expression. Knowledge of secretome components that influence EMT including secreted proteins/peptides and membrane-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) (i.e., exosomes) has emerged. Here we review EV cargo associated with inducing the hallmarks of EMT and cancer progression, modulators of cell transformation, invasion/migration, angiogenesis, and components involved in establishing the metastatic niche.
- Cancer progression
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Extracellular vesicles