Background/Aim: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key multi-step process which enables cancer cells to detach from the epithelial primary tumor mass and allows them to metastasize to distant organs. We immunohistochemically analyzed the expression of the transcription factors (TWIST-1, SLUG, ZEB1, ZEB2) and components of the extracellular matrix (laminin-5, fibronectin) which influence the EMT. Materials and Methods: Primary human breast (MDA-MB-231), colon (HT29, HCT116), ovarian (SKOV3, OVCAR3) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines (UTSCC2, UTSCC24A) grown as xenografts were immunohistochemically analyzed in vitro and in vivo. Results: A high SLUG expression was observed in every cancer entity both in vitro and in vivo. ZEB1 and ZEB2 showed a high in vivo expression especially in SKOV3 and in in vitro grown MDA-MB-231 cells. Conclusion: SLUG expression showed the highest expression in all cancer entities investigated. Hence, it presumably represents the master regulator of EMT in these metastatic tumor entities.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)