Interplay of retinal determination gene network with TGF-β signaling pathway in epithelial-mesenchymal transition
As a fundamental event in the generation of tissues and organs during embryogenesis, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has also been implicated in cancer progression by its ability to alter the plasticity of epithelial cells to acquire invasive properties. Evidence is mounting that ectopic activation of transforming growth factors β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) superfamily members to enhance tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this respect, the Retinal Determination Gene Network (RDGN), which was identified to govern the normal initiation of the morphogenetic furrow in Drosophila, has now been found to be de-regulated in various types of cancers, and the key members of this network, DACH, SIX, and EYA, have emerged as novel co-regulators of TGF- signaling during EMT. Understanding the molecular mechanism by which RDGN regulates TGF-β/BMP signaling to influence EMT may lead to novel strategies for targeted therapies.