Epithelial-mesenchymal transition: NF-kappaB takes center stage

Cell Cycle. 2004 Dec;3(12):1477-80. doi: 10.4161/cc.3.12.1280. Epub 2004 Dec 4.


Activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB occurs in many human tumors, and studies have shown that NF-kappaB can promote cell proliferation and oncogenesis, possibly by protecting cells from apoptosis. Little is known, however, about whether NF-kappaB is involved in tumor progression including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a central process governing both morphogenesis and carcinoma progression in multicellular organisms. In a combined in vitro/in vivo model of mammary carcinogenesis, NF-kappaB was essential both for the induction and maintenance of EMT and for in vivo metastasis. NF-kappaB and the signaling pathways that are involved in its activation should therefore receive attention as potential targets for the development of novel anti-metastatic cancer treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / cytology*
  • Mesoderm / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*


  • NF-kappa B