The EMT signaling pathways in endometrial carcinoma

Clin Transl Oncol. 2012 Oct;14(10):715-20. doi: 10.1007/s12094-012-0866-3. Epub 2012 Aug 22.


Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynecologic malignancy of the female genital tract and the fourth most common neoplasia in women. In EC, myometrial invasion is considered one of the most important prognostic factors. For this process to occur, epithelial tumor cells need to undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), either transiently or stably, and to differing degrees. This process has been extensively described in other types of cancer but has been poorly studied in EC. In this review, several features of EMT and the main molecular pathways responsible for triggering this process are investigated in relation to EC. The most common hallmarks of EMT have been found in EC, either at the level of E-cadherin loss or at the induction of its repressors, as well as other molecular alterations consistent with the mesenchymal phenotype-like L1CAM and BMI-1 up-regulation. Pathways including progesterone receptor, TGFβ, ETV5 and microRNAs are deeply related to the EMT process in EC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Receptors, Progesterone / genetics
  • Receptors, Progesterone / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Progesterone