Several lines of evidence indicate that cell competition can occur in mammals. In particular, at the initial stage of carcinogenesis, normal epithelial cells are able to recognize the neighboring transformed cells and actively eliminate them from epithelial tissues. This implies that normal epithelia have anti-tumor activity that does not involve immune cells, which is termed epithelial defense against cancer (EDAC). In this review article, we summarize recent advances on the underlying molecular machinery of EDAC. In addition, we also describe the molecular mechanisms by which transformed cells escape from EDAC to promote carcinogenesis.
Keywords: Apical extrusion; Cell competition; EDAC; Entosis.
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