There is consistent evidence that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is a key phenomenon in the development and progression of cancer. Also, it has been elucidated that it has a crucial role in metastasis and drug resistance in some carcinomas. Thus, there is a need to understand the mechanisms underlying this process. Here, the researchers performed high-content imaging to measure cytoplasmatic vimentin of human breast cancer cells transduced with a library of 17000 human open reading frames. Afterwards, the selected hits were validated in a non-tumorigenic breast epithelial cell line. The validated hits induced cell invasion and mesenchymal marker expression, reducing E-cadherin expression. Finally, newly identified genes were shown to be correlated with the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition marker genes in datasets from breast cancer patients. In summary, several new genes that contribute to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition are identified and functionally validated in this study, which may lead to their further development as potential targets for anti-cancer therapy.
Genome-wide gain-of-function screen for genes that induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer
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