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A common framework for EMT and collective cell migration

Researchers Kyra Campbell and Jordi Casanova at IBMB propose a new concept for the cells displaying arrays of epithelial and mesenchymal features, and migratory behaviours.

During development, cells often switch between static and migratory behaviours. Such transitions are fundamental events in development and are linked to harmful consequences in pathology. It has long been considered that epithelial cells either migrate collectively as epithelial cells, or undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and migrate as individual mesenchymal cells. Kyra Campbell and Jordi Casanova propose a new hypothesis where these categories can be viewed as the most extreme cases of a general continuum of morphological variety, with cells harbouring different degrees or combinations of epithelial and mesenchymal features and displaying an array of migratory behaviours. This studies will help in advance our understanding of the basic mechanisms at play during tumour progression and will have a better approach to identifying the pathological processes that need to be targeted.

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