Investigating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition with integrated computational and experimental approaches

Jianhua Xing, Xiao Jun Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The transition between epithelial and mesenchymal (EMT) is a fundamental cellular process that plays critical roles in development, cancer metastasis, and tissue wound healing. EMT is not a binary process but involves multiple partial EMT states that give rise to a high degree of cell state plasticity. Here, we first reviewed several studies on theoretical predictions and experimental verification of these intermediate states, the role of partial EMT on kidney fibrosis development, and how quantitative signaling information controls cell commitment to partial or full EMT upon transient signals. Next, we summarized existing knowledge and open questions on the coupling between EMT and other biological processes, such as the cell cycle, epigenetic regulation, stemness, and apoptosis. Taken together, EMT is a model system that has attracted increasing interests for quantitative experimental and theoretical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031001
JournalPhysical biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019


  • EMT plasticity
  • cascading bistable switches
  • multistability
  • partial EMT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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