Signal transduction pathways of EMT induced by TGF-β, SHH, and WNT and their crosstalks

Jingyu Zhang, Xiao Jun Tian, Jianhua Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

247 Scopus citations


Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key step in development, wound healing, and cancer development. It involves cooperation of signaling pathways, such as transformation growth factor-β (TGF- β), Sonic Hedgehog (SHH), and WNT pathways. These signaling pathways crosstalk to each other and converge to key transcription factors (e.g., SNAIL1) to initialize and maintain the process of EMT. The functional roles of multi-signaling pathway crosstalks in EMT are sophisticated and, thus, remain to be explored. In this review, we focused on three major signal transduction pathways that promote or regulate EMT in carcinoma. We discussed the network structures, and provided a brief overview of the current therapy strategies and drug development targeted to these three signal transduction pathways. Finally, we highlighted systems biology approaches that can accelerate the process of deconstructing complex networks and drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • EMT
  • Modeling
  • SHH
  • Signaling transduction pathways
  • TGF- β
  • WNT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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