Snail family members unequally trigger EMT and thereby differ in their ability to promote the neoplastic transformation of mammary epithelial cells.
Gras B, Jacqueroud L, Wierinckx A, Lamblot C, Fauvet F, Lachuer J, Puisieux A, Ansieau S
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Epithelial, mammary, human (HMEC)
Tissue Origin: breast
By fostering cell commitment to the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), SNAIL proteins endow cells with motility, thereby favoring the metastatic spread of tumor cells. Whether the phenotypic change additionally facilitates tumor initiation has never been addressed. Here we demonstrate that when a SNAIL protein is ectopically produced in non-transformed mammary epithelial cells, the cells are protected from anoikis and proliferate under low-adherence conditions: a hallmark of cancer cells. The three SNAIL proteins show unequal oncogenic potential, strictly correlating with their ability to promote EMT. SNAIL3 especially behaves as a poor EMT-inducer comforting the concept that the transcription factor functionally diverges from its two related proteins
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