Phenotypic Plasticity of Cancer Cells Based on Remodeling of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Adhesive Structures.


Rubtsova SN(1), Zhitnyak IY(1), Gloushankova NA(1).
Author information:
(1)Institute of Carcinogenesis, N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology, 24 Kashirskoye Shosse, 115478 Moscow, Russia.


There is ample evidence that, instead of a binary switch, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer results in a flexible array of phenotypes, each one uniquely suited to a stage in the invasion-metastasis cascade. The phenotypic plasticity of epithelium-derived cancer cells gives them an edge in surviving and thriving in alien environments. This review describes in detail the actin cytoskeleton and E-cadherin-based adherens junction rearrangements that cancer cells need to implement in order to achieve the advantageous epithelial/mesenchymal phenotype and plasticity of migratory phenotypes that can arise from partial EMT.