Regulation of Cellular Identity in Cancer

Nilotpal Roy, Matthias Hebrok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neoplastic transformation requires changes in cellular identity. Emerging evidence increasingly points to cellular reprogramming, a process during which fully differentiated and functional cells lose aspects of their identity while gaining progenitor characteristics, as a critical early step during cancer initiation. This cell identity crisis persists even at the malignant stage in certain cancers, suggesting that reactivation of progenitor functions supports tumorigenicity. Here, we review recent findings that establish the essential role of cellular reprogramming during neoplastic transformation and the major players involved in it with a special emphasis on pancreatic cancer. Emerging evidence points to cellular reprogramming, where fully differentiated cells lose aspects of their identity while gaining progenitor characteristics, as a critical early step during cancer initiation. Roy and Hebrok review recent findings establishing the essential role of cellular reprogramming during neoplastic transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-684
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

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