1. Department of General Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
2. Department of General Surgery, Huzhou Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China
3. Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
4. Department of Pathology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
Purpose Increasing evidences revealed that cancer cells with the characteristics of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) or cancer stem cells (CSC) have high ability of progression, invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance. TWIST1 and BMI1 are crucial transcription factors required for EMT and CSC. Both TWIST1 and BMI1 are up-regulated in various cancers and have a positive correlation with poor prognosis. Although recent results showed that the two molecules function in promoting cancer metastasis and chemoresistance respectively, the correlation of TWIST1 and BMI1 is not well understood.
Methods In this review, we summarize recent advance in cancer research focus on TWIST1 and BMI1 in cancer metastasis and chemoresistance, and emphasize the possible link between EMT and CSC.
Results Further investigation of TWIST1 and BMI1 cooperately promote CSC proliferation due to EMT-associated effect will help to understand the mechanism of tumor cells metastasis and chemoresistance.
Conclusions TWIST1 and BMI1 in cancer cells will be effective targets for treating chemoresistant metastatic lesions.
Keywords: epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cancer metastasis, chemoresistance, cancer stem cells