Epithelial-mesenchymal transition in lung development and disease: does it exist and is it important?

Domokos Bartis, Nikica Mise, Rahul Y Mahida, Oliver Eickelberg, David R Thickett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process when epithelial cells gradually transform into mesenchymal-like cells losing their epithelial functionality and characteristics. EMT is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of numerous lung diseases ranging from developmental disorders, fibrotic tissue remodelling to lung cancer. The most important question--namely what is the importance and contribution of EMT in the pathogenesis of several chronic lung conditions (asthma, COPD, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and lung fibrosis)--is currently intensely debated. This review gives a brief insight into the mechanism and assessment methods of EMT in various pulmonary diseases and summarises the recent literature highlighting the controversial experimental data and conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-765
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2013


  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Diseases
  • Transcription Factors


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